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  • Writer's pictureRachel Hendry

5 Tips for Making an Effective Video to Promote Your Small Business

If you're thinking about creating an engaging and effective video to promote your small business, this post is for you...

Women filming a promotional video for small business

In my last post, I spoke about 5 different types of promotional video that can help your small business to stand out, spread the word about what you do and connect with your prospective customers or clients…

But how do you actually create a video that catches the attention of your customers or clients, keeps them engaged, and moves them to act on what they’ve seen and heard?

Of course, throwing together any old video isn’t likely to result in it being engaging, compelling, or conveying the message that you wish to get across in a way that best represents your brand...

So, in this blog post, we'll look at 5 tips for making an effective video for your small business that does all of the above.

1. Identify the Purpose of Your Video

Obviously, different videos are created with different objectives in mind.

For example:

  • Do you want to create a video for the homepage of your website that compellingly tells your business story and helps website visitors get to know you?

  • Do you want to create a video to showcase a specific product or service you offer?

  • Or do you want to create a short film for social media to help connect with your followers and spread the word about what you do?

Having a clear purpose and outcome before you think about scripting your video, creating a storyboard and planning all the visual and audible elements to help tell the story is wise in order to guide the production of your video and ensure that the message you will be conveying is succinct and compelling.

Perhaps slightly off topic, but it’s worth keeping in mind that your video doesn’t need to be engaging and compelling for everyone (unless your ideal customer or client is everyone and anyone). Just make sure that your video is designed to float the boat of your ‘ideal fit’ customers or clients.

When we work with clients to create a promotional video for their business, we always start by asking what the purpose of the video is, who it’s for, and what platforms the video will be distributed on so that we have an idea of how to approach the project.

2. Create a Hook at the Start of Your Video

On social media, it’s estimated that you have around 3-5 seconds (maximum) to grab the attention of someone scrolling through their newsfeed before they’ve scrolled past your video and gone.

On your website, viewers are perhaps slightly less distracted, however, unless your video gets their attention quickly, they won’t see the point in wasting their time sticking around and watching it.

This means that the beginning of your video needs to convince your viewer that your video will benefit them in some way (entertaining them, educating them, making them laugh, solving their problem, helping them get what they want, etc).

A gripping intro to your video ‘hooks’ your viewers to stick around and want to watch more and it’s absolutely essential to the success of your video.

For examples of how we use ‘hooks’ in our films and videos, have a look at the videos on our video production portfolio page.

3. Tell a Compelling Story

Now that you’ve hooked your viewer’s attention by creating an engaging introduction to your video, keep them interested by progressing the story of your video.

Too much labouring of a point or dull, slow or repetitive content doesn’t drive the story forwards and a viewer is likely to quickly lose interest and click off your video.

An engaging video will take the viewer on a journey from beginning to end and help them to stay engaged without them having to make any effort.

It’s not always about video length either - an engaging 3-minute video can feel like the time has flown by and leave you wanting more.

Equally, a dull 1-minute video can seem to drag on forever, leaving you tempted to jump ship and close the video before you nod off or waste another precious moment of your time!

4. Elicit Emotion

The goal with a social media video (or any video at all!) is to ignite emotion in the people watching it because emotion is what causes people to engage with, act upon and share what they’ve seen and heard.

People tend to share emotions, not facts.

So, if you want to create a video that gets engagement and shares on social media (or that is effective at all in general), better make it funny, inspiring, surprising, or otherwise moving.

Think back to the types of things you've shared on social media... what was it that caused you to share them?

Chances are it's because they made you laugh, cry, feel anger, pride, inspired, or elicited some other strong emotion in you.

As shame and vulnerability researcher Dr. Brené Brown says, human beings are social creatures who are “wired for connection”.

This explains why people love to share content that moves them with other people they think will also appreciate it and be moved by the content.

We also share content because it helps us to tell others (non-verbally) what we’re about as a person or the type of person we aspire to be.

So, basically social media sharing happens because the content (video in this case) moves us, it helps us to define ourselves, it helps others, and it helps to connects us with others, giving us a sense of belonging.

Okay, to save getting even deeper and more complex on this, the bottom line is...

Make your audience FEEL something with your video. People want to be associated with particular businesses and brands because they make them FEEL a certain way that is desirable to them. And people share content that makes them FEEL something in particular and that they think others will make others FEEL something too. :)

5. Have a clear call to action

At the end of your video, don't just say "bye" or sign off abruptly - tell your viewer what to do next.

Might sound bossy, but if there is no clear signal to your viewer what they should do at the end of a video, they will likely just click off your video after watching and get on with their day without taking further action to find out more about you and your products or services.

Make it easy for viewers of your video - if they’ve watched all the way to the end of your video, that means that they were probably engaged by your content and may be interested in your products or services.

Help them to take the next step by including your logo and website address so they know where to go to find out more about you or by inviting them to sign up for the offer you were describing in your video and providing them with a web-link to do it easily.


If you’re thinking about creating a promotional video for your business, I hope this has been helpful to you. Of course, there are many more considerations that go into creating an effective video for your business, but these key elements I’ve outlined here will certainly help you to get your video on the right tracks.

If you’re struggling to script or capture what you want to create in a video or would love to have something more professional looking that compellingly captures the spirit and story behind your business, get in touch with us and we can chat about what you have in mind and how we might be able to help you.

*Please note that if you’re located elsewhere in the world, we are a Scottish video production service who work exclusively with entrepreneurs and small businesses in Scotland at the present time.


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