Online video has exploded over the last few years, with the average viewer spending six hours and 48 minutes every week watching videos online. By using video marketing for your business, you can take advantage of this trend to reach and engage with more of your prospective customers.
However, some marketers and sales professionals are unsure of where to start with their video strategy, while others don’t think it’s right for their business.
In this guide, we’ll help you through every step of the process, from choosing the right types of video for your business to creating and promoting your first video campaign. We’ll also share a real estate video marketing case study that can be applied to any industry.
Table of contents
- Product videos
- Filmed podcasts
- How-to videos
- Animated guides
- Event videos
- Video series
- Paid ads
- Influencer videos
- Promo videos
Video marketing’s increasing popularity
Video is one of the most popular and engaging channels available today. Youtube, the second most popular website in the world (Google takes the top spot) reports an average onsite time of just under 17 minutes. Out of the top 50 most popular websites, only Facebook and Shopify have longer time-on-site averages.
Video marketing statistics tell us that videos are growing in popularity because they are easy to consume, accessible, attention-grabbing and have a high ROI. According to Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2020, 92% of marketers who use video say it’s an important part of their marketing strategy, up from 78% in 2015.
Further, 88% of video marketers agree that videos have given them a positive ROI—up from 33% in 2015. Animoto’s survey of marketers found that video was ranked as the content that gets the best ROI from social media, higher than photos, graphics, or blog posts.
Video marketing has also become more accessible in recent years, with software and hardware available to suit any budget. Rather than being restricted to big-name brands, startups and small businesses can now afford to make videos a part of their digital marketing strategy.
Importantly, consumers are also showing a preference for video marketing. When people were asked for their preferred method of learning about a product or service, 66% said watching a short video, significantly more than those who preferred text-based information (18%) or a sales demo or call (2%).
11 types of sales and marketing videos you can create
Some marketers are still reluctant to use video, citing concerns that it’s unsuitable for their business or too expensive to use. However, a video marketing campaign doesn’t have to mean big-budget Superbowl adverts. Video is a versatile tool that can be used by marketers and sales professionals in a variety of different ways to complement their existing strategy.
1. Testimonials and case studies
When people are considering a purchase, they need to be reassured that it will fill their needs. One of the best ways to provide that reassurance is through social proof. It’s the reason why Amazon prominently includes star ratings and customer reviews on their product pages.
Using video for your customer testimonials and case studies can be even more reassuring because it allows prospects to hear how your brand helped to solve a real-life problem. Sharing first-hand experiences in this way helps to build trust and nurture meaningful connections with your audience.
If you do decide to ask a customer to record a testimonial, remember to ask them for specifics. While it might be tempting to listen to them enthusiastically praise your company, it’s more effective if they can talk about the exact challenges they were facing and how your product specifically helped to overcome them. This allows potential customers to see how your product or service could help them solve their own unique challenges too.
For example, Codecademy uses customer testimonials that describe the specific challenges their students have overcome, such as being stuck in a job they didn’t like or being intimidated by people who’d been coding for years.
By featuring real students that explain how Codecademy has “changed their lives,” they are able to show prospective students exactly how they could help them too if they win their business.
2. Product videos
Also commonly referred to as explainer or demo videos, product videos can be used to clearly demonstrate your product or service and then illustrate its benefits.
Product videos are particularly useful for complex or high-ticket items. If a visitor is unlikely to be familiar with how a new product works or the technology behind it, or if it requires a considerable investment, a product video can answer common questions. For products that can’t otherwise be demoed (such as with a trial plan), a video allows a prospect to experience the item for themselves.
Here at Pipedrive, our product is multifaceted and can be customized to your specific needs. To explain how to use our features in the most efficient way possible, we create tons of product videos that our customers can glean insights from. You can find them in our Academy.
In this example, which was originally released as a live webinar, one of our product experts explains how to build efficiency through automations, automate personalized emails and repetitive sales tasks and create set workflows for your salespeople to follow.
The intent is that, after watching, our customers will be able to reduce errors and save valuable time because they better understand how to optimize their workflows.
A webinar enables businesses to nurture their audience while building their authority. Webinars should be live events (although some are recorded in advance, technically making them a webcast), with the opportunity for the audience to ask questions and engage with the host in real time.
