This article was originally published on the Hearst Bay Area blog. Reprinted with permission.
When I first started my business Concurrent Productions, I had a potential client interested in what video marketing could do for them. They were a startup with a little bit of funding and a big vision. Great!
They cited the famous Dollar Shave Club YouTube viral video as what they were after. A video that helped Dollar Shave Club eventually get acquired by Unilever for a billion dollars.
I love creating online marketing videos for business, and I always want to exceed my customers’ expectations.
But I can only do that if expectations are realistic.
After a few meetings, I realized their expectations for what video could do for them were not aligned with what I (or anyone) could deliver.
No one in the world can promise or predict what will go viral. And if you’re trying to copy another viral video, you are most definitely not going to check the “this hasn’t been done before, gotta share it!” box.
There’s so much power in video for small businesses and startups, and there’s a lot to think about when it comes to dos and don’ts of video marketing.
The lesson I love from the Dollar Shave Club video marketing example is that video can launch a brand. And the takeaway I hope you get from this article is that there are plenty of video formats that you probably haven’t thought about before.
It all comes down to your video’s real goal: is it to get seen by as many people as possible, or is it to get noticed by the right people so it can launch your brand?
Just by stepping back for a minute, you can open your mind and consider various video marketing examples you didn’t even know existed!
What is Video Marketing?
Video marketing is the process of using video to market a brand or promote products. If you regularly include videos on your website or market your brand on TV or on YouTube, you’re using video marketing!
There are many different kinds of video marketing examples that may surprise you, so if you’re curious to learn more about the type that might best apply to your business, keep reading.
How Is A Marketing Video Different Than “Video Marketing”?
Your company’s marketing videos fit into your overall video marketing program. While a marketing video is an individual component, video marketing refers to your overarching strategy.
You could be running several different campaigns as part of your company’s video marketing strategy, each of which could involve several individual marketing videos.
In this article, I’ll share three different video marketing examples that may each fit into your overall video marketing program.
5 Components of a Successful Video Marketing Campaign
There are so many great video marketing examples out there. This section focuses on the qualities most likely to bring you success.
1. Relatable To Your Audience – The “Like Me” Principle
For better or worse, we automatically trust people who are like us.
If your potential clients are moms with young kids, you want to show moms with young kids in your marketing video.
Because of this, who sees your video is more important than how many people see it.
It’s not likely your customer testimonial video will go viral. Still, if 100 of the right people see it and 20% of them buy your product or service, that’s a 2X better outcome than 10,000 people who aren’t your right audience seeing it and 0.1% making a purchase.
You want to be sure that your video marketing strategy includes plans to get the right eyes on your video—people who are most likely in your target market. And you want to be sure that your marketing video showcases people who are relatable to that target market.
2. Explain How You Can Solve A Problem – The “Why Now?” Principle
As part of your plan to create a video marketing strategy, you should be asking the questions:
- What is relevant about your message to your audience?
- Why now?
- Is it evergreen? (Meaning, will you be able to use it forever, or is it related to current trends or events?)
If there’s a specific need your target audience has that is especially relevant in the moment, it might be worth investing in a digital marketing video that preemptively answers a question that they might not know they have.
When they see your video showcasing your expertise as a thought leader or a customer problem-solver, they’ll know when you’ve helped them solve the problem that keeps them up at night.
3. Favorably Compare Your Company To Competitors (Without Negativity) – The “Positive Vibes Only” Principle
It’s a bit of a tightrope to walk when you want to explain how you’re better than your competitors. Your own journey to creating your solution might be motivated by gripes with the alternatives.
That’s important and relatable, but you want to be sure you’re crafting your message in a way that doesn’t linger on that negativity too much. Focus on your solution.
Yes, you should talk about the consequences your customers face when they use alternatives or competitors. And you can do this while steering clear of comparisons to specific competitors.
The way to do this is to focus your video storytelling on your customer’s experience. Branded videos that remind your customer of the old way of doing things will position your company to solve a relatable problem.
4. Be Relevant To Your Existing Clients – The “Stay Connected” Principle
While the first three principles focus more on communicating with potential clients, it’s vital to stay connected to your existing clients. Communication is key to the agency-client relationship, and video is a very effective way to communicate.
Thinking about how videos might both attract and retain clients is a useful exercise. How can you use video to help them get even more out of your service?
Video marketing isn’t only about customer acquisition, but about retention as well. Consider ways to create videos that show your existing clients you care.
5. Showcase The Experience—The “Show Don’t Tell” Principle
While the previous principle is an effective illustration of how you can talk about an experience, remember that video has a unique ability to convey emotional and visual experiences. “Show don’t tell” is a well-known adage in filmmaking. It means to embrace the medium’s benefits of visual communication fully.
In a marketing context, the ability to convey the emotional experience of what your brand offers is significant. By showing what an experience is like in video, you get your clients excited and show them what to expect on an emotional, visceral level without explaining it with words.
5 Awesome Video Marketing Examples
Video marketing benefits are undeniable, and I hope this section will give you a few examples of how you can create a video that works effectively for your small business.
