In 2013 you made a decision to use video to connect with your customers. But now the year is almost through and you're still staring at your coworkers trying to understand what that means.
What kind of video should you create? What will be most effective to larger business goals? What types of marketing videos are out there for businesses? Does it all have to be professionally shot?
Below is a short list of video production types and how they can be used to increase awareness, build lead generation, and establish trust with customers.
1. Explainer/Tutorial Videos
For many brands, video starts here. It begins as a way to show a customer how to do something more efficiently – whether it's using a cool online tool, setting up a user account, or tiling their new bathroom in time for the holidays.
Explainer or tutorial videos allow customers to see, in action, what it is they're trying to accomplish to help them follow along at home. They can also be used to simplify hard concepts in a customer's mind.
These videos are great not only for establishing expertness and authority in a vertical, but for capturing the all-important "how to"- and "hack"-themed queries in the search results. For queries that are especially competitive, targeting these phrases via video is easier than trying to gain rankings via traditional organic. Why fight through a crowded front door when you can walk through the side door?
[Home Depot, your How To videos are super informative and great. They're also as boring as watching paint dry. You can do better than this.]
2. Webinar Videos
Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably already creating this type of content.
Maybe you're using Screenflow to record a software demo to walk your team through the new install. Or maybe you're using GoToWebinar to record a presentation intended for priority customers. Don't just sit on it. Post it and let your whole audience benefit from the information you're going over.
Content you only use once is content wasted. Always be on the hunt for additional ways to leverage the content you've created. Whether you've hosted a webinar to 20 customers or you're spoken on a webinar broadcasted to thousands, how else can you use that content?
3. Project Reviews
Product reviews are a staple in the world of corporate video, but they are so for a reason. Because they're effective.
According to a fourth quarter 2012 study from Invodo [PDF], 57 percent of consumers are more confident to make a purchase online after watching a product video. More confidence equals fewer returns, fewer sales calls and happier customers willing to share their experience with your brand.
There's also the famous stat from Zappos where simply adding video to its product pages had a sales impact of 6 to 30 percent. All they did was add video. Nothing else. Why wouldn't you do that?
4. Video PSAs
When it comes to evoking an emotional response, nothing does it better than video. Whether you're a nonprofit on a limited budget or you have some serious cash to spend, to use video is to use the combination of sight and sound to affect people in a very real way.
Below is a video PSA created for the New York Council on Problem Gaming as part of its KnowTheOdds gambling awareness campaign. Does NYCPG have tons of literature that speaks to the same things addressed in the video? Yes. Are the effects of problem gambling a mystery? Maybe not to some. But this video and the others created hit viewers right in the chest and the impact was real.
5. Culture Videos
Culture videos are becoming a dime a dozen, but the good ones still stand out. In age where consumers care just as much about why you do something as what you do, these videos help your brand rise from the pack and give consumers a more personal connection. Use them to show off your team, your secret sauce and the passion you have for your business (and your customers).
Need an example of a great culture video? Check out this one from the folks at Copypress.
Whether it's from clients sharing how great it's been to work with you, from industry partners who have benefited from your collaboration or even your own team talking about what it was like to be part of your latest project, testimonials are a powerful way to establish social proof.
Even better, they're as effective shot on your iPhone as they are on a professional cyc wall. Snap them during in-store events, at tradeshows, or after the release of your latest project.
Whether you hire a motion graphics company or use a free too like Animoto, animation is another type of video to incorporate into your content marketing strategy. The reason many brands like animation is it gives you the creativity the brand is after, while still allowing a little distance if your CEO is weary of being too outspoken in his own skin.
Through animation and brand characters, a new dimension of your brand is created. Animation provides visual and emotional stimulation, as well as that wow factor your content needs to be remembered.
8. Instagram Video
Wendy's, charity:water, Ben and Jerry's, General Electric, and Oreo are just some of major brands that have jumped onto Instagram to create a splash via short-form video. In fact, 40 percent of the top 1,000 most popular Instagram videos are from brands. Instagram serves as a great outlet to show off the spirit of your brand, to create community and to inspire engagement around what you're doing.
With so many different ways to incorporate video into your content marketing, there's no excuse not to. Which flavors of online video have you tried?
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!