Webinars give you an opportunity to not only relay expertise but also to answer questions and help your audience overcome problems by providing and demonstrating practical solutions. Although it’s common for webinars to have a pitch for the product or service at the end, they should not be treated as a straightforward sales pitch. Rather, a webinar should act as an open forum to share knowledge regardless of whether the attendees sign up or make a purchase at the end.
As part of our series of online events to stay connected during coronavirus, our “Sales and Marketing amid the COVID-19 pandemic” webinar gave us the opportunity to share our sales expertise and insights with reps that may be confused about how to do their jobs well in these disorienting times.
Our team of experts was able to explain that it’s more important than ever to sell with empathy because prospects are craving social connection and also need to feel valued. That said, just because they may be more willing to pick up the phone, it’s no time to lead with selling. Instead, we explain that it’s key to show your prospects that you understand what they’re going through by asking pointed questions that are relatable.
With this webinar, we were able to position ourselves as subject matter experts while also helping other sales reps meet this difficult moment.
4. Filmed podcasts
Podcasts are another channel that’s rapidly growing in popularity, with 37% of people having listened to a podcast in January/February 2020—up from 32% in 2019. If you’re already recording a podcast, filming it could be an effective way of repurposing your existing content across different channels.
While this would add extra work, you don’t necessarily have to record the whole episode. Filming a podcast can make the process more complicated, but you can still use video to promote your show and engage with your audience.
Along with the audio version of their podcast “Go Figure”, the Indonesian on-demand multi-service platform Gojek posts videos of their in-studio and remote podcast recordings on their YouTube channel.
They discuss the “inner workings of ambitious tech companies in the emerging world” in a room full of Gojek gear and brand colors. This is a strategic way to bring their brand to life in a visual representation of their podcast recording.
5. How-to videos
The majority (87%) of Youtube users learn how to do things they haven’t done before on the platform. By filming an instructional video that helps your audience solve a problem, you can simultaneously educate them while demonstrating your expertise. If you can show up and solve their problems, you’ll be more likely to earn their trust and ultimately make a sale.
When Tate Law updated their landing page, they added an interactive video chatbox, with pre-recorded videos answering questions on key topics. Combined with the page redesign, the number of people who scheduled a call via the new landing page increased by 654%.
At Pipedrive, we also publish how-to videos on a regular basis. We know that sales reps and managers can become overwhelmed with the various sales traits, methodologies and practices that all claim, if adopted, to be the answer to common sales problems. That’s why taking the time to explain how to handle frequent day-to-day roadblocks that reps face is incredibly helpful to our target audience.
And that’s exactly what we’ve done in this “Overcoming Objections in Sales” video that explores how to reply to the common “I’m not the best person to talk to about this” response to a cold call or sales call. Videos like this help us to build authority in our target market as we get a chance to personally show our clients and leads how to solve a frustrating problem or pain point and, as an added bonus, how our service can help.
Making it part of a series of videos on YouTube, covering themes that are relevant to salespeople, helps with discoverability.
6. Animated guides
Creating a video doesn’t mean you have to jump on camera. An animated video can be highly effective, especially if you’re trying to illustrate an abstract concept that’s part of your product or service. It’s also easier to keep the audience’s focus in the right place (rather than being distracted by irrelevant details picked up by the camera) and incorporate company branding and design.
You don’t have to be Disney or Pixar to create an animated guide and, in some cases, it’s cheaper to produce a simple 2D video than trying to create a live-action film. If the idea of getting on camera or hiring/purchasing the necessary equipment seems too much, an animated video might be the solution you’re looking for.
We made this explainer video to show our audience what exactly a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is. By incorporating colorful animations to describe exactly what you can do with our platform and why it’s important, we’ve been able to make a potentially complicated subject easy to grasp.
7. Event videos
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many events scheduled in 2020 were postponed or canceled. For those who were able to pivot quickly, online events with filmed speakers were able to fill the gap. That said, if you are planning an in-person event that can be conducted safely you should still consider filming it as video allows you to expand your reach beyond the attendees in the room.
If live-streaming your next conference isn’t possible, you can still use video to promote the event. Sharing a trailer for an upcoming event can help to generate some buzz with your audience, while highlights from previous events can be repurposed for different channels.
