Photo by Lexie Barnhorn

If you run a small business, having a video along side your advertisements can attract new customers. If done poorly however, it can scare customers away. What things attract new customers and what things cause them to shy away? We compiled 13 industry surveys (1,307 responses) to identify the things that apply to all industries (Auto repair, beauty, entertainment facilities, fitness, healthcare, home services, hotels, movers, real estate, retail, service stores and video production). Industry-specific responses were excluded.

84% of customers across all industries said they would use the internet to find a small business. 32% of people said they would not watch a video before choosing a small business. On the flip side, 68% of consumers say they would watch a video if curious and unfamiliar. Here are the consumer wants in a small business marketing video from the 68% that are common across 13 industries.

In general, people want videos to be concise. Shorter lengths are a signal to the viewer that the video may do a good job of being concise. When asked "What length of time should a small business marketing video be limited to?", the average was 89.9 seconds. Note that this varies widely industry by industry.

When asked "What things in a video would improve your interest in choosing that small business?", the first 1 to 3 things that came to their mind were:

  1. A compelling price/sale/deal 213
  2. Appears clean and well-organized 110
  3. Testimonials/reviews 101 (varies by industry)
  4. Friendly, professional staff 94
  5. Real footage, true representation, authentic 81
  6. Expertise, quality service 80
  7. Message is concise, clear, short and to the point 69
  8. Narration by owner leaves postive impression 62 (varies by industry)
  9. Full footage and information provided, nothing is left out 61
  10. Located in a nice neighborhood 34
  11. Good customer service 25
  12. Positive, friendly atmosphere 23
  13. Appealing clientele 22 (varies by industry)
  14. Location is close 20
  15. Appealing decor 19
  16. Good video production 17
  17. Professionalism overall 16
  18. Well-run operation, efficient, fast turnaround 15
  19. Nice building 15
  20. Calm, relaxed 14
  21. Safe 13
  22. Extra services, added value propositions 10
  23. Easy parking 8
  24. Not crowded 6
  25. Busy with customers 5
  26. Environmentally friendly 5
  27. Family friendly 3
  28. Accessibility, special needs 3
  29. Diversity 2

When asked "What things in a video would cause you to shy away from choosing the small business?", the first 1 to 3 things that came to their mind were:

  1. Signs the business is unclean or unorganized 180
  2. Not using authentic footage of business, overproduced, flashy, cheesy 126
  3. Pushy sales message, exaggeration 117
  4. Overpriced 112
  5. Poor narrative from owner (commonly ego, poor communication skills) 76
  6. Staff less than professional 67
  7. Leaving out key footage or information including price 64
  8. Message is not concise, clear, or is too long 64
  9. Located in a bad neighborhood 58
  10. Poor video production 42
  11. Poor decor, space issues 38
  12. Unappealing clientele 31
  13. Crowded/Noisy 30
  14. Shabby building 21
  15. Bad reviews/lack of real positive reviews 18
  16. Lack of experience 15
  17. Poor or loud background music 13
  18. Proximity/Distance 11
  19. No parking 11
  20. Tries to entertain rather than be direct 8
  21. Lack of diversity, not all-inclusive 7
  22. Too much about themselves, not enough about what they can do for the client 7
  23. Unwelcoming atmosphere 5
  24. Signs of poor customer service 5
  25. Empty, no customers 4
  26. Lack of expertise 4
  27. Badmouthing competition 2

It varies widely by industry, but we asked if consumers want these things in a video:

  • 48% of consumers want owner narration; 35% indifferent; 17% do not want. (Based on 13 industries)
  • 14% want an animated log intro; 45% indifferent; 41% do not want (Based on 6 industries)
  • 23% want background music; 45% indifferent; 32% do not want (Based on 4 industries)
  • 6% want actors performing a funny skit; 31% indifferent; 63% do not want (Based on 1 industry)

When we asked the 31% that don't want to watch a video why, they answered:

  • It's not going to be real/exaggerated/better than it looks/biased selling
  • It will add no value; It will not give me the information I need; Waste of time
  • I don't have the time; It will take too long to give me the info I need
  • They are usually cheesy, gimmicky, flashy or annoying
  • Prefer to read; Prefer pictures
  • They are typically low in production quality, dated, cheap
  • Prefer unbiased customer-submitted video
  • This place is probably expensive if they can afford to have a video
  • They must really need business, what are they compensating for?
  • Too slow to load; Computer/phone speed issues
  • Won't quell fear of being ripped off

For more survey results, visit:

Run a search on for local business videographers in your area

Create Your Small Business Marketing Video Yourself Following These 6-Steps