Creating videos for businesses is no longer in the hands of studios and film crews which is good news for SMEs as 88% of people report being convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

We take a look at why, how and where you should include video content in your marketing strategies and customer experience.

Videos trends

Video content popularity has exploded over the last several years, spurred on further by the pandemic’s effect on evolving consumer expectations

Back in 2016 for example, only 60% of businesses used video as a marketing tool, today that figure sits at 86%.

They must be on to something. A full 87% of marketers say video has helped them increase traffic, up from 55% in 2015.

Furthermore, according to WordStream, people watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week, up 52% in the last two years, while 82% would rather watch video than read social media posts.

Videos that typically suit small businesses cover the following topics:

  • Explainers (e.g., how tos / processes)
  • Client testimonials
  • Product / service introductions
  • Meet the team

These videos are usually no longer than a few minutes and can be uploaded to YouTube. YouTube links can then be embedded onto a website or simply posted on social media – uploading natively to social media (without the use of YouTube or similar) also works well.

Video costs

Recording videos is easily doable on a modern phone with most offering exceptional quality and the ability to edit and crop, albeit in simple fashion.

If you’re planning an interview, simply using Zoom or Google Hangouts is a great option as these offer the ability to record meetings.

Audio
Audio can be another story. If using a phone to shoot a video, internal microphones can be limited, especially in areas with large amounts of background noise and/or multiple speakers.

A video showing someone speaking in an office environment with staff in the background is one example where phone microphones can fall short.

A popular solution is a lapel microphone which clips onto a person’s clothing, connecting to the recording phone via bluetooth. Stores like Officeworks and JB Hi-Fi stock lapel microphones with several options under $100.

Editing software
You’ll need to (and want to) edit out ums, ahs, coughs and any mishaps, or the ability to add music, sound effects and text overlay. 

The above might seem intimidating and best left to professionals, but it needn’t be as editing videos is surprisingly easy. Typically, video editing software involves dropping and dragging videos to a workspace in order to chop out, scale or add media, for example, voiceovers, music or text.

The platforms below are excellent choices and come with their own suite of features

When you see logos of the likes of Netflix and Comcast with titles like Pulp Fiction and The Wolf of Wall Street, you know you’re dealing with professionals. Lightworks offers a collection of detailed video tutorials, making it easy to work with and fast to get the gist of.

Lightworks is available on Windows and Mac.

Features

  • Simple trim functions for fast and precise video editing
  • Fast export to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram

Free version: Yes

You’d expect something premium from software developer Adobe, and Premiere Rush delivers. Aimed at beginners, Premiere Rush is a great option for anyone who wants to make quick videos, but not rushed videos like the name might suggest. Note that this option might even become too simple if you really want to get creative.

Premiere Rush is available on Windows and Mac.

Features

  • Simple click and drag to add transitions
  • Pre-made templates
  • Fast export to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram

Free version: Yes

On the more advanced side of this list is VSDC. The platform has a paid version with even more features than the generous free version which include things like tools like zoom, charts, 360-degree video editing, and colour correction. VSDC is a good option for those who consider themselves both creative and tech savvy.

Available on Windows

Features

  • A full suite of transitional effects
  • Filters, similar to what you’d find on Instagram
  • Powerful compression tool for processing 4K and HD files

Free version: Yes

Content

Deciding what your videos should be about and what style they should be in might take some brainstorming. To help you get started, here are some ideas.

Explainers
These are the most common types of videos for businesses. An explainer aims to quickly guide a customer through a process meaning the viewer can understand how to do something quickly. These might consist of a voiceover while someone goes through the process.

Adding text at various points during the video can also be a good idea.

Customer testimonials
These might be a recorded video call or a mobile phone recording. Often, testimonials focus on the client only meaning no visible (or audible) input from yourself or team. Let the client know the questions in advance so they can prepare and also consider displaying each question on screen so viewers know what’s being answered.

Make sure your client understands why and how the video will be used and obtain any relevant consent during the process.

Product / service introductions
These videos showcase your company’s offering and might require a script or talking points in order to produce a refined video.

These videos might have several versions (episodes) to show numerous products. Keep them consistent and craft only one video per product, that way you’ll be able to keep the title simple.

Meet the team
These videos might act as something to show new employees or to better help clients know who they’re dealing with, especially if most of the clients you deal with are not in person.

Transitioning between staff members as they introduce themselves, briefly describing their roles and why they love their job is an easy way to showcase the team and culture.

Video intros and outros
These can get tricky but since you’ll most likely use similar intros and outros for each video, producing a unique and professional one is a good idea.

If you’re keen on your tech skills and creativity, Adobe has some great options. Make sure to keep on brand and feature your logo and colours.

Another option is to simply pay a professional. Upwork lists thousands of freelancers from all over the world capable of creating intros and outros to suit any business – they can even help with video production all together.

You can pick and choose freelancers based on their cost per hour (usually in USD), previous work and of course their rating. Most can provide a rough quote prior to agreement.

Tips

Video call recording
Before recording an interview, test the functions of the platform you’re using to make sure you know how it works. You might want two screens side by side or just the interviewee’s screen.

Interviews
It can be difficult to edit audio if two or more people speak at the same time. Depending on your chosen format, try and remain silent when your interviewee is speaking or even mute yourself.

Background music
Adding some upbeat, low volume background music can help to elevate the production. Adding sound files with the editing software listed above is a cinch – simply drag, drop and raise or lower the volume to suit.

You can download royalty free music from platforms like Bensound, Pixabay and Tunetank.

Authenticity
The vast majority of SME videos aren’t rehearsed, scripted or loaded with props. In fact, thanks to TikTok and other social media platforms, most people are familiar with and prefer raw and authentic videos.

Over time
It’s not uncommon to see a business’s videos change over time as they grow. Scrolling back on a brand’s social media might reveal that their first videos appear rough with outdated graphics, but not to worry.

This shows progress, evolution and tells a story – something people often look for when researching products.

In summary

Recording yourself or your team may seem a little daunting, but it can really showcase a business’s offering and culture. Statistics also show that videos can help promote brand awareness and generate leads.

Videos can be embedded on a website, used in promotional material and of course, shared on social media.

Embrace the video movement as there are plenty of rewards to be reaped.

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