Part of the Video Marketing Series
What video format and style is right for your business?
What type of business video is right for your marketing strategy and/or current project? Do you have a strategy for how you will integrate video into your marketing?
One marketing trend I read about daily is the question of whether Video is the future of advertising and marketing? If it’s not, then it certainly is a big part of it.
Is video becoming a needed part of an online content marketing strategy? According to a new AdAge article, marketers that can’t produce video content will find themselves at risk of losing to those who can. In the article David Rolfe of BBDO New York mentions that “video is a requirement to the sustainability of advertising campaigns.”
Video categories and formats
There are many different types of videos a brand or business can use for various promotions. Videos can entertain, inform, show “how to,” advertise, showcase, create interest, and promote. There are also several business video strategies. We can classify videos as corporate videos, lifestyle videos, web series, documentary videos, and dramatic videos. In the future I plan on telling more about how these different video genres can be used in a business’s marketing, advertising, and public relations. I’ll leave this section by saying that different types of video can be used as part of a strategy or as a tactic.
Video Show Formats
It’s helpful to know a little about the different show formats before venturing into the video entertainment/branding/product marketing field.
Docu or Formatted Shows
A docu gets its name from documentaries and is heavily reliant on one or more main characters. The key to a good docu are your characters.
A format show is build around tent pole moments that occur in each show. In a 100 percent format show you can often switch out the on camera talent and it will still work quite nicely. This may be a consideration if you need the show done in more than one language.
Hybrid shows have docu style characters within a formatted wrapper.
Types of video
Scripted vs unscripted shows
These are fairly self explanatory. I tend to think that scripted shows rely more on acting talent and unscripted shows are more docu or reality based and can rely on real people that have a bit of character.
We also need to realize that many unscripted shows have some kind if a script
Scripted shows will keep the information succinct and avoid unnecessary dialog. However, they sometimes seem a bit stilted and stiff, especially if you don’t have trained actors as on camera talent. I have to admit I do find a script very helpful when doing voice-overs. If you want to work with a script I would be happy to talk with you about some options and possible talent for you production.
Unscripted video shows
Unscripted video shows are very free form and do not have a rigid script to read from. This is primarily what I do. With an unscripted show you are free to follow twists and turns of the unfolding story. An advantage of unscripted social video is that interested audiences tend to be more invested in the show and/or talent. Getting to know the participants in the discussion produces viewers who are more loyal than those seeing a corporate video with no human personality. Unscripted shows can also appear to be more authentic than doing a scripted show. Fans tend to be more loyal when they develop a relationship with a business, especially when they also like and trust the business.
This is a 5 minute unscripted show I did about a dog rescue group
Even though my favorite form of show is unscripted I often have talking points that I use as a guide for where the story is going.
I use the term talking points as shorthand for simple notes or points to explore. These are some of the areas I want to chat with guests about. Unlike the official definition that is only a few years old, my definition can be used for light and fun shows as well as for more serious matters.
If I’m doing a quick, budget, unscripted five minute interview I am not going to have a chance to do much research, but I still try to only do shows that are not deceptive and have some journalistic merit.
I would classify my paid interviews as human-interest or journalistic marketing videos. They are human interest shows highlighting a product or service. They may not be 100 percent journalistically objective but they are not 100 percent marketing either. There are probably a lot of products and businesses that won’t fit the kind of stories I do. I try my best to do what I think is right. Being honest and doing what I think is right, even when I am getting paid to do a show is very important to me. I am more concerned about what is in the best interest of my fans and followers than I am in marketing. There are also controversial products I may not cover even though I like the product or service. At this time I am offering very affordable human interest interactive and participatory video interviews featuring unique businesses and properties. These can be classified as culture videos and are more like a travelogue or businesslogue than a standard interview.
I also offer corporations the opportunity to sponsor my On The Road With Andrew shows,
Arced Webisodes or The Arced Web Series
Webisodes are like TV episodes but done online. An arced webisodes is one that tells a continuous story. We are starting to see many more arced webisodes as made for online video entertainment. With arced shows the viewer really needs to follow the story episode by episode in a chronological order. With this type of show viewing the episodes out of order will be confusing and often not make much sense. This form of video is popular for those who like what’s called “binge watching.” Binge watching is the practice of watching multiple episodes of a television or video program in rapid succession.
We are beginning to see scripted arced stories at all levels of the online ecosystem, from very small YouTube creators to major worldwide corporations. In fact Marriott Hotels is producing one of these in their new media production division.
There are also self-contained shows where each episode is complete in and of itself. A self-contained show can be watched and enjoyed in any order. Each show is a complete viewing experience.
Some brands are well suited to live streaming. As of this writing live streaming is the new trend and it sometimes can add to a channel or websites popularity. However, doing video live, without the chance to edit, can involve more risk than many businesses are willing to take. Live streaming is also called webcasting. Webcasting is essentially “broadcasting” over the Internet. These webcasts can range from live events such as music shows to group panel presentations. Another popular type of webcast is the traditional talking heads interview show.
