Google ‘types of marketing videos’ and you’ll discover a sea of disparate lists, examples and opinions around what constitutes a marketing video.

 

We’ve created a list that defines marketing videos by category and by type within each category and we’ve also described where each type of video fits into your customer’s buying cycle.

To see examples of different types of marketing videos and how they match customer’s priorities, check out our interactive chart: Choose the Correct Type of Marketing Videos to Engage Your Audience.

Before we explain the purpose and function of each type of marketing video, we’d like to begin by dispelling some popular misconceptions:

The following are not ‘types’ of marketing videos:

 

‘Youtube,’  ‘Snapchat,’ ‘Facebook’ and ‘Television’ are not types of marketing videos.

These are all different delivery channels where you might view a marketing video. While videos playing on one of these channels share unique characteristics (i.e. a specific length / format), any type of business video can be shown on any of these delivery channels.

The distinction of watching a product promotion (tv ad) on a broadcast network versus on a website (in a banner ad) or on your mobile phone (as a YouTube pre-roll ad) is becoming less important every day.

“Mobile” isn’t a type of video.

The fact that you are gravitationally anchored to your couch or that you are physically tethered to your desktop may, or may not change how a brand wishes to engage you.

Attention spans are definitely shorter on mobile devices and the screens are smaller, but the content of the marketing video delivered on a mobile device is determined by your interests and needs rather than the fact that you happen to be watching the video on a hand-held device..

Mobile overtook desktop in terms of time spent online a few years back.

True, mobile can deliver contextually relevant results if your location is known, but the type of video you will watch isn’t a ‘mobile video’ – it’s geo-targeted promotion based on your location.

“Viral” isn’t a type of Video.

‘Viral’ is synonymous with popularity. Your video is so popular that people who watched it shared it with others. Any type of video can experience viral sharing.

‘Viral’ is a distribution outcome (or intent.) Viral sharing is what does (or doesn’t) happen to your video after it’s created. Every business wants their video to be viewed and shared by millions, but that lofty ambition is seldom realized.

Calling a video ‘viral’ doesn’t make it ‘viral.’ (Blowing stuff up, getting really freaky or risking someone’s (not your own…) life in some horrendously dangerous stunt will however, increase the likelihood of that video being shared.)

“Content Marketing” is not a type of video.

Content Marketing is a general term that describes the fact that a video is not specifically brand-focussed and it is providing valuable information (content) to the viewer.

“Length of Video” isn’t a type of video… it’s a length.

Whether your video is 6 seconds long, or 12 seconds, or 30 seconds, or 2 minutes, or 30 minutes, the length of a video is… the length of a video. Nothing more. (I.e. Declaring “I want one of those 6 second videos” provides little value to a prospective video production company.)

“Email video” isn’t a type of video.

Email is a distribution channel for video. Videos sent by email don’t necessarily share any of the same characteristics or priorities other than the fact that someone used email to promote them.

{Note: We’ve also excluded certain types of marketing video such as ‘corporate talking head’ videos, ‘slideshow videos’ and ‘webinar videos’ because, while valuable to the marketing efforts of a business, it’s very challenging to gain insight from examining the differences amongst each of these video formats.}

 

Here are 32 Types of Marketing Videos that you can use to engage your audience.

 

Non-Brand Focussed Marketing Videos

Today, the biggest opportunity for brands to reach their audience in a meaningful way isn’t by talking about themselves. Potential customers don’t really care about you or your business. They care about what you can do to help solve their problems and how you might add value to their lives.

That means entertaining, inspiring and informing your audience. The subject of the video might be ‘brand-related,’ but the focus of these videos is not about your company, product or service. (These types of videos have generically been referred to as ‘Content Marketing’ in the past.)

The emphasis is on something of real value to the viewer. Here are three types of non-brand focussed videos:

1. Branded Informational Videos

Any video whose primary purpose is to convey valuable knowledge or information, that is not brand focussed to the viewer and is supported by subtle branding.

2. Branded Mini-Docs

Any video that provides a non-brand, focussed, factual story or report that is supported in some way by modest product placement or subtle branding.

3. Branded Entertainment

Any video, whose primary purpose is to entertain, that is supported in some way by modest product placement or subtle branding.

The difference in all three of these high priority video formats is that the branding is subtle. The message isn’t about the brand, the video stands on its own and your brand is associated with that information.

‘Subtle’ is the new ‘clever.’

 

Advertising and Promotion

This category of video includes traditional forms of video promotions: drawing attention to your product or service, differentiating your offerings and moving your customer through their buying cycle as efficiently and effectively as possible.

4. Product (or Service) Marketing Videos

Product promotions are the most common type of marketing video. The majority of broadcast television commercials and web-based product promotions focus on the key benefit(s) or attribute(s) of a product or service.

