Video Marketing: How Online Video is Important to Today’s Small Business


The old bread and butter of advertising – newspapers, TV and radio – have fallen out of favor and have been replaced by social media, websites and video. The introduction of the “skip” button on TV remote controls and the abundance of recording TV shows have essentially killed the TV commercial. However, video is still an excellent way of advertising your business and garnering new clients; it’s just through the Internet, rather than through the TV.

Video is one of the best ways to engage your customers. But how do you ensure your video content is suited to your company, and that it is successful? The main three ingredients are all about knowing – knowing your audience, knowing your brand, and knowing your strategy and expectations.

Who is your ideal client?

KYC – know your client – is a well-known term in the marketing world, and is applicable to everything from banking to books. The key is to have an in-depth idea of what your client is, not just their location, age and sex. It’s about knowing what they enjoy in a video, and providing it to them in a professional yet fun way.

For example, a book lover can be any variety of people – from someone who enjoys reading historical real-life biographies to the woman who loves the newest releases from Harlequin. To have a successful video, you must either a) target one specific type of client or b) have a general video that speaks to everyone. A short video on explaining where your bookstore is, and the genres and types of books that you care will appeal to the general audience. A different video with your large historical section – maybe even including a famous historical figure – will appeal to the person who enjoys history.

Unfortunately, the more general you make a video the less of an impact it will make. Just like a magnifying glass, by targeting one specific part of your audience, you will focus all of your attention (and the light, in the case of the magnifying glass) on one type of client, and it shows. A history buff will feel more resonance with a video featuring Abe Lincoln, especially if it’s for a bookstore that has an entire wall of books dedicated to history.

What is your brand?

By now, you should know your brand inside and out. You should know what you stand for, what you want to sell and how you want to sell it. Branding is a very important piece of information for your video – your video needs to stay true to your core values, otherwise it will look fake and forced – which will get you nowhere with potential clients.

An example – say our bookstore is well-known for its launch parties, where customers dress up according to the book in question. The video with Abe Lincoln would fit in well, don’t you think? Now, same bookstore – but it’s known for being the place to go for students looking for textbooks – no fun or frivolity here. The video would not jive with the overall “feel” and “personality” of the bookstore.

If you are having problems discerning what your brand is, the easiest way is to brainstorm. Write down the name of your company, and then branching out from there, write every single word that comes to mind. You might be surprised at what you come up with … in fact, you might end up sparking an idea for your next video!

What is your expectations and strategy?

Before you start anything, you need to know what you want to get out of it. Rather than going into creating a video blind, and hoping that it will be successful, you need to determine what your goals are. Do you want to get more likes on your Facebook page? More visitors to your website? Maybe you just want to spread the word, and make your brand more known.

Once you have a goal in mind, then you need to figure out your strategy on getting there. How do you get more likes and visitors? Our bookstore could add a 10% coupon to its Facebook offerings and website. It could also hold contests, or provide free things (such as bookmarks) to those who like the page or join an e-newsletter service.

Improving your brand recognition is just as simple – boil down exactly what you want your brand to represent, and portray that in an easy-to-understand, and memorable way, to your viewers. The bookstore, which would like to represent itself as an approachable place for readers to come browse,  could showcase that comfortableness by including the proprietor in a couch with a book by his side and a cup of coffee nearby.

Video is one of the premium ways of advertising your business. Once you know your customers, your brand, your expectations and your strategy, you will go far in being successful.