Whenever you swipe through your social media feeds for content inspiration, you’re probably drawn to a format that performs exceedingly well: video. From Facebook and Instagram Reels, to TikTok and YouTube Shorts, every platform now knows that video is the content format audiences want to see. That’s what makes video marketing so appealing for businesses — including yours.

Yet, many marketing teams think that videos are overly complex and time-consuming to produce. There’s an assumption that you need expensive editing software, or to outsource video production agencies. This can explain why so many companies haven't invested as much as they’d like in their video marketing goals.

The truth is, video production doesn’t have to be complex or resource-intensive, and our guide explains why. We break down and outline the essential processes for effective video content marketing. You’ll learn why you should use video to market your business, how to create and distribute impactful video content (with real-world examples), and how to measure your campaigns’ success.

Whether it’s to boost brand awareness, drive sales, or hire new recruits, your brand can use video marketing to achieve a variety of business goals. After reading this article, you'll be equipped with the knowledge and best practices to create compelling marketing videos – and a dose of inspiration to get your content creation started.

An effective video marketing strategy is a powerful tool to reach and engage your audience

Online video is predicted to be the leading source of internet content in 2022, making up 82.5% of all web traffic.

This leads to a simple fact for businesses today: standing out as a brand is more important than ever, and video is one of the best ways to achieve this.

Great video content drives better business results. Here are concrete benefits that illustrate the importance of creating a robust video marketing strategy – and sticking to it.

Engaging video increases brand awareness

69% of people prefer video to text when learning about a product or service.

Video is more appealing because it easily evokes emotional reactions from viewers, leading them to act on these triggered emotions. 86% of marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website, and 78% say it’s directly helped increase sales.

Text, photos and images are a great starting point for any content marketing strategy. But diversifying your online campaigns with video will drive more views, clicks, and conversions – helping you to reach a wider audience and grow your business.

Video content increases conversion rates

Brands are able to communicate their key messages more effectively with video, as it engages more senses and feelings than static text or imagery alone.

That’s why videos are highly effective at convincing audiences to take quick or immediate action. They help consumers better visualize your product or service, and also understand why they need your solution.

Studies back this up: simply including a video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80%. And 84% of consumers reported buying a product after watching video content related to it.

Video content drives higher ROI

Many companies are hesitant to invest in video production because they’re afraid it’s too expensive or complicated to implement. But with new, user-friendly video makers on the market, you can create professional videos in-house with ease – no video expertise or complicated tools needed.

Implementing a video strategy is a solid investment for business growth: 89% of video marketers say video content has given them a good ROI (return on investment).

And if you’re not ready to create a series of original video content, there are other strategies out there. Improving your ROI and ROAS (return on ad spend) can be as simple as repurposing existing marketing materials into dynamic video content for your brand.

Video drives more visibility and engagement on social media

It’s clear that video drives stronger brand awareness and conversions. This is also because social media algorithms prioritize video content in newsfeeds.

Consumers love content that is entertaining, informative, and digestible. Therefore, social media platforms serve their users the format they’re most likely to engage with, which is now predominantly short-form video.

In 2021, the average engagement rate for short-form video content was an astounding 53.9%. That means your brand benefits from increased visibility and engagement by leveraging strategic video content in your marketing campaigns.

Video builds trust among your target audiences

Trust doesn’t come easily in advertising. Customers are now more skeptical than ever of brands they don’t know. Yet, studies show two out of three customers are ready to make a purchase after watching a single customer testimonial video.

The golden rule for building trust with video? Create value for your target market. Distribute content with a clear purpose that will benefit your target audience. If there is no tangible value for your audience, such as offering an actionable tip or an entertaining viewing experience, then you may want to think twice about sharing it.

Website SEO is boosted by video content

We’ve written before about how to use video to optimize your SEO strategy. Simply put, Google prioritizes search results that feature video content. When you include relevant videos on your website’s pages, Google adds a video thumbnail next to these search listings.

This helps Googlebots categorize your site as high-quality content (also known as ‘rich snippets’), which gives it higher priority in search engine result pages. And that means more organic visibility and higher engagement on your digital content.

