There are SO many different types of videos you can make for your organization. From how-to content to case studies, explainers, and beyond—the possibilities are practically endless.
Plus, for every different type of video you can make, there are multiple different styles you can approach it from and different orientations you can shoot and share it in.
Vidyard’s own video experts, Mathew King and Blake Smith, discuss the video types businesses should think about making—and what to consider from a production standpoint—in this episode of The Video Island Podcast.
To achieve the goals you set out in your video marketing strategy, you’ll need a variety of video types to meet different needs. With the right mix, you can guide prospective buyers along their journey from awareness through decision, all with video content.
1. Explainer Videos
Good for: The early, discovery stages of the buyer’s journey to educate buyers about your product or service and illustrate why they need it, generating leads, and nurturing prospective customers.
Explainer videos (sometimes called product explainer videos) are a useful format for explaining complicated products or services and increasing brand awareness. They are typically a high-level look at how the product solves a problem.
Because they’re high-level, explainer videos don’t need to show the actual product or service to be valuable, which means animation is a popular style choice.
Explainer videos have the potential to be shareable content assets, so aim to make them engaging and try to connect with viewers on an emotional level.
You can create overview videos for each vertical or product line you offer. With these, you’re not looking to make a hard sell or pitch, but rather outlining a problem you know your customers have.
Product explainer videos should answer the question “what’s in it for me” from the perspective of your buyer.
Companies like Box have discovered that a play-by-play walkthrough of your audience’s actual tasks can be a pretty effective introduction to the product.
Rather than being about Box directly, the video focuses on how a marketer can use Box to solve everyday problems and make their job easier.
By calling out familiar scenarios (like a marketing budget cut) and how their solution helps, this video is all about observable utility and serves as a terrific demo which could be used in follow-up emails to leads who want to see the product in action.
2. How-To Videos
Good for: Easing people from the discovery phase into the real meat of what you deliver.
One of the most popular types of educational videos, how-to videos explain to the viewer how to do something. These step-by-step tutorials can be entertaining as well as informative.
Since question queries are incredibly common in search engines, creating content that addresses them (and optimizing it) is a great way to show up in search results.
Consider creating this type of video to answer important customer questions in your industry. You can then use the end of the video to prompt the download of a piece of informative, mid-funnel content to help keep your viewer moving through the buyer’s journey.
The content marketers over at Kapost do a terrific job with helpful how-to video snippets. In short, informative blurbs they answer questions related to their specialty.
By becoming the experts who can answer the question clearly in just under a minute, they become the folks people want to do business with.
Jacob Collins, Video Producer at Kapost, explains: “We use video strategically by tying every single video into a campaign, event, or product feature. To maximize potential, we shoot only what we need, and put time into quality over quantity.”
Their videos include great calls to action prompting the download of another piece of content. This guides people to the next stage of the funnel where they’ll learn more about the Kapost solution.
3. Promo Videos (a.k.a. Hype or Teaser Videos)
Good for: Brand awareness, increasing traffic to your blog or asset-specific landing pages, and lead generation.
Most companies already have text-based content marketing assets—like reports or guides—to promote, and one of the best ways to make the most of these pieces is with a fun video designed to promote more downloads.
Promo videos can work well for big events, virtual conferences, and more.
When brainstorming new content pieces, consider the bigger story you can wrap these up in, and the top-of-funnel video you could use as the asset’s promo or commercial, so to speak.
Along with exciting clips showing previous editions of the event, the video included a personal invite from Chief Customer Officer, Matt Zilli.
4. Thought Leadership Videos
Good for: Building thought leadership within your industry, establishing expertise on a given topic, educating your audience about a particular subject, and making a human connection.
The point of thought leadership videos is to share a unique perspective in order to build trust and a following.
These videos need to be authentic and focus on a point of view. Sharing expertise and starting a conversation is key.
A member of the Moz team explains a concept in front of a whiteboard that’s been filled with supporting material. Sometimes the whiteboard includes illustrations, sometimes it’s more of a summary of points.
5. Webinars and Recorded Webinars
Good for: Educating potential customers about issues related to your industry, generating leads to add to targeted email lists, and guiding prospects further along the funnel.
Most companies treat webinars as digital events with virtual attendees who have registered in advance to watch the session (generating a lead for the company).
