How to Use Video and Social Media for Small Business Brand Awareness

11/01/2017 09:08 am ET

By Claudio Sorrentino

Getting more brand awareness for your small business comes down to two factors: getting in front of your target audience and creating content they want to consume. Of course, acknowledging this is the easy part. Executing it, on the other hand, is a whole different beast.

In today’s ever-connected world of short attention spans, using exciting, engaging videos on social media is one of the best tactics to build brand awareness. At Body Details, the Miami laser hair and tattoo removal center I operate, we use video to build awareness, and we’ve seen massive success with it. Here are a few of our secrets:

On Social Media

On social media, we use quite a few different types of videos to drive views. We know our followers want to see how well laser hair removal works, but they also want to consume other content. So, we share videos featuring Miami influencers who use our services, as well as how-to videos about fitness, beauty, skincare and other topics.

While video diversity works for some businesses, like ours and Buzzfeed, other businesses may benefit more from taking a more niche approach. Take Califia Farms, for example. The brand's Instagram feed is full of videos that are almost exclusively about its product. Yet its videos are creative, engaging and leave viewers wanting more — of its coffee and their videos.

When it comes to making videos for your social media page, remember these dos and don’ts:

  • Do know your audience. Videos should be content your viewers will appreciate. For instance, it may not be a good idea to be political in your videos if your brand isn’t a political one.
  • Don’t make overly long videos. The ideal video length is under a minute, maybe a few seconds longer. If your videos are longer than that, you can bet you’ll lose your audience’s attention.
  • Do consider live videos. Live videos are an especially great tool for how-to pieces or to host a Q&A session with customers. They let you interact directly with the audience, answering questions in real time.
  • Don’t go in without a game plan. You should have a clear content schedule for three to six months so you know exactly what videos are being produced and what other content they are related to.

Why Use Video?

It’s estimated that, by 2021, over three-quarters of all mobile traffic will be viewing videos. Even now, it’d be difficult to find someone who doesn’t watch at least a few videos a week, either on their phone/tablet or computer. If your business isn’t taking advantage of this medium, you’re missing out on a large audience.

Many of our videos are informational, providing details about our equipment and other matters. Others are client testimonials. Combined, these relatively short videos keep viewers engaged and build confidence in the brand. This formula can be replicated and experimented with to find your brand's ideal balance.

A Few Tips for Optimizing Your Brand Awareness Efforts

While the strategies above will work for many different kinds of small businesses, some industries require a niche approach to video and social media marketing. Across the board, though, you can find success if you keep these ideas in mind:

Video Marketing

Don’t let the cost of expensive equipment hold you back from creating videos. You can create effective videos with a good smartphone camera or a cheaper handheld. When you’re planning video content, be sure your list has a combination of these types:

  1. Explainer videos: These should break down your products/services in simplified terms so viewers know exactly what you offer and why they should choose you over your competitor.
  2. Tutorial videos: As the name suggests, these should explain how to optimally use your product or services.
  3. About us videos: These videos can include a tour of your offices, introductions to employees and executives, and even testimonials. Viewers should know your brand better after watching.
  4. Demo videos: Similar to tutorial and explainer videos, demo videos should show your product in action. Think of it as a toned-down infomercial: You want viewers to see exactly how the product works.
  5. Social videos: These are generally short videos that touch on the latest news, sometimes controversial topics or other ideas that are sure to bring in viewers and build awareness of your brand.

Social Media Marketing

Social media works differently for nearly every business. Worth considering, still, are these common techniques:

  1. Know where your audience is. Some businesses are ideal for Twitter and Instagram marketing, while others will see their greatest audience on Facebook. Focus on where your audience is.
  2. Stay in your niche. For my company, general information and wellness tips for South Floridians is our niche. Yours may be broader or narrower. Figure out what your niche is and stick to it.
  3. Create meaningful posts. If all you do is promote your business via social media, you’ll quickly lose followers. If your followers are entertained or find you useful, though, they’ll probably stick around.
  4. Avoid too much text. Social media is not the place for long posts. As often as you can, keep your posts short. Add in visuals, whether photo or video, so your post isn’t skipped over in a news feed.
  5. Stay engaged. If your followers are interacting with your page, be sure to stay engaged with them. Reply to their comments (more than just a boring, automated reply) to make them feel appreciated.

As a small business owner, devoting time, energy and money to video and social media marketing may seem like a waste. But as we have learned, executing these marketing techniques correctly can greatly increase your follower base — and, in turn, your customer base.

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Claudio Sorrentino is the CEO of Body Details, one of the nation's fastest-growing cosmetic laser service provider recognized by Inc 5000.

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