3 Ways to Prepare for Producing Marketing Video for Small Businesses

Whether you live in Hollywood, California or Snake’s Navel, Wyoming, nearly every small business owner wants a great website. As a video producer, you have an opportunity to meet the need of producing high quality marketing videos that can be a key component to outstanding websites.

For a moment, imagine you’re not passionate about producing great video. Instead, you’re excited about owning your own business: an automotive garage. Your days are spent in wrenches, service orders, and meeting payroll. At the same time, because you want to expand your business, you’re also learning how to improve your marketing strategy. Every day you read headlines like: “Why Every Business Website Needs Video” and “Top 10 Reasons Why Your Website Needs a Video.”

Though you’re a mechanic by training and relatively self-taught about business and technology you’ve had a website for a few years. Though it was created by a professional, you admit it’s pretty plain. It gets decent visitor traffic, has some nice photos, offers a coupon for a smog check, but doesn’t really capture the “heart” of your business. For example, your garage has been a family business for over 30 years…You offer free gourmet coffee in your immaculate waiting room…Your team of mechanics are all friendly and highly certified…You work with the local high school to help mentor kids…Somehow, all that gets lost in a few 72 dpi photos on your About Us page.

OK. Now back to you as the video producer. Imagine if you were to have a conversation with the owner of that garage. Here’s three tips:

1) Talk the “Business Talk”

While your proclivity may be to discuss “Dutch tilt” and “color grading” it’s likely your potential client is concerned about “target demographic” and “market reach.” Typically, business owners understand and appreciate if there’s some mystery about a professional’s equipment and technique. So, be on the guard for using technical jargon. Instead, communicate plainly and non-condescendingly in the language of your potential client. Knowing a few facts and figures to discuss the importance of marketing videos can lend credence to your being an “expert” in the industry and will demonstrate you can match unfamiliar technologies with practical business needs. Here’s one infographic to whet your appetite: http://visual.ly/shift-tv-online-video

2) Remember What Concerns Business Owners 

Beyond high-quality and effective videos, business owners have additional concerns such as security and reliability. For hosting videos, YouTube and Vimeo are widely known. Be prepared to speak conversantly about other video platforms, video file types, storage options, legal rights, model release forms, and production deadlines. Simplifying what can be a quagmire of complexity can be a great relief to a business owner. Also, keep in mind that all your sleek expensive-looking equipment can be potentially threatening to a financially-conservative prospect…something to keep in mind when you want to show off your latest and greatest gear.

3) Define Your Value Proposition 

Video production has become so commonplace and within reach for so many, that the craft and the equipment behind excellent video can be misunderstood. You can delicately suggest to your prospective client that while his nephew could indeed create a video with his mobile phone at no cost as part of his high school project, it just might lack some of the professionalism he’s seeking. By way of contrast, you can draw attention to your preparedness for the task. You’ve invested time and money in researching and purchasing high-quality equipment, received training how to use it properly, stay current with best practices, and excel in all aspects of production. In short, you can be counted on to handle the job as a well-equipped and creative professional.

So the next time you’re out and about—doing something as routine as having your vehicle repaired—remember that there may be an opportunity waiting. You may be able to promote yourself as an expert in producing outstanding marketing videos for small business owners.

Tom Urbanowicz is Videomaker's chief operating officer.
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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