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The DIY guide to SME video marketing: Part 1 - The video that's right for your business

10 min read

The video that’s right for your business

‘Video marketing’ is currently one of the most prominent buzzwords in the SME community, touted as something all businesses must get involved in or face irrelevancy.

This is true for the most part, but video production is typically a very expensive venture. Hiring a production company to do this work, especially for an SME, might be too costly a task to really benefit your business.

This is where the cheaper route of doing the work yourself might be the perfect solution. However, most businesses will find trouble in suddenly performing in this completely foreign skillset and even more will struggle with finding the right video to suit their business.

The obvious question to first ask yourself: ‘is my business visually appealing?’ If you’re in a creative industry, if your business involves physical activity (like a gym or spa), if you design or make a product or if you’re involved with almost any kind of cooking, then you’re in luck.

These businesses are perfect for video production and will also lend themselves just as well to lower budget, self-produced promotional videos.
As for any other type of business, there are still many different styles of videos that you could choose to make.
Here are 5 of the most common types of promotional videos for small businesses:

1. The Vlog

These are hugely effective for the company that either cannot afford cameras and basic equipment or wants to upload as many videos as possible in a short space of time. Even by using a mobile phone camera you can hugely improve your impact on social media channels by posting update videos on how your business is developing, how you clients are progressing, or how a particular piece of work is coming together. This can really help to project a friendly and vibrant company culture.

Vlog = video log: perfect for social media and a tight budget

2. Case studies 

This is a great alternative if your business is mainly office based and it lets your happy customers speak about your great work. These can often be as simple as a ‘talking head’ interview or as technical as a short documentary on how your client’s life has changed since working with you. Remember, try to tell their story first and entertain the audience before thinking of pushing your brand into the mix. People don’t like being overtly sold to, so keep it subtle where possible and with a bit of luck your audience will actually want to share your video.

The case study: aka ‘talking heads’ or ‘meet the client’. Perfect for a product or service which isn’t initially visually stimulating.

3. Events 

This is a great way to make your other marketing efforts much more powerful by sharing basic coverage on your social media channels. These videos aren’t usually perfectly produced, but so as long as you make sure to collect as many different shots and cover every aspect of an event then you’ll be able to piece together an effective summary for the audience. This may also cover seminars, in which case you’ll be tasked with both getting shots of the audience and the speaker’s presentation. This is where a second camera (begged, bought or borrowed) can really help you out. If that’s not possible then consider filming small parts of the speaker’s talk to give yourself time to capture the rest of the event for the edit.

The event video: perfect for one-offs, seminars, talks and presentations. Your very own TED talk

4. Training videos

These are typically identified by an expert speaking to the camera, usually complete with annotations and animations on the screen to help explain concepts to the audience. This type of video is particularly effective when to give the audience a free and interesting piece of content that might spark their interest in your company or product. This style can also work well with physical activities like cooking recipes in your kitchen or instructing clients on how to use a product effectively. Top tips and tutorials are also a great boost to your company’s SEO and overall usefulness to its audience.

The training video: a great way to demonstrate your expertise, increase credibility and provide up-front value to the customer.

5. Flagbearers

This is your business overview, usually found on any website homepage and combining many of the video styles listed above. This is usually the trickiest to pull off on a small budget as you’ll want your company to look sleek and professional, but keeping your concept simple and taking your time in the production will be a huge help.

The flagbearer: designed for the homepage, hard to pull off but immensely useful if done right. A must for any growing business.

Hopefully, you’ll find at least one video concept listed above that is a good fit for your business. With enough planning, prep-work and continued online learning, you’ll be able to create your own promotional video. This guide will be continued in parts 2 onwards to cover the pre-production, filming and editing stages of making your own video.


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