Did you know that, according to recent studies, video content will make up 80% of all internet traffic from consumers by 2020? It’s just one of numerous data points that indicates the increasing relevance of video content for businesses, whether big or small, that are primarily using the internet to market to consumers.

Using video content to market small businesses began as a trend but has since become a necessity – the format has been proven to provide impressive ROI and engagement results.

If you’re an entrepreneur and haven’t created video content for your business yet, it’s not too late to get started. But if you’re already in the process of creating video content to promote your brand, product or service, read on for a quick list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to video marketing for small, local businesses.

Know the relevant copyright laws in your area.

Make sure you or the production company you hire are adept at intellectual property laws that will be applicable to your video content. As a small business, you need to make sure you own all the rights to all the elements of the video content you are creating. Some particular elements of a video whose copyright or ownership are prone to oversight include the background music or any song you might use in the video, as well as voice-overs.

The basic rule is oftentimes that the individual or team who creates the content has ownership and rights to that content, which technically means if you hire a video production company to create content for you, unless otherwise stated in a document or contract of some sort, they technically own the content.

If you are hiring a local a San Francisco video production company, make sure there is paperwork signed and processed between you and the company indicating that you as the client own all of the rights to the video content.

Always have a call to action.

Think of a video content as your online business card. When we hand over our business cards, we expect the recipients to give us a call. In the same way, you must always make sure that viewers of your video will be enticed to take action, whether it’s to subscribe to your email list, follow your social media accounts, and of course, purchase whatever it is you are selling. Always make sure you have a call to action at the end of each content.

Need inspiration? Watch your favorite YouTube vloggers and notice how they plug their channel and social media accounts and the beginning or end of each of their videos. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it – but you shouldn’t forget it either.

Work with a professional video production company.

In keeping with comparing your video content to your business card, here’s a question: you wouldn’t DIY your business card, right? In the same way, you shouldn’t attempt to DIY your company’s video content. Invest in a local San Francisco production company to work on your video, and make the most of their expertise, creative insight and technical skills. Learn from them and try to build a relationship with them in case you need to make more video content in the future.

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Use multiple video platforms.

When it comes to video content, sharing is caring for your business. So you should upload your video content on as many video platforms as you can. You might think that after you’ve finished developing video content for your brand, product or service, your job is done. In truth, it’s just begun, because then you need to make as many people as possible see the content you’ve developed. Without the proper reach, even the most amazing video content won’t give ROI.

Embed your video.

Make sure you embed your video content on your website, and any other guest posts you might have written on other sites to promote your business. The point is you should use the marketing content you’ve created as much as you can: after you finalize, maximize.

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Use social media.

As a small business, you are most likely to be present in multiple social media channels. Utilize these channels to share your video content. And don’t be afraid to post about the content on the same social media channel more than once, as long as you are able to space out your posts and don’t spam your followers.

You must also make sure to create accompanying captions that are impactful and engaging when you post about your videos. Observe your favorite social media accounts and learn from how they post about their different videos. What makes their posts engaging? What about their captions or their posts make you want to click the links they are promoting? In order to become social media savvy, you need to learn from the best of the best. Don’t be afraid to imitate and innovate from their social media strategies.

Don’t underestimate the value of the thumbnail.

You might think you’ve created the best video there is, and you’re confident it will gain traction and maybe even go viral. But however brilliant your video content is, if at first glance it does not seem interesting enough, there’s little chance that thousands upon thousands of potential customers will actually click the play button to view it. Which is why the thumbnail is extremely important – it needs to be able to capture the attention of your potential viewers and customers. It should provide a good preview of the video and give potential viewers an idea of what to expect of it.

Sometimes, the development process of video content can be long and arduous that by the end of it you just want to upload the material to get it over with. But uploading the video the right way, with the right title, caption, and thumbnail, would mean giving it the best chance of getting the most views that it can.

Don’t make your videos too long.

It’s no surprise to anyone that people today have incredibly short attention spans. With a few clicks or swipes, one can easily move from one piece of content to the next. Which is why it’s incredibly important to make sure your video content has the right length. The longer your video is, the less chance of viewers watching it till the end.

If you insist on putting as much information as you can on a lengthy video, make sure that you at least put all the pertinent and most important information in the beginning. A general guiding principle is if you can communicate your message within the first fifteen to thirty seconds, your video will definitely be more effective.

Don’t forget to monitor your video’s performance.

Make sure you have a tracking system in place once you’ve uploaded and shared your video across platforms. Learn from the metrics of this video and how well (or poorly) it performs and apply whatever you learn for your next pieces of content.

Don’t scrimp on your video production.

As mentioned earlier, think of the work that will go behind developing your video content as an investment – and usually when it comes to investments, you get what you pay for. Work with a video production company you are impressed by to get the best results.


What other video marketing do’s and don’ts have you learned? Share them in the comments.