Online video has become increasingly popular with consumers of every age over the last few years. Everyone’s always raving over the latest and greatest beer commercial. Your coworker is always peeking over the cubicle to show you the latest viral Facebook video. Your friend is tagging you in Instagram video giveaways on the daily.

Want to know why consumers love video so much? It’s effortless. They’re able to get the most information in the shortest amount of time possible … and they don’t have to read anything at all! Watching video is more enjoyable, effortless and valuable for them, and video marketing content can be all those things for you too if you have the right information and use it in an effective way.


Why Video Marketing Is Important for Your Small Business

Video marketing is one of the best ways to create greater engagement with your audience. It lets consumers feel like they’re involved in what you’ve been up to because they can watch it happen, instead of read about it happening.

Video doesn’t have to be burdensome — we’re not talking Golden Globe motion picture here. We mean short, simple videos to use in your marketing strategy. You may think that you’re by no means a movie producer and your audience isn’t going to wanna see your less-than-perfect filming capabilities. But think about it — how many videos a day do you watch online? Out of those videos, how many of them, whether they’re on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or anywhere really, are high-quality, award-winning videos? Most aren’t, and that’s okay because imperfect video marketing content is authentic. The goal with video marketing is not to win awards for incredible filmmaking, it’s to increase your brand’s authenticity. So chill out Ron Howard, you’re here to connect with customers.

Video gives your brands the opportunity to put its personality right in front of the perfect audience. Plus, it helps consumers make better buying decisions, increases SEO and conversion and most people would rather watch a video than skim a lengthy block of text.

Now that you know you should be incorporating video into marketing strategy, here are 9 ways to actually do it.

Products

Consumers love to see how your product works, instead of just read about it. There’s a higher likelihood that they’ll purchase the product if they watch a video about it — worth it, right? Create a product video to show your product in action, especially if you’re selling something unique or that people don’t buy often.

For example, if you’re selling BBQs you’re generally not going to get the same recurring customers month after month, so you’re constantly trying to grab the attention on new grillmasters. People will also spend more time researching a product when it’s a one-time purchase. This is a great opportunity to show a product video that convinces consumers that it’s the best BBQ they can get on the market. Show them how it works, all its fancy features, the size of it and where it can be stored and how easy it is to get that puppy clean. It’s even great to throw in some tasty meals they can prepare on it and demonstrate the fun backyard BBQ they’ll be able to have this summer with their friends and family.

Culture

Use video marketing content to give your customers an inside look at your company culture, it brings your brand to life. When your audience can see and engage with the people behind your brand, they feel included in the brand’s culture. Loyal customers want to feel included in the brand’s culture, decisions, and the lifestyle they promote. Video is a great way to accomplish that. Capture a video that shows there are real people who work for you, with real personalities, who have real fun!

Give them a glimpse of a day in the life of your employees, or a little behind the scenes on production and strategy meetings. On days you step away from the computer from some team bonding or company picnics, catch it on film. Bareknuckle’s getting out of the office next week for an exciting unplug day, and we’ll be filming a short video to share … stay tuned!

Culture videos can also help attract new employees by showing them what a cool place you have to work. They might want to join in on the fun. It’s better to differentiate your brand through personality and character rather than just business tactics.


Events

Does your brand host events or participate in events put on by the community? Maybe you have a conference, product launch party or local networking event coming up. Capture those authentic moments through your stories on social media. Real-time footage does wonders for engagement.

When the event’s over and you have the video content you want, create an event recap video. Show your audience what a great time it was. Event videos leverage the show-not-tell rule of content: people can see how cool an event was instead of reading about it.

Remember to archive your footage! When it’s time for this event next year, repurpose your footage for a recap promotional video.

Live Streaming

Live videos are all hunky-dory lately, mostly because people love seeing things as they happen. Consumers don’t like to feel left out, that’s why we’re all so suckered into “Breaking News!”.

Live video gives instant gratification that consumers are the first to know about what you’re up to and it makes them feel as if they’re right there with you. It’s easy too because there are so many live video streaming platforms; Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Periscope to name a few.

