When people think of marketing videos, they tend to think of traditional adverts as seen on TV. However, this is just one type of marketing video. The internet has made it much easier for companies of all sizes to share video content, and this has led to many different forms of marketing video being created – each with a different purpose, audience and platform in mind. This post delves into 10 different types of marketing video and how to use them effectively.
Video adverts are the most traditional form of marketing video. They are heavily promotional in tone and typically aim to make the customer aware of a product or service that they may not already be aware of.
Customers generally don’t go looking for video adverts – instead, they stumble upon them. Of course, companies can specifically target these adverts in order to ensure that the right people stumble across them.
You’re most likely to see adverts between TV programs, before YouTube videos or between social media posts as you’re scrolling. Such adverts need to be immediately attention-grabbing, or else they will be ignored. They also need to be fairly short and snappy. The optimum length and the way in which you use the first few seconds depends on where you plan to share your advert:
- YouTube ads must be at least 12 seconds long and should ideally be no longer than 30 seconds. Users may have the option to skip these videos after 5 seconds, so you need to make sure that the first five seconds grab viewers’ attention.
- The likes of Facebook and Twitter recommend keeping adverts below 15 seconds, although it’s possible to make them longer and still keep them engaging. Such adverts can be quickly scrolled past, so you should similarly try to grab people’s attention in the first few seconds.
- The average length of a TV ad is 30 seconds – but they can be longer or shorter. People are more likely to sit through TV adverts, so the first few seconds are not as important, however it’s still worth creating a strong opening to hook people in. Fewer businesses are likely to invest in TV ads because it is much more expensive and difficult to get an ad on TV
Explainer videos are typically used to help explain complicated topics visually. For example, this could include describing how a portable air conditioning unit works or explaining how SEO works. They are largely informational rather than promotional.
Unlike video adverts, viewers will typically go out of their way to watch these videos. This could include searching ‘how does a portable air conditioning unit work’ on YouTube and then coming across your video in the results, or searching ‘how does SEO work’ on Google and then clicking on a webpage with your video embedded on it. While predominantly informational, they can still help convert customers who may already be interested in a certain product or service.
Because explainer videos are often used to explain complicated topics, animations can sometimes be better suited than live action for visually getting across information. This involves hiring an animation studio. You should make sure that your video also has a voiceover and captions.
The purpose of explainer videos is to get across information simply and succinctly so they should ideally be quite short. 60 to 90 seconds is the average length, although they can be shorter or longer.
Instructional videos are used to teach viewers how to complete a specific task. Such videos can be broken down into two separate types of videos: how-to videos and tutorial videos.
- How-to videos can teach viewers a skill such as ‘how to unblock a u-bend’ or ‘how to poach an egg’. They can be a way of not just passing on knowledge to viewers, but also showing off your skills in order to gain credibility. They are more popularly used by service-based companies.
- Tutorial videos are usually aimed at existing customers or people who are seriously considering becoming customers and want to see how user-friendly your product is. They aim to show viewers how to use your product, which could include teaching people how to assemble a sofa or teaching people how to operate software. They are a customer service tool as much as they are a marketing tool.
Instructional videos usually involve a physical live-action demonstration (or a screen recording if you’re teaching someone how to use software). They are usually shared on YouTube or embedded on your site. In the case of tutorial videos, you may also want to include links to them within welcome emails or print QR codes leading to them within instruction booklets.
Viewers go out of their way to watch these videos and are usually willing to spend more time with them. As a result, such videos do not need to be short. In fact, a long video that breaks down steps into great detail could be more useful in some cases – just make sure that you’re not rambling or repeating yourself.
Infomercials are part-promotional, part-informational. Their purpose is to get people to buy your product just like a video advert, however they usually also include a demonstration much like a tutorial video, as well as providing information much like an explainer video. In other words, they’re a video advert, explainer video and instructional video all rolled into one.
Live infomercials are commonly found on teleshopping channels. However, it’s also possible to share pre-recorded infomercials through TV channels, your website or social media. It’s important to choose the right person to present the product – they need to be able to demonstrate the product and provide a great sales pitch while informing customers of facts related to the product.
Infomercials can be targeted at customers to stumble across much like adverts, or they can be targeted at customers who may already be interested in your product much like an explainer video or instructional video. The former tends to be shorter (usually 30 to 60 seconds long), while the latter can be much longer (up to an hour long if necessary!).
Behind-the-scenes videos are informational videos that aim to show how a product is made or how a service is carried out. They can provide an insider look into your company for customers – this transparency can be useful for showing customers that your business is honest and fair, as well as letting people understand the hard work that goes into making your product or delivering your service. In other words, they’re mostly a form of PR to boost your reputation.
It’s essential that these videos paint a flattering picture of your business while also satisfying the curiosity of viewers who want to know more about the work you do. You’ll want to make sure that your workplace is tidy and that everyone involved looks presentable. Make sure that any employees who appear in your video have given permission for you to use footage of them.
Behind-the-scenes videos can be shared on almost any platform. They can take the form of short 1 minute videos to be shared on social media or they can be lengthy 10 minute videos to share on YouTube. Some bigger companies have even made 30 minute + TV episodes and even TV series.
The purpose of a Q&A video is to answer questions that customers may have. This typically takes the form of an interview with a staff member.
The best place to share Q&A videos is on a FAQs webpage. However, you can also share them on your social media pages or YouTube. Make them engaging by opening with an interesting question – possibly something a bit controversial or wacky. Q&A video can be longer than many other types of videos, but should still ideally be kept under 20 minutes. You should include about 6 to 10 questions.
A great way to show that customers love you could be to record them giving live testimonials of your business (with their permission of course). Such videos can be even more powerful than reviews and are great for building a positive reputation.
Testimonial videos are often shared on a testimonials page on a website. However you can also share them on your social media pages. Try to aim for at least four to five testimonials and keep the video between 1 and 3 minutes.
Short form video
Short form videos are under 60 seconds (in some cases as short as 5 seconds) and are less formal than many other forms of video. They have become popular as a result of platforms like TikTok and Facebook reels.
Short form videos should be treated as a fun form of social media content to help beef out your feed. They could include short clips of events, questions to your audience, ‘hot takes’ to stir up conversation or anything you think may be interesting. Such videos are primarily DIY.
A webinar is like a seminar but delivered via live video. The purpose is to educate an audience on a topic – possibly teaching others how to get into the same industry as you or giving advice to customers. Such videos can be interactive, giving the audience a chance to ask questions and provide comments.
Such videos are typically DIY – a good camera and microphone is recommended. Livestorm, GoToWebinar, Zoom and Zoho Meeting are just some of the best webinar platforms used to deliver these videos. You can invite people to your webinar via social media, emails or even information on your website.
Unlike many of the other marketing videos listed above, recruitment videos are aimed at attracting future employees and not customers. They should highlight the company culture, the benefits you receive and the traits you’re looking for.
Recruitment videos can be shared on social media or embedded on a recruitment page of a website. You can even add links to them in job ads. 30 to 90 seconds is the average time of a recruitment video.