small businesses

Small businesses like mine, that support small to midsize business are more vital than most people realize. Almost half, 44%, of the US GDP is from small businesses. This is over 5.6 trillion dollars contributed to our output.

Every global giant we have now started with one woman or man with a dream. Small businesses are the lifeblood of America, setting up your own day and being your own boss is the dream of most people in business. Small businesses give the entire economy energy, they create the next version of Facebook, Walmart, or KFC.  We need to encourage entrepreneurship and give as much access to large business tools and media as we can so they will succeed.

But, when you have a giant brand with billions in revenue and hundreds of millions in marketing and advertising, versus the hundreds of small companies that individually have a much smaller marketing budget, it is difficult to be seen and heard above those giants.  Harder than that is that in a crisis like we have now, people only want to buy from the biggest and most established entities.

Times like this recession have shown that if you can make it through, you will be the brand that thrives.

Humanitarian Efforts in the COVID-19 Era

So many people are putting themselves in harm’s way to help others, in hospitals, in grocery stores, in retail of all kinds. We need to see the amazing humans and appreciate them and not just look at fear or worse, ignore the danger that exists.

We should keep celebrating the first line of defense.  My wife is one of those people helping inside a basic hazmat suit every day at the hospital. There are so many causes right now in addition to COVID-19…We can see the humanity and helpfulness abound.  Yes, we may need to look hard

to find it, but good is truly here, every day.  Look at sports teams opening up there gates for COVID testing, look at police dropping their arms to join in with marches, look at firefighters from surrounding areas come to California and Washington to battle flames, see the volunteers bringing people food that are unable to find work, see the donations and fundraising going to those affected by circumstances in our world…

Another small example is that when we find a humanitarian effort or cause, we are donating much of our time and resources to help.  We just finished a video for the LA Unified School District where we filmed COVID testing centers, so that all 250,000 students and their parents know what to expect, what to do, how to be tested, and all the safety procedures that have been put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.

How Small Businesses Can Help Eachother

Every business owner needs to ask themself, today: How can I think differently and create a win-win with any brand I know? It’s pretty simple, to increase your chances for revenue, you need to do one of the following three things:

  1. Open new customers
  2. Increase revenue per customer
  3. Create more repeat customers

In Los Angeles now, our sidewalks and parking spaces are lined with tables and chairs from anything from restaurant diners to people giving haircuts.

How can online brands do this? The same way! Can you create something that adds value to a partner? Perhaps you create a video that INCLUDES a partner or a co-branded offer with a neighboring website? We are creating videos now with this happening – two small budgets can add up to a great web video commercial!

We call this CORE: “Create Once, Repurpose Everywhere”. Even before COVID hit, we suggested it to all of our clients.

How Video Has Become the “New Normal”

This is the time to learn the online marketing, the digital outreach, and get your video and website in the best shape you can. Now is the time to attract as many people to your online platforms, sites, games, and engagement lead magnets.

The most important tool is video. Very few people take the time to read a website to gather the value hidden inside.

Building trust in your brand is paramount, and testimonials help tremendously.  We have tested multiple platforms, microphones, lighting setups, and now have a ‘kit’ that can be mailed out to people’s homes to collect high quality stories!  It eliminates all the travel, set up, coordination, and more.  This guide shows one sample set of equipment we have used.

Growth can still happen online. I know of two restaurants that promoted their amazing food via video, then switched to pick up only and must be doing better than ever before because the line for pickup is longer than I’ve ever seen pre-crisis.

Last year, most of the people in a meeting room were embarrassed to say they worked from home. No longer. There are at home set up kits, and broadcast TV comes to us from kitchens and living rooms. Zoom went from a niche player to a fast-growing company with their stock exploding. It’s popular, and perhaps rivals, but falls short of, TikTok.

Real time video, and explainer videos are not a niche, they are critical to business survival and relationship building.

What makes you unique will be what makes you memorable.

In Hollywood, we say: Bring out your inner Danny Devito.  This wonderful comedic actor stood out when he embraced all of his assets, exactly how he is.  He didn’t wear lifts in his shoes or put on a hairpiece.  He stood out and was memorable, and still is, based on his unique qualities and amazing talent.

Your brand is the same. You need to tell the right story, the best story, and be human.  If you lose humanity, and hide now, you will lose a customer, and more…your ability to get new customers. This is the time to refresh and upgrade your story and video skills.

Rip Media Group is a trailblazing video marketing company based in Los Angeles, California. Founded by digital pioneer Maury Rogow, Rip Media Group brings a unique combination of storytelling art and ROI strategy to the field of animation and live action video. 

Small businesses global economic recovery stock photo by Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock