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Video marketing is currently the best way to connect with your audience.
It can make your prospects’ first awareness of your brand unforgettable. It can nurture your leads into customers with one well-explained value proposition. It can even make cold calls feel personal.
But while the opportunities for video marketing are endless, you might be wondering if it’s right for you and your business – and if it is – how to get started.
We’ve compiled a huge guide to essential video marketing, taking you from understanding the definition to measuring the success of your first round of content.
Let’s get started.
You’ve seen video marketing before.
Some of it feels more “market-y” than others. For example, it might be an ad on YouTube, Instagram Reels or TikTok.
Some of it barely feels like marketing at all. For example, it might be an explainer video on how to use a SaaS tool, an educational series or even straight entertainment.
But what connects all of these kinds of video marketing is its goal:
“Turn audiences into customers.”
Here’s a pragmatic definition of video marketing:
“Video marketing is the use of moving visual imagery to persuade audiences to take a step towards purchase.”
Summed up: video is the tool; marketing is the aim.
Not sure if video marketing is worth the investment? Here are a few quick video marketing statistics to give you an idea of the current state of video marketing:
Statistics like this prove that other businesses and marketing teams are seeing results from their investment in video production, and it’s likely you will as well.
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Video marketing is important to different companies and brands for different reasons:
Brands aren’t humans.
And for most of your audience or customers, your brand is just a tool, or just a website – or worse – just a bill at the end of every month.
But video marketing can bring humanity to your brand.
Where static images can feel fake (people are burnt out on stock imagery), words can seem impersonal (unless they’re a gun copywriter), and podcasts can only provide a part of what makes up communication.
Video marketing is the only medium that provides “facial dynamics” – movement of human facial features.
Here’s a great example of facial dynamics in this video from Adidas. No text or narration needed – just raw emotion and expression.
While being perceived as “human” is important for all businesses, it becomes especially important where:
So, video marketing can provide the human touch necessary to nurture trust. We see another example of this with email marketing tool Sendlane. This video podcast with their CEO and marketing manager is a perfect example of humanizing a brand.
YouTube has 2 billion users. Facebook gets 8 billion video views a day, with Twitter getting 2 billion.
With the advent of TikTok and the rise of short form video content (like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts), your audience is basically guaranteed to be watching some form of video content.
Which also means…
Unless you’re a unique service or product provider (in which case, congrats!), your competitors are using these video channels to target your audience.
If you’re not worried about that because you have amazing ads, or great web traffic or a huge forum…
Think about this: when your competitors are on a channel unopposed, that channel’s audience is going to have them top of mind.
So even if you’re not looking to convert through video channels, video marketing is important for visibility.
Video is a great learning tool because it can provide a unique style of engagement and instruction.
As an example, let’s say you’re trying to learn a video editing software. There’s a blog with instructions, and at one point it tells you to go to a particular menu to select a key feature.
You might spend the next five minutes trying to find that menu.
Whereas a video will mirror exactly where you need to look and what you need to do to find that menu and feature.
Further, interactive videos (like webinars) give your audience a chance to question what they’re learning in real time.
And the best thing about using video as a learning tool?
It necessarily combines every other content form to create. Your script can become a blog, the audio can become a guided instruction in-product.
Here’s an example of a video tutorial we created for our presentation capabilities detailing out a step-by-step tutorial.
Video marketing can cost as much as you want. For “free,” you can use any device with a camera and video recording software, or you can spend millions on a Super Bowl Ad.
To figure out what you might need to allocate into the budget, you’ll need to consider these variables:
Does your brand want to be seen as home-grown and a bit rough around the edges? Or do you prefer to be seen as slick and professional?
While a basic video can be as low as $1,000, a premium ad can run you up to $50,000 or more.
Do you have the skills and equipment to create video inside your business, like someone who can present on camera or people that can operate both the hardware and software involved?
Agency pricing depends on the level of professionalism you want to portray in your video and what kind of video you want to create.
If you go in-house, you need to purchase your own video production equipment, although this can range from using a smartphone and a video maker like Visme, or a high-quality camera and video team.
Visme’s tool starts at $29/month (billed annually) for a business plan.
