It’s impossible to ignore the power of video marketing and the positive impact it can make on your sales. But, with so many video styles to choose from, many companies struggle with finding the style that would be best suited to them and their product or service.
The key to deciding which video style to go for is to make some critical considerations during pre-production, such as: • Who is your target audience? • Where they are most likely to see your video? • Which style works best for that particular platform? • How will the video engage your audience and retain their attention? It’s often the case that a company will ask us to produce a video within the boundaries of their 'pre-cemented' idea. Unfortunately, sometimes that idea hasn’t gone through the above ‘vetting process’. In turn, the company may be disappointed by the lack of impact their new video makes to their business. Needless to say, if the video doesn’t convert potential customers into buyers, or doesn’t get many views, it hasn’t really worked. We therefore encourage our clients to consider all of this and will often arrange meetings before production begins, to try and ensure that the video will deliver the very best results possible for them. It’s a lot to think about, for sure. To save yourself hours upon hours of consideration, why not instead read through this article and make an informed decision in a relatively small amount of time? By the end, you should have a clear idea of what video style might work for you – and we are always happy to help clients with making the decision, so don’t be afraid to get in touch. Do you sell a mass market product; such as makeup, clothing or beverages? If so, a short ‘product advert’ shot in a studio may be best suited. They are perfect for YouTube adverts in particular, as well as digital billboards, social media, in-store screens and more. This video style will showcase your product in a visually engaging way, to draw attention and increase sales. It’s also effective across a wide range of demographics, meaning that your product can reach the mass market audience you require, with enough budget. A product advert shot in a studio can also be perfect in instances where the viewer might not hear any sound, for example when watching on screens in your store, or when quickly scrolling through Instagram with all sounds muted. The visuals are what make this style so effective – which can of course also be supplemented with high quality audio.
Are you more interested in promoting your company or brand, as opposed to a specific product? In this case, you may wish to consider a ‘brand advert’. It’s somewhat similar to a ‘product advert’ in terms of where it works best, as well as the general style and feel, it just focuses more on your brand (for example, promoting your overall shop, as opposed to a particular product you sell within it). A ‘brand advert’ can also be tremendous fun to make, as it is open to a lot of creativity. For example, you could weave a short story into the video, which echoes your brand ethos. You might decide on a sequence of shots that shows you making your product from start to finish (known by some as ‘Epic B-Roll’ or ‘Instagram style’). Perhaps the video takes on the perspective of a potential customer and shows a problem they face, as well as then how your company can solve that for them. Or, you may wish to simply incite good feelings that tie in with your company – the Mountain Warehouse brand advert (see below) shows a person enjoying an outdoor hike in winter and making use of a high quality jacket he purchased from their store, then cuts to shots from inside the shop, to tie together an overall subconscious message of ‘come to us to get this feeling and experience’. You have to consider whether this is the best way to convert your target audience. This style works great for TV advertising, YouTube pre-roll advertising, screens in your store, and social media - but might be a poor choice if your target audience mostly intake advertising in some other form, such as being more keen on longer ‘tutorial’ videos with more of a soft-sell approach.
Perhaps your target audience would be put-off immediately by a hard sell. Might your product be better promoted in a subtle way? If you sell products within a certain field of interest, such as guitar accessories and strings, potential buyers may be unlikely to click on or watch the entirety of an out-and-out product promotional video. Instead, it may be best to create a tips/tutorial video – in this example, something to the effect of “The Easiest Way to Re-String Your Guitar”. You then ensure that this tutorial video includes plenty of product placement – a close-up on the packet of guitar strings, your company logo in the background, etc. A tutorial video like this provides valuable information to potential customers, meaning more people are likely to watch your video. They’re also naturally more engaged by this style of video, so audience retention is easier to achieve. After all, if nobody watches your video, or if they click away after ten seconds, there is really very little point in creating it. Soft-sell product placement within your tutorial video is often very effective – it’s how we have helped companies such as Middy Tackle to sell more of their fishing tackle accessories. They knew that hard-selling was unlikely to work with their audience and have found that product placement within tutorial videos works far better for them. A tutorial video is perfect for YouTube in particular and can also work well on Facebook, but wouldn’t work so well for in-screen stores or a TV advert.
Would an audience be more likely to buy from you if they can actually see you in the video, as opposed to hearing a voiceover? Perhaps you’re a one-person operation, such as an artist, where the service you provide is very personal. Instances like this can often require that the potential customer actually sees you in the video. Why? Seeing you while you speak about your product or service results in viewers thinking you’re more trustworthy, relatable and knowledgeable. These factors could make or break whether your video converts those potential customers into buyers. This is not limited to smaller operations – the same could apply to a large corporation, for example where the CEO or another ‘face of the company’ actually appearing in the video would make their company seem much more trustworthy. People like to buy from people. In these cases, the classic ‘talking heads’ video style can work very well. The trick with this style is to be quick and snappy, if possible, to help keep the audience interested and retain them until the end of your video. This style is also very versatile in terms of where it can appear – it works pretty much everywhere except for digital billboards, in-store screens, and 5 second YouTube adverts.
Does your product or service require a lot of explanation to get across the features and selling points? If there’s a lot to say about your business or product, the ‘explainer’ video style might be the best choice. This is a rather loose style, as the term ‘explainer’ could actually be applied to a talking heads video, or a product advert shot in a studio; or it may include animation for technical products, or vary in some other way. So long as the video ultimately ‘explains’ the product or service, it is theoretically an ‘explainer’ video. Generally, we at Glowfrog consider an ‘explainer’ to be anything that goes into quite a lot of detail about the product or service; a video that reels off a lot of selling points; and, basically, is more of a hard-sell. In this sense, it’s quite different to the soft-sell ‘tutorial’ style. This is where you have to consider your target audience and whether a hard-sell or soft-sell would be more effective. The ‘explainer’ style may also be scrolled past quite quickly if posted to social media (depending on the specifics of your particular video) – i.e. the audience retention for an ‘explainer’ may not be so great as a tutorial/tips video, or a fast and highly visual ‘product advert’. However, it could be the perfect option if you are selling a very technical product or service, or otherwise require a lot of explanation to convince a potential buyer. Perhaps where you intend to upload/show your video is an environment in which viewers naturally spend a longer time watching it, or they’re already interested in your product or service prior to watching and just need some detailed information to make a buying decision. There are plenty of instances where the ‘explainer’ style is a great choice, as well as plenty of instances where it isn’t.
Will the viewer only be watching for a short amount of time, such as a YouTube pre-roll lasting only five seconds? This is where an ‘explainer’ or a ‘tutorial’ or even a ‘talking heads’ could be poor choices. Placement such as YouTube pre-roll advertising is far better suited to snappy product adverts with highly engaging visuals. Or, if you are instead selling a service or generally want to promote your brand (more so than a specific product), then a ‘brand advert’ would be another good choice. This is, ultimately, a restrictive list of questions to consider. There are almost endless considerations that could be made and that’s where hiring a professional production company can really help – they will have the knowledge and expertise to not only create a high quality video for you but also, as is the case with us, some will specialise in video marketing, meaning they can create something that actually delivers the results you want. If you would like some free no-obligation assistance in deciding on a video style, get in touch.