As a business owner, you are constantly studying how to implement new methods and engaging content into your marketing strategy, that not only make your brand more efficient and cost effective, but that lead to improved performance and increased sales as well. With the continuous expansion of social media into brand marketing and e-commerce, businesses like yours are increasingly engaging with consumers from across the globe through a diverse range of content, and amongst them, video has proven time and again to be the most effective means of communicating with and marketing to potential customers.

In today’s market, there is no doubt that the inclusion of eye-catching video content is a must when it comes to your marketing strategy. Indeed, research has shown that video marketing can help drive brand engagement awareness by as much as 70 percent, website traffic by more than half, and sales by a significant amount as well. However, the type of video content you choose is also key to not only engaging audiences but driving conversion as well, and it must be paired with the right video marketing strategy, in order for your business to stand out from the ocean of brands and brand videos flooding consumers’ screens.

When choosing the types of video to produce, it is only logical to choose ones that are relevant to the nature of your business, that are indeed the right medium to tell your brand story, engage your consumers in relevant ways, have power and persuasion, and can ultimately lead to clicks and increased sales. As there are many video types out there, a good place to start is with the most utilized ones. So, let’s take a look at five popular formats, and delve into how they differ from one another and when to use them for your line of work.

1. Video Explainers

The name says it all: this is a video that explains what the product is in detail or how a service will work for the customer. As it is a very descriptive format that combines audio and video to describe what you are selling in a simple and understandable way, it is often best suited for products or services that may be complicated, such as: new technologies; website or product features; expert tips; unboxing and product reviews; promotions; competition and participation in campaigns; complex banking services; and so on.

For this format to increase message retention, the information presented needs to be clear and precise, and may be conveyed using text, a voiceover, or both. Video explainers are amongst the most shared types of videos on social media and some video explainers can either be uploaded or streamed live. Perhaps the most familiar explainers out there are ads for apps and games. When showcasing a new software, for example, your video explainer introduces the software to the consumer, and then goes on to demonstrate how it works, why anyone should buy it, and, if it’s a newer version of an existing software, what changes were made, etc.

When it comes to production, video explainers can be made using only a smartphone if the subject matter requires such a guerilla-style look and feel. However, video explainers are often shot in controlled environments, in actual studios or makeshift studios, using adequate lighting, suitable filming equipment (HD cameras, for instance), and video editing software for the best quality.

2. Video Stories

A video story is a more news or reportage format. This video format is usually produced by news media and publishing companies, and its main purpose is to inform the consumer. It is also used to build trust by presenting the business or brand as one that is a reliable source of information.

In order to create this unique piece of video content, you need skilled professionals with a strong background in journalism, who are able to conduct good research, and who can present their findings in a credible yet storytelling way that fits your business and brand purpose.

Examples of video stories include headlines, statistics, and interviews, which are ideal for viewers seeking such content on their devices. Simultaneously, video stories can also contribute to a company’s brand awareness and clicks, and can either be uploaded or streamed live.

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3. Animated Videos

If you are looking for a light-hearted format, something that shows your brand’s personality, allows for versatility in storytelling, connects with consumers on a more personal level, or that can get as imaginative as you’d like, animated videos are an ideal format to look into. They can be used by almost all kinds of businesses, as they allow for emotional storytelling, can be used to explain complex technologies and features, or can simply help to get any kind of information across in a more palatable way.

Arguably, animated videos are the preferred format for consumers who enjoy animated content, and often result in better recall and retention of information. When it comes to production, animated brand videos do not require a camera crew to make. Instead, they are created on computers by an animator or animation team, which can include also include an art director or graphic designer, copywriter, and a voiceover talent, amongst others.

Animated videos utilize a number of software, such as animation software like Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe Flash) and video editing software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer, or Apple iMovie. Access to a sound library for soundtracks and sound effects can also prove useful.

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4. Motion Videos

Although similar to animated videos, motion videos instead focus primarily on dynamic animation. What this means is that certain objects on the screen, living or nonliving things, move in a manner that helps get information across when cameras can’t, making this video format ideal for publishing companies. This includes animating otherwise static objects such as graphs, pie charts, texts, and so on. The videos can either be entirely animated or just have animated contents embedded over actual video footage.

Just like animated videos, computer software is required to make motion videos. In this case, there are also specific software and web apps tailor-made for this type of video format such as Visme, Canva, Adobe Spark, and so on.

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5. Shoppable Videos

This is an increasingly popular video content utilized by companies wanting to demonstrate a product that can be purchased by the consumer, which makes it ideal for ecommerce companies. Shoppable videos are similar to video explainers but do not necessarily focus on describing how a product or service works. Instead, the focus is on displaying said goods or services to the consumer, basically a “show, don’t tell” approach.

They are also often interactive, allowing consumers to make a purchase directly from the content, with zero search required. Brands can choose to pay to advertise their shoppable videos directly to the consumer, including interfaces that can help redirect the shopper to a third-party website featuring said product. These videos can casually be produced using just a smartphone, but professionals go even further by using adequate filming equipment, and video editing software.

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