Video content is an essential part of any marketing strategy. However, there are many different kinds of videos. Each achieving a different goal.
In this article, I’m going to go through the most important types of video content and explain the marketing goals for each of them.
To do this, I’ll go through each stage of the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, and decision) and list the videos that best serve each stage.Use these types of video content to make your blog more interesting. Click To Tweet
Before moving on, I’d like to mention that even though we often think of the buyer’s journey in terms of customers purchasing a product or service, it is actually a concept that can be applied to just about any endeavor. Throughout the article, I will highlight how these concepts apply to bloggers and online marketers as well.
Let’s start with the awareness stage.
During the awareness stage, users become aware of a problem they have as well as some of the possible solutions they can pursue to solve that problem.
To put this into context, the buyer needs to become more aware of both the problem and the solution at their disposal. If you are a blogger, then you need to think about how to make your blog the go-to solution to that problem.
This can be done by virtue of written blog entries alone. However, providing other kinds of content such as video can have a much more profound effect on how people learn about what your blog has to offer.
Let me illustrate this with an example:
Let’s say you run a photography blog about all things related to photography. Your goal is to become an invaluable resource for enthusiasts and professionals alike. In order to increase your readership, you need to address the awareness issue.
Here are a couple of videos that can help address this while making your brand/blog more salient to your potential readers.
Educational videos are useful since they help viewers learn new things. This sounds obvious, but learning requires a different kind of engagement than what is needed from all the other videos on this list. Here’s how:
They are more robust – Since they are meant to educate, educational videos, by their very nature, have to be way more robust regarding their content. Since they cover more material, these videos tend to be a little bit longer and may require the viewer to invest more time to watch them.
They produce actionable results – Like How-to Videos, educational videos hope to inspire viewers to take action. However, instead of doing so regarding concrete tasks, this type of video emboldens the viewer to improve their understanding of a particular subject.
They have a longer lifespan – Educational videos serve as references, and like any reference, they may be used way down the line. Informative and specific content is sure to give your video a longer lifespan.
Let’s take a look at an actual educational video from an actual photography blog that incorporates the 3 characteristics mentioned above:
This video takes on the subject of astrophotography in quite some depth (robustness). Not only does it educate you on the technical aspects of performing such photography, it also gives a broader view about what astrophotography is all about (produces actionable results). Finally, by keeping a record of such videos in a specific section of the blog, it gives everybody the opportunity to reference the material at any time in the future (longer lifespan).
At this early stage of the buyer’s journey, you want to be able to grab people’s attention. It is an opportunity to tell a story about what your brand is all about. Commercial ads allow you to do just that. They are the “calling card” that presents your brand to the world.
Now, I know what you are thinking. There’s no such thing as commercial ads for blogs. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean you can’t use your blog to promote its brand image via commercial ads. What I mean by this is that you can use commercial ads to promote other projects that have some association with your brand. It may not be a direct promotion of your blog, but it can go a long way in establishing prestige and awareness of who you are and what you have to offer.
Just look at what Chase Jarvis did on his blog. He promoted a project he founded, which he then posted on his blog. The format of the video is clearly a commercial ad showcasing the CreativeLive event.
During this stage, the buyer or in this case, the reader, is considering all the possible solutions that could potentially help address her problem.
In keeping with the photography blog example, during this stage, a potential reader is considering all the resources that could best nurture her photographic aspirations.
She will compare each resource, which means this is an opportunity for the blog to shine a light on its strengths. The best way to do this is through the use of the following videos:
Explainer videos are just that: They explain things.
They are a great way to convey ideas, products, and services in simple terms that everyone can understand.
These videos can also be used for other purposes other than showcasing a product. For example, they can also help illustrate complicated news stories or concepts for the sole purpose of just informing viewers. They may not be as robust as educational videos but they can go a long way as a starter in any subject, which makes them a perfect tool for bloggers to add value to their content.
