As we progressively emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, there are more than a couple of quarantine lessons that are here to stay. One of them relates to the versatility and power of video content in your digital marketing strategy.
Video ads are your obvious sales pitch, but there are plenty of other types of video content which can help your bottom line.
Many businesses have taken note of the medium’s effectiveness – adding both live-action and animated productions to their marketing pushes, but others are still lagging behind.
After all, implementing video marketing effectively without any previous experience can be daunting.
To help with that, I’m going to walk you through some of the most popular marketing video styles right now. We’ll explore what makes them so effective, and watch some examples to see how it’s done. That way, you’ll have more than a solid footing to start planning a marketing video strategy that actually helps you sell more.
Making product videos that actually work
Many businesses had to temporarily close their doors to the public during the pandemic and focus their efforts on their online stores. Product videos became one of the most effective ways in which they could display products and services to their audience while keeping everybody safe at home. And for potential customers, the videos became the next-best thing they had to a hands-on experience before a buy.
As we know, people buy with their eyes, meaning that if they haven't got a clear image of what your product is like and how it works, then they're probably far from making a final purchase decision.
Do keep in mind, though, that product videos should be a little bit more than just a technical description of what you’re selling.
For instance, the example below shows the product being used in different contexts while also showcasing how it works and displaying its main features — the whole kit and caboodle.
Your product videos should always:
- Revolve around how your product will improve a customer’s life, not merely its features.
- Be limited to covering your product’s key value propositions; this video is not a guide or tutorial.
- Be used as part of a larger conversion funnel. A single video can’t appeal to potential customers at all stages of the buyer’s journey.
The versatility of explainer videos
Explainers are short, often animated videos built to tell audiences the story of how your product can solve a specific problem or compellingly convey your message.
What makes explainer videos so popular? Well, it’s the fact that they can condense a lot of information and tackle complex topics in just a few minutes of concise content. Plus, they focus not on your core message or product as a selling item, but as a valuable solution to your client's pain points.
There are tons of animation styles you can choose from, so the style’s flexibility is off the chart.
For example, you can use the sharp-looking and popular whiteboard video style (like the example below), or go with a more abstract approach using motion graphics. You can also try a live-action - or maybe even a mixture of them all!
Explainers are fertile ground where you can be as creative as you want - and the more creative you get, the more unique (and powerful) your video will be.
Your explainer videos should always:
- Stick to the explainer formula: a three-act structure where you introduce clients' pain points; showcase how you can help them; and present your solution.
- Make full use of visual communication to make your message more memorable.
- End with a clear CTA that lets you capitalize on the viewer's attention and investment of time.
The trick to FAQs videos
In the same vein as tutorials, FAQs videos can provide your audience with a helpful answer to a question about your product. They are also extremely effective for customers that are almost ready to make a purchase decision but have just a few specific doubts on their minds.
As a general rule, a short FAQ video should focus on just one critical question, providing an answer in the clearest and most concise way possible. If you have a bunch of FAQs, you might consider picking the top, most important ones and creating a video series to tackle them individually, as shorter videos tend to perform better in terms of engagement metrics.
Your FAQ videos should always:
- Keep their language simple and style approachable.
- Offer sincere and helpful responses. Show your audience you care about effectively assuaging their doubts.
- Only tackle truly relevant questions which your audience shares. Otherwise, they'll walk away disappointed after watching.
Cultivating trust with customer testimonials
Customer trust is one of the most precious and delicate assets in marketing. You can't force audiences to trust you, and if you don't respect your customers then trust will be one of the first things you lose.
For the same reason, customer testimonial videos should focus on sharing the sincere story of how your product or service helped one of your satisfied clients.
A good review can go a long way! So, make sure you pick the right customers and ask them real questions about their experience with your company.
Everybody looks for reviews before trying a new restaurant or buying from a brand they never tried before. Customer testimonials can have a direct impact on your sales and, most importantly, build the foundations to create a trusting and lasting relationship with your clients.
Your testimonial videos should always:
- Showcase real customers sharing their genuine opinions. Viewers can tell when a testimonial is rehearsed or disingenuous.
