With everyone talking about video, how do you know what’s the most effective video for your business marketing? Here are nine promo video types that will work for your business.
If you’ve ever done video marketing in the past, you know how complicated it can be. First, you have high hopes. You get delivered a video, and you think, “I spent a lot of money, and this is all I got!” The truth is that video marketing takes time. It takes effort. Don’t fall into the trap of trusting that someone’s going to figure it out for you. You need to step up and take ownership over your video marketing.
Before we jump into the nine different types of promo videos that can work for your business, let’s just take a step back. A video is a communications or sales tool. You have the ability to communicate a message and have amazing visuals to support that message—that’s it. What do you want to say? Who are you speaking to? What do you want to look like? What visuals do we need to demonstrate it?
Every single decision that goes into a video is pretty much the same. It goes on to a landing page, website, or Facebook ad. We need to know our objectives. What does the video exactly need to accomplish? We need to know who we’re speaking to, what their motivations are, and where the video will be leveraged. What is the type of video you want to create? That’s just the wrapper. That’s the package. That’s the creative fun part of it. You can wrap it any way you want. However, most marketers don’t focus on those five things. They focus on the wrapper. They tend to say, “Should we create a graphic-based video?” or “My nephew told me that Facebook advertising is really great,” or “My niece is on Instagram, and they think about all these things.” They do not focus on those five core things that will actually make the video successful. So I’m going to assume that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to those five. Now let’s get into the fun part, the creative part, the wrapper.
1. Corporate overview
This can be a corporate film. It can be a brand video, essentially a video that explains who you are, why you do what you do, and the impact that you make in any combination of messaging. Again, the messaging is just the story that you want to share and how you share it. That’s the wrapper. When you start to think through creative ways, you have a story. Your people love you for a reason. Your customers come back to you all the time. And again, you do amazing things, and you share them in an interesting story or through a client’s perspective. When producing a corporate overview, tell people everything that they need to know about you. Anyone can read your website. Anyone can figure out your features, how you work, or your history. It’s not about that; it’s about sharing a perspective. It’s about saying what only you can say in the way that only you can say it.
2. Case studies or testimonials
Every now and again, I’m working with an entrepreneur or marketer, and they come to me and say, “Listen, I can say whatever I want to say, but who am I? Right? Who am I to say how awesome I am? I need other people to say how awesome I am.”
There’s some truth to that. If you are in a skeptical, cynical, hate-filled market, people do not trust you. To build trust, there’s nothing better than going out there and sharing stories told by others. Sure, you’re producing it, you’re going to clean it up, and you’re going to make sure that you look good. However, you also need to go out and have other people speak about what it is you do, why it’s amazing, or why it works. That builds so much trust and so much credibility throughout your entire sales process.
For the last few years, there’s been this buzzword of “social proof.” When I started my company back in 2006, there was no such thing as social proof. Today, in your product/service campaigns, yes, you can shout things, but it has to be in a way that provides a proof that there, in fact, are people who love it, use it, and believe in it.
If you’re in a B2B industry, a case study is an amazing way to highlight the thinking and the outcome. Great case studies look at the challenge, the opportunities, and how you hit a certain outcome. Naturally, you are going to be the solution provider. You’re going to be the one to help people get that outcome. The client could have gone to anyone. They could have chosen anyone, but they chose you. They could have gotten any result, but they got the result you gave them. The more detailed you are in this, the more focused you are on specifics, the more trust you will build, as people are evaluating your company, whether it’s on a landing page, on your website, or even within a Facebook or LinkedIn campaign.
3. The graphic explainer video
If you’re into B2B, if you’re into SAS solutions, if you have a complex, conceptual, abstract idea, there is nothing better than creating a graphic explainer video. It is really hard to go out into the world and shoot or create visuals when there’s nothing tangible. Write a script, have a voiceover artist read the script. Alternatively, you can interview people, have those voice clips come in, and then design visuals and graphics animations to be able to explain exactly what you’re talking about through visual concepts. There’s nothing better than doing multilingual work. We do a ton of English to Spanish, English to French, and English to German. When we’re doing that type of work. A graphic-based explainer video is ideal because we can quickly roll out multiple translations for next to no money.
I don’t want you to cheap out. I don’t want you to come out with just a simple whiteboard video. What I want you to start thinking about is how to communicate these abstract ideas in really visually stunning and interesting ways. Don’t just copy everyone else. Make it your own. Graphic-based explainer videos are a great way to explain what it is you do, how you do it, and how it works.
4. A question-based documentary
Chances are, if you’re a smart person, you ask smart questions, and you go out there and try to find smart answers. You’re not alone. All of your customers and everyone evaluating us do nothing but answer questions. So in a question-based documentary, you can act as a journalist. You can be like Vox or Vice. You can ask a really interesting question that your audience, prospect, or customer doesn’t even know how to ask. It can be a rhetorical question. It can be a challenge in the industry. It can be the type of question where the customer can say, “I am now invested because I can’t wait to find the answer.” And your company can be the company to provide that answer.
