You don’t have to build a massive dragon skull in the sand or rent a camel to create the next viral video sensation. In fact, when it comes to small business video marketing – less really is more.  Check out these four examples of video marketing on a budget, what you can learn from them, and how to do them yourself!

Tell a Story in Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video of pictures can be immeasurable.  In this ad for RAM Trucks, an old Paul Harvey recording called “God Made a Farmer” is played in the background while images of tough, hard-working folks out in the fields are shown one after the other.

Notice that the video doesn’t talk about RAM trucks, their hauling ability, how much horsepower they have or any other features important to a farmer – it lets the pictures speak for it, saying more about loyalty, devotion and dedication than any truck feature sheet ever could.

Why it Works

This video centers on something we can all appreciate and understand. Farmers have a tough job. Not everyone is cut out for that kind of work. Woven deeper within are the threads that subconsciously tell us that in order to do the tough jobs, you need a tough truck.  This message matches perfectly with RAM’s target audience – the rugged, determined and strong (or those who would like to be!)

How to Do It

You can easily create an attractive slideshow with photos and music using Powerpoint (PC) or Keynote (Mac), or do it online using a service called Animoto which will take your images and music and turn them into a video that you can upload to any website or share via social networks.

What are some ways your business could tell a story with pictures that not only brings people together, but leaves them feeling a rekindled appreciation for the role your product plays in their lives?

Share Innovation with an Explainer Video

Take a look at your smartphone. Right now you may have the latest and greatest version or a slightly older model, but once you upgrade it, your old phone will lay completely forgotten in a landfill somewhere.

What if there were a company that could change all that?  Introducing Phonebloks.

Although the concept is still in its infancy, Phonebloks works on the idea that different areas of the phone (camera, memory, screen, etc.) can be swapped out and customized for upgrades.

The explainer video does a wonderful job of getting viewers excited about the possibilities while reminding them of how much they’ll save the environment by not throwing away their old smart phone every few years.

Why It Works

Fluid animations and hand-drawn style elements break down complex ideas into simple, easy to follow points. It’s the ideal way to answer the questions your customers want to ask – but don’t.  Things like “what’s the number one issue my product solves?” or “what’s preventing you from ordering today?” A good explainer video walks you through all the steps in a seamless way.

How to Do It

Explainer videos are relatively easy to create and can be done with online services like Powtoon or GoAnimate with no experience necessary.

What are some ways your business could explain your offer in a way that’s straightforward and easy to understand – even for someone who may not be familiar with the industry jargon or technology?

Show the Importance of Your Product Without Ever Saying a Word

Some businesses get bogged down in the tech specs and features of their product, without ever showing the kinds of results it can get – but not this video:

By helping a fireman save the tiniest little life, it demonstrates how something as simple as a camera can capture heroic and selfless acts every day.

Why it Works

With smart phone cameras now rivaling even high resolution digital cameras, it has never been easier to capture moments of brilliance that can be used to showcase your business. While not every video needs to be so dramatic, it can serve as a way to capture customers’ reactions, comments, suggestions and more.

This video in particular went viral because 1) the internet loves cats and 2) it’s real-life footage and not a staged piece. There’s a happy ending shown here, and people love happy endings.

How to Do It

There are plenty of free apps like Vine and Instagram Video that let you take short videos and post them online.  But what if you want more than the standard six seconds?  Cameo is an app that will let you take those short videos and connect them into one, flowing video creation, so that you’re not limited by time constraints.

Demonstrate that Every Journey Begins with a Single Step

Every business owner has dreams of creating the next big thing online – the next Twitter or Facebook.  But what if you could go back to the very first time these innovators sat down in front of a computer – having no idea that they might one day be millionaires or billionaires?

That’s exactly what CodeSchool aims to do:

Called ‘What they Don’t Teach in School’, this viral video goes back to the beginning of some of the most famous sites and iconic brands – Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter… and interviews their owners about the very first lines of code they wrote, or their very first graphic design masterpiece – on what we’d consider downright ancient computers today.

Why it Works

Everyone is curious – sometimes to the point of fascination – about how famous people in various industries got their start.  In the case of CodeSchool, it takes the perspective of powerful gurus and household names and shows that they, too, had to start somewhere. Subconsciously, the ad shares that if you want to be the next Twitter or Facebook, coding is where it all begins.

How to Do It

Conducting a face to face interview with the leaders in your niche doesn’t have to involve flying around the country (or around the world) and squeezing in schedules so that your day planner looks like a warzone.  You can use something as simple as a webcam with Skype to conduct the interview and then follow these steps by professional interviewer Michael Hyatt to record and edit it.

It’s a simple, easy way to record the interview – although you’ll sacrifice some of the professional style and polish – but in many cases, for small businesses, that adds to the charm and uniqueness of it.

Plus, while you don’t have to spend your entire marketing budget interviewing online celebrities in your niche, you can demonstrate how far one can go by taking that first all-important step with your product.

Share Your Favorite Viral Videos

What are some unique, engaging viral videos you’ve found from large and small businesses alike?  Share them below in the comments!