Guest post by Victor Blasco.
Video is becoming a must for content marketing across industries.
But like any component of content marketing, video requires a strategy in order to have the desired impact. You need a a plan, compelling scripts and images, and the right video editing tools. You can’t just upload some video clips and hope your audience watches.
It’s best to have a documented strategy that reflects the strengths of the format and how video content fits into your overall marketing strategy. Take into account different video types, from whiteboard videos to testimonials, and where to use them in your sales funnel.
To maximize results from your video production and promotion efforts, consider how and when to use these seven types of business videos.
Explainer videos are a fundamental element in most video marketing toolkits. They are short videos that explain your business, service, or product simply and clearly. They combine informational and educational content, and follow a traditional narrative arc: there’s an issue and a solution to get to the happy ending.
- Explainer videos are no longer than 90-120 seconds.
- They answer the “what”, “how,” and “why.”
- They are aimed squarely at your target audience.
- They reflect your brand through colors, logo, and company name, but they aren’t trying to sell, just inform.
Where to use explainer videos: Explainer videos are great for the middle of the funnel. That’s because they engage people who are looking for a solution to a problem your product can solve. Thus, explainer videos work great embedded prominently on your site, as well as for paid video ads, especially on YouTube.
Keep in mind: The short duration is key in explainers, but it isn’t the only essential feature. You should also aim for the highest quality, as they’ll serve as an introduction for your brand. Also, make sure its main characters should resemble the audience as closely as possible, to get the people watching to identify themselves with what’s happening on the screen.
These videos are among the most watched of all types. Think about it—whenever you don’t know how to do something, you hit YouTube and look for a step-by-step video explaining how to do it. This can work wonders for your brand, as you can educate your target audience about topics related to your product while establishing yourself as an expert on the subject.
- How-to videos follow a step-by-step narrative that covers an entire process (be it simple or complex).
- They are really simple, as the idea is for people following each step with no fuss.
- These videos are crystal clear in their message, which means they use all sorts of elements (animations, graphs, narration) to get their point across.
Where to use how-to videos: These videos are perfect to nurture the top of the funnel. They help your prospects solve real problems while introducing them to your brand. How-to videos can show viewers not just a solution to their immediate problem, but even bring other issues to their attention they might be overlooking. How-to videos have a great chance of finding an audience on YouTube, as they are one of the most searched video types in the Google platform.
Keep in mind: Clarity is essential in how-to videos. Create a strong script that covers all the steps, even the ones that seem too simple to mention. Make sure you have a foolproof video on your hands!
Social Media Videos
Combining video content with social media is a no-brainer. You’re combining the two most powerful tools in today’s marketing space to engage with your audience. Social videos need to be short, as they intend to catch the attention of an ever-scrolling audience. They can be informative, educational, promotional, or a little of everything.
- Social videos are as short as possible. Since people often don’t pay much attention in social media, you need to grab them with a strong beginning, say what you have to say, and leave them with a parting thought (or call to action) in a matter of seconds.
- They are native, meaning that you can upload them to most social platforms to take maximum advantage of the specific video features of each site (especially the autoplay feature).
- They serve multiple purposes, as they inform, entertain, and inspire your audience.
Where to use social media videos: Naturally, you’ll use these videos on social media. You need to understand what social site is the best for your brand and where it’s more likely you’ll find your audience. YouTube is a must, but Facebook has proven to be almost as essential in many industries as well. Since they are very broad in their goals, these videos work best in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey (the top of the funnel).
Keep in mind: These videos are mostly defined by the discourse of the platform they are shared on. Social videos designed for Facebook might not work as well in Twitter because of this. So, be sure to find the perfect social platforms for your brand and focus on them.
Pretty much everyone is familiar with the FAQ sections of websites. Well, FAQ videos are the same thing, only in video form – frequently asked questions in a clip anyone can watch at any time. These videos provide essential information about your brand, products, processes, and services.
