The Small Business Guide to Marketing with Video

Megan O'Neill


Earlier this year, we released a complete guide to video marketing. In that guide, we broke down everything from what video marketing is to video marketing ideas, tips, and more. But in celebration of Small Business Week we wanted to release a guide created specifically for small businesses.


Table of Contents:

In this guide, we’ll be offering up concrete video marketing advice for small business owners. We’ll talk about the benefits of using video in your small business marketing. Plus, we’ll share ideas and show you how to get started on a budget and with limited time. Click through to jump to a specific section.

The Benefits of Video for Small Business Marketing

As a small business owner, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate. And video may feel like just another item to add to your list of things to do. But there are a number of ways video can help grow your business, and we’ll dive into them in this section. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, not to worry! Later on we’ll show you how you can fit video into your busy schedule.

Your customers want video

According to our 2018 State of Social Video report, 93% of marketers say they’ve landed a new customer thanks to a video on social media. And that’s not all, 73% of consumers say they’ve been impacted by a brand’s social media presence when making a purchase decision.

What do these consumers want to see? Video. They named video as their #1 type of content to see from brands on social media.


And consumers aren’t only enamored with video on social media. They’ll also spend 88% more time on a website if it has video.

Video can help you get discovered

Creating and sharing videos for your business is also a great way to get discovered by new potential customers.

Embedding video on your website can help you appear higher up in search results. But that’s not all. You can also post videos on YouTube to get in front of people that are searching for videos related to your business or industry.

Think with Google shares, "In the past year, 70% of millennial YouTube users watched YouTube to learn how to do something new or learn more about something they're interested in." By posting videos answering common questions related to your business, you can show up in their search results.

To learn more, check out our guide to YouTube marketing, including ideas, optimization tips, and more.

Video helps you stand out from the competition

More and more businesses are starting to incorporate video into their marketing. The number of small- and medium-sized businesses on YouTube alone has doubled in the last two years.

If your competitors aren't using video yet, they may be soon. And getting started now can set you apart.

If your competitors are already using video, it's not too late either. Video can be a nice way to build trust and showcase how and why you are different. Animoto Chief Video Officer Jason Hsiao dives into this in a blog post on how to humanize your brand and build trust with video.

Small Business Marketing Video Ideas

Convinced you should be using video but aren’t sure where to start? Here are six ideas for videos you can create for your business today. Each example video is also a template that you can customize to make your own.

Next week we’ll be adding videos from real businesses that are using Animoto. If you’ve got a video you’d like to submit, head over to our private Facebook group, the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community.

Idea #1: About Us video

Create a video about your business. What do you do? What inspires you? What makes you different? A video like this is ideal for including on your website’s About Us page or homepage or on your YouTube channel. We’ve included two templates below that you can customize to create your own About Us video.

Idea #2: Testimonial video

A BrightLocal suvey revealed that 85% of consumers turn to online reviews when they’re trying to find out if a local business is reputable. And a testimonial video can be a nice way to put positive reviews front and center on your website or on social media.

Testimonials don’t have to include customers speaking on camera. You can easily create one by simply gathering positive reviews that have been left by your customers online, or shared with you via email. Our Product Testimonial template illustrates this approach.

Idea #3: How To or Tutorial Video

We mentioned in the previous section that “70% of millennial YouTube users watched YouTube to learn how to do something new or learn more about something they're interested in.” A how to or tutorial video is a great way to answer the questions that your potential customers are searching for on YouTube.

Check out our Fashion Lookbook How To template as an example below. For more ideas, check out our post on explainer videos.

Idea #4: Product video

A product video is a great addition to a product page on your website. Or, it can be used to promote your product or service on social media. Here's an example designed to share a new collection.

We also have a similar template in our newly released iOS app. Sharing a new collection on Instagram Stories is a fun way to keep your followers and fans in the loop.


If your small business is service-based, rather than product-based, check out our Service Teaser template.

Idea #5: Social Video Ad

On social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, you can advertise to get your video in front of a targeted audience. This has been shown to drive great results, as illustrated by many of the case stories found on our Success Stories page.