Live streaming is one of the best ways to create crazy engagement with your audience. People can ask questions, leave comments and chat with you in real-time and you can respond right then and there. Also, the possibility of getting noticed by the broadcaster excites consumers. They know you can see that the broadcaster can see their live comments and reactions and they’re just waiting to get noticed. People love engaging with live video.

Vlog

Most brands have a blog (let’s be real, people in general have blogs too). Blogging is a saturated market, but is vlogging? Truthfully, there are a lot of people out there who would rather watch a video than read a blog — like we said before consumers want to put in the least amount of effort possible when engaging with a brand.

Good news is, vlogging is cheap to produce and relatively quick to film and share. Vlogs don’t need to be any more than 5 minutes long and all you really need to film one is the webcam on your computer or smartphone.

So what do you vlog about? Vlogging is basically the same thing as blogging (except in video form, of course). Weave it into your marketing strategy and share a weekly topic or journey, just like you would in a weekly blog. GaryVee, the CEO of marketing agency VaynerMedia, documents his daily tasks as a CEO and public figure and shares it with his audience. It’s simple, he films it on his webcam and it’s one of the most popular marketing vlogs out there.


Interview

Does your brand want to be known as a thought leader? If the answer is yes, you should be interviewing other thought leaders. Interviews are easy to film and all you really have to do is guide the conversation by asking questions. You’ll want your guest to do the majority of the talking, so as long as you give direction to the conversation, the interview isn’t very complicated.

By interviewing others who are outside of your brand (but still relevant to your topic or industry) you’re not only building great relationships that can be resourceful in the future, but you’re also gaining credibility by associating your brand with well-known, positive professionals. Your guest can also share the content with their following too, which will help you build a larger audience.

Testimonials, Reviews & Case Studies

When you’re shopping around for a new laptop, swimsuit, juicer or coffee maker, you look at reviews to help you make the smartest buying decision. If you’re doing things right and your customers are satisfied, you should have plenty of testimonials about your product. Voluntary, positive feedback from your audience is great for your brand. It builds trust with potential customers because it lets them see there are real people talking about how much they love what you’ve done for them.

Step up your game video marketing content and incorporate video reviews. Video reviews are a great way to get in front of your audience with voices that aren’t yours. What can be tricky is getting those testimonials on video. Don’t worry, we have a few tricks for you. You can hire video review companies, connect with influencers (local or Insta-famous), or encourage customers to leave video reviews on social media platforms through incentives. Grab ahold of a few videos by hosting a contest for the best customer review videos. Choose a winner and give them a prize. Or organize an event that customers can attend and while they’re there ask if they can give a testimonial on camera.


Presentations

Most of us have listened to or watched a TED Talk at some point. If you haven’t, they’re short, powerful speeches with some sort of compelling message. (We’re a big fan of Julian Treasure’s “How to Speak So People Will Listen” and Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking”). TED Talk presenters usually don’t directly talk about a specific business, but they always wrap back around to the person’s brand.

If someone at your company is speaking at an event soon, catch it on video and show your audience. It doesn’t necessarily have to be TED Talk material — demonstrations, awards, guest speeches or anything of the sort are great material too.


Tutorials, How-Tos and Lifestyle ‘Contextual’ Videos

Tutorials and how-tos show that your brand is about more than just selling a product. It’s not a direct sales video, which makes them more appealing to consumers. Show how your product is used and how people can get the most out of it. It doesn’t just have to be a boring step-by-step video about how to use your product. Instead, take this example into consideration.

If you sell festival-style masks, for example, create a video that shows your products being used at a festival. Show it in action, being used and let your audience see how much fun they could have with your product. People will want to buy it.

How-to videos don’t necessarily have to be a tutorial about your particular product either. For example, a fitness clothing brand could create how-to videos for a few at-home workouts that their customers could use regularly — this is free content that extends the value a brand provides to customers while keeping the brand top of mind.

Where Should You Start?

Video is fun for consumers and it should be fun for you too! Think about it like this: you get to create awesome videos for your audience and develop awesome video marketing content to use as the next big thing.

Don’t make video more than it needs to be. They don’t need to be long, shorter videos (less than 90 seconds) actually have a better retention rate than longer ones anyways. Keep them short and concise, know the video’s purpose and follow these guidelines for how to use video marketing for your small business.