Branding photography is on the rise, businesses – small businesses as well as big corporations – have understood that they need professional and high-quality imagery to support their marketing efforts. But what about video?

Video is everywhere around us. From Netflix to YouTube to Facebook and Instagram. You can’t spend a day without it – unless you go off the grid and stay there for a while.

Small businesses can use this trend to their advantage because they are all about personality and customer connection. Video is the perfect medium for that.

But let’s start at the beginning…

How to make your small business stand out with a brand film

What is a brand or promo video?

A brand video can have many names: Promo video. About me/us video. Behind the scenes video.

It all means the same and only differs in the key message it carries. But in its essence, it’s job is to introduce a brand or business and/or their products or services. And all that in a way that is appealing to the business’s audience.

Kirsty Hamilton, Family Photographer

 

Kirsty wanted a behind-the-scenes video to show her clients how her sessions work and how it would feel to be photographed by her

PH4K, Not-for-profit

 

The charity Project Hope for Kids (PH4K) works with refugees in Greece. They needed support from sponsors and decided to share the work they do with and their families that are stranded in Greece, waiting for asylum somewhere in Europe.

Why video - the facts

The general notion is that:

    • Video boosts conversions and sales
    • Video builds trust and credibility
    • Video shows great ROI
    • Google loves videos
    • Video engages and encourages social shares

Wyzowl has published a beautiful statistics overview for 2020:

People watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week. And people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends – way more than any other type of content.

The numbers aren’t lying. According to wyzowl’s survey…
87% of video marketers say video has increased traffic to their website.
81% of video marketers say video has helped increase the average time their visitors spend on page.
95% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales.
84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
86% of people would like to see more video from brands in 2020

But… just because brands use video and people watch it, that doesn’t mean ANY video will be successful and effective. There’s gotta be a strategy and plan behind every single video. And it’s got to be done right!

What does that mean for you and your small business?

Your advantage

Well, first of all, if you look around in your area and your profession, you might notice that there are actually not a lot of great promo videos out there. Yet. But people will catch up.

Small businesses are all about a personal connection to their audience and customers. It’s about the person behind the brand. And the reason behind the business. And it’s about the value your product, service or business can give to your audience.

Why now?

Being actively visible on video is daunting. I mean, having your photos taken gives most people the sweats already. How do you cope with video? Also, we’re so used to delivering our messages in writing, it can be challenging to move to another medium and be equally comfortable and eloquent.

Despite these concerns though, the fact that you don’t see everyone around you using professional video to promote and advertise their business is the exact reason why you should do it. Video becomes more popular by the day and if you leave it too late, it will get harder to stand out. Right now, video gives you and your small business the opportunity to build your brand so you can get noticed just by standing out against everyone else who isn’t doing it.

A few more reasons why now is a great time to use video to promote your business:

    • Thanks to the pandemic, more people work remotely. A lot of times we can’t show our customers what we’re doing in real life. Open days, showrooms and product presentations are being done remotely and online. Having a professional video to showcase what you’re about, will make it so much easier to reach audiences that just can’t be there with you in real life.
    • Video is the preferred medium for consuming information—especially among millennials and Gen Zs.
    • YouTube is the second-largest search engine (after Google). Making use of that means you’ll have access to a much bigger audience instantly by using the platform.
    • Google loves websites with video. Video is being ranked higher than written text. So reaching the top of Google for your keywords is much more likely if you support your messages with video content.

Lee Payne. Tap dancer, performer and host

 

Lee wanted a short video that shows him hosting the popular London Tap Jam.

A good promo video

What makes a good video?

The goal of any video you want to produce for your business should be visibility and engagement for your business or brand which then should lead to more sales.

A good video can be very subjective. Everybody has a different style in topics, approaches and visuals they enjoy so there’s not really a template to follow to create a video that will be “good” in everyone’s eyes. However, judging whether a video is successful, is a lot easier to do.

What makes a successful video?

A successful video is one that entertains your audience and gets you the result you’re hoping for. Which means you need to know what you want the outcome to be. For example:

    • Visit your website for more information
    • Book a call
    • Buy your product
    • Share the video
    • Sign up to your mailing list etc.

