If you haven’t started video marketing yet, now is the time. Video marketing is becoming a necessity for everybody due to the diminishing effectiveness of traditional marketing and the rising popularity of video.
Video content is more than a part of your overall content marketing plan. It is crucial to your outreach efforts and campaigns and especially your social media strategy. Social media is dominated by video, particularly since the rise of short-form video content on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know about video marketing, from choosing the right type of video to how you draft your own strategy.
While video marketing became mainstream in 2010, it was only four years later when it became more accessible. These days it is accessible to most businesses thanks to the rise of editing software, freelancers like me, and the evolution of social media.
In fact, according to a survey by Semrush, there has been a surge in demand for content writing services, graphic designers, and video editors, which suggests that more companies are willing to outsource creative tasks due to the high amount of content they have to produce for their content marketing strategies.
Why Is Video Marketing Important?
Every type of content has its strengths and weaknesses, but the data proves time and time again that video is one of the best.
Hubspot has found that 78% people view online videos each week and 54% of people watch videos every day.
Google’s research found that 61% of people would prefer to watch online videos over television.
YouTube claims that more than 1,000,000 hours worth of video are viewed each day by its users.
Video is a powerful marketing tool because it grabs attention and inspires. You can control every aspect of it, from its look and feel to the messaging and soundtrack. This allows you to create emotion in a way that isn’t possible with other content types.
For example, I’ve created this inspirational video for International Women’s Day to highlight the contributions of the Iranian-Canadian community for one of my clients.
But most of all, video overcomes the problem of banner blindness. This is the phenomenon when web users subconsciously learn to ignore traditional banner/display ads. Add to that the fact that almost half (47%) internet users use an adblocking tool, and you will see that paid search and display advertising are becoming less effective. Video is less vulnerable to adblocking and can cut through the clutter better, making it an excellent option to engage your audience.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all became “video first” in response to this demand and have created new video-friendly placements, such as “live” broadcasting, stories, and reels. YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, and other video-based platforms have seen a surge in popularity and are now a mainstay of online video consumption.
In short, if you aren’t creating video, then you’re likely falling behind.
What Are the Different Types of Video Marketing?
It doesn’t matter what type of video you choose, but they must be fit for purpose. They must be relevant to your goals and fit the section of the marketing funnel you are targeting. (Here, I explain the content marketing funnel in detail.)
Below is a breakdown of the different video types. This will allow you to become more familiar with your options and help inform your future strategy. You will likely use several, but perhaps not all of these video types.
1. Explainer Videos
Explainer videos make up the largest category of online video content. They can be used to explain topics, such as how your service or product works, explain a concept, or how to do something. Watch this example by Amazon:
Explainers and animated explainer videos that describe a company or service are designed to convert customers. These explainers are often embedded on a website or landing page (to decrease bounce rate and improve conversion rates) or sent to prospects. They can also be used on social media to achieve the same goals.
Explainer videos that relate to a concept are usually made to attract the audience from the “Engage” stage. So, they are used in the middle part of the marketing funnel and work best when shared via social media, embedded in a blog post, or newsletters.
2. Brand Storytelling Videos
The storytelling video is a great way to communicate your brand and connect emotionally with your audience. Brand storytelling videos showcase core values, purpose, and mission using engaging visuals. They offer more than a product or service but rather an experience that transcends mundane reality.
For Mother Miracle School, I created the below brand storytelling video featuring testimonial elements that, in combination, are telling a story about what the non-profit organization’s mission is and why you should consider sponsoring a poor child in India.
A compelling plot is crucial to creating a good brand video. This doesn’t mean a good-versus-evil scenario. Instead, you should consider a problem-versus-solution narrative.
Brand storytelling videos target your audience at the top of your marketing funnel at the “Attract” stage. You need to emote, entertain, include – and, above all, stand out.
3. Event Videos
Eventbrite, a ticketing site for event management, reported that 94% of events that used video as a promotional tool were more effective than those without. Video increases awareness of your event, engages attendees, and thus drives ticket sales.
To cover an event, you usually use three essential video types. One video can increase attendance. Another will grab attendees’ attention while they are there, and the last will allow your event to live on even after it is over, which should always be a goal of your marketing efforts.
