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9 types of videos that every business can use

25 April 2019

Draw inspiration from these popular types of business videos—product videos, onboarding videos, testimonials, and more!

In this guide, we’ve broken down the 9 most popular types of business videos to help get you started. Along the way, we’ve included estimated production times based on the experiences of our video producers, so you can factor them in based on your workload.

Do you want to read more about video marketing?
Check out Everything you need to know about video marketing

HERE'S WHAT WE'LL COVER:

  1. Product videos
  2. Explainer videos
  3. Onboarding videos
  4. Internal training videos
  5. Testimonial videos
  6. Promotional videos
  7. Company culture videos
  8. Video voicemails
  9. Social videos

Product videos

Do you sell a product or service that isn’t easy to explain succinctly? Or maybe you’ve done enough research to know that including video on your product page increases visitors’ time on that page, and thus the likelihood that they might convert.

Product videos show your product's features and benefits and often include examples of how it works, all while engaging your audience. They’re particularly beneficial for consumers who are in the awareness or consideration stages of the buyer’s journey and need a clear, comprehensive explanation of what you offer. 

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Production time

Because they often take prominent positions on businesses' websites, product videos can have lengthy production times with multiple edits and revisions. Often, getting the concept and script perfectly aligned, as well as looping in key stakeholders, can be the longest parts of the process.

On the other hand, product update videos have lower stakes, since they’re more likely to be featured on blog posts and across your social channels, so producing them is less time-consuming. From the moment you start scripting to the final embed, you can usually expect your product update video to take between 3–4 hours.

Video length

Once you’re all set and ready to upload, your product video should generally run anywhere from 2–5 minutes for the best engagement results.

Metrics that matter

After you embed a product video, you’re primarily looking for a combination of the play rate and engagement rate. Obviously, you’re trying to communicate a lot of new information in only a few minutes, so you want to make sure your viewers stick around for the entire duration.

Rewatches will let you know if there were certain portions that people might not have understood the first time—or they could indicate that your viewers are especially excited about a certain feature that they want to see again.

Explainer videos

Explainer videos are educational videos that teach your audience how to solve a problem. That problem could be related to using your product, or it could be a more tangential issue. But by the end of the video, your audience should be armed with the knowledge to take action based on the new skills they've learned while watching.

All of these factors make explainer videos perfect for ramping up content on your blog or even assisting a page in your support documentation. Why force people to write in with a common question about your product when you can explain it in a video that's easily searchable? You'll know your explainer video has really done its job when it results in less questions for your support team.

While a product video is likely to be replaced by an updated video down the road, explainer videos often have the capacity to provide value for years to come. Think of these guys as the ultimate classics of your video collection, lined up right next to your Lord of the Rings extended edition box set.

The team at Sticker Mule knows all about using explainer videos to give helpful tips to customers who might not be super familiar with their product line. They created this video to answer a frequently asked question in a visually engaging way, complete with step-by-step instructions. 

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Production time

Since explainer videos require lots of detail-oriented planning, you'll need to put more time and effort into producing them—about 20–24 hours on average. But that amount of time is worth it when you remember that new customers, returning customers, and leads who might be looking into your product for the first time are all going to benefit from them.

Video length

Explainer videos generally have a running time between 2–5 minutes, so it's imperative that the content is dynamic and engaging.

Metrics that matter

Once again, engagement is the key metric here. But you should also take into account which parts of your video viewers took time to watch more than once. Does this mean that section was particularly confusing for them? Maybe it signals that a certain segment warrants its own explainer video. You're teaching your customers with these videos, but let the metrics teach you a thing or two, as well.

Onboarding videos

When a lead finally converts and becomes a customer, what's the first impression they'll have as a new member of your company's family? How will you welcome them to make them feel right at home? And perhaps more than that, how will you make sure they understand everything there is to know about what you offer? Enter onboarding videos, in which customers are shown the ins and outs of all that your product has to offer them.

These videos help your customers start off on the right foot with your product. That's why it's crucial that you take extra time to polish the messaging to ensure they're valuable and easy to understand.

HubSpot has perfected the art of the onboarding video, as seen in this example for welcoming participants to their kickoff HubSpot Academy session.

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Production time

Put on your video thinking cap and buckle up, because production time on onboarding videos can take up to a few days. You got this!

Video length

Onboarding videos run a bit longer than most business videos, ranging from 5–10 minutes. Because of their extended length, it's all the more important that you keep viewers engaged throughout. If you need to sprinkle some shots of puppies in there, we won't blame you. Get creative with it!

Metrics that matter

Obviously you'll want your new customers to watch the entire video and take in all the information, so the question will ultimately be, just how engaged were they while watching? 

Internal training videos

Everyone could use a helping hand sometimes. Especially new members of your team who are overwhelmed with information. Here's where video's special powers come into play.

By using video to take new employees through in-depth processes about how your product and company run, you can save time and stress (for both yourself and your new teammates). And what’s more, internal training videos are useful for all your employees, not just new hires.

Curious what they might look like in context? The creative minds at Dollar Shave Club have you covered with this internal tutorial they use to teach their employees everything they need to know about a new product: the Dollar Shave Club Traveler. 

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Production time

Internal training videos usually take anywhere between 1.5–3 hours to complete.

Video length

Feel free to go as in-depth as you need to with your internal training videos. If they end up being on the longer side (say, 5–10 minutes), it's not a problem. Since these types of videos are more for communicating basic information to an internal audience, there's less pressure to make them super polished.

