Video is now a necessary part of every company’s marketing and growth strategy. Even so, many small businesses (SMBs) are unsure how to incorporate video or do not have the time and budget to bring ideas to life. So, how can small businesses use videos to stand out in the video era?
In this article I’ll share with you real video examples of tried and true methods to help all brands, including small businesses, to up their video game, connect with their customers, grow their business and reduce costs related to video marketing and advertising.
Small businesses must break out of the traditional media and marketing noise–while still viable for specific strategies, you need to be well rounded in order to truly connect and reach your target demographics. To be heard by your customers is a win and to truly connect is a success. Video offers a more experiential opportunity and allows you to create video content that is engaging, exciting and motivating.
I have compiled eight inspiring ways small businesses use short-form videos for social media and pulled best practices from each example to help give you more tools in your digital marketing arsenal. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to create without having to overthink every step and, most importantly, reach the people who care.
Inspirational content allows viewers to feel a connection to a product or brand through the lens of an aspirational message, movement or cause. Inspirational Ads resonate with consumers because it turns the product or service into a symbolic symbol of someone’s identity, views or beliefs.
Skin Nation, a skin product line by Michelle-Stafford, successfully connected themselves to a larger movement of female empowerment with their short promo video on Twitter. Through evoking inspiration with their tag line “girls with dreams, become women with vision” Skin Nation is able to link a feeling of empowerment to their brand in only 13 seconds.
By taking their brand beyond the actual product to a big inspirational message Skin Nation is able to connect with the consumers as a person striving to support what is important to their customers.
Funny content relies on humor to make people laugh, creating a pleasant memory associated with the product or the brand. Funny ads are amusing, making the content feel more like a joke than a sales pitch. For example, Purple’s mattress ad which embeds their sale pitch into a joke.
Shave Essentials, a small online razor and shaving products company, used humor to grab the attention of their customers on Facebook. Through dramatizing a man missing his blades they are making a joke on the annoyance of having to go buy razors. Another example is this funny Facebook ad by Ad Zombies, a copywriting agency. Humor is a very effective way to stop customers from scrolling their feed because your video is eye-catching and entertaining, even if it is a video ad for Facebook.
You want to make your customers identify with and feel like they are apart of the joke. Through this short funny ad, Shave Essentials targets a relatable feeling experienced by their audience, taking it to an extreme, and turns it into a way to connect with them in a light-hearted manner.
Urgency content is characterized by creating a high-pressure feeling that convinces the consumer to buy now. For example, ‘going out of business’ sales or ‘limited-time’ sales both utilize urgency to push their customers further down the sales funnel.
Shave Essentials also used a hard sell method on Facebook to push their customers further down the sales funnel. A hard sell ad creates high pressure and urgent call to customers convincing them to buy now. The video used the visual of 50% leaking and inpatient music to stimulate a feeling of anxiety that time is running out.
Hard sell videos give consumers permission to buy without overthinking because they create a sense of “now or never”. Targeting a burning feeling of fear of missing out, FOMO, on a deal is very effective in getting consumers to act.
Shocking content is all about the ad’s climax moment. Shocking content relays on peak attention-grabbing visuals to pull viewers into watching their ad. It is all about creating “wow, what!” effect.
Mazevo Coffee, a local Coffee Roasters & Espresso Bar, utilized the “shock factor” to insight attention on Facebook. By using a surprising video of a man getting punched with the tag- line “stop being punched in the mouth every time you need a caffeine fix”, Mazevo Coffee successfully gets viewers to notice their ad.
Unexpected and unconventional visuals, which do not directly connect to your product, help to grab customers’ attention. Another example of this is Francs Boutique’s online shopping video with a monkey. The surprise is intriguing to viewers causing them to do a double-take of your video.
Testimonial videos are instrumental in influencing the purchasing process as the majority of people seek out peer confirmation before making a purchase. Review-based videos are proven to be more powerful and effective as people look for trust and social recommendations regularly on social media.