Like standard webinars, pre-recorded webinars can be scheduled for a specific date and time. Or they can simply be published on your organization’s website, whether that’s on a landing page, in a resource hub, or embedded in a blog post.
When planning new webinars, think about how you plan to repurpose them from the get-go. If you want short videos, design your webinar so that the recording can easily be carved into bite-sized video clips to be used in ongoing content marketing programs.
If you build out topics strategically—mapping each to a particular question a buyer has along their journey with your product, for example—these videos can act as the perfect stepping stone along the buyer journey.
Content marketing platform Uberflip gives webinars a second life by uploading them to LinkedIn SlideShare.
6. Case Study Videos (a.k.a. Customer Stories or Testimonial Videos)
Good for: The justification and evaluation stage of the funnel when buyers are considering whether you solve their specific pain points.
Arguably, case studies are one of the most important video types in your collection. Lots of B2B buyers will search for customer testimonials when they come to your website.
Don’t have the budget for a high-production case study video? Never fear, powerful customer stories are still within your reach.
Try asking happy customers to record a short testimonial video—answering a few basic questions you send them—using their webcam.
Vidyard’s Chrome extension is an easy-to-use free tool that makes it simple for anyone to shoot a simple video of themselves.
A testimonial is the stamp of approval from other businesses and filming a great one is the perfect way to showcase how your solution fits into multiple industries, how it solves common customer problems, and how you go above and beyond (even post-sale) to deliver customer success.
When developing a testimonial video, never underestimate the power of B-roll, ask leading questions versus the typical Q&A, and always find a way to position your customer as the hero of the story.
Google has a variety of mini-case studies called Google Stories that show how real people use their technology. Most are less than two minutes long.
In one, an artist explains how he uses Google Street View to paint places all over the world—and how he’s created a community of others passionate about doing the same.
7. Company Culture Videos
Good for: Reaching new audiences as well as building brand awareness and affinity.
Brand and culture videos are ones that tell your audience about your brand and what you stand for. They’re an opportunity to have some fun and get creative. Holiday, about us, recruiting, and company culture videos can all fit into this category.
For their 200th anniversary, HarperCollins Publishing took viewers through some of their most notable titles in a nostalgia-inducing video that acquainted viewers with the brand’s long history.
8. Demo Videos
Good for: Helping buyers justify their decision to purchase, email follow up, lead generation, and addressing the end of the funnel.
Similar to explainer videos, demo videos explain how your product or service actually works. However, because they come in later in the marketing funnel (typically somewhere from the middle toward the end), they need to be more detailed about specific features and functions.
Product demo videos show viewers the value of your product, rather than just telling them. In the retail industry or other spaces with physical products, this could even include unboxing videos that showcase the packaging and product, showing potential customers what to expect.
Your audience should be nodding along in agreement with you at all times—your goal is to show them you understand their world.
Vidyard’s 3-minute demo is a great example of what this type of video can look like. We’ve created separate versions to address different parts of our product for different use cases. There’s one each for marketing, sales, support, and secure comms—all included in the playlist below.
9. Personalized Videos
Good for: Surprising and delighting prospects and customers alike and making a personal connection.
Personalized video brings the audience into the story by weaving personal details for each individual viewer into the video.
Personalization can include things like:
- Headshot or photo
- Company name
Personalized video messages can increase response rates, wow customers, and help your business stand out from the crowd. Learn more about using personalized video to boost conversions in our Chalk Talk on the subject.
PortoBay Hotels used personalized video to help maintain their mailing list when General Data Protection Regulations (GDRP) came into effect in the European Union.
They needed to get people to opt-in to receiving ongoing communications from them and knew a basic email wasn’t going to cut it.
PortoBay ran a personalized video campaign that resulted in a whopping 65% of their database opting in for future messages from the brand.
The example below has been personalized for Marta Uceda.
Your organization’s video library will include an assortment of video content. Start out by choosing a few formats you think work well for your brand and the story you want to tell, then test to see how your audience reacts.
Do more of what works, keep iterating, try new things, and don’t be afraid to mix and match different styles and types to find something that fits your vision—and meets your goals.
This post was originally published on December 3, 2018. It was updated on October 27, 2019.