We all grew up watching video commercials, and we all know video commercials still have a huge impact for your small business especially in advertising. However, it seems that the only commercials we know belong to big businesses, renowned brands and companies.

It is really rare to see a commercial for a small business, on TV at least. The reason is quite obvious, small businesses are commonly local, thereby having a commercial on national television means wasting more money than it can earn.

The nice thing is you can run your commercials on the internet now for pennies. Did you know a simple YouTube ad costs around 8 cents a view?

Meaning they have to watch past 30 seconds for it to be counted as a view. Facebook cost around 3 cents per view, but you only have to watch 3 seconds of the video for a view to be counted.

You really ought to take a look into running ads on both YouTube and Facebook. It’s cheap and very effective.

Even though we don’t see it on television frequently, small businesses have their videos, unfortunately not all of them are good. The main reason for this lack of quality is because a lot of businesses simply create a video for the sake of having one. People read that video can have a positive impact, and even help their online traffic, so they make one with the premise that it’s better to have a video than not to have one.

The following article will contain detailed explanations of why you need video for your small business and tips for creating them, as well as some general video-related information you should know. So, here are seven things you need to know before making a video for your small business.

Why do you need a video?

First of all, if you are a small business owner, then you must have a website, and if you have done your homework, you know how written context is important, mostly because of keywords. In other words, you have a website with a lot of insightful text, and your users are able to find you easier.

The problem is people don’t like to read lengthy descriptions, tutorials, explanations etc. Sure they will read it, but in terms of better user experience, video is definitely a better option. Over 60% of viewers prefer video over text, which is more than a good reason to have both on your website.

Moreover, videos are an extremely potent driving force behind sales. Approximately 73% of people are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video for a certain product. This fact alone should be more than enough to have video-based marketing, considering how lucrative it can be.

Furthermore, videos have additional long-term benefits that will be discussed through the article, but in short, they have a positive impact on your online traffic, user experience, brand awareness, customer acquisition and your online presence, provided you do a good job while making a video.

Since, these are all important benefits it comes as no surprise why some business owners insist on having a video, in spite of the fact that it is low in quality.

Unfortunately, this is not the solution, since a bad video or an unprofessional video can have a negative impact on the aforementioned area. Since people often love to watch failure as a comic relief, it would be a lie to say you won’t draw attention to yourself with a bad video, but it’s not the kind of attention you want.

What’s stopping you?

According to the 2015 survey, the two biggest obstacles that small businesses face when they want to make a quality video are time and money. Professional video production agencies can charge thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars for their service, and it is a kind of budget a small business owner cannot afford.

Additionally, creating quality video requires innovation, creativity and strategy, in other words time, which is another luxury small businesses cannot afford. It all comes down to the following conclusion, and that is that quality videos are a risky investment for small businesses.

Luckily, this kind of pessimistic point of view is completely meaningless. The only reason why small businesses shy away from making videos is that agencies charge too much for quality videos, and they could be time-consuming.

However, you don’t need an agency to create a quality video, and you do not need to gather an entire team of professionals, do a whole lot of practice, and have an original screenplay, mainly because you are not creating a Super Bowl commercial, you are making a video for a small business.

With the right software and people who are able to use it, you can create a quality promotional video in less than an hour, and anything that takes only one hour to make won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Clearly, you do not need to go for the simplest solutions; all you need to know is that there are other options out there, and videos can be animated as well so that they don’t require a team of actors in order to be impactful.

Benefits of having a video

First, let’s go over the benefits of having a video in a more detailed fashion and explain why quality video always pays off, especially now that you know it won’t cost nearly as much as you have imagined. We have already said how people are incentivized to act by a good video, so that is the most important benefit. Let’s talk about the other benefits now.

  • Increased online traffic – your viewers or potential viewers don’t necessarily have to see the video just when they are already on your website. Your video is sharable content and it can easily end up on all sorts of places online, e.g. social networks, blogs, YouTube, etc. Anyone who stumbles upon it might follow the link and become a visitor on your website. More traffic means more potential customers, and that is always a good thing.
  • Improved user experience and increased website authority – people who stick around to watch a video on your website are perceived as active users who are interested in what you have to offer, therefore, their lengthy presence, and their will to make a purchase will be classified as a positive user experience, and that on its own influences the authority of a particular page and the domain authority of your site.
  • Increased authority – in addition to user experience, if your video is on numerous other sites that allow “follow” links, it generates link juice that also increase domain authority and page authority. So, try to have your video on your homepage, and see to it that your video is shared on other niche-related websites.
  • Higher brand awareness – the more people see your video, the more the brand awareness of your company will grow. In other words, with quality video, you open the doors for business expansion and growth.
  • The ability to accurately gauge market demand – you can monitor the spike of interest and see which area has high demand for your product or service, this way, you’ll have a good insight into where the location for the future store or office should be.

The tools and equipment you should use

One of the reasons why videos have such a high production cost is due to the expensive equipment that is used in their creation. Fortunately, you can film and capture quality footage by simply using your smartphone, since they have quality cameras nowadays as well.