Read more about how to reach new customers with targeted social ads. And check out our Seasonal Promotion template below for inspiration.

Idea #6: Fun Social video

Last but not least, try posting a fun social video to boost engagement. Some ideas include sharing a fun quote, like in the video below, a list, celebrating a social media holiday, or telling an inspiring story.

If you’re using Instagram Stories, try engaging with your customers by featuring them! Our iOS app includes a Customer Call Out template that makes it easy to create a video featuring customers, and asking them to share photos with you.


Tips for Small Business Video Marketing on a Budget

One of the biggest reasons small businesses tell us they aren’t using video yet is because they think it’s too expensive. In fact, video marketing doesn’t have to come with a high price tag. In this section, we’ll share a few tips for creating videos for your business without breaking the bank.

Tip #1: Repurpose photos and videos you already have

You may be able to save money on production costs by repurposing photos and videos that you already have. If you have a business website, a Facebook or Instagram page, brochures, or other business marketing collateral, odds are that you’ve already got a collection of photos (and maybe videos too) that you can use to create a new video.

Here are some things to look for photos and videos of:

  • Your product(s)
  • Storefront or workspace
  • You and/or your employees
  • Happy customers
  • Your logo

These items can be compiled, along with titles and captions that tell your story, to create your video. To learn more, check out our blog post on gathering images for your videos on a budget.

If you don’t have photos and video clips of your own, not to worry. Affordable stock photos and video clips can be used to create professional videos as well. Did you know? An Animoto subscription includes over 1 million stock photos and video clips from Getty Images.

Tip #2: Familiarize yourself with DIY video techniques

You don’t have to pay a professional to shoot your video for you – you can do it yourself using an inexpensive consumer camera or even your mobile phone. If you’re going to shoot it yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your video looks professional:

  • Pay attention to lighting. Always make sure to shoot in plenty of light so your subjects will look their best. You don’t need a fancy lighting kit;shoot in natural light or in a bright room.
  • Stabilize your phone or camera. Shaky footage looks anything but professional, but you can stabilize your phone or camera by holding your elbows against your body, using an inexpensive tripod, or building a makeshift tripod out of books or other items you’ve got lying around.
  • Keep video format in mind when shooting. Are you making a landscape video for YouTube or your website? A square video for the Instagram or Facebook feed? Or a vertical video for Stories? Keep this in mind when you shoot so that you’re set up to crop appropriately.

Tip #3: Use free & affordable editing tools

You also don’t have to hire a professional to edit your video for you. There are a number of free and affordable tools that you can use to compile your photos and video clips to create your video on your own.

If you’re short on time and looking for an easy option for creating a professional video quickly, an affordable video maker like Animoto can do the trick. Animoto makes it quick and easy for you to compile your photos and video clips, add titles, captions, and music to create something that looks like it was created by a professional.

Tip #4: Use affordable licensed music solutions

Music is a crucial part of conveying the right message in your videos, but it can be expensive to license music for commercial use. Luckily, Animoto offers Professional users a collection of over 3000 commercially-licensed tracks.

Making the Time for Video

As a small business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate. So creating videos regularly may feel like a lot to take on. Lucky for you, it’s not as time consuming as you may think! And, in some cases it can even save you time! We’ve put together some tips to help you make the time for video marketing.

Tip #1: Set reasonable goals

One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking on something new is biting off more than they can chew. Getting started with social video doesn’t mean you need to be creating and posting videos every single day or spending a huge amount of time on planning and production. Set reasonable goals that fit into your existing schedule.

Be honest with yourself. How much time can you reasonably allot to social video marketing? If it’s an hour a day, that’s great. If it’s less, that’s fine too. You can always start small and add more time later on. But if you commit to too much off the bat it’ll be easy to get overwhelmed.

Tip #2: Mark your calendar

Once you’ve decided how much time you want to commit to social video, put it on your calendar. Carving out blocks of time will make it much easier to stick to your commitment. Whether it’s an hour each morning while you drink your coffee, or a couple hour block once a week, having this time reserved will help you focus on your video goals.