As broadcast television (bundled programs) is quickly being replaced by streaming and on-demand content, the nature and format of product videos is evolving quickly.

5. Product Demonstrations

A Product Demonstration Video differs from Product Promotional video in one important way. Product demos take a deep dive into the features and benefits for those who are seriously considering purchasing the product. These videos are targeted to those who are further along the buying cycle and are seriously considering a purchase. These videos are more common where the purchase decision is more complex, the timeframes are longer and the product price is high – typically in B2B offerings.

6. Launch Videos

A launch video is a unique and specific form of product promotional video. They are the ‘main event’ videos that start-ups and relatively young companies use to showcase their new offering. They may be proceeded by other, smaller videos, but ‘launch videos’ are the high profile videos intended to set the tone for the new product or service. Established businesses also create these videos to reset a product or launch an important new category.

View our top ten launch videos.

This type of video came to popularity around 2010 in Silicon Valley. Launch videos are becoming more important today because the window of opportunity for new tech products is very narrow and you don’t have the luxury of time to test different approaches and positioning. Getting these ‘big splash’ videos right is really important as (cliche alert!) you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

7. Crowd-Funding/Kickstarter Videos

Crowd funding videos are a very specific type of video employed to raise money to help develop and launch a new product. These videos are standard fair on sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Business founders are usually featured in these videos. The presence of the founder is important because you aren’t just buying a product, you are also investing in the owner’s vision.

View our top ten Crowd-funding videos.

What makes these videos different from launch videos is that the viewer is thinking ‘do I want to help this person?’ as much as they are thinking ‘do I want to risk buying this untested product?’

8. Explainer Videos (Animated)

Everyone has seen these animated videos – ‘Meet Bob, Bob has a problem…’ There are an infinite number of animation styles and formats available to create an explainer video. This video style is well suited to explaining complex or virtual products that would otherwise be challenging or impossible to demonstrate in real life. Web-based tools developed to automate the creation of these videos (i.e. Powtoon or GoAnimate) are very impressive.

View our top ten explainer videos.

(Note: We’ve left out ‘live-action explainer videos’ (for now) as they represent a very small portion of ‘explainer’ type videos and they’re often little more than promotional videos that start with the phrase “Meet Bob…”)

9. Live Video

Live video for marketing purposes is a new phenomena. Aside from simulcasts of annual meetings or events (i.e. Apple’s Product Launch Presentations) and live ‘on-the-floor’ media pick-ups of high profile business events there has been little development in live marketing video… until recently.

Youtube rolled out Youtube live in 2011 and while some brands have taken advantage of the new live streaming format, it has not taken off as a mainstream marketing activity. Facebook may be changing that.

Sure, Youtube knows which talk shows you like and which teams you follow and which questionable topics you’d rather it didn’t showcase in its ‘recommended’ strip of videos, but Facebook knows a whole lot more about you. It knows about what you and your friends talk about and what really piques your interest.

Facebook live is used mainly by celebrities making announcements and for streaming news to a feed.

Just like Google owns the search world, Facebook is evolving to own your private life and feeding you updates of the things you care about, branded or otherwise – this is just the natural evolution. (Imagine if Facebook owned Netflix…  the only reason to ever open a new browser window would be to order pizza and maybe bi-weekly maid service. Oh wait, Facebook is getting into selling stuff now too… )

10. User Generated Video Campaigns

Doritos, as an example, have made good use of this type of video where brands encourage their customers and fans to create videos about their products.  Offering prizes as a rewards for user-generated content is the typical incentive used by brands to entice would-be video producers.  Crowd-sourcing the creation of video around brand themes is a great way to gain traction in social media.

11. Stunt Videos (with or without crowd reactions)

No, I’m not going to call these ‘Viral Videos’. Viral may be your intent, but it is rarely the outcome.

If you want your video to experience viral sharing and lots of word-of-mouth then stunt videos are one of the best types of videos to consider.  There are two critical challenges to creating a stunt video:
1. Will your stunt be clever/shocking/creative/inspiring/funny, etc. enough for people to want to share it with others and talk about it? (That’s really hard to do BTW)
2. Even if the world wants to share your video in massive numbers and everyone watching it runs around in crazy circles waving their hands screaming “ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod”, the challenge still remains that you have to get some type of positive brand  association with the viral wackiness. Blowing up a goat isn’t always a good look.

Your brand has to be seen and remembered in the video AND that recollection has to be positive. (If nobody associates your brand with the exploding goat, then what’s the point? If everyone associates your brand with an exploding goat, what’s the point?)

While achieving both of the above conditions is not impossible, they are a tall order for most brands.

