Research shows that using video to engage prospective customers—and existing ones—is highly effective. However, small businesses may think producing videos is too expensive or time-consuming to be worth the effort. 

In reality, creating impactful business videos can now be done easily and affordably. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, consumers don’t want videos to look too polished—they prefer authenticity.

“I encourage my small business clients not to overthink it,” says Karlyn Ankrom, founder of Oh Snap! Social, a social media marketing firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Moreover, thanks to smartphones, producing videos can be very fast and affordable. “With your smartphone, you have a video camera and editing software in your back pocket,” she says. 


So, how can you create the most effective videos for your small business that can reap stellar results? Here are five tips:


  1. Develop a basic video strategy.

At the outset, it’s smart to develop a video strategy that outlines your overall objectives. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy document—rather, just a short list of bullets that will keep your video efforts focused and strategic. Consider including the types of videos you plan to produce, your target audience, overarching message, engagement metrics you will track and the platforms you’ll distribute the videos on.


  1. Keep it simple.

Your videos don’t have to be highly produced, and there are now plenty of free and low-cost smartphone apps that allow you to put together videos quickly and easily.

Wendy Wang, owner of F&J Outdoors in Philadelphia, uses short videos to showcase her outdoor patio furniture covers in real-life settings. Wang uses the free video editing app InShot. The result: professional-looking videos that require very little technical expertise or financial outlay. (Other free or affordable video design and editing tools include Canva, iMovie, and Animoto.) 


Since launching the videos, F&J Outdoors’ sales conversion rate has increased by 30%, Wang says. 


  1. Make it compelling and useful.

You’ll want video content that will draw in customers. Jason Schuler, co-founder of Awakened Films, a video production company in Madison, New Jersey, recommends businesses compile a quick list of helpful topics for customers seeking their product or service. (For example, a lawn maintenance service might post topics related to yard care—such as keeping gutters clean.) Then, he says, create 10-20-second talking-head videos with a smartphone to share on Instagram—a great platform to start posting videos on because it’s free and has a tremendous reach. 

Another easy, compelling approach: Film yourself or satisfied customers using your products and explain how they work and the benefits of using them.

Also, use closed captions to accommodate viewers who browse in a silent mode and include a “call to action”—such as encouraging viewers to use a discount code, book an appointment or visit your website.


  1. Put your videos in multiple places.

To maximize the reach of each video you create, repurpose it across platforms like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and your website. The more places you have the video, the more value you’ll get from it.


  1. Optimize for search engines. 

Videos aren’t just engaging, they’re also search engine optimization (SEO) gold. 

“Google’s algorithms favor rich, engaging content, and videos fit the bill perfectly,” says Diego Cowks, director of paid search commercials at Trademarkia in Tempe, Arizona. Make sure to write a search-friendly title for each video, as well as keywords, titles and descriptions that will help it perform well in search algorithms on Google and social media sites.

Additionally, the robust analytics that come with videos—like viewer engagement, watch time and click-through rates—provide valuable data-driven insights for refining your marketing strategies. 


Once you’ve created and optimized your videos for search engines, you might consider how you can get even more eyes on them. That could be by putting videos in targeted ads or working with micro-influencers who can promote your videos through their own social networks.

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