Running your own small business can give you incredible flexibility, total autonomy, and limited (or nonexistent) HR demands. But as with anything, there are some cons, and the main one is that there’s a massive workload involved. You have to take total responsibility for everything – even tasks you outsource.
This takes up a lot of time, requiring you to be very careful with how you manage your schedule. One area where that can hit hard is content marketing. It’s a key part of a modern promotional strategy, but it’s challenging from a production standpoint, requiring you to narrow your focus and be very selective about the type of content you work on.
So, what should you go with? Given its overall potential, I say you should run with video. On that note, here are some tips for effectively using video content to promote your small business:
With a limited budget and time constraints, you can’t afford to choose projects based on whatever you’d like to make. Every video needs to produce ROI in some way, which means you need to pay close attention to what your audience wants. Are your prospective customers looking for information? Do they want to be entertained? Give each video a clear goal.
There’s a lot that goes into making professional-quality video, but you don’t need to reach that standard. Your videos only need to be high-quality, which is to say well-assembled, clear, and contain valuable content. The assembly comes down to your editing process, which is cheaper than ever owing to a proliferation of economical video editing apps. The clarity comes down to the recording, which depends on lighting (absolutely vital) and camera quality (even a smartphone should suffice). The content comes down to your writing and design, but freelance copywriters aren’t hugely expensive, so bring in assistance if you must.
Whether you’re making video guides or documentary pieces about your industry, it’s a great idea to address the camera directly (at least on occasion). Why? Because earning recognition is important for a small business, and appearing in front of the camera* will make you much more recognisable. It’s also great for setting your business apart by showing unique personality.
Once you’ve put time and effort into making a video, you need to make the most of it. You obviously need to reuse it by posting it across all viable social media channels (and reposting it for some time to pick up extra views), but you should also repurpose it by adapting it into other pieces of content. For instance, you can turn the audio voiceover into a text article, or simply strip it from the video and make it a podcast.
To get that ROI you’re looking for, you need your videos to be actionable, meaning they have to give the viewers options for returning value. While you can include links in surrounding text, your best option (particularly for embeds) is to include links in the video. This used to be done through annotation links, but they were removed at the start of 2019: fortunately, you can still use an end screen** to show links at the end.
Using video might sound complicated and time-consuming, but it can actually be fairly straightforward to use. If you script ahead of time, you can record several guides in quick succession and dole them out steadily.
Whatever types of video you choose to make, though, you can improve your results by considering these tips. Good luck!
Rodney Laws, Editor, Ecommerce Platforms