Video is compatible with long-term marketing strategies

That being said, throwing a video together here and there isn’t sufficient or sustainable. Your team should develop a thorough video strategy as part of a wider marketing plan to support long-term marketing efforts. This can include:

  • Incorporating more video into your existing and new campaigns
  • Diversifying the kind of video formats you produce — such as interviews, explainers, or testimonials — to add variety and to achieve different marketing objectives
  • Repurposing other types of content like podcasts or social media posts into video
  • Creating an editorial calendar to organize the frequency and distribution channels for your video content
  • Analyzing video metrics to to optimize the performance of each campaign

6 types of videos you can produce for content marketing

There are many video formats you can use to promote your products and services. Choosing the right one depends on your marketing objective, target audience, and budget. Consider the following:

  • Marketing objective: Are you promoting a new product to prospective buyers, generating leads, or nurturing your existing customers?
  • Target audience: Are you targeting professionals in a certain industry? Or consumers with a niche interest?
  • Budget and resources: Is it possible to produce this video in-house? Or do you need to outsource a video production crew and agency?

Having a clear marketing objective, target audience, and understanding of the resources available to your team is critical to the success of any video — no matter what type it is. To give you some ideas to start, we’ve explained the main benefits of high-performing video formats and provided real-world examples for each.

1. Educate potential customers with tutorials and how-to videos

Tutorial and “how-to” videos are some of the most searched-for web content, proving that there is a huge global demand for this type of video.

This format is highly effective for B2B and SaaS tools, as tutorials on complex topics and screencasting walk-throughs are valuable resources for audiences. B2C brands can also increase the visibility of specific products by creating step-by-step instructional videos.

The goal is to give a clear visualization of your product or service’s features in action, which builds consumer trust and interest in your brand.

Why it works:

  • Apple promotes the Apple Watch using close-up HD footage of the specific product in action
  • The video tutorial thoroughly explains and shares actionable tips on how to use 10 specific features of the Apple Watch
  • The high-quality voice-over provides a useful walkthrough of the product while the viewer enjoys the HD footage, combining for an enjoyable learning experience
  • The messaging speaks to both existing customers who’ve already purchased the watch and prospective buyers who may still be researching the market and are curious about additional product features

2. Introduce your brand with explainer videos

Consumers increasingly do their own research online before buying. There are more options than ever in many markets and customers rely on reviews, social media, and peer recommendations to make the best choice possible.

Today, 96% of consumers look for explainer videos to learn more about a brand before they purchase, and 88% are willing to purchase after watching one (vs 78% for SaaS purchases).

Informative content drives brand awareness and boosts recall, especially when people are exposed to the same messaging with high frequency. So it comes as no surprise that explainer videos are one of the most common types of marketing videos.

Why it works:

  • Spendesk uses dynamic storytelling to illustrate their “all-in-one” product in action, using humor to make the world of finance more accessible and fun
  • The video grabs attention of its target audiences (finance teams and employees with business expenses) by presenting a cast of similar characters
  • The video shows how the product’s interface works, but also how teams can use Spendesk day-to-day to better collaborate and streamline their workflows

3. Simplify video content with a curated list

Everyone loves listicles, aka “list articles”. Wildly popular among bloggers and online editorials, lists work well because they’re so easy to consume and remember. And the same goes for video lists.

The headlines are catchy, but don’t give the game away by revealing too much. Viewers are pulled in with curiosity to click and watch the video. Think headlines like: “5 must-try restaurants for this summer” or “Top 4 editing apps for beginner photographers”. However, try not to fall into the click-bait trap: don’t promise anything in your title that won’t appear in your video!

If you lack topic inspiration, look at your existing blog content or web articles – many of these can be easily repurposed into a listicle style video. This popular style of video is also very simple to create using only stock media — meaning no photoshoots or filming are necessary. A great option when you have limited time and resources.

To give you an idea, the different sections of this article you’re currently reading could be recycled into separate videos, such as “Top 6 video formats for content marketing” and “9 steps to create a great marketing video”.

Why it works:

  • The informative content is presented right away so viewers stay tuned in and see the value the channel offers
  • The narrator has good pacing and describes each attraction with brief, concise details and high-quality footage
  • There are several CTAs, but they’re all clear and relevant: subscribe to the YouTube channel for more content, comment with your own experience, and visit the online store to download their mobile travel guide

4. Give customers a voice with testimonial and interview videos

Customer testimonials create a powerful connection with your audiences. When people look for product reviews, they want genuine and honest opinions from like-minded consumers.

