Cheap And Simple Ways For Small Businesses To Do Video

Video’s a really effective way to market. No, really – people spent twice as much time on sites with video, video attracts almost triple the monthly visitors, and that’s just the start.

And with video apps like Vine and the new addition of video to Instagram, you don’t even need cameras, equipment or a budget to start recording video for your business.

Here’s a run-down of all the ways you can do video on a tight budget – and their pros and cons so you can decide what’s best for you.

Quick, Creative Video Shoots

You can create some awesome, impactful video with just a smartphone and 6 to 15 seconds. Two video apps make it super simple to get your message across and make your business memorable. And they’re easy to share since they’re owned by Twitter and Facebook respectively.


Vine is Twitter’s video sharing app – and is the most creatively restrictive.

Vine limits you to capturing 6 seconds of video, which means you’ll need to plan your message carefully. But 6 seconds is plenty of time to make a memorable impact, demonstrated by the brands below.

Toyota experiments with 6-second stop-motion:

And a local newspaper shares a wild moment from a concert in town:

Video for Instagram

Instagram came to fame as a smartphone photo sharing app to take and edit photos on the fly. In June, Instagram announced new video features.

Instagram lets you record up to 15 seconds of video, with the ability to go back and delete clips to re-take them if you don’t like how they turned out.

Another win for Instagram video? Cinema mode, which features video stabilization – no more shaky camera while you’re filming with a phone in your hand.

Brands are already experimenting with Instagram’s video feature:

Like Lululemon, who found a fun way to show off their yoga gear:

Or Burberry, who took their followers backstage with sights and sounds from their fashion show:

Other Video Solutions

Vine and Instagram share the benefit of quick, easy video that’s super shareable – no fancy equipment required. But what if you need more than 15 seconds to tell you story?

YouTube and Vimeo are two free sites that can host your video and help share it with a wider audience.


YouTube is the most popular video sharing site by far, with over 1 billion monthly users and 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.

Best for: Video blogs, product demonstrations, or any video you want a chance to go viral.


Vimeo is a much smaller community of filmmakers and video producers. The site sees 14 million monthly users and 16,000 videos uploaded each day. On the plus side, it means your video has a better chance of getting found and seen.

But Vimeo is more focused on creative, artistic videos – the site was founded by a group of filmmakers who wanted to give other artists a creative online outlet. A lot depends on your video’s quality.

Best for: Creative, cinematic video. In a business’s case, this likely means creative video ads that will spark an interest in others to check out your service. The more creative you can get, the better.

The drawback to these solutions? They’re not quite as simple as point-and-shoot-with-a-smartphone. You’ll at least need to invest in a camera to get the quality results you’re looking for (and that people will want to watch).

What’s the best video solution for your business? Quick and quirky Vine or Instagram creations? Or more traditional online video formats? Share your video tips in the comments!


  1. Steve Lubetkin

    7/10/2013 9:42 am

    Social tools like Instagram and Vine are great for sharing short, to-the-point, in-the-moment videos, but there is nothing more compelling for telling your story in sound and images than professionally produced, news or documentary style video published to your website using the proper web content management system, and feeding promotional mention of your video content to the social networks. You can’t tell your story in just six seconds of video. You need to produce something that properly reflects your brand and your reputation. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can do this with shortcuts, cheap tools, and unpaid interns.

  2. Chris Knight

    7/11/2013 2:40 pm

    Another way to market with video is webinars. You can present a live tutorial or product presentation, record it, and post it for replay in various places your audience can find it (your blog, Facebook, YouTube, etc.). When you provide value in these videos it can increase your credibility and increase loyalty or interest.

  3. Wade Castellaw

    7/11/2013 2:44 pm

    Thank you for the helpful article, Rebekah! Video marketing, when done correctly, is soo powerful.

  4. Steven Hennigan

    7/11/2013 5:58 pm

    Great post! I never knew there were so many different ways to bring video marketing to life. Using your phone to spearhead campaigns seem like the wave if the future and this is a great way to encourage others to contribute through video more often.

    Thanks again for the great post and ill be watching for more!

  5. Randall Magwood

    7/12/2013 11:52 pm

    I use Youtube everyday and i can attest that video marketing is very effective. I use Vimeo for my blog and tutorials for my subscribers, and I think that offline small business owners can use it effectively too. I suggest adding videos to Google Places to give people a virtual tour around your business.

  6. Alex

    7/15/2013 3:03 am

    Video quality is not cheap, although you can shoot yourself
    But the most important thing is to think of a scenario, and this can happen problem

  7. Chris Herath

    8/9/2013 8:39 am

    Video also will stand out in the search results as opposed to just text.

  8. Subroto

    2/17/2014 6:35 am

    Thank you for the helpful article, Rebekah! Video marketing, when done correctly, is soo powerful.