Along with plenty of videos of previous sessions, SaaStr have put together this video to capture what their conference is like, showcasing the benefits attendees can expect.
8. Video series
As powerful as videos are, generating tons of views right away is a difficult feat. In most cases, you’ll need to release multiple videos before you start seeing results. By planning a regular series of videos (similar to drip email marketing campaigns) around a specific topic that’s relevant to your prospective customers, you can gradually build up and nurture an audience while increasing brand awareness.
This is particularly useful for educational how-to type videos. For example, our Sales Pipeline Course has been popular in the sales community (and we’ve just updated it):
In this series, our co-founder Timo Rein takes the stage to explain how to optimize one of the most useful sales tools available to salespeople: the sales pipeline. We blended how-to animations with a direct-to-camera-webinar style to make an easy-to-digest series with a personal touch.
9. Paid ads
So far, the videos we’ve discussed are primarily used as part of an inbound strategy, where people who are already interested in a topic view the video to learn more. However, videos can also be a key part of an outbound campaign that is executed through paid advertising initiatives.
Typically, video ads are played before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll), or after (post-roll) another selected video. On YouTube, they’ll either be longer adverts that are skippable, or shorter and non-skippable. Either way, it’s essential to lead with your hook, grabbing the viewers’ attention and getting your key message across before the advert ends or they click the skip button.
By using a celebrity and breaking the fourth wall, this advert from eToro acts quickly to try and keep the viewer watching. It then holds the attention, using humor to illustrate the app features. The result is an advert that people search for just so they can see it all over again.
10. Influencer videos
Marketers have long understood the power of influencers, whether it’s a professional dentist in a white coat promoting a particular brand of toothpaste or a celebrity telling you about their favorite cookware.
If you’re going to rely on an influencer in your video marketing, you don’t necessarily need a Hollywood actor. Look for someone that your target audience respects or looks up to as an authority. This allows you to ‘borrow’ their credibility and use it to market your own product or service.
Although he may not be widely known outside of his area of expertise, Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley superstar. When he explains why he’s an evangelist for Canva, his word carries real weight.
11. Promo videos
Promo videos are a great way to drum up interest and excitement for an upcoming event, such as a new product launch or sale. As well as grabbing the attention of new potential customers, they can also engage existing customers and encourage them to act as brand ambassadors for your brand.
Rather than educating the viewer, a good promotional video is more about entertaining them, creating a buzz and leaving them eager to learn more. A movie trailer is a perfect example, whetting the viewer’s appetite and building anticipation for the release. Make sure it’s easy for viewers to share the video so they can spread the word and attract even more attention.
Apple is renowned for its beautiful launch videos, and this iPad promo video is no exception. This video shows off the kit without listing a long list of specs, building excitement for the new release.
How to boost sales with video marketing
With all the different video marketing options available, it could be tempting to pick whichever option seems the easiest or cheapest, or to choose a tactic that you’ve seen someone else implement successfully.
To get the best results, it’s important to complement your overall marketing strategy and align your efforts with the various stages of your customers’ buying journey.
Curating and sharing videos
With over 500 hours of video uploaded to Youtube every minute, according to recent video marketing statistics, there’s no shortage of content out there. By sorting through the crowd and bringing the best and most relevant videos to your prospect’s attention, you serve as a trusted advisor.
This approach also works well as part of your efforts to engage or re-engage your subscriber list through an email video marketing campaign. When you don’t have enough time to create fresh content every week, curating other people’s content and sharing it with your list allows you to still regularly keep in touch and nurture those key relationships.
Demonstrating thought leadership
If a prospect doesn’t trust you to deliver the benefits you’ve promised, they’re not going to hand over their hard-earned money. One way of building trust is through videos that establish your expertise as a thought-leader. This could be through creating your own videos, or by being a guest on someone else’s established series.
Creating your own series takes time, but it also gives you greater control. While a guest appearance may seem like an easier option, bear in mind you’ll already need a certain level of recognition before you can appear on a well-known series.
