21 Mar 5 marketing videos your company needs right now

Story ByMichelle P.
Illustration ByAries W.

You want your company to stand out. Problem is your company is not alone. Whether you sell REITs or SUVs, the challenge is the same. So how do you get your message out, define who you are, and hold your customers’ attention? Marketing videos are your best tool right now.

Why marketing videos are the missing link in your website

Let’s look at why. A survey last year found that Americans’ attention span when browsing online is on average just eight seconds. Are you still paying attention? There’s a time and place for other advertising, but video works differently. Engaging marketing videos can keep your audience rapt from start to finish. They can also help shorten your sales cycle by delivering better informed and more confident prospects to your point of sale. But I don’t need to convince you. Let the data speak for itself.


Now that you understand the impact of video, the next step is to determine which category of videos meet your company’s needs. Here are the five most common types of marketing videos:

1. Brand documentary

A brand documentary video is the dramatic entrance you’ve always wanted. Your brand’s story, personality, and philosophy all get to be center stage. Even add employee and client testimonials for a more personal angle. The truth is that with all the information floating in the universe, everyone will have their own varied ideas about who you are. A brand documentary video undefined is the best way to cut through all the assumptions and misconceptions and tell your own story yourself. There are three things to remember in making a successful brand documentary video

  1. Keep it personal. Your brand is your personality and you want to connect intimately with your audience. Be personable and include meaningful stories.
  2. Play to your strengths. Has your company been around 100 years? Or are you shaking up your industry right now? Either way, decide what makes you great and reinforce that message throughout your video.
  3. Be brief. You want to hook your audience in the first 10 seconds, and the whole video should be no more than one to two minutes.

When it all comes together, you’ll make the intended impression and crystallize your company’s story for the public as well as your own employees and shareholders. Check out this brand documentary we designed for ServiceSource.

Read the full story of how we helped ServiceSource pull off a massive brand overhaul.

2. How-to video

(Sometimes called an explainer video or walk-through)

Quite simply, how-to videos show you “how-to” use a product or service. You can go with a simple set of instructions, but a video is just much sexier.

A good question to ask: is your audience already excited about your product?


How-to videos work best when the audience is curious and ready to learn. If you’re still trying to convince them why they should care, a how-to video may be getting ahead of yourself.

A video can show in seconds what may be challenging to explain in words over many minutes. Focus on what’s essential to actually use your product. How-to videos work best when using the product seems intuitive. Don’t get mired in the details and try to explain all the features. Start simple: state the goal, demonstrate how your product achieves that goal, and show the results.

Using screen capture software and a narration recorded with your iPhone can lead to a marketing video that is less than inspiring, but a professional voiceover and a creative composition go a long way. With a little design help, you can have a how-to video that stands out on YouTube and you will make your company proud.

3. Expert video

With all the information available online, customers no longer seek out a salesperson until they already know what they want. According to CEB, buyers don’t even engage with vendors until they’re 57% of the way through the buying process. With an expert video, you can reach these customers and address their questions now, all the while differentiating yourself from your competitors.

When customers are still in the research stage, they have large appetites for information and longer attention spans. They want the full picture in order to determine the positives and negatives of your product or service. It’s important to get your message and the tone just right because if your expert video starts to feel more like a commercial than a reliable source of information, that attention will disappear quickly. An expert video is not promotional but is a way to build customer confidence and show how you stand out from the competition.

4. Promotional video

Promotional videos are a great way to generate additional interest in your company’s important announcements and promote upcoming events, press releases, and product launches. They go far beyond simple facts and figures. With insight, pertinent new information and the charm of a story, they are effective at capturing the curiosity of your audience and adding implicit credibility to your message. An effective promotional video gives a clear introduction to what you want to promote while also kindling your audience’s curiosity. Take a look at this promo video we created with Google to get its employees excited for the annual National Retail Federation Conference.

5. Demo video

Once the audience is turned on to your company and ready to use your products, it’s time for the demonstration video. This gives you the opportunity to showcase your product and its benefits. You’re the expert. You know your product intimately. You have the depth of knowledge, but your challenge is explaining the product and its features to an audience that may have no prior knowledge whatsoever. You need them to not only understand what your product is and how it works but also walk away with an appreciation of its value and a confidence in their own ability to use it. Video designers, with fresh eyes and ears, will be helpful here by gauging the complexity of your message and steering you in the direction of simplicity. It’s good to remember this is not an animated instruction manual—it’s not a how-to video either—with a demo video, you are selling the whole experience. Take a look at this demo video we designed for e-SignLive by Silanis to tell people about its e-signature solutions.

Bonus: pitch video

Since you made it this far, we going to throw you one more as a bonus: pitch videos. They are the initial-attention-grabbers of the video world. A good pitch video can increase conversions for your website, improve your email marketing results, and even generate excitement as a kickoff to your live presentations.

Back in the Mad Men days, salespeople used to practice an “elevator pitch.” The idea was if you found yourself in an elevator with the right person, you should be able to spark their curiosity about your company within the length of that elevator ride. You’d start from the assumption that they have no idea who you are, and your only goal was to pique their interest enough to want more information. A pitch video works the same way but without the advantage of a captive audience. Whether in an elevator or on a laptop, most people will stop paying attention within the first minute. For pitch videos, we find a length of 30–40 seconds works best. Keep it short, employ high-impact design and a well-written script, and get to the point before the figurative elevator door reopens. Our client Forest City wanted to entice businesses to be a part of its new city development in Stapleton, CO. Here’s the pitch video we created for them.

Read the full story of how a pitch video and PowerPoint helped build Stapleton, Colorado.

The award-winning motion design experts at Modicum can create the perfect marketing videos to promote your business.



Read more:

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6 essential marketing books that every marketer should read

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