How do I make a video for my business? Here are the top 11 types of video for business
When you want to make a video for business, there’s a big difference between making a video, and making a video that helps you reach your goals. It’s pretty much like the difference between a real tea pot and a chocolate one! Without proper structure, you can create a video masterpiece that falls short of your intended outcome, or you can end up with something that goes viral and you just don’t know why. And there’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to explain, and replicate, success.
To start with, there are three top tips that ALL videos should adhere to:
1. Videos should have a beginning, middle and end.
Regardless of the type of video, all videos should tell a story that flows in the right direction. It should introduce itself, lay out the central purpose and end satisfyingly. If you skip one or more of these sections, your video won’t make sense. Much like a sandwich without the bread – you’ll fail to satisfy your audience meaning your video just won’t deliver. Storyboarding your video is a crucial aid in building a compelling narrative that satisfies everyone.
2. Identify the goal of your video.
This usually means ‘what do you want the audience to do when they finish watching’? Have your audience learnt something? Should they now want to go to your website product page? Should they be able to remember your brand name next time they’re thinking about home decor (or whatever you specialise in)? Don’t fire your arrow into the air and hope for the best! Knowing what your goal is helps you get your message across loud and clear, encouraging your audience to watch to the end of the video and take action. You don’t want people to skip through your video and forget all about you.
3. Your video should be suitable for where your audience are at in their relationship with your business.
For example, a newbie to your brand won’t understand niche content if they’ve never heard of you before. Likewise, a loyal customer won’t be as interested in introduction videos. Three key stages of your audience’s relationship with you are awareness, engagement and their need for education:
This is your digital hello! It is the stage at which people are unaware of your brand, or only just starting to look for solutions to their problem. This means you are aiming to get interest in your company and see traffic to your social media and website. Awareness videos have high entertainment value and are of broad interest to reach as many people as possible. And, awareness videos can be short – under a minute – to grab attention, and often rely on humour or emotion so people remember your organisation.
Now that your audience are interested in you, you can start building a relationship with them. Above all, show them how you can help with their specific need or problem, and invite them to take action. At this stage, your audience want videos that answer specific queries. This applies whether you are for-profit or non-profit. Consequently, videos at this stage are a more specific than at the awareness stage. As a result, they may delve into more depth about a product or service, or contain specific calls to action.
Education videos can span all stages of your audience lifecycle (whether they’re aware of you or a loyal customer). This means they can be especially useful as product tutorials at the decision making and post-decision making stages. This could include ‘post donation’ messages for nonprofits. And, they’re useful as communications to employees and stakeholders. Education videos aim to enrich your audience’s understanding of your business, or a specific niche of it, and they may have a message that does not convert to sales, sign ups, or other commercial gain. As a result, education videos can be the longest of videos because education takes as long as it takes. However, there’s a lot to be said for short and snappy infomercials that deliver high value factoids in moments, serving your audience without taking up their time.
We’re going to focus on these stages, and the different types of video you can make within them. It’s down to you as the creator what you think will work best for your business. If you’re new to video creation – or even pretty tenured – try to experiment! For example, be curious about what you can achieve with different types of video. Set specific goals you can measure your video by once it’s released, and then think about how to improve the next time.
So what types of video can you make for each of these stages?
These are an excellent go-to video that all businesses should have. When used at the awareness stage, they should focus on your USPs (unique selling points) and establish your brand personality. Brand videos are broad reaching; they focus on your ethos, passion, purpose and personality. That is to say they convey the value you provide to your audience – will you solve their DIY problems as easily as tying a shoelace? Will you be a reassuring and competent health provider? Do you offer last minute appointments, personalised service, free delivery and returns? A brand video can be used in ads, on your website, in presentations, portfolios, proposals and more.
Within the awareness stage, a product/service video focuses on the value it brings to your audience’s life. Don’t get technical here, and don’t go too deep. It’s the equivalent of a neighbour popping by before you need to borrow their hedge trimmers (does anyone really do this?). You’re saying ‘hey, do you have this problem…?’ or ‘Don’t you hate it when…’ and then demonstrating (by showing, not telling) how you fix it for them. As a result, these videos can be pretty punchy.
