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At one time, the use of video in marketing was mostly limited to traditional TV spots. Today, though, there are more opportunities than ever to place video where your customers will see it — most of which are much more affordable than a TV ad buy (and some are even free). Plus, the digital revolution has made the creation of video more accessible and affordable than ever before.

Here are just a few ways savvy companies — even small companies — are using video for marketing beyond TV.

Monitors in physical locations

This is a great way to market yourself to your existing customer base – people who are already on-site to do business with you. These videos are generally short and silent, and lack flashing graphics or anything that might be irritating visually, as your staff members will be exposed to them all day.

You can use these to introduce new products or services, to build your brand, promote an event – the possibilities are endless.

Commonly-encountered examples include monitors in bank branches, endcap monitors in retail stores, a monitor playing a video at a manned or unmanned trade show booth, and so on.

Social media: Facebook

Some 500 million people watch Facebook videos every day, and the use of video on Instagram is growing. Videos on Facebook especially achieve a better organic reach than photos.

Here are some tips as to how to do this effectively:

Post your video natively on Facebook, rather than using a YouTube link. The two social media are competitors and Facebook will give YouTube posts less visibility. That doesn’t mean you can’t use the same content on both social media, however – it just means you should post your video on Facebook natively, rather than using YouTube to do so.

Facebook videos are usually viewed without sound, so use captions. Make sure you use captions to get your point across. In fact, Facebook reports that captioned video ads increase video view time by 12%.

Be as brief as you can. Get your message across in 15 seconds or less if possible.

Consider the “live” option on Facebook. If you have a big reveal or something exciting is going to happen, you can go “live,” which is exactly what it sounds like. After your broadcast concludes, the video will drop into its chronological place on your timeline.

About Facebook ads

Of course, Facebook makes it possible to buy video ads – in fact, this is one of the easiest ways to place video ads, and you can place ads with a relatively modest budget. You can cross-post your ad to Instagram, too. Here are some tips, if you decide to take the plunge.

To get started, go to “create ads” and choose “get video views.” Facebook will guide you through the ad completion process from there. Pay close attention to the format requirements for best results. You’ll be given the opportunity to place the same ad on your Instagram account, too. Does it make sense there?

Target carefully. Facebook ads can be targeted to specific demographics that include age groups, income levels, geographic locations, interests and more.

Pay attention to your statistics, and adjust your strategy accordingly. One of the best things about digital marketing of all kinds is the detailed analytics you receive, giving you a great opportunity to refine and improve future efforts.

Social media: Instagram

Instagram is a great place to reach millennials, who tend to be much less enamored of Facebook than their parents’ generation. This visual medium is best used for brand-building as opposed to a hard sell.

Instagram videos can be three to 60 seconds long. Make sure your video is compelling, especially in the first few seconds, or people won’t watch all the way through.

Use all the tools that Instagram provides. That is, make sure you have a business profile, include a bio, and a link to your website. Hashtags are vitally important to helping people find your video and connect with you – use them wisely.

Unlike Facebook, there’s no way to schedule a video post natively. Choose your posting time wisely – evenings tend to be a good bet.

Social media: YouTube

YouTube is the social medium focused exclusively on video, and has a jaw-dropping 1.57 billion active users monthly. Small businesses of all kinds can use YouTube videos for a wide variety of purposes, which can include:

Demonstrations. Does your business have an interesting process to show? Does it make sense to make a how-to video using your product? This could be anything from an innovative manufacturing technique to fashion and hair tips.

Showcases. Is your product or service visually interesting? Video is a great way to show it off.

Explanations. A brief video is a great way to explain your business model, and the benefits you offer.

Brand awareness. This type of video is more about entertaining the viewer than a hard sell, helping build awareness for your brand.

Promotion. Similar to a traditional TV ads, this type of video is salesy in nature and may be about a specific promotional offer or about your product generally.

Product or customer support. Videos are well positioned to show your customer how to use all the features of your product.

YouTube videos are easily embedded on your website, making it easy for your customers to find and use them. Your website developer can easily do this for you.

Video advertising on Google/YouTube

The Google Display Network is a collection of millions of websites and apps on which Google places ads – some of which can accept video ads – as well as YouTube. Among the formats available are pre-roll ads that are placed in video search results, meaning those ads you have to watch before accessing other content on YouTube– or they can appear beside playing videos.

In addition, there are video ad networks that function similarly, in that they sell advertising on a conglomeration of websites and/or apps, targeted to meet the goals of your campaign.

Need video?

If you think video might benefit your company’s marketing efforts, get in touch with Innovative Tomato today!