How Video Marketing Can Improve Your Business

Video Marketing
Duncan Lambden

It won't take a long time for you to come across a marketing video on the internet. In fact, online video marketing is one of the biggest methods used by businesses to acquire new customers, so it makes sense that the internet is packed with all sorts of video marketing content.

Business presence experienced a massive shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As physical business all but halted worldwide, businesses needed to ensure that their online presence was up to scratch. This online necessity applied to all aspects of a business, from customer service to sales, and indeed to the marketing of a business.

We won't pretend that the pandemic is the only reason that video marketing is as big as it is. Obviously the internet has only grown as time has gone on, and this shift was inevitable. Still, it's hard to argue that the pandemic didn't accelerate this change. While the pandemic is somewhat in the past, its effects are here for the long run, and video marketing will be a staple marketing approach for many businesses.

The History of Video Marketing

Video marketing has been around for decades. While the term “video marketing” might bring to mind YouTube ads, the concept is almost a century old. After all, what is traditional television advertising if not the earliest form of video marketing? The first commercial aired during a baseball game in 1941 – it was a short ad for a watch company.

Of course, while the craft of commercials grew and evolved over the coming 60 years, the format was largely unchanged. Video commercials being streamed to televisions across the country was the only form of video marketing for a long time.

Enter the internet era. Let's skip over the first decade or so of the internet, where businesses and individuals alike were finding their footing in understanding how it worked, and jump to 2005, when YouTube was founded. YouTube itself took some time to entrench itself into the internet, but the first YouTube video to break 1,000,000 views was a Nike advertisement, posted in November of 2005. In a devastating blow to internet documentarians, the original video has since been removed, but a copy remains.

This video is an appropriate harbinger of the impact and power of video marketing, and was the first of many marketing videos that prompted Google to buy YouTube. While YouTube was the main channel for video marketing for a while, other social media platforms started to understand the potential of video, and launched their own video systems.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and a relative newcomer, TikTok, all took various approaches to video integration, and while these were mostly for customer use at the time of their inception, businesses were soon able to use these platforms to market and promote themselves however they pleased.

Key Video Marketing Stats

Before we get into the specifics, let's look at some broad video marketing statistics that can apply to most of your video marketing needs:

  • 84% of people say they've been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand's video
  • TV is falling – YouTube reaches more 18 to 49 year olds than all of cable television combined
  • 89% of marketers claim that video marketing offers them a good return on investment
  • 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool
  • Of the above 86%, 92% claim that video is a crucial part of their strategy
  • Measuring ROI can be tricky because 44% of businesses aren't sure on the best way to gauge the impact of their videos
  • Google themselves say that video is an indispensable avenue for marketing

Video Marketing on YouTube

YouTube is synonymous with online videos. It was the first major video hosting website and, unlike other internet giants, like Yahoo! or Facebook, it has yet to really drop off in terms of popularity. It still leads the way when it comes to video hosting, and hasn't really faced a serious competitor to this day.

This makes it a no-brainer when considering where to post your content. There are two main options here:

  • Post the content of your business as standard videos
  • Pay for ads on YouTube

The first option means that you'll take a lot longer to gain momentum with your content, especially if your YouTube channel is entirely new. However, it will mean that those who find your content are genuinely interested in it, and will allow you to make more longform videos, like explanations of your product or business. This also means that these videos can be easily posted somewhere else, like your own website.

The second option, paying for ads on YouTube, means that you'll get a lot more eyes on your content, but there are some downsides to this. Firstly, this obviously costs money, which can eat into your marketing budget. Secondly, the audience for these ads will be a lot less willing to watch, which may cause them to skip through your ad as soon as possible, or play it in another tab while they look at something else.

Either way, YouTube is a good way of getting a large audience for your video content and, unlike Instagram reels or TikToks, it's very conducive to more longform content.

YouTube Video Statistics

YouTube Video Testimonials

“We first focused on finding out the topics that our target audience is looking for. For this, we used some YouTube keyword research tools, which helped us to gain some topic ideas. After we had focused on video marketing, we definitely got more leads than we used to do. Our primary target platforms were YouTube and Facebook. On YouTube, we posted a bunch of product tutorials and plugged our service in-between, and it helped us to gain some leads.”

– Sudhir Khatwani, Founder and CMO of The Money Mongers

“Since the pandemic lockdowns, we have fully embraced the video medium as we noticed, a couple of years ago,  this was suddenly a huge lead and sales generator for us. For example, we have been creating and pushing instructional and testimonial video uploads on TikTok and YouTube. Instead of merely paying for promoted Google and Facebook ads, we found that producing customer-centric videos on Youtube and TikTok, from real-life consumers of our product, was pulling in more hits to our website and subsequent sales.”

– Evan McCarthy, CEO of SportingSmiles LLC (video example below)

Video Marketing on TikTok

TikTok experienced an absolutely meteoric rise since its global launch in August 2018. In fact, TikTok has usurped Google as the most popular website, being 2021's most viewed website.

