What is video marketing?
Video marketing is the use of video content to promote a brand, product or service.
It can be used as a standalone marketing strategy or in conjunction with other strategies and campaigns, such as social media or content marketing. In this respect, video marketing could be used to distribute existing content, such as blog posts, repurposed as video and shared across channels to cross-promote. With a variety of content channels that a brand has at its disposal, video provides an emotionally engaging way to connect with customers and capture their attention in a digital environment overloaded with different types of content in various formats.
By being an engaging and emotion-eliciting channel, videos have the ability to create a relational bond between a company and its consumers in ways that text just can't. This can be for a variety of reasons, such as length of time to consume text content and the ways in which users interact with longer form content. Consumers choose to interact with different content in different ways. Offering video reaches an audience that is more receptive to video over text, or other methods of communicating and marketing products or services.
Video marketing is also a singular component of an overall marketing strategy or campaign, but its growth as a content delivery medium is growing considerably and is more significant today, thanks to more digitally engaged users on social media channels, and on their mobile devices.
Why is video marketing important?
The use of video as a marketing tactic is an indirect result of the rise of more digital engagement strategies, as video has been used to promote things in alignment with cinema and television. Video has always proven to be an engaging way to capture the audience's attention and deliver a message that could result in emotional responses or inspire action to be taken on behalf of the viewer.
Video marketing continues to be a vital part of the daily lives of brands and consumers, especially since the advent of YouTube in 2005. Smartphone technology advancements and adoption have also provided more opportunities to deliver and consume video across different devices. Other technology advancements include the ease of creating more quality videos, making marketers view this as a popular way to deliver messages to a wide audience.
Video marketing can be emotionally engaging. When emotions such as happiness, fear, hope or anger are invoked from an ad, that ad is more likely to be remembered. Video can capture attention quickly and is a highly shareable asset. This ability to easily capture attention and share can result in the video's wide distribution, potentially leading a well-produced video to go viral to a wide audience.
Lastly, in the past year, audiences are spending an average of 19 hours per week watching videos online. Video marketing can no longer be avoided if brands are looking to grow, reach their audience and build a loyal customer base.
Types of video marketing
Video marketing comes in a variety of types. Before filming begins, determining the type of video that will be created can provide guidance on how or where that video will also be used for its promotional purposes. While not an exhaustive list, here are some of the most popular types of videos to align with a video marketing strategy.
- Brand videos. These types of videos may have been around the longest when it comes to video marketing. The main goal of developing a brand video is to build awareness for the brand while making it an intriguing showcase to attract the target audience. These are available on both television and digital mediums, and often are part of a larger marketing campaign.
- Demo videos. Whether it's recorded for a SaaS-based company or a hard goods retailer, a demo video can be a perfect solution for showing how a product works. A demo video can give users a tour of the product or could be an unboxing or setup of the product to show its functional uses for end users.
- Instructional videos. This type of video is educational in nature and can act as a how-to for teaching the viewers something. Instructional videos can build foundational knowledge that viewers need to better understand what the video is talking about and can be used in a variety of applications. These videos also make good entrances to a series of videos if more content is needed.
- Explainer videos. Commonly deployed to help an audience better understand why they may need a company's products or services, explainer videos focus on the use cases. They can also show viewers how the product or service can help solve their problems. This often will help the viewer make a better buying decision.
- Live video. With the increased ease in video production and the powerful technologies able to capture and stream video to a live audience, the use of live video has transitioned from broadcast television to web services. Social media outlets -- such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitch -- have made live streaming accessible and a popular choice for marketers to stream video and engage with audiences in real time.
- Expert interviews. To add more validation to a product or service, brands will employ an interview with an expert approach to building trust with their audience. Featuring a thought leader or expert in a particular field in a marketing video adds support to the message and gives comfort to the audience if the expert is a trusted source.
- Sponsored videos. Similar to expert interviews, brands that offer a sponsored video through a different creator or message deliverer can help establish trust for their product or service. Today, many content creators have an established audience that trusts them, so when a brand sponsors a video this way, the audience following the creator can see others they trust endorsing a product or service. This is also a great way for brands to offer coupons or discounts to that creator's audience, expanding the brand's audience reach.
