20 Social Media Video Ideas for Small Businesses
Video is the best performing content type. Full stop. So that means if you want to make the most of content marketing, social media marketing, or any kind of digital marketing – you need video. But this isn’t about a lavish Game of Thrones style set or spending weeks editing and perfecting your shoot. These social media video ideas are especially suited for small businesses, so you can’t use budget or time as an excuse.
Sorry, not sorry. We’re kind of putting you on the spot, but it’s for a good cause.
Video is increasingly accessible for all businesses, from one-person side hustles to small businesses to corporate giants. Throwing money at an idea doesn’t guarantee it’ll work, either, so you’re better off experimenting ‘small’ and building up your video library from there.
Why You Should Share Videos
So why should you bother with any of these social media video ideas?
Because video works. And despite having a fantastic return-on-investment and generating 12x more social media shares than text and images combined, too many businesses still aren’t taking advantage of it. So you have an opportunity to connect with your audience, serve your customers, and simply be more effective with your content marketing. It’s hard to think up a good reason NOT to produce and share videos.
Video is a fantastic way to show the human side of your business and talk about your expertise without being preachy. It’s engaging, too. And in some niches, there’s hardly any video content, so it’s a quick ride to the top.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas for you, to open up the possibilities.
Social Media Video Ideas for Any Platform
- Unbox your own product on camera, to show customers the full experience.
- Take the camera around the office, to introduce everyone on the team.
- Do some keyword research and pick the most valuable searches on Google for your niche, that already show videos on the page. Produce your own video for the topic, on Facebook, and crosspost it to YouTube to maximise your chance of showing up for that search.
- Show how your product or service is made or done, behind the scenes. Designing logos? Show an Adobe Illustrator timelapse. Cafe? How do you make your coffee?
- The next time you ask for testimonials, ask your clients or customers to record a video. You could encourage this by setting up a competition or otherwise rewarding people who do this.
- Tease a new product or service by showing off a little bit of it, before you launch.
- For your next blog, use a tool like Wave.video to create a typography video that summarises the contents.
- The next time you go to an event, record your team in action at the booth, on stage, networking, or otherwise taking part. (Bonus points if you do it live!)
- Repurpose the ‘wasted’ time of a commute or coffee break by taking the camera with you and sharing insight related to your work. (If you’re driving, have a dash stand or have a camera person. Just for clarity. #NotLiable)
- Show off YOUR favourite products and services by talking about them. Who supplies your ingredients or materials? Where’s the best coworking spot in town? Show support for other small businesses.
- Whenever you have a presentation, you can easily turn those slides into a video with voiceover, too.
- Did someone say something nice on social media about you? Stand out by replying with a video response!
- Schedule and invite people to take part in a live Q&A session with you and/or the team. It’s a great way to connect with people, and you can reuse the replay in all sorts of ways!
- Create a simple walkthrough to show people how to use your site. E.g., how to use a coupon code at checkout, or a new tool/app feature. It’s not to say that people would find it difficult. You’re showing off how easy it is! This is especially effective when you add something new.
- Take a break from work and show what you’re up to behind the scenes personally. Let your audience see who YOU are, and what motivates you to do the work you do.
- Rent a 360-degree camera to show things in a new way. Take a tour around the office, show off an event, timelapse your day, and more!
- Talk about a trending news event, especially if it’s related to your business and ESPECIALLY if it’s related to your audience. Are you an accountant? Talk about how the latest budget will affect small businesses.
- Ask a question to your audience: get them to make a choice between a couple of options, share their recommendations, or otherwise engage with your query. This is a fantastic way to get audience input on blogs and upcoming products!
- Share your elevator pitch or make a short 1-2 minute ‘explainer’ video to show off what you actually do.
- Just make a joke or share something funny. If you’re struggling to come up with something good, there’s usually a fun trend or two you can jump in on. (Anyone remember the ice bucket challenge?)
Not sure where to start or too shy for the camera? You can find a lot of social media video resources in our video stock roundup.
Facebook Video Is King
Facebook has successfully pushed video content for a couple of years, and it shows. Video content gets better organic reach, and overall it’s said that Facebook gets between 4-8 billion daily views. (They’ve had errors in their general metrics before, so we can’t get more specific.) Either way, it’s massive.
But video on Facebook has a few peculiarities. For example, the VAST majority of video content is consumed without sound. Cue subtitles and clever typography! If you make shorter videos, in particular, you should keep this in mind. And if the sound is essential, add some text or an icon at the beginning to make that clear. If you’ve ever made a Story and looked at the sticker options, you’ve probably seen the ‘Sound On’ sticker. It’s there for a reason.
Live content is the real king on Facebook, too. People watch live video 3x longer than “non-live” content. If you’ve never gone live on Facebook, here’s how to go live on Facebook with nothing but your phone. (So no excuses!)