What you need to worry about is not the quality of the picture but the quality of the sound. Considering how if you are using an iPhone you can end up with admirable pictures and videos, and how you can use other filters and tools to enhance the quality of the video, it is the quality of the sound that plays one of the more important roles.

Almost all of the videos filmed with a phone use a device other than the phone’s mic to capture sound. In the event you are skeptical regarding the capabilities of smartphones, you can use a digital single-lens reflex camera. By using DSLR, you can easily get HD video footage, and if you want more flexibility, you can use interchangeable lenses.

All things considered, HD is now more accessible than ever, and the difference in quality is barely noticeable, so don’t spend too much for something that will only enhance the viewer experience a mere 5-10%.

Your small business should focus on investing in video editing, and even here you don’t need help from top professionals. These tasks are outsourced now-a-days at a reasonable price, so it won’t take a huge chunk out of your budget. Alternatively, you can do this with your own team by simply using tools or software for video making and editing. We recommend getting your explainer videos created professionally, but if you do not have the budget there are a couple of options. Small businesses tend to have problems with budgets. Here are some of the tools that are perfect for creating small business videos:

  • Prezi – this is basically a slide-show presentation tool that manages to add way more dynamics to a presentation than PowerPoint. It is so good that you can actually create slideshow videos in a short amount of time.
  • Animoto – all it takes is a small amount of trial and error to learn how to use this tool. In return, you get videos that consist of your photos, video clips, and music which makes the end result pretty awesome. In other words, if you are making a video for the “About Us” section, Animoto will surely suffice.
  •  PowToon – if you want an animated video, then PowToon will meet your demands. It has a wide selection of templates and clip art which can easily be combined to produce a professional video.
  •  Ydraw cutout videos – a tool that uses paper cutouts or whiteboards in order to tell a story. These types of videos are great for creating tutorials or just in case you need to explain something.

In case you are going with the outsource option, you can visit online platforms where videographers are willing to compete for your job offer. You can use sites like UpWork, fiverr, or Wooshii, and put your job offer there. Bear in mind that you will need to have a profile, and go through terms of use, and also potentially deal with people who will expect payment even if the job was not done as expected. So, make sure you give detailed instructions and to monitor these projects just to make sure everything is going as planned.

Alternatively you can visit websites that specialize in these services and negotiate terms with them.

Things you should put in your video

Now that it was covered how you can create a video and why, let’s see what you should put in your video in order to make it into something people will gladly watch and share. If you are making videos about your company and your teammates, then these are not the videos that someone would share, other than yourself and the people involved in making it.

Nevertheless, it is a good video to have on your website. A video that announces an upcoming event, promotion, or product is a good idea. You can put the information related to this event or product in the video, like when it is coming out or happening, where the promotion will be etc. This is something you can share and people who are the loyal users and excited about it are also likely to share it on their social networks, so it is a good content.

On the other hand, if you want to promote a particular product or service in a video that can be used as a relevant material on other websites or blogs, then you need to be a bit more subtle about the thing you are trying to promote. You can create tutorial videos that are DIY projects, and use your product as one of the key tools or components.

People who want to promote makeup, outfits, crafting materials etc. usually rely on tutorials that create something cool or useful using their products. Basically, you create videos where your product is relevant, as long as it is something valuable that other sites can use as a resource, and something anyone would share.

Lastly, you can create a so-called spotlight video that will introduce your product and motivate potential buyers. You need to highlight its features and talk about its practical uses, how it helps etc. Basically, list reasons why people should buy it. Remember, when you are making videos try to be humorous and interesting, as people will find it more engaging.

So, even though it’s not something that should take up too much of your time, put some thought into it, and make an effort to be more engaging. If possible, involve your customers, and their experience, as a part of the video, because this way more people will share it, like their friends and family, and it is more authentic.

When and why you should invest in video

Now that you know videos are not too difficult and expensive to manufacture, you need to know when to make one. Here’s how you can go about this – you can create a video for a product you think should perform well, and stands out compared to the rest of your products.

If you vehemently promote every single one of your items, those that are indeed better lose their sense of prestige. You can also create videos that encompass multiple products, like when soda manufacturers put multiple flavors of their drinks in one commercial.

Also, when a new product is coming out, you can create a promotional video, or if you are opening a new store or office, a video should also serve as an announcement.

You need to promote your small business video before it can promote you

Finally, your video needs to gain visibility in order to be effective, so even if it seems paradoxical, you need to promote your own promotional video. Meaning that you need to use adequate keywords in your title and video description tag, and if needed, pay social networks to boost your video post.

Motivate loyal customers to share the video by creating an incentive program for those who share the video. Once its views start to pick up, it will be far easier to discover, it will pop up more frequently as suggested content, and it will serve its purpose.

This roughly covers it. I hope that after reading this you will be motivated to create quality videos for your small business, and that you will be able to do so in a budget-friendly fashion. So, keep it relevant, go for more reasonably priced videography agencies, and promote your video on relevant websites and networks, there’s no need to go on national television.

7 Things You Need to Know before Making a Video for Your Small Business