In a recent report, it was predicted that 26 per cent of small businesses would shift their business entirely online in the next three years. But 2020 had other ideas. The pandemic rapidly accelerated this virtual transformation, with small businesses from fitness studios to foodmakers, wine tastings became virtual.
Where in the past, small businesses relied heavily on face-to-face engagement, video has now replaced these traditional interactions, and small businesses are recognising the power of video for everything from live events, marketing and promotion, customer engagement and communications. BodyMindLife Yoga and pilates pivoted earlier this year to a fully online experience, and now run live stream and on-demand classes. The upside is that video has allowed them to significantly expand their audience reach, and their virtual classes are now viewed in 38 countries.
For many small businesses, video is turning out to be big business, and here’s why.
Increased reach and engagement
Many small businesses are finding that they are selling across state and international borders, some for the first time and through online channels. Live and on-demand video lets them promote their products and services in an engaging visual way, across a variety of channels including their own websites and social media, giving them far wider reach and engagement with previously untapped audiences.
Converting browsers into buyers
Video lets small businesses bring their products and services to life. With more and more consumers tuning in to live and on-demand video to gather information, research new solutions, and learn more about products and services, small businesses need to embrace video content to showcase their offerings. Video can be used to launch new products and services or host a live event, it can increase time on a website using video recommendations, demonstrations and reviews, and even drive conversions using shoppable video.
Know your customer
Understanding your customers’ needs and wants is critical to the success of small businesses. Using video, small businesses can gain deep insights into their customers by understanding how videos are being watched, preferred channels, video completion rates, and level of engagement. This information can be used to identify video that works the best for the purpose intended (sales, customer service, tips etc, as well as inform business decisions around all elements of the customer engagement
While most small businesses are cost-sensitive, video is one of the most cost-effective ways of creating content that can be used and repurposed across multiple channels. The rising trend of video content marketing means even the smallest of businesses can create their own content by simply shooting footage on a mobile phone and adding this content across their customer touchpoints.
Create customer experiences
Now more than ever, customers are looking to be educated, entertained, and engaged. In fact, 66 per cent of people prefer to learn about products and services by watching a short video. Small businesses are discovering that video is a great way to cut through, communicate their brand, and give them a personal connection with their customers. Whether creating brand awareness video, running a live product launch, creating how-to-use videos, and more, small businesses are finding that video helps them create more meaningful and engaging experiences for a much wider audience.
With people the world over adapting to a virtual environment, this has changed how we interact with products and services, and it is clear that video is here to stay. Small businesses that are not embracing video are truly missing out on an immediate opportunity to grow their brand, connect with audiences, increase conversions, and ultimately build long-lasting relationships with their customers.
Greg Armshaw, Senior Director, Brightcove