Tip #3: Challenge yourself

Make the most of the time you’ve carved out by challenging yourself to create videos quickly in one sitting. Practice makes perfect. The first time you make a video it may take some time, but the more you do it the faster you’ll get and the better your videos will be. Try making a video with just three images from your Instagram account or Facebook page or a video with only text.

Join our private Facebook group, the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community, for regular ideas, inspiration, and challenges.

Tip #4: Be on the lookout for inspiration

You’re likely spending time scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and watching videos on YouTube outside of the time you’ve set aside for your social video marketing. Use that time not only to check out posts from your friends and family, but also to keep an eye out for inspiration. If a video catches your eye, save it! Try to replicate it for your business during the time you set aside for video creation.

Tip #5: Take lots of photos

Finally, take lots of photos as you go about your day-to-day business. You don’t need a fancy camera. Your phone will do the trick. This will save time and make your life easier when you sit down to create videos—you won’t have to look far for assets!

Small Business Video Tips

We already included a few DIY video production tips in our section on making videos on a budget. In this section, we’ll share a few more tips to help you get started quickly and easily with video marketing.

  • Start with what you have on hand. You likely already have photos and video clips to use in your videos. Look for them on your website or social media profiles. If you don’t have anything, not to worry. You can get started with stock imagery from the Getty Images library in Animoto.
  • Use your smartphone. There’s no need to invest in expensive cameras or production gear. You’ve got everything you need to shoot video footage in your pocket—your phone! To learn more, check out our blog post with tips for shooting video.
  • Keep your audience in mind. Before you dive in to make a video, think about your audience. Who are they and what are they interested in? Where will they be viewing your video? Create video content that will resonate with that audience. Check out our 8 questions for getting to know your audience.
  • Keep your platform in mind. Where will you be posting your video? It’s important to understand that different types of content is ideal for different platforms, including for your website, for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We recently put together a cheat sheet to help you decide which videos to post on which platforms.
  • Use targeted advertising to reach more people. We mentioned this above in our ideas section, but it’s worth repeating. Ad targeting on social media, particularly on Instagram and Facebook, can be very effective. Check out our blog post on ad targeting to learn more.
  • Use video to build trust. Video is a fantastic way to build trust with your potential customers. Check out Jason’s blog post on the subject here.
  • Experiment. Try new things and don’t get discouraged if not all of your videos don’t get the desired results right away. You’ll learn how to create better and better videos with practice. Just dive in and get started!

Small Business Video Examples

Looking for a bit more inspiration? We celebrated Small Business Week this year with a call for the members of our Facebook group to share their small business videos with us.

We thought we'd share a few here to show you what fellow-small business owners are doing with Animoto.

Social Video Example

This video comes from award winning Realtor Kathy Lewis. She posted the video to Facebook and Instagram. Not only is it a fun, shareworthy video, but it also gives potential clients some insight into Kathy's values.

Review Video Example

Taa Dixon of 720media shared this next video—a 5-star review video created and shared for The Ding Guy, a family owned and operated business out of Colorado. Review videos serve as social proof and can help build trust.

Seasonal Promotion Video Example

A seasonal promotion is a nice way to promote products or services that are relevant to specific holidays or times of year. In this example, Kelsey Rankin, Digital Marketing Manager at Studio Style, showcases a graduation line of products.

To see even more videos from small business customers using Animoto, head over to our blog post, 8 Small Business Video Ideas with Real Examples.

Getting Started with Video for Your Small Business

Ready to get started with video for your small business? We’re here to help! An Animoto subscription gives you everything you need to drag and drop your way to powerful and professional marketing videos.

Customizable video templates, including the templates included in this guide, make it easy to create your own videos in minutes. With over a decade in the industry and partnerships with YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, Animoto is used by more than 1 million businesses worldwide.

Try it for free today or learn more about using Animoto for your business. Happy video making!