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You watch videos online. It might be old episodes of The Golden Girls on YouTube (Thank you for being a friend, Rose) or it might be the latest TikTok dance (I would reference the current one here, but it will be old news by the time the article prints), but you watch videos online. Many of the videos are professionals and small business owners, promoting their products and services. From carpet cleaners to salon owners to therapists, videos are opening doors for small business owners.

There is one common element among the businesses successfully leveraging brand videos online. They’re not making commercials, they’re sharing information.

You’re never going to get a marketing or advertising person to dis commercials. We love them. We seek out and watch commercials online, especially the day after the Super Bowl. So what’s the difference?  

Defining Video Content

A commercial is trying to get a consumer or a client to do something. Come on down to the latest sale. Click here. Follow us on Facebook. Buy now. Commercials use what the fancy marketing people refer to as Calls to Action and commercials get seen via paid media. So if you make a commercial, you need to pay to get it out into the world in a big way, either through social or traditional media.

Brand videos don’t ask for anything in return. The video is there for entertainment or education. And in that entertainment is a glimpse into the business. It could be an anecdotal ‘skit’ where a funny customer interaction is (badly) dramatized. It could be a retail shop ‘unboxing’ their latest and greatest shipment. Or it could be a doctor, showing x-rays of people during ER visits. Brand videos don’t call us to action. Brand videos get seen because they’re entertaining. They don’t ask for our engagement. They earn our engagement by earning our interest. If you consistently put entertaining or informative brand videos into the world, you will build an audience. Then every new video will have a larger audience than the last, without paying for the audience directly.

In essence – for a commercial campaign to be successful, you need cash. For a brand video campaign to be successful, you need time.

For some businesses, cash is their preferred resource. But for others, especially right now, time is more available. The mistake comes when you make a commercial and expect it to grow an audience with time.

Categories of Successful Videos

Successful brand videos typically fall within a few categories.

How-To. Making lasagna, decorating a cake, changing a tire, defeating the boss, or creating the perfect smoky eye are all How-To videos.

Insider Tricks. Hacks, tips, and did-you-know are all Insider Tricks. (Hint: This is how I learned the gas gauge on my car shows me which side the gas tank is on. Who knew?!?)

Behind the Scenes. Unboxing videos, craft and video game streaming, how something is made.

Skits or Anecdotes. Ridiculous things happen at work just about every day. Simple dramatizations of employee or customer interactions.

Repetitive tasks. Carpet cleaning. Pimple popping. Silicon color mixing. Paint color mixing. Very relaxing to watch.

Thoughtful Education. Researched discussions of complex topics or ideas–typically from those in professional or personal services. Think after school specials, but without the patronizing tone.

Commercials AND brand videos can be successful additions to your marketing plan. They are more accessible than you might think and it’s easy to get comfortable in front of the camera after a bit of practice. So start recording those conversations you used to have in front of the mirror. Play around with the filters and editing tools on your phone. You never know what your customers or clients might LOVE about you or your business or where that campaign could take you.

Looking to get into video work? We’d love to help. Contact BadCat today to get started.