[Because she does such great videos for her own business, I invited Heather Thomas to submit a guest post about different uses for video in promoting your small business. I think you’ll get some great ideas from what she came up with. –Becky]
By Heather Thomas
|C.C. Chapman shooting
video from kayak.
It’s no secret that video can be an extremely effective marketing tool for your small business. It is engaging, interactive, and allows potential customers to get to know you and your business before ever stepping foot in your store. It is a chance to start building relationships with people you have never even met and an opportunity to get them to know, like, and trust you before the sale.
If you’re like me, you can think of a thousand reasons why you need to do video. You may even know how to do simple videos for your small business. But, what kind of video should you do?
If you’re looking for ideas for small business videos, read on. Here is a list of 21 ways you can use video for your small business.
- Tell your company story. Video is a compelling way to tell your story. Tell your customers why you are in business and what you love about it. Sharing your enthusiasm for your business is a great way to get customers to get to know you and want to do business with you. Here is an example of a small town grocer telling her story about Red Bay Grocery.
- Highlight what makes you unique. In business, this is called your “unique selling proposition”. What do you have to offer that sets your business apart from other businesses? If you have a coffee shop that allows customers to grind their own organic beans, show how the process works. People like to feel like they are buying something special. Show them what is special about what your business has to offer.
- Show your location. A video showing your location can give viewers a sense of what to expect. Provide a tour of the inside of your shop, or a walking tour outside to help customers find your small business. This video shows a storeowner giving a tour of his store, Sunjammers Watersports.
- Introduce your staff. One of the best things about a small town is knowing people everywhere you go. But a visitor may feel like an outsider. Introducing your staff is a simple way to make your viewer feel connected.
- Provide customer testimonials. Let your most loyal customers tell your viewers what they love about your small business. Creating videos of your actual customers talking about your business in their own words can provide a powerful customer testimonial that you can share online.
- Show your product in action. If you sell a product, show it in action. What does it look like? How does it work? Give users a sense of what to expect when using your products.
- Give a tutorial. What can you teach the viewer that shows your expertise? For example, my husband and I own a boat rental company, so we created a simple video showing our potential customers how to drive a pontoon boat. Do you know what happened? It was a huge hit and people still visit us and tell my husband that they recognize him from the video. Teaching something on video is powerful because it helps you to be seen as an expert on the subject, and allows the viewer to get to know you and trust you.
- Promote others. Especially in small towns, small businesses need to work together to cross-promote each other. If you own a restaurant, showcase the bakery that provides your bread, or the grocer that provides your fresh produce. Show others that you are connected with your community and make them feel as if they are, too.
- Go behind the scenes. People love to feel involved. Show your viewer what your business is like behind the scenes. If you sell Christmas decorations, film a video showing the trade show you attended where you purchased your favorite ornament. Showing your customers what you do behind the scenes gives them valuable insight into what it’s like to do business with you.
- Interview an expert. Interviewing an expert in your industry can give you the credibility that allows users to trust you. For example, if you own a fitness center, you could talk with a physician or physical therapist about the benefits of a cardio workout.
- Highlight new promotions or specials. Video is a great way to tell about new products, promotions, or specials. It allows you to highlight the benefits of the new product or service or explain the rules of the promotion in a way that is easier to absorb than a page full of text.
- Have a Contest. Contests are a fun way to build your audience, and announcing a contest with an engaging video is a good way to draw people in. Video is also easy to share, which helps to spread the word. This video by AJ Bombers restaurant is an excellent example of how to use video to tell your audience about a contest.
- Share your success stories. Show how your business made a difference with a video showing the ‘before’ and ‘after’, and explain how your business contributed to the success. For example, a landscaper might film an unsightly yard or park area and show clips of the work they did, ending with the final reveal of a perfectly landscaped outdoor area.
- Answer frequently asked questions. Be helpful. A short video answering a common question about your product or service can be very useful to your viewer, and can demonstrate your expertise.
- Say ‘thank you’. A video thank you is a great way to send out that personal touch to your customer (or anyone else) that lets them know how much you appreciate their business. Alternatively, if you have customer-appreciation events, you can film those as well.
- Share cultural things of interest. Make a video about a cultural event in your town. What does your small town do that sets it apart from other towns? A video about an annual festival or celebration of the town’s culture can draw in visitors who want to be part of the experience themselves.
- Share historical things of interest. Show viewers some history behind your business or your town. Is your store located in an old saloon? Has it been passed down through your family for generations? Telling about it in a video is a great way to engage your audience and make them feel connected to you and your business.
- Showcase wildlife or animals in the area. Make a video about the wildlife in the area. Show a bald eagle flying over your town, or a duck swimming with her ducklings in the pond in front of your business. Or get creative with your restaurant and brand your alley cats your “taste testers” and make a video about them.
- Show an “Unboxing”. “Unboxing” is the unpacking of new products. If you sell a product, make a video showing the customer the experience of “unboxing” your item. Show opening the package, taking out the tissue paper, and removing the item from it’s packaging. Show what your actual product looks like when someone opens it.
- Film Events/Conferences. Make a video of yourself at an event or conference. Share something you learned or introduce someone you met. Let people get to know you.
- Share others’ videos. Remember, you don’t have to film every video yourself. One of the best things about video is that it is fun to share. Look for others’ videos that showcase your interests, town, or store and share them with your audience as well.
Can you think of any more ways to use video for your small business? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
Heather Thomas is a small business owner who is using video as part of the social media strategy to promote her Destin, FL boat rental company. She lives and works with her husband, Chris, a second-generation boat captain, and puts her hospitality background to good use by focusing on the little details that make a good experience great. You can follow her on Twitter at @destinboats.