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6 Tips for Small Businesses to Get Started with Video


Small businesses are generally hesitant about trying new ideas for their business. Especially lifestyle businesses who don’t look for very high growth rates and are happy with a consistent revenue stream. These businesses have standard operating procedures (SOP) for every process and they don’t like to deviate from these practices. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Videos have been there for quite some time in the online space. Their importance cannot be questioned. Their absence in your content strategy though should be questioned. But small and medium business continue to feel that videos are not for them yet.

Here are the common objections they site when they think of investing in videos:

  1. Videos need a lot of time and manpower.
  2. Videos don’t deliver high ROI.
  3. Getting videos done is costly.

These objections are justified. Our job here is to educate them about how videos can truly help their business. In this article, we discuss how small businesses can mitigate these objections and get started with videos.

Create Content Specifically for the Particular Segment

This is what usually happens. Businesses put all their eggs into one video. This video has one message and then they select a particular segment in Facebook ads and start targeting. When they don’t get the desired result, they blame it on Facebook.

That’s not the right strategy to start with. Facebook gives you a ton of targeting options. Use these to your advantage. Create multiple videos, each with a specific message that resonates with this segment. For example, if you’re targeting the millennials, don’t reference The Beatles. Your target segment will never respond to your ads if you do. Identify common interests, likes, dislikes and bring that in your message. Create a bank of video content and then keep optimizing your campaign around this content. Tools like Adexpresso help you find the right ads that work for your audience.

But how do you create so much video content? Doesn’t video content take time? Many small businesses get stuck here and don’t proceed further. You can now create a video in minutes. Video marketing platforms like Promo, Hippo Video help you get started with videos in minutes. You can either record your video capturing your webcam feed or create videos using templates adding images to them. Use these platforms to start using videos in your day-to-day social media routine. Get the right messages across to right audience and create multiple videos to leverage Facebook’s rich ad platform. And they do deliver results. A lot of credit goes to Donald Trump’s Facebook campaign for getting him the presidency. They obsessively tested close to 100,000 different versions of ads per day. Copy, images, colors, buttons, every little detail was tested consistently to deliver the right ads. I understand that small business can’t secure the resources to run a huge campaign. 5 to 10 videos per campaign is the way to go forward to test the efficacy of your campaigns.

Have a Publishing Schedule

Small businesses find it difficult to create content for their social media profiles. Add videos to the mix and there is chaos. Since videos are traditionally seen as cumbersome and costly to execute, small businesses stay away from them. Not only that, they believe spending time on videos could be futile and generate less ROI.

To develop a video strategy, businesses have to appreciate the format first. They need to understand that different videos work differently. Just like any other form of content, your audience looks to be inspired videos. They expect certain consistency when it comes to video content.

Have a schedule for publishing your videos. It could be as low as 2 videos per month. Ensure that you are sticking to it. Bring a theme to the table. One of the videos could be about your business, the second can be about your customer. Videos where the customers take center stage, help the most. Use other types of videos like explainer videos, animated videos, live videos, company culture to the fullest to bring your business’s personality to the fore.

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Plan themes for your video publishing calendar. Mondays can be ‘Motivational Monday’ and Thursdays can be ‘Throwback Thursday’. Apart from bringing in a schedule, adding themes adds flavor to your videos to make sure they don’t go stale.

Upload Native Content Directly

Creating videos is just half the job. You now have to promote these videos. Understanding what works in social media goes a long way in delivering success to your business.

Social media platforms are designed to keep their users hooked to their platform. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn all work the same way. The platforms are highly engaging and help businesses discover a newer audience. But they’d rather keep these users on their platform rather than routing them to third-party platforms. That is the reason there is a marked reduction in the organic reach of social media posts. Posts carrying third party links don’t get the same number of impressions that they used to get before. Facebook has brought Instant Articles just for this reason. They want publishers to publish instant articles instead of sending Facebook users to their site.

Adding video links to social media platforms doesn’t work the way it used to. Since posts with links are getting lesser reach on social media, it is better to add video content natively. Native videos are encouraged Facebook. They promote it extensively as the viewers never leave Facebook to consume this content. If your audience is on social media, make you reach them adding videos natively.

Go for Paid Ads

Small businesses don’t always have the budget to go for paid ads. But paid ads do work when it comes to social media.

If your goal is to reach a new audience and spread the word about your brand, then the paid ads on social media are the way to go. The ads platform on Facebook is very extensive. It allows you to minutely target particular segments based on their interests. You can choose from formats like single image, carousel and video ads. Facebook has also introduced Canvas to allow advertisers to create landing pages within Facebook itself. You can embed videos into these beautiful pages on Facebook itself attract the attention of your target audience. Add lead generation forms to these pages to get leads directly from your Facebook.

Add Calls to Action

All the content you create is to achieve an objective. Once your prospect interacts with your content, you expect them to go down a certain path where you fulfill your goals. The content you create has to lead them to the next step.

Adding calls to action in your videos sets the wheels in motion. You prod your viewers to take a particular step after watching that eventually helps you with your objectives. Usually in the online marketing world, buttons assume the role of CTA. When it comes to CTAs, it not all about the buttons. Asking your viewers in your videos itself to take the next step is an effective video CTA. Asking them to subscribe, comment and share provide the convincing nudge your audience needs. Having said that, buttons too have a role to play.

Add effective annotations in your videos to help your viewers discover your content. Ask them to check your website, white-paper, or promotion campaign adding annotations in your videos. You can even add custom CTAs using video marketing platforms. These solutions allow you to upload your videos and gate your content to collect leads or add a poll. It makes your video content interactive and adds personality to your videos.

Add Video Testimonials and Case Studies

Small businesses usually don’t have a lot of ideas for video. What they do have are loyal customers. Getting their customers on the front page of their video strategy should become a priority.

People relate to other people. Get your customers to narrate their experiences with your business. Their story will resonate with some of your prospects. Empower them to share the problems they faced before. Share them with your audience and mention how your business helped with your solution. There could be more people with the same problem who could benefit from your solution. Publish multiple stories regularly and keep your fill your video pipeline. These videos may run long too. Make sure you edit them well. A video between 90 to 120 seconds works. Anything beyond that is asking for abandonment. So get your customers to start narrating their stories to you. Have a strategy in place to tap their experience as soon as they have had a successful project with you.   You’re leaving good money on the table if you’re not using your customer’s voice.

Small businesses should start making videos a priority. If done right, they can become a major acquisition channel for you. We have listed 6 different ways to help you get started with videos. Once you’ve tried them, let us know how they work out in the comments below. If you’ve tried anything else which has worked, let us know that too. We’d be happy to add them to this list.

Nikhil Premanandan

Nikhil Premanandan contributes a monthly column on Facebook. Nikhil s currently the head of marketing at SMhack, a social media management software startup. He likes to experiment with Facebook consistently and document his experiences in his blogs. He understands the hidden potential social media has and is always looking to learn. Nikhil also contributes regularly to Jeff Bullas’s blog. When he’s not on Facebook you can find him digging the latest exploits of Tom Hanks and Steve Carell.

Nikhil Premanandan
Nikhil Premanandan
Nikhil Premanandan

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