Twitter Video for the Masses
In 2018, video views on Twitter doubled. It’s the platform’s fastest growing advertising option and, more importantly, tweets with video see 10x as much engagement on average. Twitter videos are still limited in length, maxed at 2 minutes 20 seconds. You can go live for longer, so if you want to talk to the camera about a topic then hit that go live option.
With such a limited timeframe, Twitter is excellent for staying true to its ‘micro-blogging’ format. Take clips of your longer videos to tease the full recording, or use a quote that stands well on its own to emphasise a point.
Our guide to marketing with Twitter talks more about how you can use video, polls, moments, and unique Twitter-only chats to grow your business online. Whatever your content strategy, you’ll be able to spin social media video ideas into the mix.
LinkedIn Video Ideas
Despite being one of the oldest mainstream social media platforms, LinkedIn has been a bit late to the game with video. However, they’re catching up. After adding video ads to the platform in 2018, they’re rolling out live video capabilities, too. But for the majority of businesses, pre-recorded native video is the only option for now.
For LinkedIn, you’ll want to provide professional insights, case studies, and otherwise, show off your expertise. Videos will make your message much more engaging and human. LinkedIn is a great place to use video testimonials, too. And now is the best time to get started with video, as they continue to improve LinkedIn’s video metrics and features.
Not sure where to begin? Try cross-posting social media videos you’ve used on other channels to LinkedIn, and see how it performs next to your video-less content. You can test and tweak from there.
Video Ideas for Instagram & IGTV
Instagram has a few different ‘formats’ for video to mix things up: there’s the traditional ‘grid’ for square videos, Story clips, live streaming, and their platform, IGTV, which is increasingly important on Instagram.
As part of Instagram’s big push toward video, IGTV didn’t achieve a lot of momentum at first. If you tried IGTV before and didn’t ‘get’ anywhere, it’s worth trying again. IGTV has continually evolved and is now a huge platform for publishing authentic, ‘mindful’ media. Which is good news for your budget, too: this isn’t about huge production values. It’s about being real and showing the human side of your business. It’s about social media storytelling.
Publish a Video for 30 Days in A Row
Want to really set yourself a challenge? If you’re still trying to come up with excuses on why you can’t do a video – there’s not enough time, it’s not ‘good enough’, no one will watch it, my industry doesn’t do video, et cetera – then we challenge you to go live instead. For 30 days. Or if that seems too much, go for seven. Do one solid week of daily lives.
In May, our 30 Days of Live streaming challenge covered a lot of topics:
- Simply saying hi and explaining the challenge (Day 1)
- Persuasive writing techniques (Day 2)
- Why a bad plan (or basic one) is better than nothing (Day 3)
- Quick digital security tips inspired by #WorldPasswordDay (Day 4)
- How to quick-start your content marketing (Day 5)
And so on, for 30 days. (31 in the end, actually.) You can watch the full playlist here to get the full breakdown of quick chats, behind-the-scenes peeks, presentations, and more. The videos were between a couple of minutes and a half hour long. Some were planned, some weren’t. One was even from a canoe.
Point is: use what you have, and what you know, to just get something done and stop overthinking it! After, you can check out the results and pivot from there.
Social Media Video Ideas for Ads
One reason you might be looking at video ideas in the first place is to create video advertisements. There are a few ways to go about this: video ads can show at the start of a normal video, they can interrupt a video someone is watching, or you can post them on a channel (such as Facebook) and sponsor them.
If you are going to interrupt someone’s viewing experience, make it short but sweet. We recommend getting comfortable with video production BEFORE you experiment with interruptive ads. You want to make them useful and entertaining, and not just interruptive. Otherwise, people are going to hit skip the second they can.
A better approach, to begin with, is to sponsor or boost your ‘normal’ video content. You’ll see a lot of this on Facebook. When you start watching a video, it’ll autoplay to the next video. Some of these videos will have the little ‘sponsored’ notice. That means the business has paid to increase the reach of the video.
Even then, make it useful. Make it worthwhile. Make it a video people would want to watch, even if you weren’t paying for the advertisement.
Video for Video Platforms
Yes, videos make for great social media content. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same videos you use on social, elsewhere on the web. Or vice versa. For instance, your YouTube channel could be where you collate all your video content in one place. (Live replays, ads, and otherwise.) But you could also publish your full videos on one platform – such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitch – and simply clip highlights or previews for your social media channels. Whatever channel you choose, make sure to make the most of your network to get free YouTube subscribers – or followers on any of your chosen platforms.
We’ve talked about repurposing content before. Video, in particular, has massive repurposing potential. So make the most of these social media video ideas.
You’ll be reaping the benefits in no time. But only if you hit publish.