Here’s a great example: There is this big challenge society is facing, and we don’t think this is acceptable anymore. So we asked ourselves, “What would have to happen to fix this challenge?” “What would have to happen to fix poverty?” “What would have to happen to make sure that you know?” For Tom’s Shoes case, nobody in the world goes without shoes, or for Warby Parker, no one in the world would have to live without eyesight. Ask smart questions, and find smart answers. It’s really intriguing for people, and you get to drop all of this information in an entertaining way. You can make yourself look like heroes as you explore it, and no one gets bored because it’s interesting and dynamic content.
5. How-to videos
Of course, you’re not going to advertise with how-to videos, but you can build a really strong suite of how-to videos for consideration perhaps on your landing page. When people are deeper in the funnel and there is the qualification stage, they want the details. They want to know how it works. They want to know that you can be trusted. You can be totally upfront. Provide people tons and tons and tons of how-to videos. When they go off and are able to do it, they will come back to you because you’re their hero, and you helped them solve their problem. Alternatively, when they try to do it themselves and they screw up, realizing they can’t do it, who are they going to call? The person that didn’t help them? Someone they don’t know? Just anyone trying to advertise to them? Of course, not. They’ll run to the person who’s helped them every single step along the way.
6. Demos or product walkthrough
Like the how-to videos that help solve problems, the great thing about product demos or walkthroughs is you literally just put out there content in the most cost-effective way possible. Demos show how to do what it is you need to do. They are different from how-to videos in the sense that how-to videos focus on demand, while product walkthroughs or demos are a pre-sale. A demo is for someone who wants to know how something works.
In my opinion, onboarding, retaining the customer, and avoiding churn are just as important to your bottom line as going out there and trying to market to new customers. The cost of acquisition is so high. Why not deliver an amazing customer service when the person has already been on-boarded? You can do this through demos, walkthroughs, and unboxings. Of course, it does not have to cost a lot of money.
7. Ad campaigns
If you are running advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, or Twitter (the platform doesn’t really matter), you have to have video as part of your marketing mix. Yes, static images and a little bit of copy is a great way to start, but you have to be throwing videos into the mix because it’s way more catchy. It gives you way more opportunity to be able to slow the scroll and keep the three-second view. It gives you a stronger, more animated call to action.
All in all, it just gives you way more dynamic, interesting content. So whether you’re starting or doing really large national campaigns, you have to be thinking about videos when it comes to your ad campaigns.
8. Culture videos and recruitment videos
Most marketers do not think about culture and recruitment as a marketing initiative, with turnover being so high and with it being so expensive to find and keep good people. How is it that culture and recruitment videos are not part of your marketing mix? I know customers who go to companies and look at the “About Us” page and the culture page to judge what type of company it really is.
It’s one thing when you run an ad campaign and say, “Hey, we’re awesome.” It’s another thing when someone goes through the process behind the doors a little bit to see what the company is about and ask, “How big are they really? What do they say to the people? Who do they hope will work here?” Those things aren’t aligned.
If you’re not creating content specifically for recruitment and you’re too busy worrying about sales and marketing, you’re losing money on the other side of things because of your turnover. You’re not competitive because you can’t get the right people. Therefore, you have to think about culture and recruitment videos as part of your marketing mix.
9. Product video or crowdfunding campaign video
Whether you’re running a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign or crowdfunding for a new product, you have to consider product videos when you’re launching. Yes, you can have PR, Facebook campaigns, displays, and all these tactics, but ultimately, if your customers don’t understand what the product is, how it works, and why they need it, these tactics won’t work. We think that if we take what everyone else is doing and we make it slightly better, that’s not enough, right? Everyone is doing that. We don’t want iterative improvements. We want a revolution.
The only way that I know that this is happening is if you communicate through a product video. Part of your product launch and campaign has to be around the video, and the creative aspect should be different to stand out. Let the customers know that you are about to rock their world.
So having run a marketing agency and a video production company for over 13 years, we’ve produced thousands of videos for hundreds of companies. I can tell you, we recommend these nine types of promo videos for businesses to the people we’re working with. I did not pull these out of thin air. I didn’t just say, “Hey, let’s Google what works for businesses.” I know these videos work because we’re using them. We’re producing them every single year, and we’re taking them to market. Most importantly, our clients are seeing results from them. So while everyone else is telling you that you need to be focusing on video and you’ve been hearing the fact that you need the right promo video for your business, make sure it’s effective. Make sure you’re spending the right amount of money. Focus on those five things I talked about earlier, and more than anything, have a hell of a lot of fun because this is one of the most exciting projects you have the chance to work on.