This is important to know because this is your call-to-action – which is exactly what your video needs to end on.

How does it work?

Simply stating facts to pursue your audience to buy from you, will most likely not get you the results you’re hoping for. It might support your sales process but you can’t just build on that alone.
When we buy something, most purchases will be triggered by emotions. Psychology Today published a great article on that topic: How emotions influence what we buy.

Let me show you some examples – brand videos that purely focus on creating an emotional connection to their viewer, rather than trying to sell by highlighting the features and details of their products.

Watch this video and tell me you don’t want to go and buy stationery. Or at least think about it.

Watch this one and I’m sure you will at least contemplate whether you need new body lotion. Maybe from Dove?

Or this one. Thinking of getting an Apple Watch?

Why do those videos inspire us to shop or at least research a brand or product?

It’s not because we had planned to buy any of these things but the way those videos make us feel triggers something in us: Amusement, desire, excitement, joy, FOMO… And that’s how businesses get our attention.

We are emotional shoppers – it’s in our DNA.
What’s also in our DNA is the love for stories. And that’s the secret sauce to successful videos for your small business – we tell stories to create a connection. That’s how we sell our service or product.

How do you make this work?

Well, that’s easy: We tell great stories that connect to our brand and business. We are honest and authentic and show passion for what we do, how we do it and most importantly why we do it. And we show our audience why they need us, our products or services in their lives.

It really is that easy.

However, very few people do it. Because they don’t understand how to tell those great stories. But that’s exactly where people like me come into play: Filmmakers, video producers, storytellers.

Who am I?

Anja filming on the beach Hove

I’ve been working in the video industry for over 14 years. With background in TV, agencies and higher education, I’ve learnt A LOT about how to tell great stories. I attended courses and training to understand the process better and most importantly to educate my clients. The aim is to show you why what you think makes a good video, might not actually align with what your audience would enjoy.

I created a whole page on how my process works step by step, in order to get to the bottom of the story that you want to tell and your customers need to hear.

Video for small businesses

How much does it cost

Video is an expensive medium – not just because it rises in popularity but there’s a lot of work involved. You don’t necessarily need a professional camera to create a good video but you need a professional filmmaker or video producer to create an impactful one.

Hire a professional

There’s no go-to number I can tell you. Every filmmaker has their own prices based on their experience and business model. You can get a nice video for a few hundred GBP or you can go all in and hire a full video team that will cost you a few grand.

The more experienced the person you hire for your video is, the less likely you’ll end up with bad/shaky footage that doesn’t relate to what you’re talking about and is edited together without telling a story. After all, it is a profession that you can’t learn in a couple of months…

Because I like to work with small businesses, I like to try and offer my video services as an affordable marketing tool. My small business package starts at £600 for a half-day filming that results in a 2-3min video that you can use as you please.

Do it yourself

If you know you definitely have zero budget to invest but want a video anyway, there are ways to work around that. First of all, you can concentrate on Instagram stories, Instagram reels or IGTV where users are used to see more unpolished work. A simple talking head video addressing an issue, presenting a product or explaining a service might do.

If you have some great imagery, create a slideshow. Animoto let’s you create great slideshows for free (but you’ll have to accept their logo in your video).

Adobe Spark lets you create slideshows and videos.

Fiverr is a good resource to find people who have loads of different skills and can offer simple projects for a smaller budget.

 

Just keep in mind that a low-budget/homemade promo video should not be a replacement for a professionally produced one. If you sell something that your customer invests in, your marketing materials (such as photography and video) should really represent that. After all, you probably wouldn’t pay lots of money on a five-star hotel if they only use low-quality phone snaps to advertise their rooms, would you?! Keep in mind that what you put out to your audience, needs to be in line with what you want others to spend on your business.

Interested in having your own brand video? Get in touch with me and let’s start a conversation about how I can help you with that.

Get in touch

Not quite ready to commit to a chat? No problem, read some more about my process for small business promo videos or have a look through my branding photography.