Determining the Right Kind of Video for Your Message

As video marketing becomes increasingly commonplace online, it's important to know which video type will deliver your message most effectively.

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By Nick Vaka

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As video marketing becomes increasingly commonplace online, it's important to know which video type will deliver your message most effectively. The sort of video that would interest clients of a B2B solution may not necessarily be the best direction if you're running on a B2C platform. After all, the point of your video should be to increase ad awareness, brand awareness, and ROI, so you want to be certain you're developing a video that can help you reach your goals.

Related: A Checklist of 8 Best Practices for Successful Video Campaigns

Following is a list of various types of videos and the best applications of, and examples for, each.

Pre-Roll Videos

A format specific to YouTube, these videos precede YouTube content as paid advertisements. They are mostly used in B2C strategies for activism, entertainment, or retail.

The most successful pre-roll videos grab the viewer's attention within the first five seconds of play (the amount of time before the "skip ad" button appears), and hold it until the call to action has a chance to appear.

Explainer Videos

Usually written as a three-act narrative that presents a problem, introduces a solution, and then outlines the benefits of using that solution. They can can promote a product or service, tell the story of how a particular company works, or offer solutions to a social problem for activists. Explainers for products, services, or activism, may list a few key features or products, and use scenarios to help explain why someone should take action. Activists, B2B, and B2C outfits have all taken advantage of this format at one time or another.

Related: 9 Tips for Packing Your Brand's Message Into a 15-Second Instagram Video

Company Overview Videos

They can tell the story of a company or offer insight into its history and impact on the world. Company overviews are usually used to explain a firm or a cause as a whole, and are typically accompanied by other types of video to handle the hard sell. Even though these pieces are more about the company itself than what they're offering, they may still list off a few key features or products to tell the audience why they should be interested. These videos can be used to introduce yourself to customers, whether you're catering to consumers, or other businesses. These are also great for charities, since they can explain why and how they got started, and what they hope to achieve.

Product Video

Unlike explainers or overviews, product videos focus solely on a product. In uses for IAAS, or web and mobile applications, there's usually a screen capture demonstration or stylized mockup of the product being used, accompanied by either a voice track, or on-screen text. 3D mockups of physical products are also common. Once you've seen a few examples, the applications for all types of businesses become obvious.

Company Product Demo

These videos can outline a patented process, demonstrate how a company creates its products, or highlight specific steps in a manufacturing or computing process. Industrial clients really get the most out of company product demos, especially if they utilize a process unique in their field, which can become very attractive to prospective customers.

Related: The Secrets to Making an Explainer Video Stand Out


Coalitions, petitions, demonstrations, and announcements, these spots are designed, as the name implies, to raise awareness for a cause, a motion, or a group. Awareness videos typically point out a problem, and then layout a plan on solving it, asking the viewer to support them either monetarily, or through action.

These are some of the basics of how different types of videos benefit different types of businesses. Whatever your goal, you'll need an appropriate video to get the job done, so consider these types when planning your online video strategy.

Related: 6 Tricks to Get More Eyeballs on Your Videos

Nick Vaka

Nick Vaka is the creative director at Visually.

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