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Customer Experience

Small businesses are bigger with video

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

It’s no secret that video is an excellent medium to deliver a marketing message. Whether your objective is brand awareness, product education or sales, nothing captures attention quite like it. And for small and medium businesses, video can provide an equal playing field to compete with larger companies.

Making a video on a smartphone

Each year, mobile video consumption rises by 100%. There are many ways that you can use video content on social media, your company website, YouTube or any number of proprietary platforms. The growth in digital channels (and devices) has helped drive momentum for video, and it’s likely to get bigger. According to Cisco, by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — that’s 15 times higher than it was in 2017.

“All the changes in infrastructure and social media have enabled the video wave,” observes Nigel Abbott, marketing expert and director of FUNDSITION, an investment and capital raising firm for small and medium enterprises. “And it works so well because our brains are so directly aligned to vision, audio and motion that it is like our preferred language now.” In fact, compared to static content, people pay five times as much attention to video on Facebook and Instagram.

Here are three reasons why video can help take your digital marketing to the next level.

Humanise your brand

Now more than ever, consumers are connecting with brands for the first time online, rather than in person. But that doesn’t mean you should miss the opportunity to build rapport with your customers. Video can allow you to add a touch – or a handful – of your personality to your online presence.

Take Melbourne florist Flowers Vasette, for example: the in-store team use Instagram’s IGTV to show followers who the characters are behind the bouquets. By modeling new aprons, talking about their favourite flowers and introducing shop dog Alfie, the Flowers Vasette team feel like old friends in just a few minutes. This familiarity might be reason enough to shop with them instead of their many competitors.

Demonstrate your product

When fishing gear company Shimano has a new product ready for release in Australia, part of its marketing plan is to create short videos that demonstrate the product’s key features and how to use it to its full capability. The videos are between 15 seconds and two minutes in length, depending on which online platform they’re published on – including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the company’s website.

For a sport that relies heavily on good-quality technical equipment, video content is essential for Shimano to communicate the effectiveness of its products. It’s something that an image can’t do.

Testimonials and reviews

Forget the old face-to-camera testimonials of the ’90s. Australian cosmetic brand Fluff uses user-generated videos to promote its products on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. They put a call-out for customers (and influencers) to share how they use their favourite Fluff items – and the result is an endless supply of video content.

To get the ball rolling, it may initially cost your business to dish out a few free products, but you’ll save significantly on time and effort. As your reach grows, you may find that more and more customers are tagging your business in their videos, hoping for a moment in the limelight. Another benefit of user-generated testimonials and reviews is that they appear genuine – a trait often missing from high-end productions.

Where to begin

According to Abbott, “The place to start is to look at the customer’s pathway to a purchase. If you look at that, then you realise there are different stops along the way, and that can drive the type of content you create.”

The number of platforms for video is also increasing, so you should tailor your craft to suit your chosen platform. Instagram, which built its business on still photography, now supports videos of up to 60 seconds in the newsfeed, while its IGTV feature allows for up to 60 minutes (if you’re uploading from the web – otherwise, 15 minutes from your mobile). Facebook and Instagram both allow users to broadcast a live video, and videos are also becoming more common on professional networking site LinkedIn. Newcomer TikTok is ensuring brands cut to the chase with videos that are just 15 seconds long.

This article was originally published on October 3rd 2016 and updated on May 29th 2020.

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