- FAQ videos are concise and to-the-point: they are simply structured through straightforward questions and answers.
- They are topical, meaning that a FAQ video tries to cover one topic at a time, though sometimes answering multiple questions related to it.
- Their duration is variable: you might create a series of FAQ videos answering a couple of questions per clip, which means that the videos will be short. Or you may opt to tackle a whole topic at once and take a little more time for the answers.
Where to use FAQ videos: These videos can work for people in the middle to lower part of the funnel. That’s because they provide insights for prospects considering you as a viable option for their needs. These videos work great on a dedicated page, though shorter ones can be used on social media and throughout your email marketing cycle to nurture your leads.
Keep in mind: You won’t be able to tackle all of your target audience’s questions with these videos. Instead, focus on the most pressing and common ones, as well as on those questions that might address your product’s distinctive features to qualified leads.
Though used mostly on ecommerce sites, product videos can work in other situations as well. That’s because they list the qualities of your product in a positive and seductive light. They show some of the product’s most interesting details as well as its most compelling benefits.
- Product videos show your offering in action; the goal is to show your audience the product in use, to help people understand how it works.
- They put your product in context; people want to see the product working in real-life scenarios where they can evaluate how your product performs.
- They can provide instructions. Product videos can demonstrate basic instructions on how to use your product, in a visual manner.
Where to use product videos: Product videos are perfect for the middle of the funnel. Showcase selected features to intrigue the audience. These videos are often used on product pages as an introduction, but they can also work as video ads on social media and third-party websites.
Keep in mind: A great way to create product videos on a budget is by using video footage recorded by your own users. That ensures authenticity and gives your audience the chance to watch real people using your product in the real world.
These videos are all about the mission, the ideas, and the people behind the product or service—that means you and your staff! They are designed to show your values and mission embodied by the people that make the product, and therefore are great for humanizing your brand.
- Company videos have to be unique: your company isn’t like any other company out there, so your videos should show that. Use your own tone, editing, music, and imagery to make sure the video displays your logo.
- They tell a story: company videos have to tell a story with which the audience can relate. Things like how you come up with the idea for the product or how the product helps real people in real life are great ways to do this.
Where to use company videos: These videos work through empathy, so they are more about emotion than logic. That makes these videos ideal for the bottom of the funnel. This means that you can use them in targeted emails for qualified leads, landing pages, and demos and presentations.
Keep in mind: Involve your employees in telling your brand story. Make it feel real and unforced so the audience can quickly empathize with what’s happening on the screen.
Customer Testimonial Videos
There’s nothing more compelling for prospects than hearing real customers speak on your brand’s behalf. It’s the kind of social proof that makes a huge difference, since real customers are perceived as unbiased and more truthful.
- Customer testimonials have a single focus; this means that they are about the story of one client and how it impacted his or her life.
- They follow a narrative arc; these videos start off with the customer speaking about their initial problem, how they set out to solve it (and found your company), and how your product helped them.
- They bring context. By showing people using your product in real-life scenarios, the story feels more natural and relatable for the audience.
Where to use customer testimonial videos: Since these videos are perceived as impartial, they work great at the bottom of the funnel. You’re offering real proof of your claims about your product. Customer testimonial videos can be used in email marketing, dedicated sections on your site, and even social media.
Keep in mind: Be sure to pick your best individuals and stories to shoot these videos. You need to convey the feeling of customer satisfaction but also make it feel unforced and fresh. Look for someone with charisma and an interesting story for the best results.
Videos are engaging and provide numerous benefits, as long as you know how and where to use them. The list above describes some of the essential video types you need for a sound marketing strategy. Ideally, you’d have most or all of them in your content library to use as prospects move through their buying decision process.
This doesn’t mean you need all of them to reap some rewards. Picking just a couple and putting them in the right place in your funnel may do wonders for your brand. If you’re thinking seriously about delving into video marketing, talk with a video production company to see what will work best for you.
Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.