Can all stakeholders involved commit to the amount of time it takes to make a video, including everything from ideation, to scripting, recording, editing and circulation?
Consider if it’s worth the investment to hire a dedicated videographer onto your marketing team.
There are hundreds of types of marketing videos, so it can be challenging to know what you should be creating and why.
To make it easier to understand, here’s a breakdown.
Paid videos are ads – content you put money behind in order to reach specific goals.
There are several reasons you’d want to use paid marketing videos:
While paid videos are better for getting in front of the right audience, their benefit ends where your budget does, so plan carefully before putting money behind them!
Organic videos are value adds – basically, giving away value (in the form of information, education or entertainment) for free.
They get distributed to your channels without pay, with your audience finding you through search (SEO), or by getting recommended in a feed (e.g., Instagram feed, TikTok feed, YouTube recommended for you).
While they have the best ROI over a long period of time, they can take months or years to accumulate a sizable audience.
Animated marketing videos are drawn, designed or use CGI to get their messages across.
Check out this example from Headspace:
Animated marketing video pros:
Animated marketing video cons:
Live-action marketing videos feature real-life people.
Take this example from Oribi:
Live-action marketing video pros:
Live-action marketing video cons:
All of video marketing content falls into these four categories:
These categories are awareness and funnel agnostic.
For example, you can create top of funnel video content to convince your audience of “why you should be using video marketing.”
Or you could create a call-to-action free video on what happens behind the scenes at your office for your best customers.
To give you a better idea of what category (or categories) you should focus your time and attention, here are some examples of the types of marketing videos in each of them:
Educational marketing videos have one goal: pass on beneficial, actionable information to your audience.
These videos can be product/service/business agnostic, or solely focus on educating your current customers to get more from you.
Whether you choose one or a mix of both, you can try these approaches:
These types of videos are great for educating your audience while also building brand awareness and strength.
Generally, a video series will use each new video to go over the principles of a topic, be shot piece to camera (one presenter looking at the camera), and the presenter will have visual aids like a whiteboard or animations accompanying their words.
The classic example of an educational video series is Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays.
Every Friday, a Moz employee or guest presenter takes their audience through a topic of SEO.
Who would be best using this type of video marketing?
While there’s no doubt it’s powerful stuff, it has a very particular niche:
then this is for you.
We use this same principle in our “Make Information Beautiful” YouTube series.
Because Visme has basic design tools for free, this series explains basic design theories that non-designers can follow, giving them further use, application and success with the Visme platform.
What’s great about this system is the more your audience learns, the more they get from your platform, the more they want to learn (and repeat!)
When would you use this content?
This is great at any stage of awareness and funnel.
At your top of funnel, you can introduce broad concepts in simple ways to capture those in their starting steps.
As for your super-stars and best customers, you can dive into complex and niche issues, or even invite them on to guest star as a presenter.
Some activities are challenging to learn unless they’re being supervised in real-time or you can stop and start them when you want.
This is where tutorial videos shine.
Take the example of Games Workshop (producers of the popular Warhammer miniature series) “How to Build and Paint” Series:
While the miniatures range of Games workshop numbers in the thousands, the “How to Build and Paint” series is steadily going through their entire catalogue in order to show their customers how to prepare models they can be proud of.
Who would be best using this type of video marketing?
Where lectures or classes are based on principles, follow-alongs are based on practice.
So basically anything where your audience is trying to exactly replicate or mirror what it is you’re doing.
Other businesses it could be useful for include:
You’ll find another Visme example in our “How to Use Visme” YouTube series.
These are step-by-step guides that Visme users view to see how to accomplish basic (or complex!) visual design goals.
When would you use this content?
While you could use this at any stage of the funnel, it’s best suited for those using your product or service (whether that’s in trial or current customer).
Sometimes the “why” behind your business can be confusing.
For example, you might have:
Explainer videos are business stories that clear that confusion.
Check out this example from Crazy Egg:
What makes explainer videos powerful is their story structure. Instead of skipping straight to the features and benefits, the audience follows the “why” behind everything from being pain aware (realising there’s a problem) to product aware (knowing how to solve that problem with your product).
Who benefits from using explainer videos?
