Video advertising has become an increasingly important part of online marketing in recent years. There’s no real getting around that fact. If you want to increase brand awareness, drive conversions or sell products – a good video ad strategy is hard to beat.

Unfortunately, video advertising is a lot more complicated than your typical text, display or news feed ad. You have to write scripts, know how to run a camera, record decent audio, set up lighting, edit your footage and sound effects. Creating a video ad can be a daunting task.

This is especially true if you’re running a small, local business.

For many local companies, video advertising feels hopelessly out of reach. However, that simply isn’t the case. With the right strategy, even simple, easy-to-create video content can deliver great results.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at why video advertising is such a good idea for local businesses and 4 easy video strategies you can use to get great results – even if you don’t have a ton of video experience.

The advantage of being local

When it comes to video advertising, it might seem like the big chains have a lot of advantages over your local business. However, you have one thing they don’t: a direct connection with your target market.

I mean, when was the last time you heard anyone say, “McDonald’s is just such an important part of our community?”

All of the bulk discounts, supply chain efficiency and capital that makes big chains so powerful tends to disconnect them from their customers. People don’t love Walmart as a business. They might like Walmart’s prices or the wide range of products that they carry, but they don’t feel personally connected to Walmart. If another store with better prices or more products comes around, they’ll go to that store instead.

But people develop an affection for local businesses. They’re run by people from their community who feel real and relatable. When people feel that connection to a business, they want that business to succeed…and show their support with their money.

For example, there’s a hole-in-the-wall burger and shake shop in my home town called Glade’s that has been around for decades. Their food isn’t bad, but it certainly isn’t any better or cheaper than a lot of the newer chains that have set up shop lately. 

video has the power to make people feel connected to your business. You can show people or places that your audience is familiar with, reference local events or figures – and make your business feel more like home than a chain ever could.

Why local businesses should use video

As we just discussed, video is intimidating for a lot of local businesses. It costs more and takes a much broader skill set than most other types of online marketing.

But, there’s a bright side to this.

Anytime that something is hard to do, there’s a business opportunity to be found. In this case, the fact that video is hard means that most local businesses aren’t doing it. That leaves the field wide open for any companies that learn how to make video work.

So, if you take the time to figure out a workable video ad strategy, you’ll often be way ahead of the competition. Even if the competition is already doing video ads, if you can get in on the game (or figure out how to do them more effectively), you’ll be able to stay relevant and maintain your competitive edge.

The good news is, while video advertising might seem intimidating, there are actually a ton of resources available to help you make video content. There are thousands of YouTube tutorials, blog posts and courses that will teach you the skills you need to make a basic video using the cell phone in your pocket. Or, if that seems like more effort than you have time for, there are plenty of video ad agencies that can make you a quick-and-dirty video for a reasonable price.

The resources are there. What you need to do is come up with the right video strategy…which is what we’ll get into in the next section.

3 Simple video ad strategies for local businesses

Often, local businesses overthink video advertising. They believe that they need to create something clever or complex, when they really just need to create something clear and compelling.

After all, most of the time, you aren’t competing with giant brands like Pepsi or Apple. You’re competing with other local businesses who have the same challenges as you.

So, with the right strategy and approach, video advertising can actually be both manageable and effective. Here are a few different types of video ads that any local business can pull off.

1. Brand story ads

One great way to create a compelling local video ad is to tell your brand story. Like we discussed above, one of your greatest advertising assets is your connection to the community, so if you can make an ad that showcases that, you’ll be well on your way to getting more customers in the door.

Here are some different types of brand stories that can work for local businesses:

  • The origin story. Why and how did you (or the owner) start your business? Help people connect with who you are and where you come from.
  • Your purpose. What are your business goals? What is your company passionate about? Give people a reason to get behind you.
  • Success stories. Who has your business helped? How has your business made a difference in the community? Show how supporting your business is supporting the community.
  • What makes your business unique. Is there something special about your products or services? Help people to see why they should be excited to buy from your business.

The point of a brand story ad is to help create awareness for your company. By the end of your ad, people should know that your business exists, that it’s local and feel interested in checking you out. 

That being said, brand story ads are pretty high funnel, so you might not get a ton of immediate foot traffic, but that’s not the point. The point is to build awareness and get on the radar of your potential customers.

As a general rule of thumb, shoot to keep your brand story ads between 30 and 60 seconds long. Basically, this type of ad should be short enough to get people interested, but just long enough to make a compelling case for your business.

2. Frequently-Asked Questions ads

Once people are aware of your business, it’s natural for them to start asking questions. This is actually a good sign, because it shows buying intent.

If you can address those questions in a reasonable and straightforward way, it will remove people’s concerns about using your business and help get people in your door.

The easiest way to do this? FAQ ads.

If you notice that you get a lot of the same sort of questions (either in person or in response to your ads), an FAQ ad can be the perfect way to get ahead of the curve. Questions like “What is it made from?” or “Where do you get your produce?” are easy to address in a video ad and give you a different way to reach out to potential customers.

In general, this sort of ad works best with an audience that is already familiar with your business. Your goal is to get people who are thinking about visiting your business to actually act, so FAQ ads are great for retargeting campaigns (often as a follow-up to brand story ads).

3. Testimonial ads

Want an easy, incredibly powerful video ad? Try creating a testimonial ad!

As we mentioned earlier, one of the best things about local video ads is the fact that you can create video content that includes recognizable elements: people, places, events, etc.

Testimonial ads from locals are a great way to say, “We’re local and we do great things for the people in our community.” To make things even better, you’re not the one saying good things about your business, which makes the ad even more compelling.

For example, take a look at this ad.

Great location? No. Great lighting? No. Great scripting? No. Compelling as all get-out? Absolutely.

Testimonial ads don’t have to be Hollywood studio quality. Their power is in their authenticity. As long as the message is on point and the footage is free of distracting elements, a video like the one above can make for a great ad.

There are a lot of easy ways to make a testimonial ad. You can ask people to record something themselves, have them come into your office or even film people at an event or other venues.

As you’re creating your testimonial ads, shoot to keep them under 45 to 60 seconds. Even though testimonials are interesting, watching someone drone on about your business for five minutes gets old fast. So, if you’ve got a ton of great testimonials (or a really long one), try breaking things up into multiple ads to keep things engaging.


Video advertising might not be the easiest way to market your local business, but if you do it right, it can be one of the most effective ways to differentiate yourself and get in front of your target audience. 

The good news is, with the right strategy, creating a compelling ad doesn’t have to be a huge headache. The key is to make sure that your ads capitalize on your strengths as a local business. Couple that with a compelling message and you’re on your way to success!

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Disruptive Advertising, Jacob has developed an award-winning and world-class organization that has now helped over 2,000 businesses grow their online revenue. Connect with him on Twitter.