The key to successful video marketing is being able to deliver the right content at the right time. Your marketing goals should drive the types of videos that you create and when you deliver them to your audience. By knowing what creative marketing videos you can produce, you can choose the story you want to tell and make an informed decision about how to tell it. This will help you optimize your marketing campaigns for the stories, formats, and platforms that perform best for your brand.
However, creative marketing videos should not just promote your product. While data shows that branded video is a powerful sales tool, it has to catch your customers’ attention first. You should try to produce video content that doesn’t interrupt the viewer’s experience on the platform they are viewing it. Your videos should also tell a strong, interesting story, that provides some type of value. This value can be a number of things, from entertainment to education, to access to a special event. Viewers want to share and engage with brands that create useful high-quality video content. Start providing value and entertainment to your audience with these 25 different types of videos:
1. The Corporate Comedy
Audiences can pick and choose what to watch and when to watch it, so corporate videos can’t be stuffy. Produce creative marketing videos where you talk about your brand as a company without being boring or overly professional. In “Our Blades are F***ing Great,” Dollar Shave Club nails the corporate video with humor that borders on the absurd. Their growth skyrocketed after they started filming videos like this, so Unilever got in on the action and acquired the brand.
2. The Spoof
There are far more bland, generic branded videos out there than anyone could, or would ever want, to watch. The company, Dissolve, decided to poke fun at this fact by spoofing these videos in “This is a Generic Brand Video.” Because they got more creative with their video content, they saw tremendous success with over two million views on this video alone. They even won a 2015 Shorty Award for the Best B2B Video for it!
3. The Testimonial
They might not be the most creative marketing videos, but testimonials are essential to prove your product is effective. Generally shot with one person speaking directly into the camera, they truly work. A 2013 study found that 79% of consumers have the same trust in online reviews as they do in personal recommendations. Combined with visual reinforcement, social proof can have a tremendous effect on potential customers, bringing them further down the sales funnel.
However, the key to a good testimonial video is to make it feel authentic. It can’t feel forced, or too polished, so don’t use an actor or a script. Find a customer that truly believes in your product, and interview them on camera. Ask them questions about the features and benefits of your product so that it isn’t just generic praise.
“With testimonial videos, what you want is to be authentic. You want your customers to give you real answers and use their own words, so keep it human! This will help you generate a real connection with your prospects.” — YumYum Videos
4. The Case Study
A case study is similar to a testimonial, but it should lay out your clients challenges and how you provided a solution. Case studies can be funny, serious, or light-hearted, but make sure to express your brand voice while remaining authentic to the client.
5. The Explainer
Unless your product or brand is self-explanatory, an explainer video is one of the most important types of videos you can create. These creative marketing videos are high-quality productions explaining what your product is and how to use it. They are usually less than two or three minutes long.
For the Storyhunter explainer video, we demonstrated the reach of our freelance marketplace by hiring videographers from around the world to capture scenes of their video work. During these scenes, we explained how our platform works for producers who need to hire freelance creators.
Another important benefit of an explainer video that is rarely talked about is SEO. According to Small Business Trends, “Google loves video content and an effective video marketing campaign should have Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. To ensure maximum SEO value from your videos, accompany the video with a well-written description that is tagged with relevant keywords to help boost the video’s SEO.” Since an explainer video is all about your company, it’s a great place to optimize for SEO.
6. The Animated Explainer
Animated explainers are a category to themselves because they require a different mindset and production skills than a non-animated explainer. This type of video content is popular with tech companies because animation makes it easy to visualize software or other technologies. Plus, you can still be creative and playful with the animation.
“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.” — Search Engine Watch
7. The Product Video
Product videos tend to be a bit more in-depth and technical than explainer videos. They are good for when your company sells multiple products or wants to demonstrate the product to potential purchasers. These videos should be detailed, and showcase exactly how the product or services work and how your customers can (or, in the case of the video below, cannot) use it. This doesn’t mean that they have to be overly complicated, though. Sometimes a simple demonstration works best, such as in Blendtec’s ongoing product video series, “Will it blend?”
8. The Company Culture Video
These creative marketing videos show off your team and brand on the inside — often to recruit new hires. They should give viewers a look at the workplace, employees, and atmosphere at your company. Dropbox does this playfully in this video where they substitute their employees with puppets.
9. The Short Doc
Short docs can dig into authentic, true stories from your customers while connecting on an emotional level with your audience. These creative marketing videos shouldn’t be selling or entirely focused on your brand, but should tell a powerful, inspiring story. This type of video content is usually meant to promote brand awareness rather than to move customers down the funnel. No matter what tone you decide to take in them, branded short docs need to feel authentic and personal.
In 2013, Google Maps published an incredible true story about one of its users. It was not only awe-inspiring but demonstrated the huge impact their product could have on people’s lives. In “Homeward Bound,” we learn how an Indian boy separated from his family at five years old, uses Google Earth years later to retrace his journey and reunite with them. As Demo Duck says, “there are companies that take the concept of video marketing to new heights. These brands are creating documentaries, works of art, and narratives that inspire the imagination.” And this video by Google Maps certainly makes them qualified to be called one of those brands.
10. The Origin Story
This is a story about your company and how it was founded. A branded origin story can be similar to a short doc, except it should be focused on your company’s narrative. Your branded origin story can include archived photos or video, interviews with the founders or execs, or even be a 17-minute animated film like The LEGO Group’s “The LEGO® Story,” produced for the company’s 80th birthday. In these stories, your company — or your founder — is the main character driving the plot.