There are three situations where explainer videos are invaluable:
Basically, at any point your customer would ask “I don’t understand what you do,” or "I don’t understand what you do differently," you should make an explainer video.
When would you use this content?
Explainer videos are best suited for top (pain aware) to middle of funnel (solution / product aware) campaigns.
Again, you should aim for this content to arrive just before your customers start thinking “I don’t understand.” This creates a more seamless flow from prospect to customer.
You can get started by customizing an explainer video template like the one below:
You’d turn to inspirational marketing videos if you’re in an industry where your audience needs boosts to their creativity and/or motivation.
The idea is to both save your audiences’ energy (by taking away their need to think of new things) and to give them energy (by providing renewed purpose or motivation to go on).
Here’s a few ways you can create inspirational marketing videos:
Ideas to try are the video equivalent of listicles, but shorter and punchier. Generally, they’ll cover the headlines of a topic and ask audiences to take another action, like visit a blog or comment.
Check out this Reel from Sked Social:
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6 ideas for video transitions are covered in ~35 seconds, and their followers are encouraged to comment on their favorite transitions.
This takes away the need for your audience to think of their own transitions, and gives motivation to create their own videos with transitions.
Who benefits from using ideas to try marketing videos?
If your audience needs to create anything – from hula hoop dances to spreadsheets – you should use ideas to try.
Make sure to take note of what inspiration gets the most engagement. You might find you can provide ideas that your audience is desperate to learn on a regular basis.
When would you use ideas to try?
These are perfect for reach strategies.
Because they’re generally covering basic topics that are easily consumable, you’re going to be appealing to a broader audience.
So when you’re using them, try to think one step ahead: once I’ve reached this broader audience, how can I then find my ideal audience from them?
Empathy is to inspiration what gas is to a car.
More simply put: if your audience feels like they can do something, they’re more likely to try doing something.
Now, you might be getting strong memories of weight loss ads or late night commercials. But before and after videos don’t have to be so ham-fisted. Check out how Fullstack Academy begins this video:
Within the first 35 seconds, you hear the first steps incredibly successful developers made before becoming who they are today.
The strength of a before and after video is that it makes tasks – no matter how long, or confusing or arduous – seem achievable.
And once something’s achievable, there’s nothing stopping your audience from taking the first step.
Who would benefit from using before and after videos?
Anyone whose business requires a high cost to join.
But not just financial cost – it could be a:
So if a prospect needs to invest themselves into your product, before and afters are right for you.
When would you use before and after?
Because before and afters follow the entire prospect to customer journey, they can be used effectively from top to middle of the funnel, pain to product aware.
Like before and after videos, motivational pushes provide your audience with energy.
The key difference between them is before and afters start your audience’s journey, while motivational pushes continue their journey.
What makes good motivational pushes (as opposed to tacky single line quotes) is authenticity.
Take this example from the all-time greats of video marketing, Nike:
One minute and two seconds of an overweight child jogging. Not a sports star, not an athlete model – one regular person living up to Nike’s slogan in their own way: Just Do It.
Who would benefit from using motivational push videos?
Anyone whose audience uses a lot of energy, whether physical or mental (hence why they’re so popular in the workout and entrepreneurial spaces).
They might also be worth considering at different times in the year. For example, the start of the school year is the most challenging time for teachers, while the end of the financial year is a stressful time for accountants.
What’s important is that you’re seen as providing extra support when your audience needs it most.
Engagement is all about provoking a reaction on social media. With these videos, you want your viewers to take action, whether it’s a like, comment or share, or even a poll response or vote in a story video.
Here are a few video types that can help you meet this goal:
There are three different ways to go about this.
First, you can ask questions first and answer them in a recorded video. Create a social media post or include a segment in an email newsletter about your upcoming Q&A video to give audience members the chance to submit a question.
Second, you can host a live video and answer questions that your audience comments in real time.
Third, you can use the question box on Instagram Stories to allow followers to ask questions and record your team answering each one.
Here’s an example of a live YouTube Q&A from Think Media:
Take some pointers from this video, like:
When would you use question and answer videos?
If you see a lot of questions being asked online in social media comments, on your blog, in response to email addresses, etc., you can compile these into a Q&A video to answer them all in one fell swoop.
