What Types of Videos Work?

Let’s take a second to level-set, shall we? 

Adding video to your marketing mix doesn’t mean paying for a major film production with people named gaffers and grips walking around. If you’ve got the budget for that, then HECK YEAH, we can pull that off. Nah, when we recommend creating a video (or series of videos), we mean producing flexible marketing assets for use across digital, social media, advertising, and HR efforts.

What we know is that video is important, especially on social media. The folks over at Communication Crafts and Biteable offer great suggestions on the types of videos that will drive engagement.

When it comes to answering the question “What video is best for me?” we’re going to ask second, third, and many more questions because the “type” of video that’s right for you depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. 

Our agency has produced a wide range of videos — some with big crews and a handful with three of us wandering the streets (those are the most fun) — that helped clients communicate and convince potential customers. 

Let’s get into it.

How-to videos

A quick search on YouTube proves that folks love a how-to video, from tying a bowtie to mixing a drink like Don Draper to fixing democracy. 

Our experience is that teaching customers how to do what you know, and love  (stick to your lane, friends) is a great way to build brand loyalty. It’s slightly counterintuitive — showing people the secret sauce behind your expertise — but showing the care you take in your craft puts on full display the care that you’ll take with them. 

We produced a video for our friends at Biro & Sons where Martin Biro gave viewers tips on the best polishing tips for their silver. The point was to leverage his decades of experience and teach the audience how they could do it on their own, but if they needed extra help, they were there to help.

Facility tour videos

While a great tool at any time, video tours of manufacturing facilities became vitally important during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The why of facility tour videos is pretty obvious — no one was traveling to see a company’s capabilities. The upside was pretty tremendous, in that a salesperson could walk a client through a site without the noise and debris getting in the way. Plus, the company can show off its best tools and processes (and avoid hidden outdated equipment).

Mass Precision, a leading contract manufacturer with offices in San Jose, Fremont, and Mexico, tapped our agency to produce a handful of videos that they could send to potential clients. 

We spent a handful of days at Mass Precision’s facilities in San Jose and Fremont, highlighting the company’s most used equipment, capabilities, and latest technology. The client reports that the sales team shows these videos and pauses to add information to help close a sale. 

Videos for recruiting and culture

The Mass Precision project took a turn when management asked for a video featuring company founder and owner Al Stucky. The goal was multiple — provide a history of the company, what the future looks like, and give people a sense of what it’s like to be part of the Mass Precision family.

Al was great on the camera, and we had to cut some fun stories out to keep it at a reasonable length.

We produced the “We are Everi” corporate video during that rebranding project to allow the CEO to get in front of the company to explain where they were heading and boost employee morale. While he wasn’t the most vibrant personality we’ve worked with, we heard employees accepted his heartfelt message and bought into the plan. 

Show off your corporate expertise

Compass Made — a company we helped rebrand — felt it was essential to have a series of videos that gave potential customers a feel of what was possible at its facilities in Fremont, California, and Demming, New Mexico.

The trip to Fremont was easy enough. Traveling to Demming is a story we have to tell on another day. Still, while there, we wanted to make sure to show off the company’s commitment to delivering the best cable harnesses to its transportation clients. You might not think that’s the sexiest thing in the world, but learning the intricacies of the product was crazy interesting.

The tricky bit about producing the cable harness video is that we needed to avoid showing proprietary information. That meant being careful during the shoot, blurring information, or picking alternate shots during post-production.

When are animated videos a good idea?

We partnered with our friends at Circa Now to create a series of animated videos for the Oakland International Airport. These videos were nominated for a slew of airport marketing awards. 

The trio of videos answered marketing pain points the airport’s marketing team was looking to solve. We relied on the same animation style and VO talent to ensure the pieces were familied. Our team brought clarity to the client’s concept, wrote the scripts, co-directed the animator and VO talent. 

Our first foray into creating animated videos came when we were helping introduce a now-defunct health social media network called WellFX. Our scripts — in English and Spanish — needed to convey how a community approach to overcoming health challenges was better than trying to do it alone. We needed to show that the platform was safe, easy, and successful. 

Using video for a press release

The media is BOMBARDED with email press releases every day (David used to be part of the media, so this is not a theory here.), and at a certain point, they begin to tune out anything that smells like a press release. 

When the owners of CycleBar Berkeley asked us to help with their launch PR we wanted to do something different. So, we shot a video press release. Not only was it a great way to get the information out we needed the media to know, but it was also a great way to show how passionate the owners were about their new business.

The outtakes from this video are pretty funny, and these two were good sports about it all. We think it shows.

Interview your experts

There are times when a video is the easiest way to answer questions about your company’s solutions, philosophy, and people. Rather than guessing what your audience wants to know, ask them on social media, send out a quick email blast, or even (gasp!) call around and ask.

These videos are valuable assets on websites, across social media platforms, and even in local advertising.

 If your expert feels confident and comfortable going live, Facebook and Instagram offer ways to get in front of many people at once.  It is also common for Instagram influencers to ask for questions from their followers and then answer them via Instagram Stories.

Product videos

According to a study done by Social Media Today, a brand’s social media posts influence 74% of consumer buying decisions. Engagement rises exponentially when those social media posts feature videos of the product. 

The ideal product video positions your product as the best solution available and should work hard to tell your story, highlight unique features and benefits, detail the care your team takes to deliver that product, and show real-life applications. 

Let’s not forget social media advertising videos

Our work for Libratone was rewarding on so many levels. Creating a set of video social media ads for our Facebook campaigns was one of the best.

Our challenge was working with limited budgets and schedules — these ads needed to get added to our marketing mix before the holiday season. So, we couldn’t create original content. Fortunately, Libratone’s corporate team had a slew of video assets available to us, and we culled that material to create new ads.

As you can see, we did some product-centered videos and some lifestyle videos. Picking music for videos is always a significant decision, but it was crucial here since we were advertising a speaker. A conversation with a music producer friend led us to use a song from an unsigned band. It was a great addition to our spot and if offered them exposure to a new audience. 

A word about live video

Reality TV has conditioned us to think that we can all be naturals in front of the camera. We’ve spent hours coaching CEOs, talking heads, and company spokespeople to make sure they feel comfortable when the bright lights get turned on. It’s a LOT harder than it looks! Trust us.

We’re not trying to scare you off. After all, you’re probably the best spokesperson for your company. But make sure you prepare. Think through your talking points, but don’t memorize anything. Take a minute for yourself to calm down. Remember that if someone is watching the video, they’re already interested, so treat them as a friend that you’re welcoming to your business.

How do we get started?

Good question. What do you need to accomplish? Brand awareness, convincing buyers, keeping existing customers, showing off a new solution or product? Define that first.

Next, figure out the most important thing you need to convey in 30 seconds or so. 

Then find a partner who will help you make it happen. That partner should know how to produce a video that’s true to your marketing goals, your company’s brand, and your goals. 

Holler if we can answer any questions. You know where to find us.

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