Making It Know

Small Business Guide to Video Marketing

Video marketing is a powerful tool for any business, no matter its size or growth stage. While it can sometimes seem like video marketing is squarely in the domain of big corporations with boards and advisors, small businesses have a lot to gain from building out a video marketing strategy. 

With tools like the Squarespace Video Studio app, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and creators can easily make powerful video ads that grow their platform and motivate their customers.

Whether you’re making your first video ad, focusing on using video to drive website traffic, or looking to get more value out of your existing video marketing efforts, these are the tips and tools you need to get started.

Boost website traffic with video

No matter what you’re selling online, increasing traffic to your website is key to growing your business. With the right strategies in place, video can help you attract new visitors and turn them into customers.

Start by setting goals to measure how your video marketing efforts drive real results. Think about why you want to drive traffic to your website. Is it to launch something new? Update your audience on your progress toward future plans? Offer a promotion? By identifying your primary goals before you pick up your camera, you can make your video content more focused and effective.

Align your video with your branding. In order to offer your customers a consistent, immersive brand experience, you want to give them the sense that wherever they see your name, they know exactly what kind of interaction they’re going to have. Make sure your video marketing captures the design aesthetic that’s already present on your website and other digital channels. Not sure where to start? The Squarespace Video Studio app automatically incorporates your branding—from website fonts to colors—so your video content stays consistent with the rest of your online presence.

Introduce the right creative elements to make a video that stops customers from scrolling to the next one. Focus on length (shorter is usually better), select an enticing thumbnail image, and include a call to action that encourages consumers to make their way to your website.

Make a distribution plan. If you’re looking to boost your website traffic, share your video on other channels to bring in new visitors. Whether your ideal audience hangs out on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or another social media platform, posting your video where they already spend their time is a great way to capture their attention.

Interested in learning more about using video assets to boost your website traffic? Read our full post on how to increase website traffic with video marketing.

Tell your small business story with video

Video isn’t just a marketing tool—it’s also a storytelling medium. It’s important to keep your brand’s narrative or perspective top of mind when starting to craft a video.

Clearly defining your audience is a great way to keep your video focused. Think about the qualities of your target customer, from their age and gender to their hobbies and interests. What aspect of what you do will be the most relevant to the audience you identified? There’s no way to make a video that appeals to everyone; making something that your ideal customer will love is a much more promising strategy.

Video marketing doesn’t always need to concentrate on convincing potential customers that they need your product or service. Instead, try focusing on what makes your business special. Whether it’s how your company came to be, the inspiration behind a certain product, or the impact you’ve made in your community, every brand has a story to tell.

When planning your video, craft a compelling narrative that takes your viewers on a journey. Everything from your big-picture goals, to the length, pace, and narrative structure of your video should be tied to a larger marketing strategy.

Are you ready to take your video marketing efforts to the next level? Check out our guide to video storytelling for small businesses.

Professional videos without a production studio

You don’t need to break the bank to create beautiful video content. Start by making sure you’re working with high-quality imagery that will inspire viewers or capture their attention; that applies to both photos and video footage. Don’t stress if you don’t have professional equipment—most smartphones have sophisticated cameras that can get the job done.

Incorporate clear messaging in your video. Title cards and end cards are text-based video tools that make it easy to introduce your brand, share a snappy tagline, or highlight a website link or social media handle. You can also use text overlays throughout your video to add captions to the main action.

Audio can also shape the tone of your video. Elements like background music will help viewers understand your brand and connect with your message immediately. Narration has a similar effect, making the storytelling more personal and explaining complex topics in more depth.

Learn more about creating professional-looking videos without a production studio.

Get the most from your video asset

Once you’ve defined your audience, tighten the focus of your video content to be specific to their interests, habits, and preferences. 

Including a call to action (CTA) is absolutely critical when it comes to maximizing the value of your video. Turn your asset into an effective marketing tool by giving viewers a clear and concise instruction for the next step they should take. Something as simple as “visit our website” can inspire action.

Optimize your video asset for the channel where you’ll be sharing it. Instagram still prioritizes square-format videos and shorter videos do better on Facebook, for example. YouTube can support long videos—but that doesn’t necessarily mean the audience you’ll reach there has a longer attention span, so it’s still wise to be economical with video length. Match your video specs to the channel and you’ll see even greater results from your video. If you’re not sure what works best on a certain platform, check out a few competitor pages. That way you can get a sense of how they’re approaching video content for a similar audience.

There are plenty of free ways to share your video with the world, but if you have the budget available you can also experiment with paid ads. Use the built-in targeting capabilities of social media posts to make sure you’re reaching the right people at the right time, or create partnerships with influencers that will introduce their networks to your brand.

One of the most important ways to maximize the value of your video assets is to regularly analyze your performance. How is your video doing on each of the channels where you’ve shared it? You can use Squarespace Analytics to track and measure results and get powerful insights on how people are interacting with your content. Use this information to shift your strategy and boost your video’s impact on your business.

Interested in getting the most out of your small business video marketing efforts? Read our guide on maximizing the value of your video asset.

Prepare to shoot your first video

The more you plan ahead, the easier your shoot will be. If your smartphone is the main tool you’re using to create your video, make sure your device is ready for its big day with a full charge and updated software. Consider downloading a video creation app to streamline production. You can also brush up on tutorials about shooting pro-quality videos with your phone to master the techniques you’ll need.

Whether you’re using a smartphone or hiring a crew, create a clear financial plan that limits how much you can spend on any one aspect of the video, and also leaves a little cushion in case anything goes over budget.

Before your shoot, tease out the creative elements of your video. Find your inspiration in a mood board, nail down specific scenes with storyboards, or write out a script to help keep things running smoothly.

Look for a location that matches the style and tone you’re going for. Think about how the place you’re considering is going to help you accomplish that goal. Your streetwear brand launch might make more sense in a bustling city setting than out in nature, for example.

Your lighting should match your intended style, too. Pay attention to the natural light in the space, and plan ahead so that you’re sure to have enough light to create a video with clear contrast.

With your lighting set, turn your attention to audio. Are you capturing sound along with your video footage? Do you need a quiet space to record narration? Make sure you’ll be able to find a space free of background noise when necessary.

Gearing up to shoot your first ever video? There’s no need to stress, just follow the helpful steps in this checklist for prepping to shoot your video.

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