Effective Ways to Use Short Video Content for Your Small Business

As small businesses fight for attention in a congested digital marketplace, it’s no longer enough to be in the right place at the right time to reach your ideal customer. You want to be in as many of the right places as possible, pretty much wherever and whenever you can.

That means growing your business with video isn’t some out-of-reach pipe dream. In fact, you can create a meaningful video marketing strategy with just three types of video. Learn how to build a strong foundation and discover a wealth of video marketing ideas for your small business. 

3 types of videos every small business owner should make

Explainer videos: the one where you introduce yourself

Recent research suggests that 62% of businesses have developed their own variety of explainer video, making them a critical asset for small midsized business (SMBs) introducing their brand to the world. This type of video might be an entry point to potential customers discovering your products or services for the first time, and first impressions do matter.

There’s no better way to showcase you and your business’s true self than with video. People want to work with real people. Don’t be afraid to put yourself in your videos and let your customers know who you are and what you’re all about. The explainer video is the perfect opportunity to be yourself. Show off your personality as a small business owner or build affinity with viewers by telling your superhero origin story, the “why” that drives you.

Another question to ask yourself: How is your SMB making the world a better place? Take Wild West Diner in Montana, for example, which continues to partner with local ranchers and vendors to keep their rural community fed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.https://player.vimeo.com/video/415028631

In under a minute, we discover why Wild West Diner is beloved by their community. Their mission statement? “Kindness matters.” (We couldn’t agree more.)

Another explainer video that does more with less is Lupii. In just eight seconds, you discover a few important things about their brand: They sell plant-based protein bites made with six natural ingredients. Their brand is playful and has a distinct visual style, and they direct you to a website where you can try their bars.


Generally, explainers or product how-tos should aim to hit all the highlights in 60 seconds or less. Think carefully about the channels you’ll distribute your explainer video on, as they can be easily repurposed for multiple marketing channels (perfect for Instagram Stories or mobile Facebook ads!).

How to make an explainer video: 

  • Practice your elevator pitch. What does a complete stranger need to know about your business or product? 
  • Use free, eye-catching stock video and photography to make your videos more dynamic. (Stock footage has come a long way, baby.) 
  • Steer clear of jargon and buzzwords, even if you’re in the tech space. Short on time and budget? Go low-fi with a screencast using a tool like Vimeo Record, where you can walk through your offerings in a simple, no-frills way. 
  • Save time with an explainer video template. Voila — you’re ready to get started.

Try this Vimeo Create template

Subject matter expert (SME) videos: the one where you brag a little (okay—a lot!)

Another must-have video for business marketing? One that establishes your subject matter expertise. Whether you’re a trendy start-up, a small law firm, or an up-and-coming restaurant chain, establishing that you know what you’re talking about — and that you’re an expert in your field — is a good thing.

Subject matter expert (SME) videos are basically one huge flex, but they rely on you communicating with your community and customers in a genuine way. People want to use products and services they like and trust, and they want to learn from entrepreneurs that came before them. 

SME videos don’t have to be a company founder talking straight into the camera about their journey. You can show expertise in a variety of ways, like guides, tutorials, webinars, and classes. Authority will look different in different industries, so keep it simple with the SME video in your marketing library. 

At their best, these assets should highlight your accomplishments in a minute or less. Check out this 30-second clip from Supermaker, which highlights its founder, Jaime Schmidt (of Schmidt’s Natural deodorant fame) with a voiceover of Schmidt’s personal insights about building a business.https://player.vimeo.com/video/390863627Supermaker shows off their supermaking as SMEs.

How to make a SME video: 

  • Make a list of your accomplishments. What’s the jazziest thing that sets you apart from your competitors? Talk that up. 
  • Use b-roll and candid footage if you can, which will feel more human and organic in comparison to static imagery.
  • Branch out from traditional video formats. The SME video can be a tool for others to learn from you, like this online cooking class template, marketing course, or home workout how-to.

Try this Vimeo Create template

Testimonial videos: the one where your customers brag about you

There’s a reason why folks comb through Amazon reviews before they bite the bullet on a purchase…Consumer opinions matter. Testimonials—a staple for most SMB websites and pitch decks—are a natural extension of that principle. 

But let’s face it: the boilerplate text blurb can only do so much. With video, client testimonials become much more nuanced, turning testimonials into in-depth (and authentic!) explorations of the value your business offers.

Whether you’re B2B or B2C, showcasing problems and solutions your business solves is a deal clincher in many situations. You can go deep, creating many testimonials for one product, or you can go wide, shooting one testimonial for your myriad of offerings. No matter which approach you take, video will help your testimonials stand out.

