When there’s a range of options to choose from, decision making can be tough. Choice paralysis can occur anywhere, from the yoghurt section in the supermarket to your weekly marketing meeting.
You might understand the value of online video, but not what you should be looking to produce. With this in mind, here’s the rationale for 5 different types of video, with examples, your organisation could use.
Every organisation should have one of these. The amount of competition for people’s time means you have to get their attention as quickly as you can, and keep it for as long as possible - and consumers who view video spend 2 minutes longer on a site than those who don’t. Your homepage should ideally be your organisation’s story and sales pitch rolled into one, and it must entertain, engage and intrigue. On their homepage, ZenDesk have a great example of a short, entertaining video, whereas HubSpot have a longer video which goes through their product in more detail. Remember, first impressions are everything, and your homepage is where most of your site visitors will arrive.
There’s no excuse for only providing text - most people don’t have the patience or the inclination to read anything lengthy, in fact 60% of consumers will watch a video before they read any text at all.
Ultimately, videos are more inviting than text. Can anyone honestly say that when they see a play button they don’t want to click it?
In our experience, a homepage video doesn’t have to be a specific style, but it has to say:
Who you are
What you do
Why it’s needed
Also, keep it short. Don’t give the viewer an excuse to get bored, and use other webpages for more in-depth information if you need to. If you motivate people to find out more, they’ll be happy to click a few more times.
Vlogs are ideal for organisations who just can’t keep quiet, even when they really try. If you look at the rest of the Ember website, you will see the term ‘thought leader’. Not everyone gets their head around it straight away, but it means being an expert on something, being vocal about it, and using that status to increase revenue. A blog will help you build a reputation as a thought leader, but they take commitment. Don’t do a few and leave it at that - it’s something that you have to keep doing. It could be weekly, fortnightly or monthly, but it must be regular.
It’s best to think of a vlog as your own news channel, where you can keep people up to date with changes in your industry, provide advice, and report on any noteworthy events. A vlog keeps your online presence constant - it’s part of the consistent content creation which will boost your SEO and draw crowds to your website.
We used this approach for Sensible Investing TV. It’s ideally suited to the investing industry, where thought leaders hold great sway over investor behaviour. It also allowed us to react to events affecting the industry, such as new reports or legislation.
Customer testimonials are great for organisations whose products and services are difficult to understand or tricky to differentiate from another’s. With these, you can help people see what’s going to happen if they take up your services by showing them a user journey, which can usually be mapped out as follows:
User Journey = Problem > Solution > Outcome
Testimonials are perfect for building trust in your business, and as they’re typically built around a talking head interview, they’re also highly cost effective. It’s an approach Trustpilot have used, collecting customer stories from around the world (see below for an example from Germany). Another option is to use case studies from numerous clients, which can then be used alongside interviews from key members of your team. We used this approach for Midven, a venture capitalist organisation based in Birmingham.
Just in case you’re still not convinced - Customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating of all types of content marketing, with a score of 89%.
So, you’ve told people who you are, why you exist, and why yellow is your favourite colour. And frankly, you’re sick of this softly softly approach. Like many businesses, what you’re really keen to talk about in detail is your products. What’s most important here is to show products in action, and not only what they do, but why it’s a good thing. 57% of consumers say that product videos make them more confident in a purchase, so there are returns to be had.
We've done a fair few of these. It’s fun for us to explain the rationale behind a great product. It’s also rewarding for our clients, who have worked hard to bring their product to market, to see their creations shown in the best possible light. In our video for LearningBook, we present the problem that needed solving, and then show how the product meets that need.
Many industries can benefit from having online videos to provide guidance and training. This can be done internally within a business, to provide inductions and training to new staff, but it’s also something industry governing bodies can use to promote best practice.
Video guidance is more efficient and engaging than any presentation or paper-based quiz. People can watch an online video from just about anywhere, and they can get information quickly whilst watching a demonstration. A good example of this is our work with the Potato Council. Our Damage Awareness series guides growers through the various points in the harvesting process where damage to a crop can occur, and shows them how to avoid it.
Regularly producing and sharing different types of video should be a key part of the way your organisation communicates. A video on your home page is a great place to start, but make sure you produce varied content with regularity, and share it as widely as possible. This last part is crucial - if you’re going to produce content, you must have a strategy to make sure it gets seen.