You’d have to go out of your way to miss how video dominates the digital world today—education, entertainment, communication, live streaming; it’s everywhere. That means any entrepreneur trying to build a thriving business should not ignore the most popular medium consumers are using to get their information.
We’ve used video for years to promote, not just our business, but those of our clients. What’s fantastic about video is its flexibility. Cooking series, mini-documentaries, human interest features, public education videos, advertisements, employee training—we apply different kinds of videos to match the specific needs of our diverse clientele.
For the video newbie, though, all that choice can be daunting when trying to figure out the best types of videos for marketing your business.
We always recommend easing into any new strategy with something small and manageable. There are some easy videos you can start with to crank up your online visibility and reach. As you become more skilled and comfortable with video, you can expand the types of video content you make.
So, if you’ve only just decided to add video to your marketing strategy, no need to worry! We’ll give you a starter pack, if you will, with the best types of videos for marketing your business.
Here is what’s inside:
- What Makes Good Video Content—unravelling the DNA strands of effective videos that click with audiences.
- The Different Types of Video Content for Business—an overview of some commonly-used types of videos with major marketing punch.
- Which Types of Videos to Start Off With—our best picks for folks just starting out with the medium.
When deciding on the different kinds of videos to create, you want to make sure each video helps you achieve your business goals.
One of the mistakes folks new to the game make is assuming that once they’re creating videos, they’re doing video marketing. But the types of videos you use matter.
The mission of any video marketing strategy is to bring the right viewers into and under your tent. You want to set the stage for converting these viewers into customers. This involves satisfying their needs and wants and building engagement, respect and trust. The types of videos you create will determine whether you achieve these objectives or not.
When determining the different kinds of videos to use for your marketing strategy, you want each video to contribute to the growth of your business. That’s exactly what we’re going to explore for you here.
You don’t need to create every kind of video out there. What’s important is creating the right kinds of videos for the specific needs of your business.
1: What Makes Good Video Content?
As more people add video to their marketing mix, competition for audience share has become tougher.
Tapping into the marketing power of video calls for more than just creating videos. Yours have to be a cut above the rest to make an impact with the people you’re trying to connect with. This process begins with understanding what makes good video content.
When you strip away everything else, the moving parts beneath an effective video educates, entertains or does both—educate and entertain.
Whether your video is meant to educate, entertain or edutain, it should be:
So, no matter what types of video you decide to make for your business, they should be constructed with these basic elements.
2: The Different Types of Video Content for Business
As we’ve already hinted, there are countless video options to choose from. Each video type is designed to deliver a specific result or serve a certain purpose.
The very nature of video marketing hinges on sustained engagement with audiences. Cementing that engagement will take different kinds of videos over the lifespan of your marketing strategy.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the more popular types of videos entrepreneurs can use in their video marketing arsenals.
Right up there with world peace and a bottomless seafood buffet, quick-and-easy answers are high on the list of what everyone wants.
The how-to or tutorial video is among the most-searched-for online. That’s because when people need help with, say, a malfunctioning computer or a challenging IKEA furniture assembly, they type into Google ‘How to [insert problem here]’.
The how-to or tutorial video type, typically, answers a question or walks viewers through a process.
This type of video is, perhaps, the one most familiar to all of us. We’ve all grown up looking at our favourite news anchor or talk show host interviewing people on television.
The interview video is popular with audiences because it gives viewers valuable insights from entrepreneurs, thought leaders, respected voices and experts in the fields that interest them.
Audiences are always on the lookout for information and interesting perspectives that can guide them on their journey, whether professional or personal. Interviews are a great way to expand the conversation on industry topics. In this way, you give your audience more value because they get the sort of in-depth information that can move the needle on their goals.
A Q&A video is quick and easy to create and serves up high engagement levels. That’s because this kind of content is audience-driven.
By answering the questions that come directly from viewers, Q&A videos tend to drum up a lot of interest. They are a great way to share information because they break topics in your niche into bite-sized chunks.
During our media careers, a live video broadcast was the sole preserve of television stations and only possible with a satellite dish. Incredible advances in technology have opened up this avenue to everyone.
Most social media platforms now offer free, easy-to-use native live streaming video.
Live video spurs engagement because of the real-time community interaction it provides. It builds rapport and connection with your audience because it allows for an authentic and personal video experience.
When you build trust and likeability with your video marketing, viewers will begin to consider making the transition to customer or client. But before they make that leap, they’ll do their due diligence by double-checking whether your business is the right one for them. That’s where the about us video comes in.
The about us video tells viewers who you are, what you do and why you do it. It shares the story of the people, passion and mission behind the business, showing the human side of your brand. This is a big factor that determines whether viewers do business with you.
Viewers are often intrigued by the scenes behind the scene as it were. They’re drawn to that ‘unvarnished’ look at the inner workings of a business, its processes, and the people who make it all happen.
Such videos satisfy that inner curiosity—‘I wonder how they do it?’
Behind-the-scenes videos seduce viewers with a different sort of experience, something more intimate and immersive. That can be powerful in weaving the connections that build brand loyalty.
This video type is particularly useful for artisans, makers of bespoke products or businesses in manufacturing. Giving customers or clients a window into your process can make them more invested in what you offer.
The screencast or screen capture video is, basically, a recording of a computer screen accompanied by voice-over dialogue.
This kind of video is perfect for instructional or educational content.
The screencast method uses software to record what’s happening on the computer screen. This software can simultaneously record a narrator giving a sequence of easy-to-follow instructions.
The webinar is a longer-form video format geared towards viewers serious about digging deeper into a subject.
Virtual attendees register in advance to attend your webinar and can ask questions and share their opinions in real-time as you’re making your presentation.