Quick videos on Instagram Reels, TikTok or YouTube Shorts are great ways to engage your audience.
Because these are bite-sized, they’re easy for your audience to digest and interact with and can be great for creating an engaged following.
Here’s an example of what this might look like from online plant store The Sill. They’ve created a 20-second video that is both humorous and educational for plant owners.
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There are so many ways to get creative with short videos like this, so start watching some TikToks and Instagram Reels to gather inspiration for your business.
When would you use short videos?
Creating short, engaging videos like these should be a consistent part of your video marketing strategy. You can repurpose clips from other videos, build out your own video ideas or jump on viral video trends.
If your marketing team does a lot of video production, you likely have a few humorous outtakes. Creating blooper reels and sharing them on social media makes your business feel more real and authentic.
You can create short, engaging blooper videos, or you can include bloopers at the end of a video, like we did in one of our Make Information Beautiful videos.
Videos of a host who typically seems very polished stumbling over their words humanizes them and makes your team and your brand a lot more relatable. This makes people want to engage more with your content because they feel a genuine connection.
When would you use bloopers?
If you have bloopers, why not try creating a blooper reel? You don’t want to create these just for the sake of it. Your bloopers should not feel forced or the video won’t have the effect you’re going for.
Simply take a look back at past video footage and compile a short video of a few funny mishaps to get your audience laughing – and clicking that like or share button.
With this type of marketing video, you want to convince your audience to take action by providing them with reasons to start thinking about something or to change their thinking on something.
These are bottom of the funnel videos that are ideal for using as a call-to-action for your business, whether it’s buying a product or signing up for a service.
We’ve got three different types of videos that are perfect for this stage of the funnel.
A product video can go a number of ways – showcasing a new product launch, giving a product demo, teasing upcoming product updates, etc.
Essentially, your goal is to show off what your business offers and make your audience believe that they need your product or service in their life.
Take a look at this example from Kelty, an outdoor and camping retailer.
They’ve created a quick, one-minute video that shows how easy their product is, different ways it can be used as well as appeals to their target audience.
When should you use product videos?
Product videos should always be a part of your video marketing strategy. While these are best used as ads in brand awareness and retargeting campaigns, sharing them sporadically as an organic tactic is also a good idea.
A testimonial video is often a key part of a case study and used to help people who are just on the fence about making a purchase to really bite the bullet and take action.
Create a video slide and add your customer testimonial as an overview, or create a full-fledged video like we see here in Zoom’s example.
Both options have the power of persuasion in generating new customers.
When should you use testimonial videos?
Testimonial videos are perfect for sharing case studies. Include a page on your website for case studies in the form of PDF downloads, web pages or blog posts, videos and more.
You can also create a testimonial playlist on your YouTube channel and use these videos as online ads. Provide your sales team with video testimonials to share with leads and close sales.
Promo videos tend to be used more during specific marketing campaigns and are short one to two-minute videos focused on promoting your business offerings.
Here’s an example of a promotional video created by Slack, focusing on their USP of making communication easier.
Your promo videos should have a single focus – whether that’s your USP, a particular product line or service, a new launch or something else.
You don’t want to cram too much into one promo ad for one campaign or you’ll overwhelm your audience. Keep these concise and focused on conversions.
When should you use promo videos?
Promotional videos should be a major part of any marketing campaign you create. Embed these on landing pages on your website. Share them on social media. Create online ads. Use your video as the basis for social media content.
Your video marketing strategy is the most important part of your video marketing efforts.
It gives you a:
A video marketing strategy will also stop you from wasting time and budget creating content that doesn’t provide value, for you or your audience.
To start creating your video marketing strategy, you need to pinpoint your goals – here’s how:
Your video marketing goals should complement both your overall marketing goals and your content goals.
When creating these goals, think hard about what video can offer that other mediums (like copy or podcasts) can’t, and also where they struggle in comparison (e.g. time and effort to create).
Once you’re confident you know what you need and can achieve with video, you can start thinking about your audience.
You can’t go after everyone, so it’s important to define exactly who you want to get in front of.
To do this, you need to work out who your ideal audience is.
Your ideal audience is “people who would specifically and demonstrably benefit from using my product or service.”
