Brands have long since realized that video is a vital medium to advertise in. While production comes pretty easily for businesses with big-name budgets, it’s the little guys who often struggle with cost. Many small to medium-size businesses are hesitant to run video ads as they don’t have in-house resources to produce content. YouTube’s taken note, and they’ve launched a set of new video production tools designed specifically to help small businesses say “lights, camera, action.”
The Previous Cuts
Up to this point, SMBs have been offered two options in terms of video content creation. YouTube has provided a list of certified production partners to connect SMBs with recommended content creators. However, to meet the needs of smaller businesses, companies like Wideo and Flixpress have grown to offer hands-on tools for lower budgets, and have gained in popularity. Now, YouTube’s taken the reigns by creating their own tools, recognizing the needs of SMBs while also competing with these production companies.
New Tools: The Highlight Reel
YouTube has introduced three key tools to streamline the process of video production. Whether it’s low-cost outsourcing or 100% DIY, they’re offering options for every budget.
YouTube Director for Business App: This app includes templates, music clips, and editing tools to help businesses create videos at no cost, and in less than 20 minutes. The mobile-based tool is made for high-quality recording on smartphones (currently only available on iOS in the US and Canada, but will soon be available on Android).
The app is designed for entry-level users – it requires no prior experience and provides step-by-step instructions for adding text, animation, or music. The assistance of an AdWords expert (to help set up the ad) is also offered.
YouTube Director Onsite: This option is offered to small businesses spending $150 or more on YouTube advertising. The SMB can collaborate with professional filmmakers who record and edit content at the local business, at no cost. Brands can be involved in every detail, from script to template selection. (It’s currently only available to select US cities, though YouTube’s announced their plans to expand soon.)
YouTube Director Automated Video: Designed specifically for businesses selling mobile applications, this option automatically compiles logos and screenshots from the App or Google Play store to make a quick video ad promoting the app. It’s available globally.
Take a look at the finished product: a short, digestible ad with ample room for customization. This ad reveals the small-business charm of the Dog Cafe while retaining recording quality.
What to Expect from the Spotlight
With less cost and time involved in producing content, SMBs can now reach the large audience pool available through YouTube and other platforms. This is great news for small businesses, as YouTube becomes one of the most important mediums for digital advertising – the channel alone currently reaches more 18- to 49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S., and almost 70% of Canadians 18+ watch YouTube at least monthly.
Now that more advertisers will be entering the space, competition will grow fiercer, which is why highly-customized, authentic content is more important than ever. The influx of new advertisers may raise advertising costs, but it’ll also mean that YouTube and other video publishers will continue releasing new ad options — and cater to both small and large businesses — as demand for this format increases. One thing’s for sure: video’s no longer a second advertising option, but a crucial part of extended marketing reach.