Make sure your brand is remembered, or people take action after seeing your video, by using emotion. Famous brands like Old Spice use humour to build rapport with their audience, creating viral content shared worldwide and achieving brand awareness that no money could buy. For several years running, John Lewis played on tugging the old heart strings at Christmas. Reebok and Nike love to focus on the ambition of their audience. Perfume ads are renowned for using lust and the power of a scent to stir some pretty deep desires. But one thing to bear in mind with this type of video is to ensure your emotive drive is ethical. There are plenty of ways to emotionally connect with your audience that don’t stray into ‘dark nudging’ – the unethical side of sales.
There’s nothing more powerful than the positive feedback of dozens or even hundreds of realpeople. Reviews can be user generated – companies like Glossier have built a fanbase of millions through the power of customer made content. Or, depending on your organisation, such as universities, you may be able to create professional films of your community for a polished look. Most importantly, testimonials build trust between your new audience and your company.
We’re confident everyone knows ‘vlog’ stands for ‘video blog’… right? You might associate it with YouTubers and influencers, but vlogs can be used by companies in the same way podcasts are. They are great as regularly released content or one off updates. They give a personal touch to communication and build rapport between your audience and a ‘spokesperson’. Whilst you might think vlogs are DIY, a professional video production team can create consistency and quality in your vlogs.
Top tips and tutorials
These build on the hype you created for your business in the awareness building stage. Now your audience know you exist and they’re curious about you, they’re going to be looking on your website or social media for more ways to engage with you, to prove you’re as awesome as they think. Top tips and tutorials are a great way to show your audience you are helpful and high value. Subsequently, one good tutorial video can encourage your audience to explore your products, or sign up as a subscriber. At the engagement stage, top tips and tutorials should be streamlined and easily digested, with your audience always the hero in your story. What do they need to know at this stage? What makes it easiest for them to understand? Will they finish your video with the knowledge they were looking for?
Use interviews to connect your audience to a specific person in your business, or related to your business. You could build on testimonials, using longer customer interviews. Or, you could focus on getting to know one person in depth – an expert, influencer or employee. For example, they are a great way to make senior managers and executives appear more accessible (and human!), but also a great way for your audience to get to know your front line staff. Think about the people at the till, picking produce, in the workshop, garage, clinic or on the ward. Interview shows are among the most popular on TV – from Graham Norton to Ellen DeGeneres. Consequently, the same magic that brings in millions for them, can create powerful engagement for your business.
This is where you see the full power and magic of storytelling. Documentaries exist to educate and engage your audience on a substantial topic. By the end of your documentary, your audience should be fully invested and understand what action they can take next. This could include something as simple as feeling empowered within their own life, to something as complex as joining a cause. Being longer, documentaries often rely on emotion to keep their audience watching. Think about the sense of wonder and enchantment in David Attenborough programmes, the curiosity in science documentaries, ambition in sports documentaries, and the drive to stand up for what’s right in many historical documentaries. Use emotion carefully, however, to connect with your audience and not tell them how to feel. Emotion should be relevant and proportionate to your topic. A professional video production company helps you work out the fine ethical balance.
Announcements can be used at any stage of your communications map. As a result, they’re a great way to launch new products and services, but can also feature as part of a stakeholder update. Videos announcements allow you to get in depth about your subject in the easiest and most engaging way possible. For example, show footage of what you are announcing, or feature your business owner, expert, influencer or Chief Operating Officer – whoever is leading the new initiative. However, announcements don’t have to be dry – even if they’re about serious topics. Ultimately, good script writing and video production will create an engaging cinematic piece whatever your message is.
Behind the scenes
Behind the scenes videos create hype around your brand, connect with your audience on a deeper level, and create community. This means they’re particularly useful for nonprofits, to help your audience see where their investment goes, or what their volunteering experience may be like. You can create a broad BTS video looking at a lot of aspects, or zoom in on your people, processes, products, locations or any aspect of your organisation’s runnings. Most importantly, remember to tell a story with clear beginning, middle and end, and focus on what your audience should get out of your video.
So what do you think?
Are you closer to figuring out the right video for your goals? We believe video production is a creative science – whilst there are technical right ways and wrong ways to do things (the science), the actual creative process is fluid and unique to every project. Starting with the framework of one of the types of video above, however, is a great way to ensure you get the right balance of quantitative and quantitative – an imaginative video that does what you want it to do.