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The 8 Best Types of Video For Small Businesses (and When to Use Them)

types of video

The benefits of using video in your digital marketing can't be overstated. As a strategy, video has been a top performer for years, providing companies with unmatched social reach, increased conversions and excellent ROI overall.

However, it's no secret that effective video marketing can be expensive and time-consuming. Larger companies often have the budget for an ongoing video strategy involving the creation and promotion of many videos of various types. Luckily, small businesses can still see huge benefits with video, perhaps just on a smaller scale. Creating even one or two of the following types of videos could seriously boost your leads, sales and exposure.

#1 - Explainer Videos

Great for: Website Homepage, Pinned Social Media Post

Explainer videos can be used in many different ways, but they often act as both an introduction to your business and an explanation of your products and services. These types of videos are extremely popular for B2B companies who provide services that aren't easily or quickly understood by potential customers. The visual aspect of video allows these companies to succinctly explain what they do better and more simply than trying to convey their services through long, potentially confusing website copy.

Businesses whose offerings are more straightforward can still use explainer videos to show exactly how a product works, the benefits customers can expect from their services, company history or anything else that may be of interest to customers and generate leads.

Explainer videos are often animated, as animation provides endless possibilities for explaining abstract concepts clearly. It's also recommended that explainer videos be no more than five minutes long. Two-to-five minutes should be enough to provide a brief overview of your company and ask the viewer to take action. Respecting your potential customers' time will help prevent them from clicking away after seeing how long your video is.

Here's a great example of an explainer video from insurance provider Lemonade:

#2 - Product Demos

Great for: Website Product Pages, Blog Posts, Social Media

There's perhaps nothing more effective at generating leads for a product than showing it in action. Similarly to an explainer video, you can use your product demo to provide instruction or answers to common customer questions. Unlike an explainer video, demos shouldn't be animated. They should be recorded using the real product, and it's usually ok for these types of videos to be on the longer side if necessary.

And while many companies in your industry may have product demos, you can often beat out your competition through higher production value. A demo that's well recorded and clearly, methodically shows the function of a product will be miles ahead of a poorly thought-out, off-the-cuff demo recorded on a smartphone.

If you're lucky enough to have products so popular that amateurs are demoing them on YouTube, uploading your own product demo can allow you to become the authoritative source.

Here's an excellent product demo from Photgraphic Lighting company Paul C. Buff:

#3 - Event Videos

Great for: Blog Posts, Email Newsletters, Website Event Pages, Social Media

Is your company attending or presenting at an event? Recording some footage can be a great way to demonstrate how active your company is in your community and can be used as a tool to nurture any leads generated at the event itself. Clips of live product demos, interactions with customers, presentations or simply your employees having fun can be very successful on social media and with your email subscribers.

An event video could look something like this:

#4 - Testimonials

Great for: Testimonial Pages, Homepage, Blog Posts, "About Us" Pages

This one requires little explanation. If you have clients or customers willing to discuss how your product or service has benefitted them in a video, it could definitely be advantageous for your company to create a video testimonial. Videos can be much more impactful than text when it comes to testimonials. Simply seeing an actual person speaking about your company can end up giving a testimonial much more credibility than a text quote buried somewhere on your website.

Here's an interesting testimonial video for IWS payroll services:

#5 - Company Culture/About Us

Great for: Homepage, Blog Posts, "About Us" Pages, Social Media

Despite the fact that most business is currently done online, making personal connections is just as important and effective as it's always been. Plenty of research has shown that sales and satisfaction rates are significantly increased when customers feel an emotional connection to a brand.

Having a video that associates your brand with the real people behind it can be incredibly powerful for humanizing your company and encouraging viewers to contact you. These types of videos can include employee introductions, "behind the scenes" footage, company historical information, humorous clips and anything else that can help form an emotional connection. These videos can also perform well on social media, where personal connections and uniqueness are especially valued.

A good "about us" video could be similar to this one for furniture company Sunpan:

#6 - Webinars

Great for: Product Pages, Dedicated Webinar Hosting Page

Webinars are a long-time favorite promotional method for B2B companies. These types of video presentations are often used as a way to introduce customers to your product or service, answer any questions they many have, and convince them to take action right away. Often held as a live event on your website, webinars do require a fair bit of promotion to ensure you have attendees. However, once you've completed and recorded a webinar, it can be placed on your website and/or YouTube channel as an evergreen asset that continues to get leads.

Webinars are typically longer (20-45 minutes) and can involve either a live person giving a presentation on-camera or a simpler "screencast" format consisting of a slideshow and voiceover.

Here's an example of a typical screencast webinar from Simply Investing:

#7 - Live Streaming

Best platforms: Facebook Live, YouTube

Live streaming is a video format that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Perhaps the most famous live streaming platform, Twitch, saw massive growth in 2017 and is showing no signs of slowing. And while traditional businesses may not yet be able to leverage Twitch's platform, they can still live stream on Facebook and YouTube. In fact, live videos get six times as many interactions as regular videos on Facebook.

So, it may be worthwhile to get a little creative and consider the things your business does that could be popular to stream live. Even something as simple as frosting a cake can generate tons of interest. Take, for example, this video showing interesting cake decorations that currently has over 13 million views:

While it wasn't originally live streamed, it's possible that streaming something similar to this on Facebook or YouTube could get plenty of exposure for your business.

#8 - Ads

Best platforms: YouTube, Facebook

Don't forget about ads! According to some sources, video ads on YouTube have delivered a higher return on investment than TV commercials almost 80 percent of the time. The two most popular platforms for video advertising are YouTube and Facebook. And while it can be somewhat costly to run a video ad campaign, the costs of actually producing the videos may end being comparitively cheaper in some cases. After, some YouTube ads only need to be six seconds long. Check out these pages for more information:

Put (Almost) Everything on YouTube

Of course, you'll also want to consider posting any videos you create onto a branded YouTube channel. Aside from video ads and any video you choose to treat as premium content (i.e. a gated video or a video that only paying customers have access to), you should be posting every video you make on YouTube and including links back to your website in the video descriptions.

T.J. Anderson

Posted on 1st May, 2018 by T.J. Anderson

About T.J. Anderson

T.J. Anderson is a Chicago-based content editor and writer, as well as an SEO and marketing specialist.

View all posts by T.J. Anderson