Video is quickly moving into the ‘must-have’ category for even the smallest of businesses. In Touchpoint Leak 8 – How detailed in my book, Watertight Marketing – we talk about a six part matrix for ensuring your content is presented for the way people’s brain’s are wired. Video is one of the easiest ways to enrich your format mix.

Video makes it easier for people to find you, understand you, and to like you…

The stats on video are pretty eye-popping! 1 billion unique visits to YouTube every month. 50 times more likely to rank well on Google search results if you have video on your site. On average 88% more time spent on a website that has video.

It ticks so many boxes. It makes you easier to find. It makes you easier to understand. It makes you easier to like. So, why do so many business shy away from using video as part of their marketing?

What stops small businesses using video in their marketing?

We typically work with owner-managed businesses looking to step things up. They often don’t have a dedicated marketing resource, and they certainly don’t have money to waste. When we suggest creating some video, here are the typical objections we hear:

  • I’m too shy, I don’t want to appear on camera.
  • I don’t have the kit to create decent video.
  • I can’t afford to work with a videographer.
  • I can’t afford to hire a studio.
  • I just haven’t got time to create video.

The good news is that you can integrate video into your marketing even if (and it is an if) this is true for you.

Three small business marketing videos I love

Video Blog from Debut Marketing

Julie Mitchell-Mehta is a marketing consultant who provides strategic marketing advice and inbound marketing services to small businesses in and around Aberdeen. She wanted to show her clients how the do-it-yourself option for video could work.

Now, any viewer can see that this is not a massive studio production. It’s just Julie talking to camera with a few overlays of text. It gives you a real sense of what she’s like. Julie’s full profile

  • Audience: Small business owners who think they can’t afford video.
  • Kit: A Smartphone, a cardboard box and Microsoft Movie Maker (included free with Office 2010).
  • Hosted: On a YouTube channel and embedded on her website.
  • Time to produce: An hour to plan it. Half an hour to film it. An hour to edit and upload it. Julie thinks it will get quicker each time she does it.
  • What did it cost? £0!
  • Was it worth it? Yes.

I’ve had lots of positive feedback and I’ve proved my theory that video doesn’t have to be expensive.” Julie Mitchell-Mehta, Debut Marketing

If you wanted to step up from here, you could make a small investment in a microphone, some lights, and a backdrop. But, honestly, good content delivered in a warm and human style will win over snazzy production any day of the week.

[Disclosure] Julie is a Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner

Product Demo from Smartbox

Smartbox provides the kit and software to help people with disabilities communicate, access computers and control the environment around them. They are about to release new version of their unique and powerful software that people can use with eye-gaze or minute movements. They’ve released a series of videos to give users, their families, and their specialist support team an idea of what new features will be available.

This video performs a very different purpose. It’s about the product… not the people. So, that’s what they’ve shown, exactly as the user would see it. smartboxat.com

  • Audience: Software users and influencers in the industry who understand assistive technology already.
  • Kit: A computer, a copy of Camtasia Studio 8 and a royalty-free soundtrack.
  • Hosted: On Vimeo and embedded on various websites.
  • Time to produce: About half a day in total, not including creating the surrounding web pages.
  • What did it cost? The software was £200, but will be used a number of times, the soundtrack was a few pounds.
  • Was it worth it? Yes.

It is extremely important for us to provide materials that people can access as they need to. Video is a great medium for our users in a way that written material often isn’t. We’ve seen an increase in all the visitor and engagement stats we track across our website and social platforms since introducing these videos.” Hannah Church, Marketing Manager, Smartbox Assistive Technology

This is a voice-over-screen technique. If you’re on a Mac, good software for this is IShowU (this is what we used to create all of our Watertight Whiteboard videos). It is particularly effective when you have screen-based stuff to show off, like Smartbox. But, you can use the technique in a knowledge business too. Powerpoint and Keynote (Mac) have an in-built facility to record over your slideshow.

[Disclosure] Smartbox are a previous client on the Watertight Marketing Masterplan programme.

Monthly News Roundup From Coull

Coull work with media companies that have a catalogue of video inventory to monetise their content. Their clients are video-savvy and at the cutting-edge of data-driven advertising techniques. Each month they produce a short video in a news bulletin style, summarising key developments in the video advertising world. coull.com

This video is about being a leader in an industry. It’s a highly polished piece, and everything about it gives a sense of the Coull brand.

  • Audience: Advertisers, media-owners and publishers who know a lot about video advertising.
  • Kit: This is a professionally produced piece in a studio with all the kit you could dream of.
  • Hosted: On Vimeo and embedded on various websites.
  • Time to produce: About half a day of time in the business, with their professional video partner, Woven, taking the time to produce the finished piece.
  • What did it cost? Confidential.
  • Was it worth it? Yes.

I believe it is worth the effort for a company that survives on video, to be creating and learning from video ourselves and sharing our stories via the medium we love.” Elise Kuchel, Campaign Manager, Coull

This is probably the kind of production that people look at and reach the conclusion that they could never produce something like it. This is done by finding and working with an excellent partner, and having a slick process to capturing and structuring the material. You may not want or need to do something like this every month, but once per year with a round-up or predictions might work well. We’ve just shot 12-hours of full studio material for a digital product to accompany the second edition of Watertight Marketing… and I intend to use the material for at least the next 5 years!

[Disclosure: Coull is a previous consulting client through a Watertight Marketing Transformation Programme]

It’s about your audience, not you!

Video is in reach of any small business. The key thing is to remember that even though your business is on camera, it’s not about you.

Deciding whether to do a simple piece to camera, a bit of screen capture, or a studio number depends mainly on your audience. You need to match them. This is what all these videos have done.

Julie works with businesses who have modest budgets, so it makes sense to create something they could emulate. For Smartbox, they need to respect and match the experience their users have of the world – an able bodied presenter on camera talking fluently and demoing the software is incongruent with what they do. And, for Coull, their whole business is about being at the cutting edge of video… a DIY- job would jar completely in this context.

Where could you fit in some video?

Here’s a quick rundown of some video pieces you could include in your mix:

  • A video blog, to camera of voice-over-presentation
  • An interview with people as part of their biography
  • A demonstration of your products or services
  • An edited version of a presentation you’ve given from stage
  • A predictions or round-up to start and end the year
  • A video case study of some clients or users

Go on, choose one, and do it!

Do you have an example to share?

Please add to this list of examples. If you have video in your small business marketing toolkit. Please do pop a link in the comments and answer the same list of questions above to build up a picture of what can be achieved… whatever time and money you have available.

© Bryony Thomas – The Watertight Marketer

Bryony Thomas

Bryony Thomas

Author & Founder, Watertight Marketing

Bryony Thomas is the creator of the multi-award winning  Watertight Marketing methodology, captured in her best-selling book of the same name. She is one of the UK's foremost marketing thinkers, featured by the likes of Forbes, The Guardian, Business Insider and many more, and in-demand speaker for business conferences, in-house sales days and high-level Board strategy days.

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