Depending on your industry, you can leverage product reviews, share customer success stories, or add in peer-to-peer feedback about your services. This can apply to so many SMBs from creatives using testimonials to nurture leads to eCommerce brands sharing stellar reviews for their latest product drop. 

Look how Angela Caglia Skincare turns user feedback about the nourishing Soufflé Moisturizer into a simple, gorgeous video testimonial.https://player.vimeo.com/video/501012105

How to make a testimonial video: 

  • If you want to include unique footage or in-person testimonials, lean on the video-making community with groups like Vimeo for Hire
  • Mine your library of existing user-generated content (UGC) if you have it. Make sure you have permission to use that UGC. 
  • Avoid talking-head testimonials that ring of “someone told me to say this” and opt instead for letting customers explain why you’re awesome in their own words.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel! Templates will speed things along, like this agency testimonial or restaurant testimonial.

Try this Vimeo Create template

How do I create a business video?

Wondering how to make a video for your business? Try Vimeo Create. First, choose from hundreds of easy-to-use templates. Browse the image and video library, or upload your own footage. Then, pick your style and music, customize your text, fonts, length, and voila! Save and publish on the channels of your choice.

Video for business marketing tips 

Once you’ve created a few videos as the backbone of your small business marketing, you’re ready to learn tips and best practices for how to market (and distribute!) those assets across a vast content ecosystem.

Embed video onto your website.

Integrating video onto your website increases its stickiness. According to studies cited in Forbes, people spend 2.6x more time on websites with video than on those without. This is good news for SMBs looking to generate ad revenue via their websites; it’s also helpful for those simply trying to be found. Plus, greater page engagement and longer stay times improve SEO. 

The videos on your website do not have to be long-form or Oscar-worthy! Use video to highlight current sales or liven up a landing page with dynamic movement. Create seconds-long product demos, like online fashion brand Everlane, which mastered the art of building Vimeo-hosted videos into their product descriptions.https://giphy.com/embed/9KDJ5JaJVuNOTth5VP

Learn more ways to increase your ecommerce sales with video

Another way to make your videos stand out is with Vimeo’s HTML5 online video player, where you can have complete creative control over the look and feel of your video no matter where it’s hosted. Embed beautiful HD and 4k videos on your website (optimized for all devices) and enjoy a completely ad-free experience. 

Make short ads out of your longer videos.

With tools like Vimeo Create at your disposal, foundational videos can be repurposed for different audiences and platforms in mere minutes. In fact, existing small business owners using Vimeo frequently cut down their existing footage into new shorts and ads with the help of our stylized, intuitive templates.

“In addition to relying on Vimeo for reviewing and publishing videos, we’re finding Vimeo Create super useful for taking our existing assets and turning them into promo videos,” said Jaime Schmidt, founder of Supermaker.https://player.vimeo.com/video/454500236

Use video in your email marketing.

Sometimes you need a little flair to stand out as a small business. Adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%, according to Hubspot. That stat alone is a compelling reason to bake a product video into your small business’ email marketing strategy.

Vimeo’s lead generation solution enables you to build in-video contact forms to collect leads from your video, allowing you to capture far more than a mere email address. Set up a customizable form to appear at the beginning, middle, or end of your video. 

Up your insights with the help of your contact form, where you can ask viewers demographic and psychographic questions, discover customer interests, and ramp up your data collection to make your email marketing content even more relevant to your audience.

Embed videos and GIFs into your emails with our tool, which integrates with top email platforms like HubSpot, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and Keap. Plus, you can customize which six-second clip will loop as your GIF within the email. No more boring, static screenshots! All you have to do is sync your Vimeo account with your email marketing platform.

Check out more ways to convert leads with video. 

Distribute teasers on social.

Once you have your explainer or testimonial cut into seconds-long ads, they’re ready to share with the world. These videos break up a static social feed with dynamic movement. Even the head honchos at Twitter agree; data shows that Tweets with video attract 10x more engagements than those without video.

Small business video marketing doesn’t always have to have a “buy now” call to action (CTA) on social. Videos can also be an opportunity to increase brand awareness and recall without aggressively selling, such as VideosReels, Stories on Instagram, or short videos on Facebook. Best of all, this variety of video content takes minutes to create, upload, and distribute.

Say you run a life coaching practice and use Instagram to nurture leads and build community. Your video content doesn’t have to encourage the viewer to work with you right now. Content like get-ready-with-me videos, morning routine how-tos, and goal-setting guides can be passive lead nurturing tools, showcasing your relatability and expertise as a life coach without being too sales-y.

People will always want to know who you are, what you do, why you do it, and why they should choose your product or service. No matter what new trends in the video for business marketing emerge over time, keep these evergreen video formats in your marketing back pocket.

Wrapping up

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, and more.
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