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Video Marketing for Small Business: How To Effectively Share Your Story

Video marketing for small business has made it big and it is here to stay.

In an age where people have the attention span of a toddler, videos are central to the marketing campaigns of every small business.

Today, we’ll be teaching you how to produce video concepts that can skyrocket your brand’s exposure.

If you want videos with thousands of views, social shares, and engagement, this is the place to be.

Let’s begin!

Overview

If a picture paints a thousand words, you can only imagine what videos can do.

Videos redefine brand storytelling and allow business owners like you to connect with your audience in much more meaningful ways.

In fact, 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from brands or businesses they trust.

Image via Oberlo.com

From the outside looking in, video marketing looks simple enough. Your business produces videos for promotion, sales, engagement, and awareness.

But when it’s time to get down and dirty, it’s not as simple as it initially looks.

In 2016, video gained popularity as a content marketing format.

Fast forward to 2019 and videos are no longer used for entertainment value alone.

Over the years, video has metamorphosed into a holistic business approach.

We’ve truly come a long way from the traditional newspaper ads and gigantic billboards.

This time around, video is the hottest digital marketing trend and it is only going to get better.

Image via semrush.com

What Makes a Good Video?

1. Getting Started

First things first. What do you want to achieve from this video? What message do you want to impart to your audience?

Every decision you make goes back to the purpose of your video and why you decided to produce it.

This is why the pre-production process is crucial in video marketing.

The following guide questions might be of help:

  • What is my goal?

Are you looking to increase brand awareness or drive more traffic to your site? Whatever it is, what do you want to get out of this?

Keep in mind that your goals must be S.M.A.R.T. (insert B2B Social Media internal link)

  • Who is my target audience?

Identify your audience demographics so you can produce a video that will spark their interest. Let’s say your target audience is young adult females. What type of content would provoke the interest of young adult females?

  • How can I say that my video is successful?

In any marketing campaign, key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential. They dictate whether your efforts flopped or succeeded. Make sure that you set KPIs that are in line with your video’s overall goal.

  • What message do I want to impart to my audience?

Triggering your audience’s emotions is an excellent way to help them remember your video and your brand. What kind of emotions do you want to elicit? How do you want your brand to be remembered?

Scripting and Storyboarding

For the time being, we want you to disregard the nitty-gritty aspects of video marketing.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to one goal and one goal only:

Video content seeks to tell a story.

It matters not whether your story involves a full set of characters or if you’re simply trying to introduce a product or service.

The point is, we want to convince our audiences that our stories are valid.

Scripting and Storyboarding—both part of the pre-production process—go hand in hand when producing a successful video.

If you want videos that are decently produced, be prepared to invest time and sweat in planning.

When writing a script, mapping out the visual and audio elements will make the process easier.

This is common in videos with voiceovers or scenes that cut to multiple shots.

A script like this also serves as a guide for the person shooting the video.

It tells you where the video is headed and what exactly is going on.

A table with two columns is an ideal format. It’s easy on the eyes and is simple to read. It’s also one of the most common script formats out there.

Take a look at the samples below:

Sample from biteable.com

Sample from coschedule.com

Put in additional boxes until you’ve covered the entire video.

Storyboarding, on the other hand, is a guide for video production.

It is a sequence of illustrations that show the order of shots that you plan to do for a video or film.

It often comes with technical instructions (like panning or zooming) so you know exactly what to do when you start shooting.

A lot of professional videographers and filmmakers depend on storyboards to guide them through the whole filming procedure.

And so should you!

Storyboarding is worth all your time and effort.

It singlehandedly simplifies the entire production procedure by telling you exactly how your scenes should look.

Before starting your storyboard, mentally visualize what you want to translate onscreen.

Use as many images as you need to effectively get your point across. Don’t overload your storyboard with images that will make things confusing for you.

At the same time, if your images are lacking, it might be hard to follow where the story is going.

Remember that the key scenes in your video should get one image.

Some scenes might even require you to have multiple images; it really depends on the look and feel of the video you desire.

Keep in mind that storyboards also include directorial instructions to guide the characters (as well as the videographer) during shooting.

