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A critical part of my role at Meta is talking to small business owners about their victories and, more importantly, their challenges, so we can build on those learnings to better serve the SMB community. and while everyone small companies are unique, in many cases their challenges are the same, whether they are in San Francisco or Sao Paulo, just starting out or have been in business for decades.
This is especially true when it comes to marketing, with new tools and trends appearing all the time. A common refrain I hear from business owners is that instead of feeling empowered by the new digital tools at their disposal, they can feel intimidated.
In fact, 40% of small businesses They say that a “lack of experience and understanding of digital marketing” is a major marketing challenge. Additionally, through our work with small business owners, we’ve learned that time and budget constraints are key obstacles when it comes to creativity. Although entrepreneurs are inherently creative, the ingenuity of small businesses throughout the pandemic proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt, with many business owners sharing that it can be difficult to translate that creativity into their online presence.
I believe it is essential to help business owners tap into their creativity, allowing them to showcase their businesses and connect with customers online and offline. I’m here to debunk the myth that you have to be a creative professional to create amazing creativity online.
Here are three tips to help entrepreneurs tap into their creativity and effectively market their business online.
1. Make for mobile
Even though “mobile first” has been a buzzword for years, it bears repeating. So what are the keys to success when creating mobile content? I recommend following some best practices.
First, we’ve seen that vertical videos work best, allowing you to take advantage of more space on people’s phone or tablet screens. Some other notable insights: Content that features people (rather than just product shots) tends to perform better. Think about how you can incorporate humans into your content, whether you’re using employees, paid models, or clients who have given you permission to use their image. You also want to communicate clearly and succinctly. Our research has found that ads with short text overlays and subheadings of less than 300 words are optimal.
Take subscription-based hair care brand Prose. He found that applying Mobile First Best Practices to its content to be extremely beneficial. After seeing an increase in results, they went a step further and created an ad specifically for instagram reels, using what they had learned. East combined strategy and mobile-first mindset enabled them to increase unique audience reach by 52% and increase impression delivery specifically to the 18-34 demographic by 20%.
2. Add video to the mix
For Hrag Kalebjian, co-owner of Henry’s Coffee House in San Francisco, mixing video with static images in their digital campaigns paid off, increasing their return on ad spend by 139%. We’ve seen this on our platform too, with the majority of video-only or video + static image campaigns outperforming static-only campaigns in both increased conversions and top-of-mind awareness generation. .
When experimenting with video and mixed video and static content, remember that short is sweet. In general, we find that 15-second videos work best. Given this limited amount of time, don’t try to do too much: highlight your brand and focus on a singular message. If possible, end with a clear call-to-action stating what you want your audience to do next, such as visit your website, purchase a specific product or service, or contact you for more information.
Related: The ingredients of a marketing plan
3. Inform your audience
Instagram Reels already account for more than 20% of the time people spend on Instagram, so we know there’s interest in exploring a brand’s story in this format. When you’re creating this type of content, think of it as “infotainment.” You want the content you present to be useful and engaging while inspiring your audience to learn more about your brand.
For example, think about some of the most common questions you get from customers and create video content that answers your top three frequently asked questions. If you’re launching a new offer, develop a video that previews the new product or service and shows how it benefits customers. Be sure to entertain and inform for optimal results.
When global gardening app PlantIn wanted to increase test app subscriptions, they decided to run a standalone online Reels campaign, hoping to connect with their audience in a fun and dynamic way. According to Anastasia Karlova, Marketing Director at PlantIn, this format allowed them to bring the brand to life and educate people about their offerings. Ultimately, PlantIn was able to lower the cost per app install through this campaign by almost a third. If you have similar goals for your brand, an infotainment campaign on Reels can be a great way to go.
From making for mobile, educating while informing and entertaining audiences, and understanding how to add video to the mix, there are a variety of ways business owners can expand their marketing horizons and tap into their creativity. In addition to implementing these tips, I also encourage small businesses to experiment and explore their creative abilities to tap into new forms of marketing and consider working with target business partners like Adobe and Vimeo To get started. Starting this month, Meta launches a new initiative to support small businesses through free in-person trainings, events, and online resources, giving them the tools and inspiration to translate their creativity into their online branding and marketing efforts.
Finally, I want to remind all business owners: Do not doubt yourself. You are creative and your business is unique. Now, you have the tools and skills to continue showing off to the world.