Talking head videos
Talking head videos are where you see the presenter’s heads and shoulders as they talk. These videos can be done as a presentation by one person or as an interview or dialog with two or more people. Talking head videos can show a business owner’s personality and can make a business more personable. Online there is a saying that people buy from people not brands or logos. An interview video can let the online community get to know the person behind the brand. Talking head videos are sometimes a bit dry and boring. However, they can be made more entertaining with the proper post production editing. To make a more interesting and polished show from talking heads all we need to do is edit in relevant B-roll video and appropriate photos.
Live to tape video
Live to tape video is video recorded live, in real time, with very little editing. If there are breaks in the video they need to be timed to occur during the time of taping.
Social video Versus Corporate Videos
Doing an engaging social video is a bit different than doing a corporate video. Social videos that engage and entertain are designed to build a relationship with the audience, where corporate videos only inform the consumer about a business. Corporate videos tend to be rather sterile where engaging social videos tends to be more personable. Corporate videos are authoritative, where social videos are entertaining and friendly. The friendly nature of a social video makes picking the right format and hosts important factors.
Corporate Videos are an art form in themselves.
I do admit high production value corporate videos are beautiful. They are also genuine works of art and they can be impressive. At this time I’m not doing this type of video. My videos are done more in the interactive and conversational documentary style. However, if you are interested in doing a Hollywood style corporate video, I do know people who can help you develop a very polished video presentation. I think an elegant corporate video with high production value does have an important place in the marketing ecosystem. This is the traditional business video and will continue to be useful as a showpiece on websites. They can also be quite useful for presentation and when you need to give a quick feel for the business. On a trade show floor a beautifully produced corporate video will probably attract more attention than a show where the viewer needs to watch and pay attention for a relatively long time.
When talking about a web series one usually thinks about a scripted episodic video made for and released online. However, any regularly produce online video that adheres to a defined theme can also be classified as a web series. I think of a web series as any programming done on a regular schedule (such as weekly) that falls into the web television ecosystem. When done in a documentary format these are called a docu-series.
How to videos
Sometimes it is helpful to show how a product is used or how to do something. These can be very popular. I imagine that many of the outdoor and aftermarket car parts companies can profit by this kind of video. Using a medium to longer format will also allow for the how to part of the video to be incorporated into a lifestyle show. As an example I can see a lifestyle/how to video working for a fishing show or how to shoot trap. Animation can also be quite helpful for conveying ideas with how to videos.
Here is a scripted how to video I did for an affiliate website I used to have that sold custom t-shirts. This video is made with screen capture software. Just as my sales were increasing to something meaningful the company producing the shirts closed. However, those who saw the video found it quite helpful.
Testimonial videos are quite powerful for marketing. Depending on how they’re done I would put testimonial videos into a sub product video category, but it is possible to have it as part of a lifestyle video as well. For an outdoor lifestyle show I can see using a favorite fishing reel and rod combination. For a show with a truck or car sponsor a good example would be the ease of transporting pets, which might include hunting and/or working dogs. Which type of dog to use would depend on the target market. I have also seen very interesting testimonial videos done in a docu-interview format with a high production value.
A strict product video is not nearly as interesting as emphasizing how the product makes life more enjoyable. What I think of as a product video tends to be cut and dried such as the color, material it’s made of, warrantee, and features. While these things are important they are not nearly as interesting as how the product is used.
Here is a video I did featuring an Audi R8 Supercar – It could be classified as a type of product video
A subcategory of product videos are haul and unboxing videos. A haul video usually shows all the great items a person buys on a shopping trip. The haul video often includes a description of the item and the price. I am interested in doing a Mall Princes video project for a shopping mall that would include haul videos.
An unboxing video has a host unpack a product, show the product and explain what accessories come with the product. Unboxing or unpacking shows are especially prevalent for high tech consumer products, but I have seen these being very effective for some sporting goods too.
I did this unboxing video about a Swiss Army Knife an online friend sent to me from Europe.
Webinars and Event Videos
A webinar is a Web-based seminar. The online webinar is often used as a very long sales pitch. Frequently they are also used in connection with an invitation system that collects an email for future marketing.
Along with sales webinars there are also real seminars done online as well. I am in the process of producing a low cost recorded seminar series that could be considered an episodic web seminar.
To have an effective webinar you need to give enough perceived value that people will attend, even if they think they will be asked to buy, buy, buy.
Local Event Videos
Event videos can be used to highlight your community and build community goodwill. They will also give you local content to help drive local traffic and ultimately get local links that will help your Google My Business listing to rank higher in search engines. Local event videos will also improve the discovery of your business in Google Maps. This type of video can be quite helpful for real estate agents and those in close proximity to competing businesses.
Here is a local car show video from the Long Beach and Signal Hill area.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Branded Entertainment and online video can help your business give me a call. I am also available to host unscripted video or TV series.
Call me, Andrew Ledford at 562-423-1691 to discuss the wonderful world of content marketing and video.
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