For example, if you want a character to walk towards a specific direction, place an arrow on your image.

On the bottom of each thumbnail, add notes that include important shooting details so your videographer is aware of what to do.

Here are some sample storyboards that can help:

Sample from dummies.com

The storyboard above clearly illustrates what the characters within the video are supposed to do.

And it also includes technical instructions that the videographer should do.

This is a prime example of a storyboard that is well-written and easy to follow.

Sample from mooc.employid.eu

2. Make it about the story, not the sale

Selling your story instead of securing the sale is all about finding your own creative angle.

There are already too many “sales-y” videos on the internet. And more often than not, customers are repelled by them.

These types of videos decrease your chances of growing your business via video marketing.

Instead of outrightly talking about your product or service, twist things up a bit.

Maybe you can come up with a convincing story and integrate your product somewhere.

In times like this, we must remember the wise words of Tom Fishburne:

“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.”

If you’re familiar with Jollibee, the popular Filipino fast-food giant, you know that Jollibee’s ads are never structured in a way that simply tells the customers about their food products.

The thing about Jollibee ads is that they always include their products within a story.

Most of these stories are usually heartwarming and sentimental, so the viewer unconsciously associates these feelings with the food product that Jollibee is trying to sell.

This is a great strategy to implore when you finally produce your own marketing videos.

Take note of how smart Jollibee’s strategy is: they know that the Filipino audience is their main customers.

Filipinos are known for being sentimental and family-oriented, so Jollibee uses these attributes to their advantage in coming up with effective video concepts.

When it comes to finding your own creative angle, always brainstorm, brainstorm, and brainstorm.

Think of yourself as an ordinary viewer instead of a marketer trying to promote your brand.

When you’ve positioned yourself in the shoes of your viewers, ask yourself, “Would I actually watch this piece of video content?”

If the answer is no, that’s probably a good indication to switch things up.

3. Mix information with entertainment

Informational videos either:

a) teach you how to do something

or

b) explain how a product or service works.

But here’s the catch: informational videos are always seen as boring content.

So how do you turn something boring into entertaining?

The keys to a successful educational video are visuals and brevity.

For videos like this, let’s implore the K.I.S.S. strategy.

K.I.S.S. stands for Keep It Short and Simple.

Brief and straight to the point information is easier to remember.

As such, keep your videos short and break your info into several parts to facilitate audience retention.

While you’re at it, put in relevant visuals to better explain your message. Again, this is a plus for audience retention.

Some of the best informational and entertaining videos are from Crash Course and Ted Ed.

The video above is a Crash Course on anatomy and physiology.

Sounds pretty boring, right?

I mean, why would I want to learn about that stuff outside of school?

But the Crash Course channel is an expert in mixing information with entertainment.

And they can be pretty humorous, too!

This is an awesome approach to video marketing.

Make learning fun instead of boring!

4. Technical production

This is the only formula you need to remember: good content creation + good technical execution = great video.

No, you don’t need to be an expert to get to know the ropes of video marketing.

All you need is a great idea that will effectively translate onscreen.

When you have a great concept with poor technical production, your video won’t be impactful to prospective customers, or even casual viewers.

Shooting

A tripod is the easiest way for you to stabilize your videos.

Truthfully, no one would dare finish watching an extremely shaky clip.

If you think that lugging around a tripod is too heavy for you, there are editing features that can help you stabilize shaky videos, but the editing process is going to take some time.

When you do shoot videos, make sure you do creative shots.

A video of someone talking directly to the camera with no other shooting angles is incredibly boring and dragging.

Get creative and experiment with other angles. Find something that works well with the video you’re trying to produce.

Additionally, we should avoid excessive zooming or panning.

Let the action in the video do the work for you unless you want your viewers to get a headache.

Keep the camera stable and allow the elements within the video to do their jobs.

Unnecessary camera motion can distract viewers from the real action that happens on screen.

Lighting

Perhaps the most crucial thing about videos is the lighting.

When you want to shoot outdoors, make sure that you closely observe where the sun is, because bad lighting is not your friend.

The common belief is that we should refrain from shooting ‘against the light’, because it creates ugly shadows.

But if you actually want to shoot good silhouettes, you’re free to break this rule. Just make sure you get your exposure right.

Overexposed or underexposed is not the way to go unless that’s the vision you’re going for.

Regardless, expose your videos properly!

In photography, there’s something  they call the “exposure triangle.”

It means balancing the following camera settings:

  • Shutter speed – the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor
  • Aperture – a hole within a lens, through which light travels into the camera body. The larger the hole, the more light passes to the camera sensor.
  • ISO – a way to brighten your photos if you can’t use a longer shutter speed or a wider aperture. It is typically measured in numbers, a lower number representing a darker image, while higher numbers mean a brighter image.

The exposure triangle works like this:

Image via HubSpot.com

On the other hand, indoor video shooting requires more work.

You don’t necessarily need to set up a studio with expensive or professional lighting, but make sure you have enough lighting sources for the people in your video.

Avoid light sources that cause people’s facial features to become shadowy. Position your lights according to the look you’re trying to go for.

A standard used in visual media such as video is the three-point lighting set-up.

It’s simple but effective. It’s also used as the basis for most lighting set-ups.

It looks like this:

Image via HubSpot.com

Audio

Another video staple is audio.

You can’t offer great visuals with bad audio. These two always go together.

The most common mistakes are forgetting to record audio or failing to remove unnecessary noise that managed to sneak into the video.

When you forget to record audio, you can’t hear or understand the message that the people in the video are trying to get across.

Make sure that you monitor every sound that goes in and out.

When you’re recording someone and a noisy motorcycle engine drives past, you may not be able to understand what they said.

Look around you. When you’re free from unnecessary noise and distractions, record the video again.

Things are easier with a microphone installed. If you have one, keep it as close to your subject as you possibly can.

The Brands Doing It Right

Sandy Hook Promise

This is the best public service announcement video I’ve seen on the Internet, hands down.

PSAs are tricky to produce because it’s difficult to attract viewers with an educational point instead of a product or service.

But Sandy Hook—a non-profit organization that aims to prevent gun violence—  managed to do it spectacularly!

This video is well-written, powerful, and leaves an impactful message that will definitely stick with viewers.

Pantene

Pantene Thailand’s  “Violin” is a perfect example of subtly promoting a product within a story.

The video is all about empowerment as the deaf violinist struggles to gain her own self-confidence.

Clearly, this film illustrates how women are able to shine from within.

It is an excellent way to promote the shampoo brand as the final scene fades to black with Pantene’s tagline, “You can shine.”

Two thumbs up!

Axe

Fragrance company Axe made an advertisement that looks like the world is about to go to war, but when tensions rise, it is revealed that these war tactics were nothing but grand, romantic gestures.

At the end of the video, Axe brings back the famous old quote, “Make love. Not war” to push a new product line called Axe Peace.

Brilliant!

Coca-Cola

In this video entitled “The Last Customer,” Coca-Cola Philippines created a new means to tug at our heartstrings.

This is perhaps the most touching holiday video ever done by a soda company.

The emotional aspect of the video is enough to reel viewers in, but the highlight is the Christmas campaign that gave more than 15,000 workers a special holiday treat.

Hold my Coke! I think I need a tissue.

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap!

These are the video techniques that will drive the views, social shares, and traffic that you’ve been dreaming of!

Do you have a video concept in mind already?

Tell us in the comments section!

References

Bernazzani, Sophia (2019 May 16). How to write a video script [Template + video]Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-write-a-video-script-ht

Biteable (n.d.). Video script writing 101: Basics, examples, and templates. Retrieved from https://biteable.com/blog/tips/video-script/

EmployID Academy (2014 Aug 26) Retrieved from https://mooc.employid.eu/storyboarding-tutorial/

Mansurov, Nasim (n.d.) Photography Life. Understanding ISO, shutter speed, and aperture – A beginner’s guide. Retrieved from https://photographylife.com/iso-shutter-speed-and-aperture-for beginners#targetText=One%20of%20the%20 numbers%20will,which%20is%20your%20sensor%20ISO.

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