- Personalized message videos. Marketing teams are adding more account-based marketing (ABM) strategies into their toolboxes, so using video to support those campaigns is a great addition to creating that one-to-one relationship. Quick video capture tools, such as Loom and Vidyard, make it easy to create short, personalized videos and send them to individuals. These can be tailored based on data known about the person to make them more exclusive to that individual and can also be a big support tool for sales teams.
Benefits of video marketing
Organizations can yield several benefits from video marketing, including the following:
- Builds trust. Video can provide an engaging connection quicker than written copy. Its presentation is helpful, knowledgeable and more human, resulting in a down-to-earth feel that can better establish trust.
- Encourages sharing. Whether long- or short-form, video makes for a great shareable asset. This expands the reach a video may have, since there is already a built-in increase in customer engagement.
- Improves SEO. Video allows brands to be ranked higher in search as Google and other search engines rank websites with video content higher in the results pages because of the increase in engagement with video over time. Creating links between sites and videos, using good keywords and including transcripts make videos an easily indexable asset for search engines.
- Boosts conversions and sales. Using video at different stages of a buyer's journey can help move users through the sales funnel faster and increase sales. Videos help increase user understanding of a product or service, and aid in the decision-making process to purchase.
- Appeals to mobile users. Video optimized for mobile devices and distributed on platforms users are engaging with is appealing to the mobile user community. It's much easier to watch a short video than to read through a long article with the same content.
- Products stand out more. As video consumption increases, it is a common vehicle for making products or services stand out more. With visually appealing imagery and a cohesive narrative, products and services are more likely to be remembered.
Challenges of video marketing
There are many challenges business face when using video marketing, including the following:
- Create an effective video marketing strategy. Developing a strategy that aligns with the business and goals can be a challenge. Even if the target audience is known, figuring out how to implement video campaigns and deciding on the types of videos to produce requires a lot of thought, planning and testing.
- Produce content people want to see. Many brands fall flat on the creation of video because the content they are creating may not be content that people want to see. Video isn't always the answer to the question of what to include in a marketing campaign, so making sure the content is going to be relevant to the audience is key to knowing if they would want to view it.
- Make quality content. Producing high-quality content can be a very time-consuming and costly process. It also requires a high level of skill to capture, edit and distribute if the creator lacks the right resources or expertise.
- Grab attention fast. Being a good auditory and visual storyteller is difficult without the right training, but even if someone is inherently good at those things, creating a video that captures someone's attention fast enough is still a challenge.
- Get videos to stand out. Since there is a lot of competition in the space, grabbing attention and standing out with content people want to see can be difficult with users' short attention spans, or access to other higher quality, more informative videos.
Examples of video marketing campaigns
While there are many businesses with successful video marketing campaigns, the few listed below provide examples of different types of video marketing by a variety of industries.
Makeup tutorials have become popular with brands like Sephora, and outside of the brand's own assets, it relies heavily on influencers to distribute videos and testimonials to their audiences. Influencers post short videos to Instagram, TikTok and other social platforms showing real-world use cases for applying Sephora makeup. However, Sephora also has its own YouTube channel with over 1 million subscribers, which provides tutorials and product information to support this multi-pronged video strategy.
Watch an instructional video from Sephora here.
Dollar Shave Club
This video makes the list based on humor and shock value. Razor blades have always been a need for men's grooming, but the video advertisements usually followed the same boring model. Dollar Shave Club entered the scene with the intention to show that it is different from the other brands in the space. The video subject is charming but teeters between feeling like you can relate to the subject while also being a bit over the top. This provides humor and relatability, to the point where watchers are now convinced these are the best blades on the market.
Watch Dollar Shave Club's comical brand video here.
Apple has been producing great videos for years, ensuring it showcases how Apple products fit into and benefit users' everyday lives. The "Dear Apple" ad does just this but also demonstrates that the Apple Watch product is essential to have in people's lives. The emotional response that this video marketing produces encourage purchases and is why many people wear these devices on their wrists.
Watch Apple's emotional brand video here.
When the mental health and self-care app Headspace entered the market, the company made a push to make meditation mainstream with its animated explainer video. The video uses colorful characters and fine animation to bring recognition to the Headspace brand, while also using an upbeat tone to show how meditation and self-care is now more popular than ever.
Watch Headspace's instructional video on meditation here.