11. The Comedy
Let your creativity shine with these types of videos. Produced almost entirely for entertainment value and brand awareness, comedic creative marketing videos are only limited by your imagination (and budget). They can be pranks, such as Lyft’s video below, scripted narratives, humorous looks at your company, and more.
12. The Drama or Action
Like the comedy video, a drama or action film is a great way to catch your audience’s attention and provide entertainment value. RedBull perfected this in their simple, but effective, video “Creepers.”
“From creating highly-popular Facebook videos to grabbing Youtube by its proverbial horns, RedBull has leveraged every video platform known to mankind successfully. One of it’s most popular Facebook videos “Red Bull Creepers,” has over 73 million views and 1.3 million engagements. It features two climbers racing to the top of a bridge.” — WipsterRedBull — Creepers
13. The Promo ‘Trailer’
A video trailer, or sizzle reel, is similar to a movie teaser. You use it to promote an upcoming video or series release.
14. The Event Video
Whether you need to promote or recap an event for your audiences, an event video is a great way to do it. These videos can be made to sell tickets, build anticipation, or show your viewers what they missed out on.Web Summit — Prices Increase Tomorrow
15. The Livestream
If you’re hosting an event, tutorial, or giving behind-the-scenes access and want your audience to be able to attend virtually, live video is the way to go. Plus, it’s simple. It doesn’t require a huge budget (unless you’re hiring a high-quality live streaming company), post-production, or expensive camera gear. You can go live on almost any social platform directly from your smartphone.Martha Stewart and Home Depot teamed up to produce this live holiday tutorial on Facebook.
“It breaks down barriers and offers a chance to show who you really are and what your brand is all about. So, tap into that power. Whether it’s through Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or any other live streaming network, use live video to humanize your brand and build a strong connection.” — Rebekah Radice
16. The Webinar
As Search Engine Watch says, “content you only use once is content wasted.” A video webinar lets you leverage written content, or you can produce derivative content from it. Plus, unlike a lot of video content, it brings viewers directly into the sales funnel by requiring leads to register in advance.
17. The 360° Video
On the cutting edge of creative marketing videos, 360° is a fun way to experiment with and explore new types of content. It’s still hard to produce high-quality 360° videos, but viewers like the novelty of them. The most effective 360° videos give viewers access to new and exciting places that they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise.
18. The User-Generated Video
User-generated content (UGC) is a fantastic and cheap option for producing video content. GoPro has mastered UGC, successfully asking their customers to submit videos to their YouTube page, which encourages others to do so as well. Hubspot also notes that user-generated, or user-initiated, video ads have a higher brand lift: “user-initiated ads generated 82 percent brand lift among those who viewed the ads while pre-roll units generated just 2.1 percent brand lift for those exposed to the ads.”
19. The Unboxing Video
Product unboxing videos were extremely popular on YouTube and they still continue to interest viewers today. If you haven’t seen them before, unboxing videos generally feature one person unwrapping a new product from its box and showing off what’s inside.
While most unboxing videos are made by users reviewing the product, Birchbox took advantage of this trend to showcase the contents of their own beauty subscription boxes.
20. The Instagram Story
Instagram Stories (or Snapchat stories) are perfect for showcasing fun, short clips. Search Engine Watch reports that 40% of the top 1,000 most popular Instagram videos are by brands. These micro-videos can be less professional, and more playful, engaging your audience through fun, behind-the-scenes content, UGC, promotional clips, or more. On Instagram Stories, these types of videos have to be 15 seconds or less and should be highly visual, so that they catch your viewers’ attention.
While the below video isn’t an Instagram Story (Stories disappear after 24 hours), it’s perfect for the format because it’s short and colorful.Ben & Jerry’s — Instagram video
21. The Facebook Video
If the majority of your audience is on Facebook, you should optimize your videos for this platform. This translates to visual, attention-grabbing videos with big graphics or captions as most Facebook video is consumed without sound. Successful videos on Facebook can be longer than on Instagram and can be focused more on storytelling. Or they can be simple, engaging ads like this video by Taco Bell.Taco Bell — $1 Nacho Fries
22. The Social Cause Video
Many brands, Storyhunter included, have social causes that they support by raising awareness through creative marketing videos. At Storyhunter, we support and promote press freedom, so we made a video for World Press Freedom Day in May 2017. Airbnb promotes social acceptance and equality, so they created a campaign last year around the hashtag #weaccept:
23. The Tutorial
A tutorial, or demo video, is most often used by tech brands and can be as simple as a recorded screencast, where you show how to use your product step-by-step. While these aren’t the most creative marketing videos, they’re an important asset for teaching the ins and outs of your product.
24. The FAQ Video
Instead of having a regular written FAQs section on your site — add some entertaining videos to it! Videos featuring frequently asked questions are a creative way to answer common questions about your product and give mini-demonstrations.
25. The DIY or Tips Series
Do-it-yourself videos (perfect for home or lifestyle brands) or tips series are the perfect type of video content for providing continuous value to your audience.
“A tips series is ideal for establishing a presence on YouTube, and they’re great for improving your SEO. In addition, video tips help to build your credibility and establish you as an expert in your niche.” — Magnolia Media NetworkOne of Lowe’s Facebook videos for their series, “Quick Tips.”
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By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor