Using Videos to Plan a Winning Marketing Strategy

April 03, 2018

Creating the right types of videos will make for a stronger video marketing strategy and smoother buying journey for customers.

Video content is a fantastic marketing asset. People love them, they get our points across easily, and you can keep reusing them.

There are certain video types within a video content marketing strategy that work best for certain goals in each stage of the buyer's journey.

Your job, then, is to give people exactly what they want from you at the precise moment they need it.

Fortunately for you, part of the job is already done. We already know which videos work in each step of the buying journey and for which purpose, which you can read about below.

Educational Videos Teach Consumers

Educational videos educate the audience about a specific topic (an industry method, a new technology, a problem for a number of businesses in the same field, etc.).

These videos are like mini-classes that serve to understand a topic.

Marketing agencies use this kind of video to educate their audience about things such as inbound marketing, Instagram stories for businesses, or SEO basics.

For example, Tesla educates its audience about Ta'u island running on nearly 100% solar energy with 5,300 solar panels and 60 Tesla Powerpacks.

Tesla Ta'u island video

The video does not push any direct sale but is instead informative, educational, and clear.

Key Features of Educational Videos

  • Relevant: Pick one problem that’s important to your audience (e.g., how to know if an online store is reliable).
  • Valuable: Raise the question AND give the answer (e.g., there are countless online stores, including a lot of scams. Knowing how to pinpoint the trustworthy ones is a must for a satisfying online shopping experience).

Where Educational Videos Fit in Your Strategy

People aren’t looking for your brand or service simply because they don’t know you exist.

That’s why you can use their common problems to reach out to them. Help them understand those problems and provide value for people to start seeing you as an expert in the field.

Thus, these videos are perfect for the awareness stage of your sales funnel, as they can:

  • Increase your brand’s visibility and awareness (i.e., knowing that you exist and what you’re about)
  • Get more visitors to your site
  • Generate leads
  • Position your brand as a leader and expert in your industry
  • Rank on YouTube and search engines

Explainer Videos Promote Your Product

Explainer videos use educational videos as a foundation and combines them with informational content. They are short clips that explain your service or product in a simple and compelling way while putting it as a solution to a specific problem.

For example, this video discusses the difficulty of organizing a family’s everyday life and provides a solution: Picniic’s service.

"Meet Picniic" video

This video is a perfect example of an explainer video's structure: You have a problem laid out and the solution, all explained in a video under 2 minutes.

Key Features of Explainer Videos

  • Short: No longer than 90 seconds
  • Simple: Answer to the “what,” “how,” and “why” of the service or product
  • Targeted: Aimed at a specific audience and at a precise issue to create a stronger connection
  • Branded: Created with the brand’s look and feel throughout the video
  • Voiceover: Professionally narrated to emphasize what’s on screen

Where Explainer Videos Fit in Your Strategy

After people realize their problems and want to look for a solution, they’ll be looking for tools, services, and products to solve those issues.

Enter the consideration stage of your buyer’s journey, where explainer videos reign supreme. That’s because they let your prospects know why you are the perfect choice among your competition. Explainer videos are perfect to:

  • Increase conversions
  • Get quality leads
  • Increase the average visit times on your site
  • Reduce the bounce rate
  • Generate brand awareness by displaying the brand as a solution for specific pain points
  • Help the site’s SEO
  • Nurture leads
  • Rank on YouTube and search engines

Product Videos Show Off Your Product

Product videos are part of a “show, don’t tell” methodology; videos showing your product in action tend to perform better than a basic list of features.

Instead of saying your vacuum cleaner has noise-canceling technology, let potential customers hear it in a product video.

If the vacuum also has accessories and a nice design, show them in the video. People don’t want you to read them a list of “amazing benefits”; they want to see for themselves.

Another example is Samsung’s video showing off the Galaxy Note8.

"Samsung Galaxy Note8: Official Introduction"

This is a complete example of what a product video can do. Using different audiovisual tools like text and animation, Samsung gives a detailed explanation of every feature the phone has, also adding some storytelling.

Key Features of Product Videos

  • Uses: The product should be in the spotlight and make its prominent features as clear as possible.
  • Context: Put the product in a real-life scenario to allow people to identify with your actors.
  • Instructions: Have a complex product? Use the video to explain a little bit about how it works; just remember to keep it entertaining and simple.

Where Product Videos Fit in Your Strategy

This is another video type that’s part of the consideration stage. You say your vacuum cleaner is the “cream of the crop” when it comes to working quietly - now show it!

Create a video to highlight that feature, or you can even use videos from your own customers using the product to bring an extra layer of authenticity.

Product videos are successful (especially for e-commerce businesses) because they:

  • Increase trust in your product
  • Get your leads closer to a shopping decision
  • Rank in YouTube and search engines
  • Nurture your leads

Company Story Videos Teach Consumers About the Company

You’ve already educated your audience, explained your service, and showed your product to them. It’s time to talk a little about yourself. Company videos are a way to show who you are and everything you stand for.

It doesn’t matter if you sell cars or a math app – putting a human face to the brand is one of the most effective ways to bridge the gap between your company and your customers.

Google expertly demonstrates what a company video should be.

Google video: "Meet our machine learning makers"

In the video, Google gives a sneak peek at the people behind the Brain Team, showing what their hopes and dreams are and why they do what they do. That's the perfect way to humanize a brand.

Key Features of Company Story Videos

  • Unique: Your company is different from others, so that should be evident for anyone watching.
  • Purposeful: Show your goals and how you help people with their lives.
  • Representative: Show off your unique brand with unique editing rhythm, music, and text.

Where Company Story Videos Fit in Your Strategy

Though they seem more fit for HR purposes, company videos add to how prospects see your brand. So, they can be used in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (the last one) to give your potential clients the final nudge to become actual clients.

These videos do so because they:

  • Increase brand trust
  • Humanize the brand
  • Generate a stronger connection with your target audience

FAQ Videos Address Problems

FAQ videos are the video versions of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). With these videos, you address very specific problems about your product or services and give straightforward answers while showing them in action.

Though you might feel that FAQ videos should only work for a service-based company, they are great for any other company, from tennis racket manufacturers to coffee makers to McDonald’s.

McDonald's: "See How Hamburger Patties Are Made"

In this McDonald's video, we can see how the company answers specific questions from the audience in a very clear and friendly way. Note how this approach to FAQs is a lot more engaging and personal than just anonymous text.

Key Features of FAQ Videos

  • Concise: Provide answers in the simplest terms possible and in the most direct way available. Show how to keep the coffee fresh or how to tell if the racket needs to be restrung in a couple of seconds and end it.
  • Topical: Cover a topic and answer multiple related questions to that topic. In the coffee example, this means you can make a list of do’s and don’ts for keeping coffee fresh, combining the answers to many questions into one video.

Where FAQ Videos Fit in Your Strategy

The FAQ section seems like an area reserved for current customers, but by providing answers to common problems, you are also reducing the uncertainty and anxiety of prospects by ensuring that your product or service fixes their problems. Thus, FAQ videos can:

  • Nurture leads by answering doubts of potential customers
  • Get your leads closer to a shopping decision
  • Increase conversions
  • Boost product trust

Customer Testimonials Feature Happy Customers

Happy customers are the best way to convince prospects that you’re dependable and trustworthy. That’s why so many companies use customer testimonials - to show prospects that you’re reliable.

This is achieved by asking people to talk about their experience with your brand in front of a camera.

From a toy maker to a perfume manufacturer, nothing is better than a happy customer advocating for your brand.

Samsung also has an example of a successful customer testimonial. The video shows different customers talking about their experience with a particular Samsung product.

Samsung customer testimonial video

We see here a different approach to traditional testimonials: It's shorter, edited in a more dynamic way, and includes user-generated content.

Key Features of Customer Testimonials

  • Single focus: Tell the story of a single customer
  • Structured: Great testimonials always follow the same structure: customer’s problem, how the product came into the equation, and how the product solved the problem.
  • Context: The context surrounding the story of your testimonials is extremely important for understanding their relationship with your product.

Where Customer Testimonials Fit in Your Strategy

Testimonials reinforce the idea that your brand can be trusted and that you will deliver what you promise. Such validation comes from customers who were once prospects, so these videos have a greater chance of convincing people to make deals with you.

In the decision stage, these videos also:

  • Humanize your brand
  • Boost sales
  • Get your leads closer to a shopping decision

How-To Videos Show the Product’s Step-by-Step Process

A subcategory of educational videos, how-to videos deserve to be categorized individually because of their popularity.

Their step-by-step explanation of processes is what sets them apart from other educational videos, even when they share the same goals: to educate the audience while bringing them closer to your brand.

With some creativity, you can use these videos as a powerful marketing tool.

For instance, you can promote your coffee shop by shooting an informative video on how to cold brew coffee, as seen in this Starbucks example.

Starbucks: "How to: Three Ways to Cold Brew Coffee

In this video are all the traits a how-to video should have. Starbucks explains step-by-step how to cold brew it in a clear, straightforward way.

Key Features of How-To Videos

  • Procedural: Simply put, show a step-by-step explanation of a process. In the Starbucks example, you’d teach in detail how to prepare the perfect cold brew, ending with a branded call-to-action.
  • Simple: Break down the process in as many steps as you need to get your point across. In this specific example, Starbucks explained three different ways of doing the process in a very simple manner.
  • Clear: How-to videos use all kinds of elements to explain, from narration to animated objects, text, and close-ups.

Where How-To Videos Fit in Your Strategy

How to make the perfect macaroni and cheese, how to drive on a snowy road, how to dance The Charleston - they all address specific problems that can help you create awareness of your brand.

So, you can use a how-to video to convince your audience that you’re offering something different and unique to solve their needs. These videos will serve you best in the consideration stage. They can also:

  • Increase trust in a product and brand
  • Help in cross-selling and up-selling
  • Generate visits to your brand’s site

Social Videos Reach Consumers on Social Media

Social videos can be explainer, educational, or how-to videos that are used on different social networks. The reason to categorize them individually is because they use a specific discourse according to the social network on which they are used.

Oreo does a great job at crafting a video specifically for Instagram.

Oreos Instagram video

It is short, formatted specifically for that social network, and communicates a concept that is complemented by the copy of the post.

Key Features of Social Videos

  • Short: Perhaps the shortest of videos (they can be anywhere between 10 seconds and one minute); they need to be concise to compete with other social media content.
  • Native: Almost all social platforms allow for native video uploading. How a social video is built, edited, and shared depends on the channels on which it’s shared.
  • Multiple aims: Though these videos can entertain, inspire, or inform, they ideally do all three.

Where Social Videos Fit into Your Strategy

You can use them in every stage of the buyer’s journey, simply because they are extremely flexible. You can use them to introduce your brand to a new audience, share a testimonial to your customers to reinforce your brand’s perception, teach a simple process to address a specific concern, and more.

Social videos will also help you:

  • Increase engagement with your audience through views, shares, and comments
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Redirect traffic to the brand’s site
  • Ensure the brand’s presence and visibility on relevant social networks

Commercials Sell Products

Commercial videos (or video ads) are focused on the brand and the product or service. They are meant to sell and don’t try to hide it.

They are like traditional TV ads but are developed for the digital world.

Though you can advertise your products in the traditional TV ad sense (the best in the market, the cheapest, etc.), commercial videos are better when they aim to tell a story.

In this example, Buenos Aires Zoo promotes its product with an animation that achieves engagement through an emotionally charged story.

Buenos Aires Zoo commercial

We can clearly see a traditional story structure with a beginning, middle, and end.

Key Features of Commercials

  • Short: Use an average duration of 30 seconds per video to maximize the sales pitch effect.
  • Product- or service-focused: They promote one thing – your main service or a new product.
  • Storytelling: Commercials usually have a profound sense of story. They use a traditional approach to storytelling.

Where Commercials Fit in Your Strategy

This is another kind of video that can be used throughout the buyer’s journey. From the awareness stage to the decision stage, commercial videos are great to:

  • Generate views through paid ads
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Get more visits to your brand’s site
  • Generate leads

Use the Right Video for Your Marketing Strategy

The video medium is very flexible and can adapt to multiple tones, styles, and channels. That’s why we have so many types and uses for them.

Learning about each type of video will make a stronger video marketing strategy and will plant the seeds for a smoother buyer’s journey for all your prospects.


About the Author

Headshot of Victor Blasco

Víctor Blasco is the founder and CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. He is also an audiovisual designer and video marketing expert.

Aside from running the business, he loves studying Chinese philosophy and is a real geek for science fiction films and comics! The force is strong with this one.