Video is one of the best tools to leverage right now to accelerate your business growth.

Cisco expects video content to account for around 80 percent of the internet traffic by 2020. Clearly, video is not a fad. If you haven’t started to get serious about it yet, the time to take action is right now.

Here are seven practical ways to integrate video into your business growth plan.

1. Video testimonials

Testimonials are widely used as a tool to drive trust, via sharing positive experiences of happy customers.

When you combine testimonials with the engagement driving power of video, the results are even more impressive. This is because video enables a stronger connection with the viewer.

The key is to make sure you have effective ways to capture testimonials in place. The most straightforward method is to ask customers to shoot a short video with their phone and share their experience with your product or service. Don’t worry about professional editing—rough videos come across as more genuine and work just fine.

If you want to take this up a notch, you can check out how Wistia recommends using the principles of storytelling to create powerful video testimonials.

2. Explainer videos

Explainer videos are 60 to 90 seconds videos designed to introduce your product or service to potential customers. This is a great tool to hook your prospects and persuade them to dig deeper into you have to offer.

To develop an effective explainer video, you need to keep it simple and focused on benefits, not features. The folks at Kissmetrics recommend the following structure:

  • Problem: agitate the pain point of your prospect;
  • Solution: introduce your product as a solution to the pain point;
  • How it works: describe concisely how it works;
  • Call to action: end with a strong and clear call to action on what to do next.

Here are 20 examples of good explainer videos to help inspire you.

3. Webinars

Webinars are free or paid scheduled video workshops held over the internet. They can be live, recorded, or a hybrid of the two.

In most markets, there is an opportunity to teach your prospects something that relates to your product or service. As the top marketer Frank Kern says, the best way to convince people that you can help them is by actually helping them. This is exactly what you do via webinars.

Moreover, live webinars allow you to interact with your audience, which drives the engagement and depth of connection through the roof.

Then, at the end of the webinar, you can promote your product in a nonsales-y way, integrating it naturally into the conversation.

Another way startups use webinars is to teach people how to use their product or service and potentially upgrade them to superior tiers if this serves their needs.

Here are 15 lessons on how to create compelling webinars, from some of the world’s top webinar experts.

4. YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. Although there are a ton of new videos uploaded to YouTube daily, it’s still much lower competition than Google.

This means that for a startup that is hungry for exposure, YouTube is a golden opportunity. YouTube can give you exposure to huge internal traffic, and as a bonus, YouTube videos also rank well in Google, so you get the double benefit if you’ve done your keyword research right.

For a glimpse of what’s possible, you can check out how hair extension brand Luxy Hair built a seven-figure ecommerce business with YouTube marketing.

So, how can you take advantage of this opportunity? Two options: grow your own YouTube channel or use paid YouTube ads.

You can do a quick check to see what competing brands are doing on YouTube. Are there big channels? How many views do their videos get? Is there a high level of interaction?

If you decide to start building your channel, focus on informational videos, how-to style content, video series, or vlog content.

5. Social video

Social video can be a great source of leads and clients.

Most social platforms are fine-tuning their systems to give a boost to native videos. This means that you get the best visibility if you upload the video directly into their platform, instead of just sharing a YouTube link.

Facebook is certainly a platform that found an effective formula to leverage video content. Both organic and paid video ads can work extremely well for small business owners. But don’t just think Facebook: there’s Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and so on. Pick one or two social media channels where your target market is represented the most and build a strong presence there.

In all cases, one element to keep in mind is that you need to make sure your video content is optimized for mobile.

6. Live streaming video

The trend toward live streaming video started to pick up steam with Periscope, and Facebook took it to a new level.

By its nature, live streaming video allows you to instantly build trust. It’s great for driving engagement and for showcasing expertise.

This is one of the tools that enables small businesses to differentiate themselves from the big guys. When you have a smaller prospect and customer base than big companies, you have the ability to leverage more personalized attention and engagement.

Build a community, stay in touch, cater to their needs, and always add value. Business growth will follow.

7. Content marketing

Content marketing is an amazing tool to build your brand and grow your business. You can either do it on a budget or scale it massively if you have resources to invest.

Fire up tools such as BuzzSumo to find out what type of content works best in your market. Then, start creating video content on those topics. If you want to take it up a notch, develop a content strategy and plan that is differentiated by each funnel stage in your buyer’s journey: top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. Video is suitable for all of these stages.

You can also check out my content marketing strategy guide if you’d like to learn more.

Video is a powerful tool that you can leverage to drive growth in your business. Assess your overall marketing strategy, and see where using video can bring the highest value.

For example, if you aim to generate more leads, you could fine-tune your content marketing approach and start using more social video. You could also jump on YouTube and start building an authoritative channel in your market.

Do you need to turn more leads into customers? Then you can use video to drive up your conversion rate; if you’re not using webinars yet, consider adding them into your marketing mix. Then, can you develop a more clear explainer video, gather more video testimonials, and engage your audience via live streaming.

Video is on the rise, and the trend will only continue in this direction. The sooner you start taking advantage of it, the better.

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