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Marketing Video Production: Can a Small Business Pull It Off?

Video marketing is a thing. When something becomes a thing - everybody is doing it. And when everybody around you (meaning - competition) is doing it - it means you need to be doing it, too.   

If the competition isn't doing it, it could be a huge opportunity for you to get ahead of them.

It stops being something that you might consider or think about in the future, once you’re ready and becomes something you should have started working on yesterday.

So, what do you do? Do you hire a video marketing agency or do you go for it yourself?

Yeah, we know what you might be thinking - we’re just a small business with no budget for marketing video production.

Still, maybe video marketing for a small business doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Let’s explore whether you can pull it off or not.

But, first things first. 

What's the Deal With Video Marketing?

Even if you don’t know much about video marketing, by now, you know it’s powerful and that there’s no way around it. You, even as a consumer, log onto platforms, watch videos on YouTube, check out video ads... it IS everywhere. Video marketing encompasses it all, from thought leadership, to content, to ads.

It's everywhere.

It is the go-to method to raise awareness for a brand, generate leads and boost organic traffic. 

The video marketing stats don't lie: an overwhelming 86% of businesses use video content and 92% of marketers consider videos an essential part of their marketing strategy. The remaining 8% probably just haven't gotten a clue yet, but they will. Give them a minute.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

A brief. 

Yup, it’s that simple - start with a brief and even make it brief (see what we did there?)

This actually saves you a lot of time because you will hone your idea when you try putting it in writing. 

A brief doesn’t need to be overly complex but you can start off with:

  • What is the purpose of the video? 
  • Leads? Awareness? Driving to a landing page or to content?
  • Tutorials on my product? Do I need to include some keywords for SEO?
  • How will it be used?
  • What other examples have I seen that I like, or dislike?
  • How many videos do I want to produce and how long should they be?

See… that was easy hey? Alternatively, scroll through YouTube and see what takes your fancy.

Define Your Target Audience

Before you start thinking about camera angles, first you have to think about what you want to do with your videos and who you want to reach. 

  • Who is the typical person who should view this video? Do you want this to be targeted at a specific person to buy your product or service? 
  • What tone would they respond best to? 
  • What video style? 
  • Where do these people watch videos? 
  • Which social channels are they likely hanging out on? 

This part is a lot of thinking and a lot of research, but it will help you establish a clear strategy with a specific audience in mind.

What Type of Video Content Should You Kick Things off With?

You might not be able to do a Hollywood-type video production just yet (or, you know... ever), but you really don’t have to. 

You know that one of the most famous TikTokers on the planet, Khabane Lame, reached his fame simply by creating amateur reaction videos. 

It’s not a business-type video production but it shows that you don’t have to be 100% professional to be relevant. There is still plenty of video types that you can make to get the ball rolling.

Product Explainer or Tutorial video

This is your opportunity to show off your product. A product video is the best way to attract potential customers because they can see your product in action, with all its features and advantages you have over the competition. This is what we did to bring this unique feature a bit closer to our users:

YouTube Ads Videos

If you are considering paying to advertise your business, consider doing it on YouTube. A very short video of only a few seconds can change the game for you in terms of brand awareness and lead generation. 

Remember to go straight to the point with YouTube Ad videos. You only have a second to catch your viewers’ attention and all that counts toward your metrics.

Social Videos

Videos have been taking over social media posts for a few years now, and are now much more likely to get you engagement than pics or text. In 2021, Tiktok reached 3 billion downloads. That is a huge milestone, and it's only gotten bigger since.

The beauty of posting videos to social media is that they're short and snappy and can be about literally any part of the buyer's journey. If you have a good idea and an engaging video, it can cost nothing at all, and still get you the engagement that you need.

FAQ Video

Much like explainer videos, an FAQ video is your chance to present the value of your product to your potential customers. Research what your target audience wants to know about similar products and then offer it all to them in one neat video. 

If you make a transcript of it, you can also use it to create an FAQ section on your website or a useful blog post. On the other hand, you can use your FAQ section to create scripts for your FAQ videos. 

Either way, these types of videos are amazing, because you are giving them precisely what they are looking for.

Customer Testimonials

If your products delight customers, let them do the hard work for you. Letting others hype up your product is always going to work better than if you do it yourself. 88% of customers trust online reviews just as much as they do a recommendation they get in person. This is definitely something you should use to your advantage.

Brand Story Videos

What is your brand all about? What are its core values and the story you want to tell? Brand videos are an excellent way to increase brand awareness and establish your voice. Make your audience feel like they are a part of your story, and they'll follow you wherever you take them.

Are There Advantages to Hiring a Video Production Agency?