Testimonials and interviews can be sourced from user-generated content or produced by your company. As these videos feature real people (not actors), you can provide a guideline to help them share their customer experience naturally, but with clarity.

The key to success here is communicating the message in a sincere and authentic manner. You want your customer’s personality to shine through, while ensuring they cover important points like your brand’s unique benefits and how these solved major pain points.

Customer testimonials don’t have to be long or complex. A short video can introduce a customer, highlight their business or story, and explain how your product or service helps them. Here is an example of a similar interview format, which showcases internal employee talent instead of customers.

Why it works:

  • Simplicity works – this video is just 15 seconds long, but it feels complete and audiences know exactly what the product does
  • Engaging footage and a well-written script focuses the customer’s business, while showing how easy it is to use the Quickbooks app
  • Although this is a brand-produced customer testimonial, the messaging feels genuine and authentic as the customer narrates his story in first person

5. Tell a story with a documentary or mini documentary

Documentaries can be used to educate and inspire audiences. They don’t focus on selling, and shouldn’t feel like advertisements or explicitly promotional content. Depending on the production, they can run anywhere from a few minutes long (mini documentaries) to a full-length feature film.

Documentaries evoke strong emotions in viewers, offering new perspectives of seeing the world through engaging and profound narratives. Build stronger connections with people, not just your prospects, by sharing and communicating your brand’s values.

This format also serves as a great opportunity for creators to experiment with different styles of music, filming, and directing. Because this format is a little more complex, it's probably more appropriate for marketing teams with more video experience.

(Watch full-length version)

Why it works:

  • The subject of the story instantly grabs attention and triggers feelings of nostalgia and curiosity from the viewer
  • The cinematography and music are well-chosen and diversified to enhance the quality and intrigue of the film
  • 8:45 is a great length for a mini-documentary, telling a whole story from intro to end, but not losing the audience’s interest
  • The film subtly communicates Mailchimp’s brand values, as a part of its original content series “Mailchimp Presents” that highlights human stories and entrepreneurial spirit

6. Engage your audiences directly with live video

Real-time video is particularly engaging for viewers: it creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity, making the content more alluring.

Webinars and live streaming are great formats that foster a direct connection with your audiences. Although live video often appears spontaneous and natural, it should still involve preparation and strategic planning. Determine the objective of your live video and note down the topics to be covered so you can pace it according to your allotted time frame.

Whether you’re hosting a webinar or live streaming on your social media channels, be prepared for unexpected mishaps. Technical issues like faulty equipment, poor internet connection, and background distractions occur easily during live video, so always have a backup plan and spare equipment at hand.

The added bonus of live video is that you can usually record it, allowing you to get more value out of your hard work and preparation. Host the video on your Youtube channel or in the resources section of your website, for example, and rack up more views over time.

Why it works:

  • The introduction scene features highly creative motion design, using a ‘video within a video’ format to introduce Planoly brand and explain their platform
  • The webinar’s overall design is a highly consistent aesthetic experience (they also use custom branded Zoom backgrounds), so viewers immerse themselves in the brand with minimal distractions
  • Speakers share a clear outline listing all the topics they will cover during the one-hour workshop, so audiences know what to expect and how to interact
  • Recorded live video streams like these can be repurposed into gated content for lead generation campaigns. You can also create promotional video excerpts that summarize highlights from the live stream

9 steps to create effective videos to boost your content marketing strategy

No matter which kind of video you make, there are simple best practices to follow in order to create professional-quality content. From pre-production to post-production, here are 9 key steps to producing high-performing marketing videos for your brand.

1. Identify your video’s objective

Avoid blanket statements like “we want viral videos”. To employ effective content marketing strategy, every video produced should have a clear purpose and objective.

That means aiming for specific measurable goals. For example:

  • “We want to increase our customer engagement rate by 50% over the next quarter with live video.”
  • “We want to double our monthly reach with explainer videos”.

It’s easier to assess your video’s performance and optimize ongoing strategy when you can benchmark actual results against your initial goals.

2. Write a good script for the video

You’ve probably heard the phrase: the pen is mightier than the sword. It holds true for videos too. A video script is a text document that details your video’s full messaging, including:

  • All spoken word, dialogue, voice-over, or narration
  • Visual descriptions that explain cast movements and simple descriptions of each scene

Persuasive, succinct scriptwriting not only grabs and holds your audience’s attention – it convinces them to take action.