While the original impression of TikTok was largely dancing teenagers and re-enactments of scenes from movies, the platform has grown and evolved over the few years it's been around, and is now home to a wide array of video types. Seeing this growth, many businesses have taken the initiative and launched marketing campaigns through TikTok.

The general demographic for TikTok is quite young, as you might expect, so some businesses will have a fair bit more skin in the game than others. But any business that caters to younger people, whether male or female, would benefit from making a TikTok account.

The general vibe of TikTok is a bit more light-hearted and playful. Injecting a bit of comedy into a TikTok video is crucial, even if it's just an instructional tutorial on how to use your product.

And while TikTok has recently been leaning into longer video content, allowing videos of up to 10 minutes, a general rule of thumb is that the shorter the better. The attention spans of today are notoriously low so, if you're trying to catch eyes, it's a better idea to keep it snappy.

TikTok Video Statistics

TikTok Video Testimonials

“TikTok is the perfect platform if you are targeting Gen Z, and Facebook is ideal for older customers. TikTok suits small businesses like us because it's extremely cost-efficient. Short videos for this app can be made with little-to-no production expenditure. Paid promotion on TikTok is cheap as well. We have just begun our short video marketing through Facebook and TikTok, and the results have been encouraging so far. Our videos, on average, get more than 100K views, and around 12% of the viewers have ended up on our website. Shorts have become a good source of traffic on our website, and we have managed to convert a fair bit of visitors through this tool.” (sic)

– Elice Max, Co-owner of EMUCoupon

“While this may come as a surprise, TikTok has proven to be an extremely effective tool for brands. It allows you to market your products in creative ways to a vast audience. We used TikTok to make short videos about how people were able to get their resumes across top-notch companies around the world. It attracted numerous people, especially millennials, to our website, and encouraged them to use our product. TikTok also allows you to capture different audiences through differently curated content for them. I would suggest using it to build your brand and create hype among the masses.”

– Andrei Kurtuy, Co-founder of Novorésumé (video example below)

@novoresume Novoresume has some amazing resume templates! #careeradvice #resume #applicanttrackingsystem #career ♬ original sound – Intern Queen

These two testimonials make it obvious: if you're looking to target the younger demographics of millennials and Gen Z, TikTok is indispensable. The sheer size of TikTok's audience, and the concentration of the younger generations, means that any business that invests considerable time into their TikTok content should see a solid return on investment.

Video Marketing on Other Social Media (Instagram, Twitter, etc)

TikTok and YouTube are obviously sites focused entirely on video content, but that doesn't mean video marketing can't be used on other platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram. Video marketing can be applied to all of the social media platforms. Whether it's Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, or something even smaller, most platforms will have a way for you to share and show off your videos.

Instagram's relatively recent development of reels and stories has put it at the forefront of the minds of a lot of video marketers. Instagram is so massive that there's no real demographic to focus on. Whether you're marketing toward teenage gamers or middle-aged homeowners, Instagram is a great platform, especially if they're already a fan of your product or service, because they'll be able to see your stories and posts without much digging.

Twitter is a nice and simple one. While Twitter experimented with their own story-like feature, it died pretty early on. This means that video marketing is just done through standard tweets. It makes this process a lot easier for the marketer, and ensures that people will see your tweets as long as they're just scrolling down their feed. And, like always, you can pay to promote your tweets.

Many say that Snapchat has had its day, but it's still worthy of comment, if for no other reason than because of how different it is. Firstly, Snapchat deserves credit for the creation of the concept of stories. Instagram adopted this concept, and Twitter and Facebook both tried and failed. Secondly, the Snapchat Discover page allows for a lot of variation in the topics that are posted to it, which means that any business can find a niche within.

We can't cover every single social media platform, but they should all be equipped to handle video-based posts. It also pays to know which social media platform fits which niche. For example, Pinterest's main demographic is women between 25 and 34 years old, so if your business caters to them, it's a good idea to post there.

The good thing about video content is that you won't have to change the file much at all to post it on various channels. The same video can be posted on your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and everywhere else, with minimal (if any) changes.

Social Media Video Testimonials

“Since Instagram now favors reels, video marketing is now more important than ever. I try to focus my videos on exciting events or eye-catching designs. On Instagram, I have noticed that I often get more engagement through reels which, in turn, helps the company. My advice would be to post reels as regularly as possible. It doesn't have to be anything too fancy! There are many simple video editing programs, too. It might seem difficult, but it gets easier the more you do it.”

– Breanna “Yele” Petersen, Founder of Yelestitches

“Ever since we started Pixelied, our video marketing efforts have always showcased what our software can do for all types of users. In almost all our videos, we emphasize how even non-technically minded people can start creating designs like pros using our software. This has the effect of broadening our audience because we’re essentially removing barriers to entry in the design space.” (sic)

– Dawood Khan, CEO and Co-founder of Pixelied (Facebook video below)

“A couple things that make Pinterest stand head and shoulders above many other social media platforms used for content marketing is that it does not follow a newsfeed format so strictly, which allows for users to share their content and split test different imagery, graphics, and copy for the same content without being irritating to followers for being repetitive. It also enables evergreen content to be shared and even go viral long after it was first posted!”

– Laura Rike, Pinterest Coach

As discussed, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter all deserve a mention when it comes to viable platforms for your video marketing. And the beautiful thing about video marketing is that you can reuse these videos on all of the platforms you want to; you won't have to remake a video every time you want to post it.

How Has Video Marketing Helped Real-Life Businesses?

Throughout this article we've seen multiple quotes from small business owners who use videos for their own marketing. Here are a few more examples of people who have had their businesses improved through use of video marketing.

“We do have some advice for small to medium-sized businesses looking to start their own video marketing campaigns. First and foremost, it's important to have a clear and concise message that you want to communicate to your target audience. Once you have that nailed down, you can start to develop a creative and engaging video that will capture their attention and deliver your message in an impactful way.

“It's also important to consider what platforms you want to distribute your video on. YouTube is a great option for many businesses, but there are also a number of other social media and online video platforms that can be effective. Do your research to see which platform will be most effective for reaching your target audience, and then make sure to create content that is optimized for that platform.”

– Brandon Wilkes, marketing manager of The Big Phone Store

Of course, marketing is only one step on the customer journey. The other end – customer service – still has a lot to gain from your video resource. For example, showing your customers how to use your product is a crucial part for a lot of businesses.

“Our approach with video marketing is to utilize it to promote our products and create visual guides to help our users use the app to their full advantage. Video is a great medium for step-by-step guides, and our data shows that it helps us reach and retain new users. We are also using video marketing to create short promotional videos about our app, and it's a great way to pique interest and get people to try our app. We use video a lot within our app, and we don't focus as much on YouTube/social media.”
– Ouriel Lemmel, CEO of WinIt

How to Start Video Marketing

Even if a business fully intends to start their own video marketing campaign, it can be tricky to know where to begin. Unlike a lot of ventures, where the advice would be to start small and get used to the methods, it's not a great idea to buy a cheap camera and play around with it. It would still be a solid investment, and the return on a subpar quality video wouldn't be worth it.

If a business can't afford a high-quality camera, then it's worth looking into rental services, or even companies or studios that will help shoot a video. This will keep the price low, while also resulting in a high-quality product.

However, just because the video quality needs to be relatively high, doesn't mean businesses need to master their video tone on their very first try. Just like filmmakers and poets, it can take time to fully find the perfect voice and method when marketing your business.

“However, creating video content doesn't have to be a time-consuming and extensive process. Start casual. You can create talking-head style videos educating your clients on the industry and your offerings. You can also respond to the most common questions. You can also demonstrate your product if it lends itself to it. Finally, add a little humor to your posts. We have noticed that relevant tasteful memes do wonders for organic engagement.
“Just make sure that your video has good, natural lighting and clear sound (an empty room will do). Plus, take advantage of all the free video editing apps available today. A lot of them offer Reels templates that make creating video content approachable and fast.”
– Lesya Liu, owner and CEO of Boundless Agency

In Summary

Video marketing is one of the best ways for a business to convey its message. Whether that message is something as simple as a sale, or how a specific product works, the only limit to your video marketing approach is your own creativity!

As mentioned, a business can take some time to find its footing when it comes to its video marketing, so there's no shame in playing with the format and the type of content you produce until it's perfected.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best platform for video marketing?
This will depend on what you're trying to achieve through your marketing. For example, if you're looking to target younger generations, TikTok and Snapchat are the best choices. But if you're looking for a more niche audience, Pinterest is a great choice. And, of course, YouTube is a great place to host your videos if you want to post them on your own site.
What percentage of marketing is video?
Video makes up an absolutely colossal 86% of current-day marketing methods. This has been slowly climbing over the past decade, and shows no sign of slowing down. The biggest leap was between 2017 and 2018, growing from 63% to 81%, but it has still been consistent in its growth to this day.
Are videos the most popular form of content?
Absolutely! In 2020, 96% of consumers drastically increased their consumption of video content, with 9/10 viewers saying that they were open to more videos from businesses. The versatility, quick consumption, and overall variety of marketing videos means that every consumer has something to gain from the right video method.
What is video marketing's return on investment?
Video marketing's ROI (return on investment) is very reliable, with 89% of video marketers saying that video marketing has lead to good ROI. It's hard to measure the exact ROI for something as nebulous as a marketing campaign, but most marketers claim to see good lead generation and engagement from their efforts.
Written by:
Duncan Lambden
Duncan Lambden Software Expert

Duncan (BA in English Textual Studies and Game Design) is one of Expert Market’s local Software Experts. His articles focus on ecommerce platforms and business software that allows small businesses to improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on invoice financing, project management, and customer relations.

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Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn Summers-Emler Digital Growth Editor

Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy – Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.