Creating video marketing content on the upkeep of sports cars.
To help you pinpoint your target customer, you can use a template like the one below.
Once you’ve got your ideal audience in mind, you can start to segment them by using:
Personas are a cumulative representation of a segment of your customers, and list out basic information like age, gender, occupation and income.
Because the information they provide is basic, personas aren’t good for figuring out what kind of content to make.
But personas are excellent for figuring out tone, voice and channels for publication.
For example, a persona that’s a 16-year old girl is most likely to be on TikTok and be up-to-date with the latest trends and slang.
Alternatively, a persona that’s a 50-year old male is more likely to be on Facebook and use more plain-spoken language.
Jobs to be Done is a holistic view of the problem your customer faces and where your product or service solves that problem.
For example, if you’re a freelance graphic designer, your customer might be a marketing manager.
One of the JTBD of a marketing manager is to ensure all collateral is brand-aligned.
In this case, you might create a video to show them how to create visual marketing brand guidelines.
Once you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to think about who you’ll need to make the strategy work.
Unlike articles or podcasts which can normally be taken care of end-to-end by a single individual, videos will usually require input from multiple stakeholders.
For example, if you decide you want live-action videos, you’ll need to lock in your talents’ time, consider their working situation (are they in-office or remote?), and level of presenting ability.
Alternatively, if you’re creating animated videos, you’ll need an animator or an animation video software that makes it simple to create animated software.
You should approach all of your stakeholders at this point before continuing with your strategy, as their buy-in can make or break your efforts.
Once they’ve agreed to take on responsibility for video creation, you can think about what kinds of videos you’ll create.
Using a roadmap like this template below is a great way to assign tasks and stakeholders.
You’ll need to refer back to your overall marketing and content goals, as well as your persona and JTBD audience definitions.
Knowing what you are trying to achieve and who you are presenting to should give you a strong indication of the types of videos you should be creating.
You’ll need to consider things like:
When you know what types of videos you’ll be creating, you’ll know what hardware and software you’ll need.
Depending on the video types you’re creating, you may need:
Remember, you can always upgrade if and when you need it, so don’t be afraid to start on a shoestring.
Once you’ve got your video equipment, you’re ready to create your video pillars.
Content pillars are your internal content categories.
They’re basically a way to ensure that every single piece of video content you create has a purpose and complements the other videos you create.
For example, if your audience are social media managers, your pillars might be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Or let’s say your audience was marketing leaders, it might be strategy, people management and industry trends.
You should focus just as hard on excluding things that are irrelevant as you are including things that are relevant.
Once you’ve got your pillars, you’re ready to start planning video creation.
You might be working on an already established marketing or content calendar, or you might need to create a brand new one.
Either way, it’s important to plan your video creation. Depending on the video length, complexity or talent needed, you could need more time than you bargained for.
During this phase of your video marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to create a storyboard for your video idea to make sure it makes sense.
If you’re not sure where to start with your video plan, a basic storyboard template like the one below can help.
Once you’ve got your plan, you’re ready to start creating. There are two best practices for creating video to keep in mind:
Don’t burn yourself out shooting, editing and publishing all on one day! Focus your attention on one task per session.
By getting the most out of your talent while you have them, or editing weeks worth of footage, will give you a backlog of content to work with while you plan ahead. It takes the same amount of effort while saving time.
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After that, you’re ready to push out your videos.
You may have heard of COPE (create once, publish everywhere).
While it’s good advice, it’s even better to COED (create once, edit, distribute).
For example, the 15-minute video you made for YouTube isn’t going to sit so well on TikTok.
When you’re editing, consider where your video content is going to live. Then create separate videos from the same content that match what your audience expects on different channels.
You should consider using a social media scheduling tool so you can organize the entire timing of your distribution from one place.
There are two views when measuring your videos:
You should be micro measuring all your video content, and macro measuring every month or quarter.
That way, your creation tactics and strategy goals are always up to date.
Video marketing is becoming the new norm of content marketing. Not only is it a great way to get your brand out there, it’s an important part of every stage of your sales funnel.
Having a successful video marketing strategy is important, and so is finding the perfect video creation tool to help you implement it.
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