A ticket launch announcement video increases awareness and encourages registration. It also generates excitement about the event and should be shared through every marketing channel at your disposal. You want your audience at the top of the funnel to know about your upcoming event.
The following launch video to register for Adobe MAX 2021 is a perfect example in which Adobe included all the necessary details: date, speakers, and how to sign up.
Pre-event announcements help convert those who might be on the fence about attending your event or are stuck. These videos will help convince your event is the place to be. They risk losing out if they don’t sign up or buy tickets now.
I like Hubspot’s approach with its “Community Stories” with which they let former attendees talk about the importance of joining its annual Inbound conference.
The event recap video will be a treasure trove for all those who attended. However, it will also become your most powerful marketing asset for the next event. It will let those who didn’t attend know what was happening.
In another example by Adobe, from Adobe MAX 2020, they summarize the event beautifully and have a comfortable pace going through the conference’s highlights. The only element missing is the call-to-action for the next event, but let’s not be too picky.
4. Interview and Q&A Videos
Interview and Q&A videos make great videos that engage your audience and satisfy their informational needs. Industry experts, influencers and team members, customers, or even your audience. Although you can prepare the questions by yourself, it’s a great way to keep your followers engaged by collecting their questions.
With organizations relying on in-person events heavily impacted by the pandemic, I kicked off a series of virtual fireside chats for two of my clients. This interview below is an example of mine featuring Leena Yousefi and Shermin Kruse talking about female leadership and how they have shaped their lives and taken control of their careers.
Leena Yousefi is a multi-award-winning family law lawyer and founder of YLAW – the fastest-growing female-led law firm in BC, Canada. Shermin Kruse is an accomplished consultant, attorney, adjunct professor, TEDx producer, and thought leader. She’s also the founder and CEO of “My Reality Cubed” and author of “Butterfly Stitching.”
Apart from interviewing others, you can also host a solo Q&A session in which you address your audience’s questions. Live streaming videos are also an option that allows you to communicate more effectively with the audience in real-time.
5. Behind the Scenes Videos
With original, engaging behind-the-scenes videos, your audience can get a glimpse into what life is like for you. These videos are great for showing off your company culture and giving credit to your team. They can also be used to help humanize your brand, increase trust and strengthen your relationship with the audience.
You could give your audience office tours and then take them backstage at an event you are involved in. For example, you could show them your employees or how they make your products. If you’re in the acting business, you can provide a set tour.
For Shohreh Aghdashloo, known for her roles in titles like “House of Sand and Fog,” “Star Trek Beyond,” and “24,” I’ve directed, shot, and edited the above video – a two-part behind-the-scenes series following her on the set of “The Expanse” in Toronto, Canada.
The series was well-received by fans, with around 200,000 views on social media. With behind-the-scenes content, you can target all stages of your marketing funnel.
6. Teaser Videos
Teaser videos can be described as mini commercial videos designed to generate a good click-through rate. Also known as promo videos, they have the goal of creating excitement and enticing people. This video type is ideal for building brand awareness and directed to the top of your funnel – the “Attract” stage.
Promo videos are becoming more popular for webinars and event marketing. The videos have to be short and concise.
It should be captivating, action-oriented, and sensational. It’s crucial to set a goal to create a great teaser video, and a call-to-action should be set up in advance. This could be an email subscription or event invitation.
The following is a teaser video Google used to introduce the Google Pixel 6.
7. Educational Videos
Educational videos focus on a specific topic and provide definitions for industry terms or general concepts related to a product. This is a classic top-of-the-funnel kind of content. People are always searching for new information about current topics.
For one of my clients, a non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting human rights and democracy in Iran, I created this educational video amid the inauguration of the next Iranian president. Before watching the video, please be aware that some people may find the content upsetting.
Keyword-based searches are a great way to increase views on SEO-optimized topics. These videos are typically short to medium-length because they are content-driven. Educational videos can also be used strategically to promote upcoming events. In addition, you may find multiple calls to action and even nudges to go to the next level of the funnel.
8. Success Stories and Testimonials
This type of video marketing, also known as success stories videos, or testimonials, gives marketers and advertisers another opportunity to show the benefits of a business or brand through customers’ eyes.
Testimonials involve interviews with trusted clients and (long-term) customers. This ensures authenticity and shines a spotlight on the success of your product. These videos can also be accompanied by statistics and figures to confirm the clients’ experience and are targeted at a specific use case or problem.
One of my favorite examples is from the email marketing company Mailchimp.
Testimonials are meant to be engaging videos of medium length. They include a direct address and create an emotional connection with your audience through your clients. There are three types you should use for the middle of your funnel:
Customer Testimonials: Straight to the point Q&A interview.
Customer Reviews: An honest review of the customer’s experience.
Case Study Narrative: Uses a particular narrative to draw a conclusion using customer interviews and stats.
9. Live Videos
Live videos are a great way to connect with your audience. You have the opportunity to connect with your audience in real-time, and it gives you more chances to create a lasting relationship. Live content also lives on after you broadcast, meaning that you can repost it and share it with future audiences.
My recommendation is to focus on sharing your expertise using a webinar format. This will make your live videos a valuable product customers can use in their niche. Also, keep your webinar videos short (up to 60 minutes), and keep them up-to-date.
I like how Adobe uses live videos to entertain and educate its users with masterclasses about its products, like this one below with Paul Trani.
How Do I Build a Video Marketing Strategy?
Knowing the different types of video marketing now, let’s continue with your video marketing plan that will eventually guide you. This strategy should include your budget and production timelines. Step one in the video creation process should be to get this down and finished. Before we get into the details, let’s take a look at the steps.
Setting your video goals
Define your target audience
Identify the story you wish to tell
Setting Your Video Goals
Your video strategy starts with defining your video’s goals. To make a video for each stage of the marketing funnel (a concept I explained in What is Content Marketing?), you’ll have to decide which stage is the most important to target.
Putting the content marketing funnel in the context of your video marketing strategy would look like this:
The viewer is presented with a problem or challenge, and they are shown the solution. This stage is where videos should be attractive to users and introduce your brand or company.
Now the viewer is thinking about how they will solve their problem. They are researching, looking for suggestions, reading product reviews, and trying out cost-effective solutions.
The solution has almost been found, and you want it to stay top of mind. You can show your prospect proof that customers are satisfied with your product or service and explain why it should be chosen over the rest.
An “Attract” stage video is essential if you want to attract a new audience to your brand. An “Engage” stage video will help you drive your audience. Finally, a “Delight” stage video is necessary to nurture prospects.
Define Your Target Audience
Knowing the marketing funnel stage you’re targeting, it is time to determine who your intended audience will be. For example, a video that’s not targeted at a particular audience will more likely be a flop. People who are not meant to see it will not, and those who watch it will not convert. It’s essential to develop your buyer persona.
Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations based on research and data of your ideal customer. These personas help you concentrate your time on qualified prospects and align your videos within your organization. Once you have your buyer persona, you’ll know who your target audience is.
Identify the Story You Wish to Tell
A great story is one that connects with all demographics, allowing you to create a scalable marketing strategy. This is achievable with four important elements.
These elements lead the viewer on an emotional journey that aligns with your brand’s mission. So when writing your script, consider what emotion you want to evoke.
No matter how short it is, every tale in video marketing has a hero. The consumer or product is the hero of most explainer videos.
Therefore, it should be easy for them to identify. Because your audience will be defined by the hero, it is crucial to create this element early. These characters have to be relatable and interesting. Your audience will relate to them by adding character traits that they can identify with (this is where the buyer persona research pays off.)
A video that focuses on the conflict is the best way to reach your target audience. You create an incentive for your customers to pay attention by creating a video story around the problems they are facing. A traditional video narrative’s conflict introduces an obstacle to your audience’s happiness, productivity, and effectiveness. It can be a great way to get in on the decision-making of potential customers.
The real reason people watch your videos is to see the quest or the way your hero solves it. So here is the place to showcase your product or service.
You can go all-out on this quest. It’s the best part of the video narrative process. They will remember you, share and talk about your products and services if you do it well.
The video’s hero has been introduced. They have faced the conflict, endured it, and are now at the solution. After viewing your video, what should the audience do?
Depending on your goal, the resolution could be a continuation or awareness of what is happening. It all depends upon your conversion path and your call to action.
What Are the Stages of Video Production Process?
Your video strategy is in place. You know the video goals you are trying to achieve and what video will help you do it.
Next comes scriptwriting, looking for the right partner, video review, and edits. The entire production process is divided into three production stages.
All your video planning is covered in the pre-production stage. Because it sets the stage for the entire production process, it’s the most crucial stage. First, you will need to clarify the content of your video and get feedback from all team members – next, schedule and book your shoot. Finally, if you are looking to hire a production company or agency, all of your creative calls, company vetting, and video marketing approvals will be done there.
Here are four important steps to video pre-production that you need to remember.
It’s essential to have a creative brainstorming session, whether you’re hiring me as a freelancer or producing your video yourself. This will help you decide on your video’s story, characters, message, style, and length.
If you’re working with me, I usually schedule a creative meeting to review your ideas and provide feedback based upon what I have seen work. I am available to provide any direction or new concepts. However, it is essential to agree on a creative direction. This will help you communicate your brand and make your brand memorable.
Scripting and Outline
The next step is to create the script for the video. Write down everything that will happen in the order it occurs in your script’s first draft. This includes drafting your dialogue, voice-overs, and music. This can be done in-house, or you can hire a freelancer to do the job for you.
The average reading speed is about two words per second. Keep this in mind when you write. For example, a one-minute video should contain 120 words. A two-minute video should have around 240 words, and so on.
If the video is very long or must be presented to many people, a storyboard can help.
Draft a storyboard, and then fill in the scenes. It doesn’t matter if you have just stickmen and rough drawings. The artwork is not what matters. The trick is to run through the story and then bring the script and shots together.
Production is where all of the planning, script development, and pre-production come together. Professional video production crews are meticulous and have an eye for details. They need to be careful about lighting, capturing sound bites from interviews, directing talent, and capturing beautiful and relevant B-roll.
Two components are essential to any video: audio and visuals. Both audio and visuals must be up to your standards on production day. For the best sound quality and picture, it is essential to test all equipment. All sound equipment and all camera equipment should be checked.
You should ensure that your shots align with your brand’s style and the storyboard if you’re present on set. Ask for photos or chat for a few moments if you are not present on set to ensure that your video is flowing as intended.
Lighting can be used to set the mood and feel of a scene. It is important to light a scene properly, as the camera requires light to work at its best. One of my favorite YouTubers, Peter McKinnon, is quickly explaining the importance of lighting.
The physical styling of your production includes makeup, wardrobe, props, and set decorations. These items will convey the bulk of your story, no matter how big or small. These should be addressed during the creative planning stage.
However, the details and purchases can be made later. The way your video looks can make or break your marketing campaign.
The final stage is Post-Production. This is where the production team goes through the audio and recorded footage and arranges it according to the script. Graphics, music, and sound effects are all part of the final piece.
Editing your video footage is an integral part of post-production. Editing your video footage includes cutting and splicing your interviews, B-roll, and lifestyle footage together to create your story. To accurately tell the story, you must adjust other visual elements like color, clarity, and white balance. These edits will change the look and feel of your video, which can significantly impact its branding.
Sound effects are at least equally important as visual effects, maybe even more. Audio mixing, dialogue, narration, and music in combination can change the way you’re experiencing the video a lot. Adding an ambient sound layer to a quiet scene makes a low-quality video a high-quality video.
Lens Distortions is presenting this perfectly with the above teaser video for its sound library. Ever since I started using their sound effects, my videos have become more immersive and intense than anything I’ve created for my clients before.
You can and should add graphic effects to your video, in addition to visual editing. These graphic elements could include animations, text graphics or fade-ins/outs, lower-third graphic overlays (interview names and titles), logos, and many more. These elements will tie your branding together.
I hope you enjoyed this in-depth guide to video marketing, and it helps you decide to start creating more video content!
Feel free to contact me for your video marketing needs, and I’ll handle many of these things for you. The cost of creating a video is very affordable, and you don’t need to worry about spending a lot to make a memorable clip.
Brands cannot ignore the growing popularity of video online. 71% of consumers now watch more videos than they did a year earlier. The good news is that creating great content is easier than ever with freelancers like me.