Guess what? There’s a growth hack that a lot of small business owners don’t take advantage of: Video creation.
Using videos on your website and social media accounts is a really powerful way to reach new audiences, gain new followers, and skyrocket your sales.
That’s because videos are highly engaging and easy to consume. With social media moonlighting as an entertainment hub, consumers are expecting brands to dazzle them with video – their preferred form of content.
And, as a business owner, it’s your job to meet those expectations if you want to see your business grow.
Still not sure why that is?
Let’s take a closer look at 6 reasons your brand should start using video ASAP.
1. Social media algorithms love it
Head over to any social media channel and start scrolling. How long did it take before the first video came up on your screen?
That’s what I thought. The algorithms of most social media platforms are favoring video content more and more, mainly because it captures viewers’ attention for longer.
Think about it: The goal of every platform is to keep users scrolling in their feeds, because more time on social = more ads they can show = more $$ in the bank. In that vein, they reward brands who post content that keeps their viewers’ attention with more exposure.
You might be thinking of a few other ways to keep viewers’ engagement on social media – informative Instagram carousels, entertaining Twitter threads – but actually, video generates more engagement on Instagram than any other content type, and Tweets with videos get 10 times more engagements than Tweets without.
If you want to grow your brand on social media, using video is one of the best ways to get it done.
2. Video is growing in popularity – on all channels
It’s not just social media algorithms that love video; it’s also social media users.
In 2019, the average person watched over 6 hours of video per week – and that was before COVID-19 hit and social media consumption skyrocketed as a result of everyone staying home.
For example, the average YouTube watching session is over 40 minutes, which is up more than 50% from last year.
And if you know anything about TikTok and its booming popularity, you’ll know how taken the world is with (and addicted to!) short-form video content. (Case in point: The dance challenge created for Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Savage” that went so that viral Justin Bieber joined in.)
There are a few reasons why this is happening. For starters, social media has morphed from a place to simply connect with friends and family into a go-to destination for entertainment and education.
Or, more accurately, entertainment is the latest way users are connecting with one another. Do you remember how popular Snapchat was when it first hit the social media scene? It was one of the first short-clip social media platforms, and it was Gen Z’s go-to platform for “communicating” (read: sending funny videos and selfies to one another) until TikTok emerged.
Consumers are looking for ways to connect with brands just as much as with people. If you create videos that are relevant to your audience, they’ll share your videos with others who they think would enjoy them, and you’ll be able to expand your reach to a wider range of potential customers.
3. It’s easier than ever to create videos on a low budget
If you had asked me a few years ago whether I could make a video for you, I’d probably laugh, say something awkward about being tech-challenged and poor, and send you on your way.
But that answer has changed, now that there are a ton of solutions for small business owners (or content creators like me!) without a big budget or filming/editing expertise. Today, if you want to create cool videos, be it for your website, ads or Stories, you don’t need tech prowess or film skills to get it done.
If you’re familiar with us over at Tailor Brands, you’ll know that we offer the tools solopreneurs need to get their logo and branding off the ground, and luckily, we’re not alone in trying to help small businesses.
There are a bunch of cool, budget-friendly platforms like Vimeo Create that can help you make any videos you need, be they Stories, ads, product videos, or videos for customer engagement. All you need is to upload your own footage or select the templates that work for you, pick some music, and let their smart editor do its thing.
And, if you’re a Tailor Brands user, you’re entitled to 20% off an annual Pro subscription! (Just use coupon code: Tailor20)
Don’t get me wrong; creating videos may still be more time-consuming than your run-of-the-mill static post, but there are enough options out there to significantly reduce the time it’ll take you to create, edit, and publish video content to your social channels.
(Want to learn how to shoot perfect IG stories? Check out our video on how to do just that:)
4. Small businesses ESPECIALLY need to stand out
I don’t think I have to tell you how competitive the internet is for brands large and small – and unfortunately, small businesses need to make a splash just as much as larger ones if they want to get noticed.
The good news is that static images are still being shared more frequently than videos, which means video content can give you a competitive advantage.
And, let’s be clear about something: Videos don’t just get you nice exposure on social media; they ALSO can be used as a powerful sales tool.
For example, fashion brand ASOS accompanies almost all of their product listings with videos of models actually wearing the product.
As an avid lover of their brand, I know that I’m much more likely to buy an item once I’ve seen a video of it being worn by someone else. I find their product videos help to answer questions about how a garment will fit, and they quell any anxiety or confusion that would make me hesitant to whip out my credit card.
But, you don’t need to take my word for it; studies have shown that 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video that explains a product or service, with Pinterest users being 2.6 times more likely to make a purchase after watching a video.
And, in 2018 alone, 93% of marketers said they got new customers thanks to a video they posted on social media. Videos have only become more popular since then, so you can imagine the effect they can have on your sales.
5. It’s easy to repurpose across platforms
Most of us new business owners are working with time constraints, and we don’t have a ton of room in our week to devote to creating piles of content.
But the good news about video dominating everywhere is that, well, video is dominating everywhere.
That means that you can get a lot of mileage out of every video you create. While it’s important to make videos with a specific social media platform in mind (they each have their own aspect ratios and accepted lengths), you can easily repurpose your longer videos to work across channels.
For example, a 5-minute tutorial video that you create for YouTube can be reposted to Facebook with a cool caption, cut into 30-second clips for a teaser video on your Instagram feed, and converted into a one-pager that you send your email list.
And, if you’ve already taken the TikTok plunge, you can speed up the video and filter out the most important points to get it down to the 15-second (or 60-second) sweet spot.
By the way, the opposite is true as well; you can take a blog post or another piece of content that you’ve already created and use it to make a video script, without having to do the work twice. In fact, that’s often how we choose which videos to create over here at Thrive!
So, if we had to boil it down: Making brand videos not only saves you time on content creation, but it also allows your brand to show up on multiple platforms without you needing to do extra work.
6. It’s a great way to make personal connections with your audience
Here at Thrive, we talk a lot about how important it is for brands to foster relationships with their audiences.
In fact, at the very heart of good branding is creating a personality for your business that your audience can come to know, love, and rely on.
Using video is the perfect opportunity to create these personal connections, whether by showing behind-the-scenes footage of your business, or having the same face appear on multiple videos that your audience can come to recognize.
Check out this video that small business Mollydooker Wines created to entice people to come visit. It’s not professionally edited, it doesn’t seem scripted, and the roughly-cut scenes only add to the brand’s sense of authenticity – making their grounds look like a place for community to come together.
Also, the more you create videos that have valuable information for your audience, the more you’ll establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Whether you’re putting together tutorials or answering FAQs related to your industry, videos give you ample opportunity to build thought leadership and portray your brand as the expert in your field.
If you want to just dip your toes in the water, consider making an explainer video about your products or services (featuring yourself!) and uploading it to the homepage of your website. This will give your site a personal touch, and you can measure how much time visitors stay on your site in comparison to before.
I’m not saying that one video will automatically double your revenue, but it will show you how much of a difference it can make in capturing your audience’s attention – and start helping them connect to your business in an emotional way.
Time to Start Creating Videos
It’s clear that videos are the future of social media engagement, and they’re only going to rise in popularity as time goes on.
And, while it may feel daunting to take on video creation, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Like I said above, there are a lot of great options for small businesses to create low-budget videos in record time, and it’s often the simpler videos that can make the strongest impact.
If you’re ready to get started, you can always head to Vimeo Create (I posted the link above) and use the coupon code Tailor20 to get 20% off.
Do you have any cool ideas for your first video? Let us know in the comments below!