- Make full use of visually interesting transitions, inserts, and camera angles to keep the piece engaging.
- Incorporate subtle branding elements that make it unmistakably yours. Use your brand’s colors on inserts, jingles at the beginning or end, etc.
Memorable company story videos
While we’re on the topic of customer trust, there's one more style of video that can help you achieve that desired goal: the company story or “culture” video.
Many people hesitate before buying online from a brand they don’t know, especially if there isn’t a friendly face behind the counter. Company story videos can solve that problem by offering audiences a behind-the-scenes look at the real people behind your company.
Just keep in mind that while your company's story is center stage, your video still has to be visually appealing for it to work. A reliable way to keep your company stories dynamic is to use inserts, like text flashcards, showcasing the questions you posed to interviewees, or landscape video transitions between narrative scenes.
The idea here is to constantly provide something interesting for your audience to look at. A static culture video is a boring culture video.
Company story videos can also reflect your brand’s social responsibility and show the helpful role you play in your community, like in the example below. An effective video will make your audience look at you as more than just a brand, but as a group of likeminded people working together towards the same goal.
Your company story videos should always:
- Stay in tune with the feel and tone you’ve established with the rest of your marketing content. If you've branded yourself as a no-nonsense, highly technical company, don’t go for a goofy story and vice versa.
- Revolve around a story that your target audience will find interesting, useful, or emotionally compelling.
- Incorporate compelling visuals and transitions that keep your video interesting while also aligning with the story being told.
Tutorial or how-to videos that help conversions
Let's say you're in the mood for pasta, but aren't sure how to make your favorite pomodoro sauce. I’d confidently guess that your first instinct would be to go online, type “how to cook pomodoro sauce", and watch one of the first videos that appear on the results page.
And you’re far from being the only one!
Most people go online to look for tutorials and how-to videos that can help them with a problem they’re having. And you can create your own piece that gives simple and easy-to-follow instructions about how your product can be used for a specific purpose.
Video tutorials work really well on social media, so here’s an extra tip for you: don’t upload your video without a well-designed image as its thumbnail.
Just like a book cover, audiences often judge a video by its thumbnail, so make yours as captivating and intriguing as possible. What captivates your audience will vary from niche to niche and even from platform to platform – for example, viewers on more visual social channels like Instagram might respond better to more aesthetically pleasing imagery. Just remember, the better the thumbnail, the more people will engage with your awesome educational videos.
Your tutorial videos should always:
- Be built around information and explanations that are relevant and valuable for your target audience.
- Get straight to the point. Get in, explain, get out.
- Be branded. You can be less subtle here, as you want to establish yourself as a reliable, go-to reference your audience can bank on.
Unboxing videos that click with your audience
And last but not least, another extremely popular video style in social media is the self-explanatory unboxing video.
Many users nowadays enjoy watching a video that dissects exactly what they are getting when buying from your brand, especially if your product comes with a set of extra tools and instructions.
While most of the unboxing videos out there look similar in aesthetic, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. The product on display is the protagonist, but how compelling or entertaining an unboxing ends up being is down to the talent behind the camera.
Just remember that your goal is to be as detailed and transparent as possible: clarity is key!
Your unboxing videos should always:
- Have an angle that makes it distinctive. This can be the on-camera person’s charisma, a particular procedure for the unboxing, or a unique aesthetic sensibility.
- Deliver accurate, evergreen information. You don’t want to date your unboxings if you can avoid it.
- Provide an experience as well as information. The format’s popularity relies heavily on the way viewers feel through watching your unboxing, not just the information they get.
One last piece of advice!
In this article, we’ve covered the most popular types of video content that can help your brand boost sales and reach new audiences. So, by the end of this article, you may be left wondering: which type of video should I create first?
I wish there was an easy answer to that, but the truth is that every successful company has followed its own unique path towards achieving its marketing goals. Each of the videos we've seen can be matched to different stages of the customer journey, meaning you can customize your content strategy to boost effectiveness.
So, as a parting piece of advice, make sure you create video content that speaks directly to your audience and offers valuable information they can use in their everyday lives. Beyond the aesthetics, a content strategy based on trust, understanding and helpfulness will make your brand stand out from the rest.