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What type of video should I produce?

Video has become a wildly successful marketing tool.  You’ve seen examples of amazing videos that you’d like to emulate, but there are so many different types of videos and styles of production. What type should you make?  Where should you start?

A great place to start is with defining your goal. What is the purpose of the video and what do you hope it will achieve?  Do you want to promote your company, train your employees, recruit new employees, showcase your product, or highlight how you serve your community?

If you’re creating marketing videos, your goal is likely to be tied to connecting with people at one of the following stages of the customer lifecycle: branding and awareness, interest and consideration, trial or evaluation, purchase and loyalty or referrals.

Branding and Awareness
If branding or awareness is your goal, consider a commercials or viral video. Television commercials maybe in decline, but the format has not died, it has simply adapted and moved online.  Companies like Jivox that create video ads for placement on sites like the weather channel report online commercial response rates are 5x higher than static banner ads.  Commercials are still a form of direct selling, which doesn’t work as well on today’s audience, so contextual placement becomes important (placing ads on channels and around content the audience is already engaged)… i.e. don’t place your hairdryer spot on a car enthusiast site.

If interested you can check out a few commercials we’ve made here

A viral video has to be compelling enough to encourage social sharing in order to find a large audience.  The idea behind the name “viral” is that people watch a video, and, if they like it, they share it with friends, who in turn share it with their friends, and it literally spreads like a virus.   A viral video is almost impossible to duplicate and for a business they have limited value because most people are sharing it for the viewing experience, not what your promoting and most viral videos’ massive audiences consist of unqualified prospects and it hard to make a case that they actually drive sales.

“How-to” videos or “thought leadership” videos can be longer and have lower production values, but they must still contain valuable content in order for prospective customers to watch and share. Used as part of a content marketing strategy, these videos can be far more effective than commercials or viral videos at driving leads into the sales funnel as they are consistent and community building.

Interest and Consideration
If interest or consideration is your goal, consider creating a homepage or conversion video to explain what your company offers. Done right, this can have a powerful impact on increasing your website’s response rate.  Customer testimonials video are another great tool here, as it’s incredibly persuasive to have someone else blow your horn for you!

Trial or Evaluation
A product demonstration video can go a long way during a customer’s “evaluation” stage, showing—rather than merely telling—how a product works and how it benefits users. A case study video is also a great idea; essentially, it’s an expanded version of the customer testimonial, showcasing how your company solved a customer’s particular problem. It can include interviews with you and your team as well as the customer. Viewers tend to put themselves in place of the customer, and see you solving their own problems.

A thank you/customer appreciation video soliciting feedback or reviews is a great solution at this stage of the customer lifecycle.  An up-sell video showing additional services, or a how-to or training video demonstrating the product or service just purchased, works perfectly here too.

Loyalty and Referrals
If you want loyalty and referrals, consider a series of “frequently asked question” or FAQ             videos, which lightens the load for your support staff by answering common questions in an easy-to-understand manner. Software like Camtasia can be used to create how-to and training videos, showing how to use your product more effectively or demonstrating product upgrades. Some products lend themselves to user-generated content, where fans of the product create and share their own videos which builds a sense of community and loyalty around your brand while simultaneously promoting it (Go Pro is a great example).

Once you define your goal and where your video fits in the sales cycle, you can determine the best type of video for the job.  That then gives you a solid reference point for style and approach—similar to how a movie’s genre might determine its look and feel.  You can then look at how others are doing homepage videos or commercials to future nail down your video and how you will approach it.

In future blogs, I’ll examine each kind of video in more detail.

Want help with developing a video marketing strategy?  We offer consultation services.

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