Calling a video ‘viral’ doesn’t make it viral any more than calling it ‘amazing’ makes it amazing.

‘Stunt & Crowd Reaction’ videos are Stunt Videos that incorporate human reaction to the stunt being performed. These videos are becoming very popular as ‘Social Proof’ becomes a more mainstream requirement in video. “People filming themselves reacting to stuff” is a hugely popular genre of video on Youtube now.  ‘Meta-video…’ I did not see this one coming.

Interviews, candid-camera videos, ‘man-on-the-street’ videos, lip dubs, flash mobs and crowd reaction videos are examples of street-marketing videos commonly used in B2C campaigns.

12. Event Videos

Event Videos are a mainstay of corporate video. They include capturing footage of corporate sponsored events and creating marketing and informational videos from the attendance at a large trade show or annual events.

They can also include live streaming of different events and interviews that the company is taking part in at the event. Event videos are one of the biggest missed opportunity for most businesses because you happen to have a perfect confluence of suppliers, clients, industry experts and media all together at the same time and all primed to speak.

13. Infomercials

Once the exclusive domain of late night cable channels, Infomercials are trying to make their way onto the interwebs as the pool of bored, cable-watching boomers is rapidly diminishing.

Infomercials are typically long form (15 to 30 minute) commercials that highlight the features and benefits of a specific product and often include a direct sales channel associated with the video.

These promotional video are almost exclusively over-the-top deliveries from a presenter amped-up on amphetamines yelling into the camera. The best ones generate millions of dollars in sales.

14. Digital Signage and Billboards

Signs, signs, everywhere signs. (great song…)

As the cost of digital displays continues to drop, the ubiquity of digital screens continues to grow. This type of video needs to be purpose-built to communicate a message that will get noticed and understood in viewing time frame of 5 seconds or less.

Getting and keeping attention is critical here.

15. Projection Mapping

Projection Mapping is a very specific application of video. Often stunt or event-based, this type of video is usually performed outside where a video image is projected onto the side of a building. Creative applications can make this a high-value initiative, especially when street marketing video accompanies the reaction of the crowd.

16. In-Store / Lobby / Office Videos

There will always be another wall to hang another screen on.  Attention spans are a bit longer for these types of videos than with billboards and the potential customer is typically much further along the buying cycle.

These videos are meant to aide in consideration and decision-making rather than awareness.

 

Customer Videos

Capturing the voice of your customer is very important. Nobody really trusts you talking about yourself but they might trust someone else’s story about your company.

17. Customer Testimonials

Nothing is more powerful than hearing one of your customers explaining how your product or service solved their problems and helped them achieve their business or personal goals.  Some testimonial videos run as 10 second snippets and some can run 2 minutes or longer, depending on how and where they are being used.

These types of videos are often best delivered later in the buying cycle – during the consideration phase where a potential customer is making up their mind about your product or service.

18. Customer Success Story

Customer success videos are structured stories that you create in collaboration with your customer. The point of the video is to tell a complete story that highlights how your customer succeeded in some way.

Some CSS’s are very product or brand-focussed and some are almost exclusively focussed on the clients journey with only a passing reference to your brand. These often follow the case-study (problem/solution/outcome) format.

They differ from testimonial videos typically in their length and complexity and are more often employed in B2B applications that have longer buying cycles.

19. 3rd Party Product Reviews

The most trusted reviews are third party product reviews.

Truth be told, anyone can get one or two customer testimonial videos made just like anyone can get a couple good references on their resume. Finding third party reviewers that, at the very least, seem real, is very important for brands.

Video reviews can be found anywhere from YouTube to various business portals. To the extent they are positive and promote your brand, they should be referenced. You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your products. These videos are becoming very influential in social media.

20. Un-Boxing and ‘Haul’ Videos

Box Opening Videos are created by customers of your product. The videos capture the un-boxing of your product as the customer shows-off the new product, puts it together (if necessary) and tries it out for the first time.

Another form of this type of video is ‘Haul’ videos where customers (typically woman) shows off the cool stuff they’ve just purchased.  ‘Pick-Up’ videos are the same type of video but typically created by men.

Businesses should find ways to proactively incent happy customers and known influencers to try-out their products and create these videos.  As well, brands should be sharing these positive reviews through their social media channels. Monitoring and responding to any negative feedback through these videos is a smart way to gain trust.

 

Company Marketing Videos

As the name suggests, these type of marketing videos focus on the business. Aside from product videos company overview videos used to be the most common form of video created by brands. This has changed over the last few years as companies are discovering that looking outward, rather than inward, is best way forward.

