Hitting Play on Video Marketing

Five different types of video content and why they do or don’t work

Lauren Dowdle
December 22 2018

The reason many brands rely on videos as part of their marketing strategies is obvious. They’re short, easily digestible, and give marketers a nice boost to their numbers — just check out these video marketing statistics:

  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80 percent
  • Shoppers who view demo videos are almost twice as likely to make a purchase
  • Companies that use video marketing have 27% higher click-through rates and 34% higher conversion rates
  • Using the word “video” in an email subject line increases open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%
  • Video is the type of content with the best ROI, according to most marketers
  • Brands that use video marketing grow their year-over-year revenue 49% faster than brands that don’t

But which types of video marketing are the most effective, and which ones are a waste of time? We’ve put together a list of five video content types. Here’s what works best:

1. Vlogs

Countless YouTube personalities have made a (sometimes excellent) living from their vlogs, ranging from product reviews to sharing personal information.

Vlogs are most successful when a recognizable person such as a social media influencer or self-made YouTube star is behind them, and that’s not something you’ll find at most large companies. Of course, there are exceptions. Vlogs by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg or Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk will likely generate high views because they’re established and influential public figures.

While vlogs may not become a major part of your video marketing campaigns, there are a few instances where they work well, beyond the example above:

  • Company announcement: The head of your brand can share a videoed update instead of typing up the standard press release
  • Partnership: If your brand works with a social influencer, take advantage of that partnership by featuring them in a video. Even better, have them mention your company or message in one of their vlogs
  • Columnist: Just like at a newspaper, feature a charismatic employee for an insightful or leadership-oriented piece

Bottom line: Vlogs can be great for influencers, but may not work as well for large brands that don’t necessarily have a recognizable face to feature.

2. Live

Live videos require no editing and allow businesses to get content out immediately. Whether you use Facebook, Periscope, or a different streaming platform, the real benefits of going live are creating real-time interactions with your audience and helping them connect with your brand through a ‘no-filter’ experience.

Currently, live video has the fastest growth rate of online videos, with a 113% yearly increase in ad growth. Those findings also show other illuminating facts: viewers spend eight times longer viewing live video than on-demand, and 82% prefer live video to social posts.

Live video can include Q&As, company announcements, events, and behind-the-scenes looks. Create a loose plan for the video, but don’t lose the improvised, real-time feel that comes with live streaming.

Bottom line: Consumers are demanding more live videos, so you’ll want to find a way to make them an engaging part of your marketing plan.

3. Tutorial/Demo

Who doesn’t love a good how-to video? Use this format to provide customers with a product tutorial, help them work through a relevant task, or better understand your business. As a side note, animation videos pair well with this content type and can be used to simplify a tricky topic.

You can even tie in products to your demo video, as did Absolut did in this video – which earned them a respectable 77,000+ views:

Bottom line: While they appear simple, adding demos to your video content can be tricky. They need to be quick, easy to understand, and relevant for your audience.

4. Products

No matter what you’re selling, there’s a way to make a video about it. Nearly half of all Internet users look for product or service videos before visiting a store, so make sure you have something when they go looking.

Highlight your product’s features, why consumers need it, when/where to use it, its benefits, and common questions. The best marketers combine storytelling techniques with informative content.

Bottom line: You know your products better than anyone, so compile that information and share it in a video. There’s no excuse for not having at least a few product videos on your site.

5. Testimonials

There’s an art to creating a testimonial video. You can’t simply record your customers reciting lines about why you’re great. These videos need to come across as genuine, not just another sales pitch.

51% of marketers say customer testimonials are the most effective video content type, followed by tutorial (50%) and demonstration (49%) coming in right behind it.

Take this example of a testimonial video from Fulfillment by Amazon:

It features customers sharing their experiences and includes real examples, figures, how it improved their business, and other interesting features they’ve enjoyed. The video has racked up more than 15,000 views – not too shabby for a testimonial.

Bottom line: Testimonials can be a great selling tool for your business because consumers value the insights of other shoppers. Just be sure they’re genuine accounts  – it shouldn’t come off as if participants are reading from a teleprompter.

Put on a show

The question isn’t if you should incorporate videos into your marketing strategy, but how to best do it for your brand. No matter the type of video(s) you create, make sure it resonates with your audience. And don’t forget to add captions: 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.

Lauren Dowdle

Lauren Dowdle is an award-winning writer and magazine editor based in Nashville, Tenn. Her nearly decade-long writing career has covered everything from landscaping to marketing — plus being interviewed by Jay Leno and winning a backhoe-operating contest. When she’s not behind the keyboard, you’ll find her spoiling her four furry babies and exploring the city with her husband.

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