1. Stanford University’s Student Testimonial Example
Stanford University has a strong reputation for academic rigor, and this video marketing example does a great job of sharing a student’s perspective. This testimonial tells the unique story of a student who was featured on the popular TV show “The Voice,” and then eventually went on to enroll at Stanford.
This video embodies the “like me” principle. While you might be surprised that this is considered “relatable,” given that this student is obviously exceptionally talented, it actually works quite well for the university’s target audience.
Stanford recruits talented students with different life experiences, so this particular student represents that group. He also discusses why Stanford is a great choice for prospective students who are interested in the arts, and the value of education that Stanford can offer.
This video is simultaneously aspirational and relatable, and does a great job of showcasing the Stanford experience.
2. Headspace’s Problem-Solving Video Example
This video showcases the “Why Now?” problem-solving principle I discussed above – it specifically speaks to how Headspace can help you get better sleep.
It features an engaging animation and soothing voiceover to address common scenarios that their audiences experience.
Not only is this video a ton of fun to watch, but it’s relatable. It’s very likely that the person watching this video has experienced at least one (if not all) of the sleep interruptions they include.
Headspace applies the “why now?” principle because the problem they address (trouble sleeping) tends to be a very frustrating one that people are anxious to solve.
Whether it’s a noisy roommate, anxiety about work, or a partner with a different sleep schedule, Headspace uses this video to let the viewer know that a) they see you and b) they have a solution for you.
They also highlight that they have new content daily, so that you know this is an evergreen solution to the problem at hand.
3. HubSpot’s Brand Story Video Example
Remember the “Positive Vibes Only” principle we talked about above? This video from software company HubSpot applies it beautifully.
This video tells their brand story and differentiates them from competitors, all while highlighting the positive impacts for the customer.
Brian Halligan, HubSpot’s CEO, addresses a problem that their competitors didn’t solve – that businesses needed a new form of marketing software to adapt to how people shop today.
He then goes on to talk about how, by using HubSpot, companies can “grow better” and focus on the customer experience.
The tone of the video is very positive, even though it addresses where competitors have fallen short, and talks about the company’s mission, integrity, and customer focus.
4. See’s Candies’ How-To Videos
See’s Candies is a beloved Bay Area confectionary brand, and they produce a video series to show customers how to use their products creatively in baking projects.
A video like this provides added value for your existing customers, embodying the “stay connected” principle. Someone who already loves and regularly buys See’s Candies can get inspired to interact with the brand in new ways.
If you create a video in this style, don’t forget that it is perfect for sharing with your followers on social media, and encouraging them to share their projects with you.
Not only does this video appeal to See’s existing fans, but someone unfamiliar with their product might stumble across it as well, and decide to give this baked good a shot!
5. Sydney Paige Foundation’s Virtual Event Video Example
By now, we’ve all been to a bunch of virtual events and meetings — this video proves that this type of event is fun!
Sydney Paige Foundation shares this video, produced by Concurrent Productions, strategically with their corporate clients who are considering providing a similar event for their employees. Once they see and experience viscerally how fun the event is, it’s a much easier sell.
This video is an excellent application of the principle “Show, Don’t Tell.” (Check out this post for more on building your community with virtual events.)
Best Practices for Creating Marketing Videos For Business
When you’re creating marketing videos, you need to think of each video in the context of your overall video marketing strategy.
Good news! By reading this article, you’re expanding your learning by seeing successful video marketing examples.
Be strategic and think through each step of the process:
Determine Your Goals And Budget
The best video marketing campaigns start with the end result they hope to generate.
They also take into consideration the realities of what you can afford. You don’t want to invest all of your budget into creating the video and then leave yourself with little to nothing to promote it once it’s complete.
As with any type of content, half the battle is getting the word out about it – keep this in mind when scoping your video project.
Choose Your Video Types
Making promotional videos for a small business is different than creating a feature film or an advertisement for a national car brand.
If you’re a small business, you’ll need to review video marketing examples that are effective for small businesses.
Create A Video Promotion Plan
If you hire a production team, it may or may not be the marketing video company’s job to create this plan for you. An expert in video production isn’t necessarily an expert in digital marketing.
There are different video advertising types; be familiar with those to help you determine the right platform for your video promotion.
Ensure you hire the right resources to develop and execute the video advertising plan that will be most effective for your company, and make sure their video campaign ideas align with the goals you want to achieve.
Track, Measure, And Adjust
If you’re not getting the results you want, you may need to look at additional video advertising examples.
Look at your video marketing metrics and make decisions based on the data.
Video Marketing Examples: Final Thoughts
As you put together your next video marketing campaign, here are some key takeaways to bring with you,
- You know about video marketing examples that have a broad audience because you’re part of that audience. Your marketing needs will more likely be met by content that targets a narrower audience.
- By thinking about what works best for your business, you avoid the trap of trying to copy a video that went viral for another company but may not be the right approach to reach your target market.
- This isn’t a comprehensive list! It’s designed to get you thinking about what you don’t know to imagine what’s possible. Connect with a creative video production company to get the help you need to get your message out most effectively.