21. Company Overview Videos

These videos have served as the standard ‘corporate video’ for over 50 years. These type of videos typically begin with the silky baritone voice of a narrator waxing poetic: ‘Since 1876…” or ‘We pride ourselves on…” or “Passion, Commitment and Pickles,” these are the values we hold dear…” blah, blah, blah.

While these videos still have a place in marketing, that place is getting a lot smaller. Talking about yourself just doesn’t have the cache it did a generation ago.

22. Recruitment Videos

Recruitment videos are purpose-built to show prospective employees what it’s like to work at your company. Great care is taken to showcase the business culture and business values as these factors are now the most important consideration in choosing a place to work (more so than pay or benefits).

The challenge here is to identify unique and valuable aspects of your culture (not just filming people playing foosball…) that you can highlight. Working at home options may just be the new game changer for business.

23. Company Vlogs

For the sake of brevity I’d like to consider two types of vloggers: 1. Pro Vloggers who have engaging styles, rich content and a growing list of followers and 2. Other Vloggers who have chosen, for some incomprehensible reason, to speak into a camera instead of typing on a keyboard.

If you are blessed with a quick wit and an engaging personality (like Gary Vaynerchuck from Wine Library TV) then vlogging may just be a great way to capture an audience and move your business forward.

If not, then vlogging may not be the best option.

24. Behind-the-Scenes Video

If you’re doing something interesting like launching a new product, completing a really cool project, or building the world’s coolest office building, an engaging way to tell people your story is to create a BTS video.

These types of videos are a great way to open up the cultural veil and let customers and prospects understand who you really are and to add a more human element to your brand. Authenticity is critical here.

25. Corporate Event Promo Video

Corporate event promo videos are different from regular event videos in one important way – CEPV’s are videos created to promote your own event. If you own the event then you’ll likely want to create a promotional video to convince your audience to attend your event the next time. The best time to plan for these videos is before your event starts.

26. Corporate Interviews

These videos can take on many forms but two of the most common formats are interviews and corporate talk shows. You find a location to film and you invite experts, thought leaders and other interesting people to come in and talk about things that are relevant to your customer base.

Your interviewer is typically an articulate employee with broad knowledge and good on-camera skills. These types of marketing videos are typically employed in B2B applications where there is complexity in the buying process and long buying cycles.

 

Public & Community Relations

This category of video is becoming more important as buyers look for a reason to purchase beyond just quality and price. As Simon Sinek points out in his hugely popular video, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, people are looking for a reason to care about you and your product, they want to know why they should buy from you.

Your role in the community and the perception of your brand in the public eye is being scrutinized like never before.

27. Corporate Social Responsibility Videos

While CSR is relatively new for most brands, it is growing very quickly in importance. It is also very polarizing as some companies are being seen as simply ‘greenwashing’ their current business practices to appear responsible.

What do you stand for as a brand? What do you care about.? (Answering ‘profits’ won’t endear you to anyone today other than shareholders.)

Creating a video that showcases what you believe is right or wrong in the world, and what you are doing about it, is a good way to build the trust of those who believe in the same things.

Community relations videos also fit into this category.

GIven the state of the world, I’d say these types of video are going to be very important.

28. Investor Relations

Publicly traded companies are obliged to put together quarterly and annual financial reports. These can sometimes take the form of videos that are easy for the viewer to consume. As well, these videos can contain information around new products, corporate responsibility or anything else the business feels shareholders or prospective shareholders might be interested in viewing.

These types of videos are typically the domain of very large publicly held companies.

29. Video Press Release

Publicly traded companies are obliged to put together quarterly and annual financial reports. These can sometimes take the form of videos that are easy for the viewer to consume. As well, these videos can contain information around new products, corporate responsibility or anything else the business feels shareholders or prospective shareholders might be interested in viewing.

30. Public Service Announcements.

Most PSA’s are funded by government or quasi-government organizations. Some businesses are starting to sponsor awareness campaigns that serve a greater public interest.

 

Customer Support

These videos can be very inexpensive to create and yet so valuable to customers it’s surprising that companies haven’t created more of these types of videos.

31. Customer Support Video

Remember the last time you opened a new product and couldn’t figure out how to put it together, or get it to work, or fix it if something went wrong?

Ever have a product stop working that you could probably fix yourself if only there were support / service videos available.

Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to click on a link to a video that clearly explains everything you need to know about you new product or service. (And by the way – this is the perfect opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell your customers).

Why doesn’t every business do this! Provide a link to support videos that show you how to set-up, fix, make the best use of, or… just stay happy using their product or service.

32. FAQ Videos

Every product or service has a finite number of questions that customers are likely to ask at some point in their buying journey. Why not help them out along the way?

Show me, don’t tell me.

 

Have me missed a type of video in our list above. If so, let us have it! (…in the comments below.)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *