Tips and Resources for Outreach with Video

Also see: Videos from Individual Businesses Capitalizing on the Indie Character

Online videos are a useful marketing tool for both organizations and independent businesses and can reach audiences who may not see many other marketing channels. Creating effective, short video clips doesn’t require expensive equipment. When used with a tripod and microphone, even basic cameras can do the job for web-only clips, and editing can be learned quickly. See if you can identifying an interested person in your group and get started! Creating relevant videos also may boost your website traffic and search engine rankings.

Videos can fulfill a crucial element of your educational campaign–and personalize your organization and members. Your community members will be far more receptive to your “buy independent/local” message when you’ve told stories about your local business owners, put names and faces on the business names, and talked about things the owners do for your community. We encourage you to make it personal, not just business!

We’re always available to help you with ideas for video clips and offer a few examples and tips (below) to get you started.


You can use emotional appeal, humor, creativity, associations, logical argument or other tactics to deliver your message. Here is a sampling of videos to provoke your ideas.

Mama Don’t Send Me to the Big-Box Store by Las Vegas First (NM)

Just Around the Corner

From Sustain-a-Bull Durham, produced by the Regulator bookstore and local filmmakers (2009).

One from a series by the Louisville Independent Business Alliance

“The Consumer” by Thrive (2012)

“Keep Boulder Weird” by the Boulder IBA (2010)

“Keep It In the Loop” by Portland Buy Local (2011)

(While some of these videos succeed at holding interest for two minutes
or more with professional, fast-paced editing, we encourage groups to
start with videos of no more than one minute.)

A documentary format also can be effective (Capital Area IBA of Springfield, IL)

TV news clips like this can be most effective when edited down

Portland (ME) Independent Business and Community Alliance

Kevin Bacon Gospel Choir (Shift Your Shopping)

Recommended Resources

Facebook video marketing (Reel SEO)

Made to Stick is a great book on the value of storytelling and key considerations

The Center for Digital Storytelling offers a wealth of deeper information

The book Storyteller Uprising: Trust & Persuasion in the Digital Age is available as a free pdf. The author, Hanson Hosein, produced two recommended documentary films: Independent America: the Two-Lane Search for Mom and Pop and Rising from the Ruins.

Once you’ve created videos, how will you present them? While YouTube is most popular, consider your options.

Did you find page helpful? Share it on Twitter!

Other Tips from AMIBA

We’ve seen good videos by AMIBA members on YouTube that have few views, so don’t forget to promote them on your website and through social media!

If you plan to create more than one video, use the same closing image on all of them for continuity (consider the same opening, too).

Consider crafting a video for every member of your local alliance who prominently displays/links your IBA logo on their website and ads (or some other incentive). Nearby colleges may be a great source of interns with video skills for such a campaign.

When using music on a video, your best option is to utilize local talent! See if any local artists are interested in having their music featured on the video. If you intend to use music found online, make sure it is copyright and royalty free. Such music can be difficult to find, but one resource we have found is Danosongs.

Note: This primer is among many produced by AMIBA on various aspects of operating effective buy local campaigns, Independent Business Alliances and other pro-local initiatives. Most are reserved for access only to AMIBA affiliates (since we relied on many other groups for content used here, it is accessible to everyone.) Thanks to all who submitted videos or suggestions (we welcome additional recommendations)!

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