Take for instance Petapixel.com’s use of explainer videos to explain photographic exposure to its readers.
Running a blog shouldn’t impede you from showcasing products your readers may find useful. It’s about added value and not just about selling something, so be sure to recommend items you would want to use yourself.
No matter how many spec sheets or written reviews there are about any given product, there’s nothing better than seeing a demonstration of said product do its thing. Of course, it is not always convenient to catch a live demonstration, but thanks to it being 2018, we can access video versions from just about anywhere.
Again, dpreview.com does this masterfully with their product overview videos.
Product videos will not only show what a product looks like, it will show how it performs. These videos can be as technical as you need them to be; of course, this depends on the audience it is intended for. The point is to get the audience as close to the product as possible without them actually handling the product.
A perfect companion to both product and explainer videos. It is also another useful category to add to your blog.
How-to-videos are step-by-step guides to achieving a particular task. They usually consist of a user going through the entire process of how a particular product feature works.
They can also be used to provide suggestions on best practices. These usually involve an expert in the field applying said practices while filming the entire process.
The goal for this type of video is to educate the viewer on a subject related to your company’s goods or services. For example, a SaaS company how-to video will address how to use the company’s software. A marketing blogger, on the other hand, may include a how-to video on some of their tried and true marketing strategies (Tip: You should take a look at our article on the essential video tools for bloggers).
Finally, to keep our examples consistent, a photography blogger may want to use a how-to-video to explain certain techniques that her readers would find useful.
Photofocus.com does this perfectly by incorporating the following White balance how-to-video.
The point of these videos is to anticipate potential questions readers may have about any one subject.
At the decision stage, buyers are ready to choose one solution out of all the ones they are considering. This means, they have already done a substantial amount of research but need that last piece of reassurance before they jump on board.
With regards to blogging, this is the stage in which you turn the casual reader into a frequent consumer of your blog’s content.
Here are some of the videos that will help bridge the gap between an occasional readership and a loyal one:
Company videos (or Culture Videos)
Since blogging is about sharing interests and lifestyles, these types of videos should come as second nature to blogs. I say “should” since, in reality, bloggers seldomly use culture videos to market their brand. It’s too bad since they can help nurture a healthy readership.
Company videos or Culture videos give the world a sneak peek behind the scenes of a brand, whether it’s an individual, a company or a blog. They show familiar people devoted to a common goal, which is to bring the company’s product/service/content to market and into people’s homes. These videos are not meant to pitch a product. Instead, they exist to pitch the intangible asset of a brand (e.g. goodwill).
Although not a blog, Google does just this and the reason is that they understand their effectiveness in creating rapport with users:
These kinds of videos foster a stronger community while creating brand loyalty; an invaluable asset in today’s saturated market.
Another reason these videos are so important is that they put a human face behind the content. In a world where bots and AI are achieving ever greater feats with regards to both online content creation and interaction, it is important to establish a real human connection with your readers. Online Video is the best tool achieve this.
Customer Testimonial Videos or Something Like it…
This is another type of video that is seldomly used in the blog community and it’s easy to see why. Testimonial videos could seem like manufactured attempts at validating companies. However, testimonials don’t have to be the cut and dry conventional snippets we are accustomed to.
As a blogger, it’s probably a good idea to get your readers involved and ask them to contribute content related to one of your posts. This is clearly not a conventional way of obtaining testimonials. However, getting your readership involved through this medium will do just as good a job.
It will signal potential readers that there’s an active community worth being a part of, encouraging them to stick around.
There are all kinds of videos you can use to market your brand. The key is identifying where each type of video fits in the buyer’s journey. Knowing this will determine the video’s goal, format, and content. It is important to understand that the same dynamic applies whether you are a company, an individual, or a content creator.
The overall goal is always to turn leads into customers. In the case of blogging, the goal is to turn the casual reader into a loyal one. Understanding the specific goals for each stage will allow you to create the right content for a more wholesome marketing strategy.
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.