In the video world, the webinar is a credibility-boosting powerhouse. It’s often used as a marketing tool to convert audiences and move them onto purchasing goods or services.
For those selling physical products, the product demo video is an excellent ally.
This particular type of video can work in two ways. It removes the last barrier to the customer making a purchase by showing them how a product can actually meet their needs. It’s also vital as an after-sales tool, serving as a resource for customers to get them up and running with a product they’ve purchased.
The product demo video shows viewers the value of a product to their lives, rather than just telling them about it.
The digital world is heavily influenced by review culture. When people see others weigh in on the quality of a product or give an opinion about a company’s customer service, it goes a long way towards shaping their purchasing decisions.
Many people scan customer testimonials to hear from the buyer’s mouth about their experience with a product or service.
Getting people to record their honest accounts of positive experiences they’ve had with your business can nudge others who may be on the fence about buying from you.
3: Which Types of Videos to Start With?
For video to deliver actual results, you have to create different types of video content to meet different viewers at the varying stages of their journey.
Admittedly, there is no one-size-fits-all journey as people’s experiences, needs, priorities and budgets are different. With that said, most buyers will go through a similar process before making a purchase. This is known as the buyer journey.
The core stages of the buyer journey are:
- Awareness—knowing or understanding they have a need or problem.
- Consideration—coming to terms with possible remedies.
- Decision—settling on which product or service is right for them and making a purchase.
Ideally, you want to create videos that accompany viewers along the different stages of the buyer journey.
We’re going to recommend three types of videos for you to start off with as a video newbie, one for each of the stages of the buyer journey. Once you master the three video types we recommend, you can then add others to build out your video marketing strategy.
How-to video for the awareness stage
‘How-to’ searches remain among the most common on Google and YouTube.
The majority of these searches are for beginner type content—information that people search for when they begin to become aware of a challenge or problem.
Additionally, doing how-to videos is a surefire way to ensure you’re creating content audiences are looking for. The best video content meets a need and how-to videos do that perfectly by giving audiences something they’re actively searching for.
Creating how-to videos: The easiest place to start is by answering questions you already get from your existing customers. You can also research what’s being discussed online in your industry by patrolling online groups on the lookout for commonly asked questions.
Another great research method is using a tool like Answer the Public. It collates suggested searches from Bing and Google and is a great source of inspiration for your how-to videos.
The thinking behind the how-to video is you want to share just enough information to be helpful and demonstrate your experience and expertise.
Pro Tip: Keep it simple, short and specific
Avoid long, weighty instructions. That will only confuse the viewer. Share just the key details and steps needed for the audience to get the solution they’re searching for. You also want to use clear, simple language to make it easy for people to follow along and implement what you’re teaching them.
Product demo video for the consideration stage
Product demo videos highlight the finer points of your product or service. They demonstrate exactly how it works, helping to fill a need or sort out a problem.
Once people gather information to further understand their problem, they’re ready to move closer to a workable solution. Ideally, this will be what your business offers. So, you need a video that clearly illustrates how your solution fits the bill.
Creating product demo videos: For a physical product, this video spells out the benefits and features and shows the product in action. In the case of a service, a demo video would demonstrate how those services can help the client.
The product demo video tackles the topic from the perspective of the customer, addressing their self-interest first—how it helps them, the way it will bring results. This is an important formula because most people care more about the transformation they’re looking for rather than the actual product or service.
Pro Tip: Make it concise
Many people tend to go overboard with their demo videos, overstuffing them with information. Such videos can feel a bit dense for viewers to endure. You want to follow this recipe instead:
- Talk briefly about the potential buyer’s problem.
- Explain how your product or service resolves that problem.
- Show how this resolution delivers the desired transformation.
Testimonial video for the decision stage
At this point, you’ve attracted an audience and demonstrated expertise through your videos. You’ve also shown the transformation your product or service can deliver. Now, how do you turn your audience into buyers without being pushy?
When potential customers are almost ready to buy, they need a tailwind that takes them over the finish line—a confirmation that the investment is worth it. This is particularly true of high-ticket items. Naturally, hearing it from other customers who’ve had first-hand experience with your product or service will be more credible than hearing it from you.
Here’s where the testimonial video comes into play. This video type caters for folks almost ready to pull the trigger and say yes to your offer. They (a) understand the problem and (b) researched possible solutions, including those offered by your competitors. Now, it’s time for them to (c) choose between your business and your nearest rival.
The testimonial video can convince potential customers you are the one who can deliver what they want. It’s your way of saying, “Hey, you don’t have to take my word for it.”
Creating testimonial videos: A happy and satisfied customer, which is your bread and butter anyway, will usually agree to record a testimonial video for you.
You aren’t coaching the customer like they’re going into the witness stand. Rather, you simply want them to identify, in their own words, aspects of your product or service they found most useful and helpful.
Pro-Tip: Keep your eyes open for positive reviews
Customers and clients will usually make positive statements about your product or service on your website and social media pages. Be on the lookout for those comments. You might be able to nudge those folks in the direction of recording their impressions on camera.
The driving force behind your video content creation should be the conversion of viewers into customers and clients.
Start Creating Your Types of Video Content
There’s no shortage of folks creating the latest style of video just because they see others doing it. Not every video is the perfect fit for your business, though.
By focusing your video content creation around a clear strategy, one that considers the needs of your audience and goals for your business, you are far more likely to get positive results out of your video marketing.
We’ve taken the time to break down how to go about choosing the best types of videos for moving you forward as an entrepreneur. This is how video will help you create a sound foundation for connecting with audiences.
Now, go out there and have fun creating videos that will serve your customer and clients AND your business!