Video Marketing and Small Business

Twitter’s new video feature is only a few weeks away. Facebook has been steadily messaging a “shift to video” to marketers of all sizes. And part of that, Instagram has been offering video advertising since late last year. This is lucrative territory for each social firm, but small business owners need to take note of how ad products will be pitched to them accordingly.

Everyday is like a potential Super Bowl commercial as far as audience size on social media. Since no one knows where or when the next potential Alex from Target will break, small business owners are expected to pay-to-play just like blue chip brands with multi-million dollar ad budgets. Not a fair game.

Small businesses should be cautioned against hopping on the latest marketing craze. At Signpost, we hear from businesses all over the country who have experimented with promoting tweets, sponsored profiles, and paying substantial sums for shallow goals around vanity metrics such as “likes” and followers. Results — meaning walk in business or new customer leads — are more often than not disappointing. Does transitioning from text and static image to video mean some seismic shift will suddenly save the day for small business marketing? Unlikely.

This “shift to video” is really part of a power grab that doesn’t concern small businesses in the slightest. Facebook has become the worlds biggest publisher. They did this through partnering with some media, or simply counting on all of us to share news stories and online gossip. The result has Google and other online ad revenue giants more than a little unnerved. And for good reason.

It’s true that consumer viewing habits have shifted from traditional media to perpetual mobile feeds on the likes of Twitter and Facebook. We have the ubiquity of the modern day smartphone and low-priced high speed data packages to thank. However, it’s not true that it is a level playing field. Marketers at the world’s top creative agencies and in-house teams within the biggest brands will be throwing money at production, creative talent and distribution of the video. So while using video to a certain extent may help get across your message, don’t get caught paying big dollars competing with the nationwide household names.

When Twitter video launches next week, instead of clicking on the onslaught of marketing posts you will see in your Facebook and Twitter feed (“How to Become a Small Business Video Marketing Maven”) I encourage you instead to focus on building lasting relationships with the customers already interacting with your business as they are your best bet for sustained marketing and business results.

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