A well-written script can also help your team define details for filming (e.g. shooting angles, scene lighting, etc.) and even post-production editing (e.g. sound design, special effects, etc.) Communicate your message with gusto, and your brand will cut through the noise.

Check out our full guide to writing a script that keeps viewers watching.

3. Create a storyboard for longer videos

We’ll preface this by saying that not all videos need storyboards. If you’re making a simple and short video, with minimal set changes – you can probably skip this step.

Storyboards provide an illustrative visualization of all the scenes in your video. They are used to streamline the production process of more complex videos and films. Production and design teams render how each scene should be structured, lit, and shot before filming.

You can easily create storyboards using presentation software like PowerPoint or Canva. Changes are made directly on storyboard slides and multiple versions of each scene can be proposed, without having to shoot footage.

4. Use the right gear for your video production

Choosing the right lighting, cameras, and associated equipment for your video production involves several factors.

Style of filming: Practicality is important on set. There is a huge difference between shooting a simple scene in an office, versus shooting a dynamic car chase scene outdoors! Choose equipment that adapts to your filming conditions and keeps production physically safe.

Budget: Don’t overspend on filming gear that’s out of your budget or excess to requirements. By researching for affordable equipment and making the most of what you already have, you’ll have enough funds for other areas of production like casting, editing, and promotion.

Level of experience: Stick with equipment that you know how to use. To create most types of videos, all you usually need is a tripod, a phone camera, and a good quality microphone. If your company is making videos in-house for the first time, keep it simple. With more practice and experience, your in-house team can start experimenting with new video formats, styles, and gear.

If you want specific recommendations for the right video equipment, check out this article.

5. Shoot your video footage

Scout the right locations: Assess the best places for filming by strategically thinking about what scenes you need to shoot. You may need to ask certain questions like: do you have or need a permit to shoot at specific sites? Does the natural light at this location look good on camera? Unless you have your own in-house studio, your office is usually the best place to film because you’ll have more control over the set.

Check your technical gear: Prevent technical issues by testing all your equipment before shooting officially begins. It’s much easier and cheaper to fix or replace gear beforehand, instead of interrupting production due to equipment problems.

Prepare your cast: Make sure your entire cast is briefed before the shooting, so they’re fully prepared and know where they need to be on the day. This can also help the talent feel more comfortable on-set and in front of the camera, if they’re not professional actors. Keeping your cast in the loop helps production run smoothly and stay on schedule.

6. Supplement your video with stock videos and images

Beautiful footage is a key ingredient for any high-performing video. But sometimes it’s not practical or possible to film specific locations or subjects in-person. Perhaps the subject of your video is located in another country, or you don’t have access to certain props or sets that you need.

In these situations, a simple solution is to use high-quality stock video clips and images to complete your video. PlayPlay’s video maker includes access to the highest-quality stock media library on the market — Getty Images. With its in-built search feature, you can easily find the perfect media and drag and drop elements directly into your video. Using stock media is an ideal solution when you're on a tight deadline or need to keep costs low.

There are also plenty of other royalty-free stock media sites like Shutterstock, Storyblocks, and Pexels that you can source stock footage, images, and audio from.

7. Get creative with visuals and transitions

Corporate videos should keep viewers interested and engaged. Enhance your footage using video transitions and eye-catching visuals to make sure your video is watched to the end.

Transitions aren’t just for show. They help your shots flow together seamlessly, holding your audience’s attention from introduction to conclusion. They also set the pace of your video, which enhances the tone and ambiance of your content.

Here are 9 powerful video transitions that give your professional videos more character and make them stand out from competitors.

8. Add subtitles to increase accessibility and reach

69% of people watch videos with sound off in public spaces. That means nearly 7 out of 10 viewers are completely missing the message in videos without subtitles.

On the other hand, people are 80% more likely to watch an entire video when subtitles are available. Facebook even revealed that captioned video ads increase view time by an average of 12%​​. Captions also boost the reach of your videos by making them more accessible to international audiences and people with hearing difficulties.

That being said, it’s important to take the time to embed and edit your subtitles properly before hitting publish. Many video hosting platforms offer automatically generated captions while streaming, which are often not very accurate – and at times, incomprehensible. These can completely undermine and distract from your video’s message.

PlayPlay’s automatic subtitle feature allows creators to rapidly create subtitled videos in a variety of different languages, with the option to review and edit them. With this feature, you can embed subtitles directly into your video and deliver your brand message exactly as you intended it.

9. Add a persuasive CTA to your video

You want viewers to take action immediately after watching your video. Make it simple for them with a direct and easy call-to-action. CTAs don’t have to be at the end of the video, but they can be more compelling after they’ve watched your content.

You can test what is more effective for your brand by adding CTAs in both the intro and conclusion, and seeing which has higher conversion rates. Wherever the CTA appears, make sure it aligns with the objective of your video and focuses on one specific action.

Here are some direct CTAs you can try in your videos:

  • Visit our website
  • Download our new ebook
  • Turn on notifications
  • Subscribe to our channel and leave us a comment
  • Book a free demo

How to distribute your videos to reach your target audience?

Today’s digital consumers are active on a variety of different platforms, and are consuming more content than ever. On average, B2B customers now use 10 or more channels to engage with brands.

Omnichannel content distribution is imperative to harnessing this traffic and reaching audiences far and wide. Share your videos across multiple channels to gain as much visibility as possible – but choose your platforms strategically, based on where your audience is most active.

Consider how effective each platform is for reaching your brand’s target audiences. In addition, format your video specifications as recommended for each unique channel (video size, tone, duration, orientation, etc.). For example: a fintech brand’s explainer video might not perform as well on Pinterest as it would on YouTube.

If you have a budget for paid advertising, you can also promote your video content to reach wider audiences and outbid your competitors. Here are several platforms to consider:

How to measure your video marketing performance?

Define what success looks like for your video marketing campaigns. As you choose your marketing objectives, identify which video metrics are the most important to achieve those goals.

Many advertising platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to choose objectives based on different campaign types:

  • Awareness campaigns: brand awareness, reach
  • Consideration campaigns: website traffic, engagement, video views
  • Conversion campaigns: lead generation, conversions (taking a specific action: download an asset, add item to cart, etc.)

Setting specific OKRs (objectives and key results) and KPIs (key performance indicators) will help you measure quantitative performance, and reveal how you can optimize your content strategy for future campaigns.

Here are common metrics used to measure video content performance:

  • Total views: the total number of times the video has been watched
  • Play rate: the percentage of viewers who click to watch the video; this can also refer to the average view duration or completion rate of a video
  • Engagement rate: the level of interactions the video has in comparison to the total number of audiences it has reached (for example: liking, reacting, commenting on the video, etc.)
  • Social sharing: the number of times the video has been shared by viewers across the same or external platforms
  • Click-through rate: the percentage of viewers who click on an internal or external referral link after watching the video
  • Conversion rate: the percentage of viewers who take a specific target action after watching the video (for example: creating an account, subscribing to a newsletter, making a purchase, etc.)
  • Qualitative feedback: how viewers reacted to your content, which can be analyzed via the comments on the video, or by sending a follow-up survey to ask audiences for detailed feedback

Both quantitative and qualitative metrics are important to understanding the true impact of your video campaigns. Post-performance analysis helps marketers and video creators continually improve their content strategy.

With insights and learnings from campaign data, you can optimize every step of the video marketing process — from creation and editing, to distribution and community management.

Use video marketing to achieve your business goals

High-quality video is one of the most powerful tools to connect with your target market. It can set you apart from your competitors, and convince customers to choose your brand over viable alternatives.

From brand storytelling and tutorials, to documentaries and customer testimonials, there are countless creative possibilities and formats for marketers to experiment with. The key to creating these videos successfully is to identify an objective. With clearly defined objectives, your video content will fit seamlessly into your wider content marketing strategy.

Easy video making tools like PlayPlay democratize professional video creation. Marketing and communication teams of all sizes and budgets can create dynamic videos in-house. No need to hire expensive video production agencies or download complex video editing software.

PlayPlay is simple to use and user-friendly, with a built-in library of stock media footage, photos, and music tracks that users can add directly into their videos. Create professional videos in a matter of minutes, then publish or share them easily across any platform. Ready to jump right into it and make your first video? Try PlayPlay for free, now.