Product/solution explainer videos
When a prospect is further along the sales pipeline, product videos and guides are an ideal way of presenting your solution and establishing your expertise. As they’ve already built up a certain level of trust, a prospect will be more willing to invest the time to watch a product video—as long it is relevant to the challenges they’re currently facing.
Personalized emails can help you stand out in your prospect’s crowded inbox and using videos can help you take that personalization to a whole new level. By recording a video that’s clearly been made just for that one person, salespeople demonstrate that they’ve put significant time and effort into their pitch, rather than simply sending an irrelevant email blast that’s missing a human touch.
Kyle Racki, CEO and co-founder at Proposify, says that in the best cold email he ever received, the email included a video of the sender interacting with the Proposify site. Others have recorded videos addressing the recipient by name and explaining why the product is perfect for their company.
Videos are still useful after the initial sale as they can help turn one-time buyers into loyal fans and increase their lifetime value. For example, Pipedrive’s Academy video hub helps new customers learn how to get the most out of the software, meaning they’re likely to see more value from their software subscription and therefore stick around.
Even if you don’t want to create an entire course, you can still use video to engage with your current customers, such as sending a ‘thank you’ message or sharing behind-the-scenes footage.
How to get started with video marketing
Creating effective videos takes time, effort and planning. Before you begin work on your video production, there are a few factors you’ll have to consider.
What’s your strategy?
Rather than creating videos for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon, you should have clear goals and objectives in mind from the very beginning. What are you trying to achieve with your video marketing efforts? How will it complement your existing strategies? How will you stand out from your competitors?
Think about your customers and what they’d be most interested in seeing. For example, if your research reveals that customers are concerned about the reliability of your service, you might want to prioritize testimonials or explainer videos that highlight reliability. If your search engine traffic reveals that a lot of people are searching for a specific topic, it might be worth recording a video on it.
What equipment will you need?
The equipment you need will depend on the kind of video you want to make. If you’re going for a live-action video, you’ll need the following:
- A camera. Fortunately, most of us are carrying around a decent camera on our mobile phones. If you’re creating a personalized pitch or hosting a webinar, a webcam or mobile phone camera will likely be enough to meet your needs. However, if you want to create product videos or are committing to a regular series, it might be worth investing in a professional DSLR that will give you greater control. Remember to use a tripod to avoid shaky camera work.
- A microphone. As with the camera, most of us already have access to a microphone, whether that’s on our phone or with a webcam. However, these microphones usually aren’t powerful enough, leading to weak audio that viewers will struggle to make out. A dedicated microphone (either a shotgun mic attached to your camera or a lavalier mic clipped onto your subject) will allow you to capture high-quality audio for your videos.
- Lighting. The quality of your lighting will directly affect the quality of your video. If you’re in a well-lit office sat opposite a window, you might be able to get away with natural lighting. However, if you want to guarantee a professional feel to your videos, you’ll want some additional lighting. Techsmith’s post covers the best lights for any budget, along with how to set them up correctly.
- Editing software. Finally, unless you’re intending to stick to live videos published in real time, you’ll need software to edit your videos. This allows you to cut any mistakes and add some finishing touches, such as subtitles or a call-to-action (CTA). The Photos app (Windows 10) and iMovie (Apple) offer basic video editing capabilities for free. For more advanced options, Adobe Premier Pro and After Effects are popular choices.
How much will it cost?
While more affordable than ever, creating and editing videos still comes with a cost.
Unless you intend to do it all yourself, you’ll need to hire scriptwriters, animators, actors and/or voiceover talent, depending on the exact video you want to record. You’ll also likely need some additional equipment unless you outsource the whole process to an agency. According to Wyzowl’s video marketing statistics, prices for animated videos range anywhere from $700 to $70,000, with the industry average for live-action videos at $5,000.
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll have to produce more than one video before you start seeing results, so ideally you’ll plan a series of videos rather than committing to a one-off. As a result, it’s essential to count the costs before you start filming a project you can’t realistically afford.
How will you structure and create your videos?
Before you start filming, you’ll need a script with a beginning, middle and end.
You may only have seconds to grab their attention (especially if your video is an ad), so you need a strong hook straight away. Why should someone watch this video? What’s in it for them? Rather than wasting time on backstory or long-winded introductions, spell out the benefits clearly and give your viewer a compelling reason to stick around.