First Tunnels Polytunnels, a UK supplier of Polytunnels, embedded TrustPilot reviews into their video on Facebook to gain the confidence of their viewers through external recommendations. With reviews in their videos, Companies can establish themselves as a reliable, dependable and truthful company.
Another example is Sipp Wine, a reality wine club, who used a listicle video on Facebook with reasons to buy their products along with customer reviews and their overall Trustpilot star rating to assert themselves as a trustworthy service. Videos with reviews or customer ratings are very persuasive because they strengthen the viewer’s confidence and they cause the company to look favorably and trustworthy in the eyes of potential buyers.
Feel good content links an emotion of joy to your brand or product. For example, Coca Cola is known to heavily rely on feel-good ads to sell their drinks like their taste the feeling ad which links happy visual to their drink. Feel-good ads resonate with consumers because they turn a sales pitch into a reason to feel happy.
Direct Kitchens, a kitchen design company in the UK, used a feel-good ad on Facebook to connect to their viewers. Targeting people’s inherent desire to feel good helps create a positive association with your brand.
It is easy to create a successful feel-good ad. All you need to do is connect your product or service with a happy visual and uplifting music. Heartwarming videos let your customers connect happiness with your company.
#7: Holiday Themed
Holiday-themed content is an ad that is shaped around an upcoming day of festivity like Christmas, Easter or towards an approaching season or occasion like summer or ‘back to school’ and more. Holiday-themed ads are all about being opportune and seasonable.
New England Meat Outlet, a butcher shop in Connecticut, used a ‘4th of July’ themed video on Facebook to target their customers’ needs effectively. As most Americans know 4th of July is a holiday of barbecuing, therefore, this butcher shop was smart to connect their product, meat, to the holiday of the 4th of July.
Holiday-themed ads target customers at a particular time with a certain need making it easier to move consumers down the sales funnel faster.
Transcendent content elevates your message beyond your brand to stand for universal human experiences or challenges etc. For instance, it’s an ad that tries to tackle large concepts like self-perception, which Dove did in their Real Beauty Sketches Ad or ‘bridging differences’, which Heineken did in their #OpenYourWorld ad, to resonate with consumers on a universal humanistic level.
Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, a center for professional training, guidance and education in classical ballet, posted a motivational mission-centric video on Facebook. Through their video, they connected themselves to a larger message around the importance of dance in everyone’s life. Through utilizing a simple model of describing “what dance is…” with heartwarming HD visuals, Pennsylvania Regional Ballet makes its viewers feel inspired, awakened and connected.
Transcending your brand to embody more universal feelings or messages is very effective in creating brand awareness because it makes people feel a part of your community.
Goal: Use these 8 video tactics to grow your business
In an era of information overload, videos are a great way for businesses to connect with their customers.
In order for a small business to truly stand out, a consistent video marketing plan is needed. Creating videos on a regular basis is easy to do when you are working with a video creation platform that is affordable, easy to use and offers you a large selection of videos and photos for your creation. One such platform is Promo.com (disclaimer, I work for this company). Consistent may mean different things to different brands, so know what it means for you: daily, weekly or monthly are good places to start.
As part of your brand’s video marketing guide and checklist, here are additional best practice questions to answer:
- Who is your target audience?
- How do you want them to feel about your company/brand?
- What emotions would you like them to experience?
- What call to action should you use? What would you like them to do after watching your video?
Your goal can be to generate more sales, attract new customers, but also to lead people to read your recent blog post. See this YouTube video created by Visionary Keto Pet Foods with a goal to lead viewers to read more on their blog.
Bonus Tip: Use a consistent brand identity: logo, font, colors, and a tagline to make sure your brand is memorable and identifiable.
Now, you know the 8 best video tactics and how they engage an audience effectively. Use these themes to take your ads to the next level. Start creating videos to connect with your customers, grow your business and strengthen your brand. There are lots of easy and affordable ways to create all the videos you need and pave your way to success.