Every business faces the dilemma of whether to outsource its video marketing production or handle it in-house. If you own a small business and especially if you don't have much experience with creating video content and video editing, you might think about outsourcing all of your video marketing needs to a video production agency.

Hiring a video production company makes sense if you need one professional video, or if you need help coming up with a video strategy. They might also help you figure out how to define and reach your target audience.

However, if you want to create content on a more regular basis, hiring video experts from a production company might not be the best choice in terms of finance. An outsourced marketing team can be a very pricey option for a small business.

What Are the Pros of Handling Your Own Marketing Videos?

It's probably pretty clear what the first and biggest advantage of creating your own quality content is.

Yup, you guessed it. Money. 

Hiring a video production company can get expensive, and when you're running a small business you often just don't have that much extra cash to invest in promotional video production. Handling your video marketing strategy by yourself is an act of mercy for your budget.

But money is not the only reason why you might want to do your own video production. It also gives you more creative control over the whole process and can help you cultivate your own distinct brand story.

It also cuts your waiting time. As a small business, you need to work fast to capture the viewer's attention and gain a new audience. When you hire a promotional video production agency, as a small client you might not be their priority. When you're in charge of your own video footage, you're also in charge of the timeline.

OK, but I don’t have a team or a budget for an agency…

All hail the Video Freelancer. Depending on what you need, and the scope of work you require freelancers could be a better option for you. 

Check our Fiverr and Upwork just to name a few that we have used in the past to support our work at Subly. Just be sure to check reviews of their work and give a clear brief. If you don’t know what that entails and what that should include, keep reading on….

If you still aren’t sure let’s start with the planning process which will help you decide.

I’m going all in and creating it myself...

Okay, so there is a lot of merit to doing your own videos. But how exactly do you get started? You're not a video producer or a content creator! Your entire experience with video is watching YouTube (when you should be working)!

But don't worry. The video creation process is not rocket science. Here are some beginner steps that will get you started.

Figure Out What Equipment and Tools You Need

When it comes to equipment, we have good news. You don't have to spend a fortune for the final product to look great. If you are operating with zero budget, at first even a good quality phone camera will do. You can even use some stock footage at first.

Once you get things rolling, you can slowly start figuring out what equipment you need and then buy all your equipment as your budget increases.

Investing a little bit in digital tools is a necessity. There is a lot of software out there that will make your life much easier. 

Video editing software - Post-production can make or break a video, so make sure you find a tool that not only does a good job but is also easy enough for a newbie to navigate. You can start by exploring:

  • Premier Pro
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Most computers also come with Editing too. 

Hack: But you may not even need that if you are creating short videos. We recommend Subly if you are creating a video for social media, a training course, or a YouTube Video if you don’t need sophisticated editing.  

Captioning software - This is also a must. Not only do your videos absolutely need subtitles in this day and age, but you will also be able to use your video transcripts for SEO purposes, blog posts and social media content. 

Another cool thing you need to look for in your subtitling tool is that you can upload your video, caption it, and then export it to all the right sizes for different social media platforms. 

Don’t want to post entire videos on social media? No worries - you can create snippets now and export them from Subly while preserving your original video file, as well.

  • Subly is our obvious choice.

Social media scheduling tools - Now that you have your videos up and running, you want to use them for your social media, as well. Even if they are already on your website and your YouTube channel is packed with them. Videos and snippets on your social media are essential. You can chop up your videos into snippets and schedule them using:

  • Later
  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • CoSchedule

Repurposing content - You'll sometimes find yourself spending hours working on a video. It would be a shame to have only one piece of content for all that work that you do. Repurposing is the key. You can get a blog post, a series of social media posts, some video shorts, and much more out of a single video you create. Take some advice from the pros:

Do NOT Wing It (at least not entirely)

But hey, spontaneity is charming!

No, it's not. Or, to be more precise, it is, but trust us - no one is really 100% spontaneous in videos. Or, no one whose videos are truly successful. You want your video to be clear and on point. You also want it to be natural and not forced.

It’s about striking that balance.

And that’s not that easy if you don’t have any kind of a plan. Make a script. Even if you don't follow it to the letter, it will give you a framework within which you can improvise. 

A couple of bullet points, intro and outro will do the trick. It will keep your video structured and you won’t forget to say all the things you want to say.

Hack: You could use a tool like Cue Prompter so that the script comes up whilst you are reading. 

Even though video marketers sometimes make it sound like the video production process is something only a professional can do, that is not the case. 

You might not be a pro from your very first video project, but that doesn't mean you can't make high-quality video content with a little bit of practice. And with marketing videos produced in-house, you can not only save a ton of money but also create and maintain the story and creative vision you want for your brand.

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