In the middle, deliver on your initial promise. If this is a product video or a pitch, showcase how the product or service can solve your prospect’s problems. If it’s a how-to or a webinar, get into the actionable steps people can take to achieve the desired objective.
Finish your video with a call to action (CTA) that aligns with your strategy. If you’re trying to build awareness, encourage them to sign-up or subscribe for future videos. If you’re showing a testimonial of a happy customer, tell them where they can buy the product and become a happy customer too.
How will you publish and promote your videos?
Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, you now need to make sure the right people see it.
If you’re using video as part of your email strategy, you could host the video on your website and link back to it in your email, driving traffic back to your site. Alternatively, dedicated software such as Livestorm, Vidyard and Wistia allows you to host your videos and then analyze the results.
If you want to use video marketing to promote your business on social media channels, you need to pick the right channel for your audience. Uploading a YouTube video is the most popular option, but it isn’t necessarily the best choice.
Wyzowl’s survey found that LinkedIn was the most successful video channel, with 87% of video marketers who used the platform describing it as effective. Alternatively, when Animoto asked consumers which social media platforms had influenced a purchasing decision, Facebook video came out on top, with 64% saying a video had led to making a purchase.
How will you measure performance?
To determine if your video campaign has been a success, you’ll have to decide what metrics to track and use to optimize future videos. Depending on your objectives, as well as which metrics are recorded by your chosen platform, you might want to measure the following:
- Views. How many times has your content been watched? A high video view rate indicates that it’s being seen by enough people and that they’ve found the title compelling. If you’re hosting the video on different platforms, check to see how a view is defined. For example, for paid ads on YouTube, a view is counted when the video has been watched for at least 30 seconds. On LinkedIn it’s after just two or more continuous seconds.
- View length. How much of the video has been watched? The more time people spend watching your video, the better. However, if you see views drop off after a certain time, it may be that your video wasn’t strong enough or the topic interesting enough to hold their attention all the way through.
- Click-through rate. Out of all the people who watched the video, how many were motivated to take action and click through? This metric will help determine the strength of your CTA in relation to your video.
- Conversion rates. Out of everyone who’s clicked through on your video, how many have actually converted? If your click-through rate is high but people don't go on to take the desired action, check that your CTA messaging and video match your overall objective; asking someone to click through to ‘learn more’ then taking them straight to a checkout page is going to result in a sharp drop to your conversion rate.
- Social Engagement. If your video is on social media, what do people do after watching it? Do they subscribe? Share it with their friends? Leave a comment? If people are taking the time to engage with you and your content, it’s a good sign that it has resonated with them.
- Bounce Rate. If you’re hosting and displaying the video on your company web pages, you’ll be looking for different metrics. For example, a low bounce rate is a good sign that the video is encouraging people to stick around on your site.
An industry example: Real estate video marketing
In a case study carried out by Vidyard, licensed realtor Ryan McGinnis shared how he used video marketing on the platform to stand out, demonstrating his willingness to go the extra mile for his clients.
As well as recording house tours, he also uses video to create a connection with leads and start a conversation. When other methods have failed, sending a personalized video introducing himself has led to a 20% response rate.
In addition to his one-to-one videos, Ryan has also recorded evergreen videos that walk his clients through the key steps involved in buying and selling a house. By sharing these videos via email at the relevant stage of the process, he’s able to make life easier both for himself (saving approximately an hour per client) and his clients (who can refer to the resources as often as they want).
Another real estate business successfully using real estate video marketing is Team Pinto. Along with their listing videos that show off the properties in beautiful detail, they have also created an additional video series on subjects that their target market might be searching for. These cover topics such as the importance of home staging, home appraisals and how to select a realtor.
While Ryan has focused on directly reaching out to clients, Team Pinto has used social media marketing to promote their videos and generate leads. They’ve been particularly successful on Facebook, with some of their more popular property listing videos viewed over 50,000 times.
There’s never been a better time to get into video marketing. As well as being popular with both marketers and consumers, the hardware and software needed to get started are minimal, allowing even the smallest of businesses to start creating videos.
By choosing the right types of video that align with your overall marketing strategy, you can make videos that provide a solid return on investment and grow your business.