Digital Marketing Marketing & Sales

How to Break Into Video Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Small Businesses on a Budget

Natasha Ponomaroff
Written by Natasha Ponomaroff

No digital marketing campaign worth its salt is complete without using some form of video content. Whether  hosted on social media or embedded into a website, videos are a compelling way to tell an engaging yet lengthy story in a distilled amount of time. This is in large part, thanks to the Google-owned video streaming giant YouTube, which has the distinction of kick-starting the online video content trend—even being responsible for its own influencer ecosystem of ‘YouTubers,’ changing the landscape of marketing as we know it. In data released by Google, the site is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google), the average mobile viewing session lasts over 40 minutes, and on mobile phones alone, YouTube reaches more 18-49 year olds than any broadcast or cable TV network. Additionally, 6 out of 10 people now prefer online video platforms to TV.

(Source: Think With Google, The latest video trends: Where your audience is watching)

 

The success of YouTube proves that video is now on everyone’s mind, and digital marketers need to go with the flow and deliver content to consumers where they will best receive and respond to it.

Some video marketing statistics of note:

  • 87% of marketing professionals now use video as a tool.
  • Videos are consumers’ favorite type of content to see on social media.
  • 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the social media ROI of videos.
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website if it contains video.
  • Viewers are 95% more likely to remember a call-to-action if it was presented through video rather than through text.
  • 54% of consumers would like to see more video content from a business they support.

Knowing all this, it’s easy to get enthusiastic and start making grand plans for increasing the amount of video content you create. There’s a catch, though: many larger brands invest thousands and thousands of dollars into producing high-quality content, and the equipment alone can cost an arm and a leg, not to mention production and post-production costs. There’s no need to worry, though. If a small business plays its cards right, then they can achieve the same amount of success at a fraction of the budget. 

Read on for a guide on how any small business can utilise video marketing to its fullest.

STEP 1: Research and Create Your Video Marketing Plan.

On a limited budget, you want to achieve a strong Return on Investment, or ROI,) from the very beginning to ensure you won’t be wasting valuable time and money. It’s important to align your video content with your overall brand image, and create it to cater specifically to your target audience.

 Here are the first few steps on how to get started.

  • Research

Take cues from your previous marketing campaigns as well as those of your competitors, especially if the latter has made use of video before. To research your competitors’ previous work, use a free content search aggregator such as Google Alerts or Feedly, where you can input keywords or website sources and get notifications on related content. If your competitors have new blog posts, press releases, or social media posts, these tools make it easy to check out what they’re doing.

(Source: Buffer, Does Vertical Video Make a Difference? We Spent $6,000 on Tests to Find Out)

 

When looking through your old marketing materials, on the other hand, pay attention to the data collected in your post-campaign reports and analyses. What kinds of posts work best on which platform? Who ended up viewing your content the most? Which campaign garnered the best engagement? Let your findings guide what to include in your content and where to host them.

  • Resources

List everything you will need to create the video, and include estimated cost projections as well. Be as exhaustive as possible! The list needs to have logistical considerations for shooting original footage, content you need to repurpose, post-processing plans, materials such as props, and the number of people working on the project and what they will be accountable for. It sounds like a lot to take in, but once you have this on file it will be easier to see how feasible certain concepts are given the resources that you have at your disposal. 

  • Scripting

Don’t make your script too long—as we’ll discuss further on, short videos are some of the most effective when it comes to marketing. But to actually make a well-written script for video, keep these three tips in mind:

  • Start with a brief stating the purpose of the video, what it aims to achieve, the intended audience, the key message, and the final call-to-action.
  • Write an outline and storyboard the imagery you want to accompany relevant text.
  • Start filling the skeleton of your video script out, taking care to include the main “hook,” as an introduction to capture attention immediately.
  • Compromises

Once you’ve listed all the resources you need, you’ll be able to make decisions about elements of the production process that you can compromise on. Identify costs to  see if there are more affordable alternatives. For example, could you hire a different voice over artist, or do you have a co worker with great acting skills? Do you even need a person in the video at all, or will image and text animations do the trick?

STEP 2: Gather Your Equipment

  • Camera

If you’ve decided to use a camera to shoot instead of going down the animation route, you can save costs in the long run by purchasing a good quality DSLR camera with photo and video capabilities. While buying a new camera for a video shoot might seem excessive, think of it as an investment for all business purposes like office and products

  • Microphone

You’ll need to purchase, borrow or hire one if you want to capture crisp audio that doesn’t require a lot of post production or if you want to record a clear voiceover.

  • Tripod

Research affordable multi-functional tripods (meaning usable with both a full-size cameras and mobile phones) with good reviews. You don’t have to concern yourself with the latest, greatest models—older models work just as well as new ones and more likely at a lower price.

  • Accessories and props

Shoot in an aesthetically-pleasing, well-lit location free from too many background distractions. For accessories and props, you need to include in the video, ask your coworkers for help—you might be surprised how many you can find for free if you just ask!

(please add a short video clip on video editing I sent in attachment)

  • Editing software 

Video editing software is not cheap, and transferring a video to a PC for editing, then compressing it for web is very time consuming. If you opted to use a mobile phone to shoot your video, you’re in luck. Finding a one-stop-shop type of app that contains both photo and video editing features, such as Instasize, cuts down on all the transferring with the added bonus of portability.

STEP 3: Shoot and Edit Your Video.

Here’s the fun part! Allocate several hours—or one whole day, if you have the time for it—to work on the video. Have a point person assigned to keep the schedule and maintain order to keep the process as efficient as possible.

After comes the editing. Took a lot of footage? You’ll need time to weed out the best shots because the ideal length for videos  varies per platform:

(Source: Instasize, 4 Video Editing Tips for Better Social Media Content)

STEP 4: Promote Your Video!

What’s the right promotion strategy for small business video marketing? You want to make the video as accessible to people as possible. That’s why you should integrate it into a broader marketing campaign to maximise its potential. Also, always use the right tags to make it easier for people to find. 

A good script and the right imagery will serve your small business for quite a while. One way to repurpose your video is to screen cap still shots and upload them separately to your social media accounts or website. Just space them out a little from the original video’s upload date. You can even use them to promote and link to the video itself. The same can be done with blog posts. Embed the video into your blog, write up an introduction, and simply share your post!

Creative repurposing of content saves time and money, and after putting so much energy into producing your video, its a great way to profit off your hard work and take a break!

Video doesn’t need to be intimidating, and small businesses can level the playing field if they work smart. The internet has democratised content, after all. All it takes is time taken for careful planning, creativity, and a team that wants the best for the project.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Natasha Ponomaroff

Natasha Ponomaroff

Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.

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