How small businesses can use video to compete

How small businesses can use video to compete

Small businesses with small budgets are all too familiar with the struggles of trying to compete with bigger brands. Competing for views and engagement on social media is no different — but video has entered the chat and leveled the playing field. 

On this episode of The Video Vantage podcast, Haily and Mike discuss how to leverage video’s power as a small business. Watch the full episode below, or keep reading to learn our top tips for thriving with video.

Video strategies that help smaller brands stand out

When done right, the ‘small’ in your small business can be your marketing superpower. Compared to giant companies with deep marketing pockets, a small business’s marketing strategies will look slightly different — and so they should. According to Mike and Haily, the authenticity of your small business is what you want to lean on when creating videos. 

Customer testimonial videos

Not sure where to start with video? Start here.

“Sometimes I read testimonials on a brand’s website, and I think, ‘Are these even real?’” Mike shares. And he’s not alone — in today’s day and age, consumers are much more savvy — and suspicious — than they used to be. 

Video testimonials are not only a million times more engaging, but when we can see and hear a person sharing their opinion on a product or service, it also feels a million times more genuine. 

Genuine, authentic video testimonials can be your greatest marketing tool. Plus, they’re easy to create — all you need is a willing customer and a camera.

Why video testimonials are a game changer for your business
Why video testimonials are a game changer for your business

Product demo videos

If you’re looking to take a page out of the big brand book, look no further than product demo videos. Companies like Apple or Microsoft are known for their snazzy, highly-produced product videos when launching a new product. These kinds of videos are an excellent way to reach and engage millions of potential customers at once — and they can be jam-packed full of benefits. 

The good news? You don’t need to be Apple to make a product video, and you don’t need Apple-sized budgets. Try a Biteable template — or try out our AI-powered product demo video assistant. Or, Mike suggests looking at sites like Kickstarter for endless inspiration. 

“You can definitely create high-quality videos with less-expensive software now,” Haily agrees. You don’t need to worry about fancy equipment either — iPhone cameras are high-quality and get the job done.  

The importance of storytelling in video marketing

Once you’ve decided on a video strategy, the next thing to think about is your story.

“I think storytelling is super important in all marketing — it’s how humans have been passing down information through generations. It’s authentic,” Mike explains. 

At the core of marketing is a need for businesses to connect with their audiences, and knowing your story will help you do that. 

What is your business trying to achieve? What’s your mission? Why? How are you trying to achieve it? What can your audience accomplish with your product or service?

Figuring out what resonates with your audience — and what your story is — is a critical step in the video marketing process.

Using storytelling videos to build a community online

It’s not just your product launch videos that should have a story — according to social media expert Haily, storytelling also helps you build community. 

“People love to see the behind-the-scenes of a business. It helps build trust when you share your story,” Haily shares. These videos can be as simple as ‘a day in the life at my company’ videos, CEO FAQs, and ‘meet the team’ videos — anything that helps your audience feel like they’re part of your story.

Choosing the right platform for your brand

It can be overwhelming to consider adding video to your marketing strategy — there are so many platforms, and all have different best practices and trends. How do you pick? Well, the good news is, you don’t need to tackle them all at once. Haily says, “It’s all about knowing where your audience is.” 

Pick a few platforms that most closely align with your audience and focus your content efforts there. 

Haily suggests making videos specifically for each platform you’re targeting instead of trying a one-size fits all approach. “You can’t put a YouTube video on TikTok and expect it to be successful,” Haily explains. “Focus on where your audience is, and go to them. Seek them out.”

Can you repurpose video content?

That’s not to say you can never repurpose video content — some platforms work well together, like TikTok and Instagram Reels.

But it’s not always the case. “A video made for TikTok will often do fine on Facebook or Instagram, but you have to package it differently,” Haily shares. “The ideas will translate across all platforms, but the way that you portray those ideas will vary slightly.” 

Haily’s advice? “Plan to have different content on different platforms.”

Be an early adopter and reap the rewards

Haily’s top tip for getting ahead online as a smaller brand is to embrace new platforms and features early. 

It’s often a losing battle to try and grow on YouTube these days — it’s an over-saturated market, and almost impossible to stand out. But when YouTube launched YouTube Shorts, smaller brands were in with a chance. 

“Platforms will typically reward people who embrace a new product or feature,” Haily explains. Jumping on YouTube shorts when it was still new meant that the YouTube algorithm was more likely to boost your content. 

Experimenting with new platforms and new features on a platform is a powerful way to get ahead.

“It’s also a good way to mix up your content and try new things,” Haily shares. “Be willing to try it, be willing to change your content strategy to incorporate it. Be consistent. Engage with other people who are in your target audience, and success will come.” 

Key takeaways

  • Video isn’t just for the big guys anymore — anyone can create professional videos 
  • Try starting with a customer testimonial or product demo video 
  • Always tell a story 
  • Choose the platform that best aligns with your target audience 
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with new platforms and features — reap the rewards of being an early adopter
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