“I’d really like to try video marketing for my business, but what kind of video should I make?”
Have you ever said this? OK, fine, but have you heard someone else say this? Believe it or not, I have. In my years as a video producer making content for SMEs, many struggle when it comes to deciding the kind of video they should make. With video, the main question has moved from “Should I get a video?” (*hint - you should! The State of Video Marketing in 2018) to “What should my video contain?”
Now, the types of marketing videos out there vary wildly from a DIY vlog format about your company to tutorial/demo videos to big budget spectaculars, complete with celebs, CGI and pretty much anything you can imagine. However, this blog is for those who would like a video that succinctly states what their company or organisation does (an “overview video” as it’s commonly referred to) and focuses on the three different types of videos which pop up most often.
#1 “Basic” (the moving slideshow one)
You’ve probably seen a lot of these. They can usually be either made up from still images, short video shots or even relevant stock footage to highlight the particular message that the company wants to put across. The message is usually conveyed via text and/or voiceover.Pros
- Relatively low cost. There are many companies that give you access to stock archives. Combine this with text and some cheap royalty free music and you can have a pretty professional looking video quite cheaply;
- Great for social and mobile. Since these video types (if text based) can be played silently then they are ideal for mobile users. Also, with a typically shorter runtime (≈30 sec) they are perfect for sharing on social media platforms where shorter videos tend to fare better (Why you should be making 6-second video ads)Cons
- When using stock footage, it can sometimes lack personality and authenticity as you may not really be showing anything personal to your brand such as premises, staff or methods;
- Can lack creativity and originality as you could be tightly bound to whatever footage is available to you.
#2 “Corporate” (the talking head one)
This seems to be our professional bread and butter. This video type tends to feature business owners and staff speaking about what they do and why that matters. Clients often wax lyrical as well in these videos about how great you are, accompanied by footage of the business or organisation in action.
Example - "Advanced Forming Research Centre: People make the AFRC"
- Really shows your audience who you are. Puts a face to your business and gives you a great chance to put your best foot forward and relay your passion for what you’re doing;
- Flexibility. There’s absolutely no reason as to why you cannot incorporate a “Basic” video as part of your campaign. You’ll no doubt get plenty of B-Roll footage of your business at work so from there it is simple to take one or two key messages and create a moving slideshow video with text and/or voice to share on social media as part of a larger campaign;
- If you can incorporate a customer testimonial in there you’re golden. These are so much more effective than just a text based testimonial.Cons
- Speaking in front of camera can be HARD. Trust me. It’s hard enough not to get flustered in front of camera but to come across in an engaging way is a tough thing to do. This could lead to a rather dry performance in front of camera. Media training is a thing for a reason. It’s always best to really think about what you want to say and try to be as concise and passionate about what you do as possible. At Sync or Swim, we always try to put clients at ease and encourage a relaxed (but still professional) atmosphere, taking the fear out of speaking on camera.
#3 “Creative” (the fancy, and potentially risky, one)
This is the video that is entirely scripted. It can be dramatic, thought provoking or funny/quirky. If you manage to pull it off, your video will shine and impress; but beware, there's a reason creative videos tend to cost more and involve professional actors or performers.
Example - 'Webflow: Design Websites. Don't code them."
- The potential to be very shareable. These are the videos that can hit the mystical land of “viral video” when done right. If it’s engaging enough then you’ll have people sharing it even if they have no interest in your business. The reach and engagement can be big with these kinds of videos;
- Production Value. Even if you are a small business, when done right these videos can make your business look much bigger than it possibly is.Cons
- Can be pricey. If you need actors, props and makeup then the cost of production can run quite high;
- Risky. If you try to be funny and the video falls flat then it can actually annoy and irritate your audience. Only attempt if you have a winning idea and the confidence to make it work.
So, there you have it. From our production company’s standpoint, these tend to be the three main videos types that we get asked about most often. What’s really important when considering what kind of video is right for your business is:
- Target Audience
- Whether you (or your staff) want to be on camera or not.
All that can seem quite daunting but don’t worry, your friendly neighbourhood production company can always lend a hand :)