Is Video the Future of Small Business Marketing?

A unicorn sits on a toilet and poops out rainbow ice cream while a Shakespearian man makes too many innuendos to count. That might not seem like the best way to market your company, but it’s actually the premise of one of last year’s most successful branded videos.

With almost 100 million views combined on Facebook and YouTube, “This Unicorn Changed the Way I Poop” helped put Squatty Potty—which makes a toilet stool to help you take care of business—on the map. It also boosted the company’s sales by over 600 percent, proving how much small businesses can profit from video marketing.

Squatty Potty isn’t alone among small business in tapping the potential of online video. According to a new report from Magisto, which offers video editing software, 85 percent of small businesses are currently using video or intend to use video in the near future, and two-thirds of small businesses create marketing videos at least four times a year. This matches up with a 2015 report from BIA/Kelsey, a media advisory firm, which noted that digital video is the ad industry’s fastest growing medium. By 2018, the report predicts that small business video budgets will surpass those of their enterprise counterparts.

It’s important to note that both of Magisto and BIA/Kelsey have skin in the digital video game. Both stand to gain from increased interest in small business videos. But Magisto went deeper than just typical growth data.

The report also found that small business marketers are 64 percent more likely to post videos on Facebook than YouTube. This shouldn’t be too surprising given that Facebook video has exploded in just the past year, and there are now more than 50 million small businesses on the social network. In general, Facebook is much more small business-friendly than YouTube thanks to the fleshed out Pages feature. Changes to the News Feed algorithm and flashy new features like Facebook Live have also made it easier than ever to rack up video views on the social network—which are coming in at more than 8 billion a day.

This March, Facebook launched a new video feature specifically aimed at small businesses. With Your Business Story, marketers were invited to create a brief video montage that tells their company’s story and showcases their products.

While the tool was only available for a short period of time, small businesses continue to find their own ways to make innovative video. For instance, August Oak Woodworks cleverly parodied BuzzFeed-style recipe videos with its own tutorial for “cooking” a box, which has over 17 million views.

Despite all this love for Facebook, other major video platforms like YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, and Facebook’s Instagram are also viable options for small businesses looking to invest in digital video marketing.

Last year, The Content Strategist interviewed the team behind Bullfrog Spas’ branded YouTube series, “The Principal,” about how they took their shoestring budget and ended up a finalist for Best Content Marketing Video Series at the 2015 Content Marketing Awards. And small business drunkMall recently targeted millennials on Snapchat with videos to promote its new sunglasses. As a result of the campaign, direct traffic from Snapchat to the company’s site jumped by five percent in just a couple days.

As the Magisto survey suggests, the key marketing goals of small businesses haven’t changed much in the past few years: They still want to generate brand awareness and build customer loyalty. But as they continue to shift away from traditional media like TV and print ads, small business brands like Squatty Potty are demonstrating that digital video—or at least, digital video done right—may be a more viable option than ever.

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