Metrics that matter

Because internal training videos are for onboarding purposes, you're probably looking for your employees to watch from start to finish. So naturally, play rate and engagement rate are important to track. And you guessed it—this is another perfect opportunity to analyze the content of your videos. Are there certain parts that are being watched multiple times? This may set off red flags that a specific section is particularly information-heavy or even confusing for viewers, so you’ll know how to improve your videos in the future. 

Testimonial videos

People influence people. From Yelp reviews to Facebook comments, honest reviews can change our opinion of a product or convince us to buy. That’s what makes testimonial videos so valuable.

These videos can clearly show your leads the positive impact that your product has on real people. Hearing from customers' voices and seeing a product in action is far more engaging than reading a paragraph. In the end, testimonial videos can be indispensible for winning over new customers.

Need some testimonial inspiration? The video team at Toast has their testimonial game down to a science.

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Production time

Testimonial videos can take anywhere from 1–2 days to put together, depending on whether or not you have to travel to the customer to shoot footage. If you have a video team, there are definitely pros to sending them to your customer.

Not only does it make things easier for the customer (after all, they're doing you a favor), but it also means the video itself will be consistent with your production style. If it's inconvenient to travel and the customer has their own video team, having them film their own testimonial is a solid backup plan.

Video length

When it comes to length, testimonial videos generally fall within the 5–10 minute window.

Metrics that matter

For testimonial videos, play rate and conversion metrics are key. Your play rate will clue you into how many people are interested in viewing the endorsement once they're on the page with the video. If you've added Timeline Actions to your video, like our Turnstile email collector or a Call to Action, you can quickly see your conversion rates on your video's Stats page.

Promotional videos

Promotional videos are like personal video invitations. Whether you're inviting guests to a conference, webinar, or office open house, promotional videos pitch your event while giving your audience a feel for your brand.

In these videos, you'll want to give a brief but detailed overview of the event you're promoting, along with a Call to Action that encourages viewers to sign up or save the date. Your end goal is to generate leads or attendees by prompting viewers to take an action.

Convincing people to travel to attend a conference is a big ask. So the team at Moz used a promotional video to briefly summarize what attendees could expect to learn and take away from the event if they booked a ticket.

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Production time

Production can take anywhere from 1 hour to multiple days depending on how major the event is. A webinar invite video probably won't need as much production time as a promo for a 3-day conference, for instance.

Video length

Event videos should be short and succinct, ranging between 1–3 minutes.

Metrics that matter

Play rate is the main metric to take into account here. But perhaps more importantly, if you're implementing Turnstile or a Call to Action within your video, you can track just how successful your video has been at convincing viewers to enter their information or click your CTA.

Company culture videos

When it comes down to it, company culture videos are the most fun (and dare we say easiest?) to create. After all, they can pretty much be about anything and everything. You threw a guacamole-making competition for your team during lunch one Tuesday? Show it off in a video! Your CEO rode a unicycle to work? Obviously you have no choice but to make a video of that.

These videos let customers see who you really are behind the scenes as both individual employees and a collective company. There’s no better way to connect with your fans than by giving them a behind-the-scenes peek into the goings on at your office.

You can also use these videos for recruiting purposes to show potential employees what your work environment is like. Don’t just describe your great company culture and list your cool benefits––show them how it works in action.

Because you can never have enough dog videos, here’s how London-based branding agency Rooster Punk used humor and a healthy dose of charm to show off their office dog, Amelie.

 

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Production time

Your company culture videos will, in most cases, take 1–2 hours to craft, so they’re relatively quick and easy to produce. As long as your audience finds them delightful, you can never make too many of them. Plus, they’re a perfect way to ramp up engagement on your social platforms.

Video length

These can come in a range of lengths, from less than a minute to more than 5 minutes, depending on the scope of the content.

Metrics that matter

When looking at the analytics, the overall play count can be particularly insightful. You’re basically selling your brand based on the work atmosphere you’ve helped create, so the barometer of success will ultimately be whether or not people took notice and pressed play. If the number of plays is telling you that your company culture video is making a splash, you know what that means: more guacamole-making contests are in store for your team!

Video voicemails

Video voicemails are low-cost, high-reward videos that customer-facing employees can use to connect with customers and leads. Think of them as jazzed up versions of phone voicemails. Using just your computer's camera, you can introduce yourself to a prospect in a memorable way or quickly respond to a customer's question. More and more sales and support teams are inserting friendly video thumbnails into their emails and delighting recipients.

Check out this creative video voicemail from Jonah. He uses video voicemails to encourage prospective customers to book a time on his calendar to talk more about the Wistia product. And especially with that Matrix poster in the background, how could they say no?

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Production time

Your overall production time generally will be less than 5 minutes. Don't overthink them: Just be yourself and keep your script concise.

Video length

These videos can be super short (most tend to be just under a minute long).

Metrics that matter

You might only be sending this video to 1 or 2 people at a time, so don’t be as concerned with your play count. Instead, look at how engaged your audience is, no matter how small it may be. Take a peek at your video’s heatmap to see whether or not your voicemail recipient watched the entire video or only part of it. Did you add a CTA or an annotation link in there? Be sure to check if the viewer clicked on them.

Social videos

Whether your social network of choice is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or a combination of a bunch of them, the videos you host there can drive traffic to your website or simply live on your profiles to build brand awareness.

You can use video on social to tease longer content, too. Cut down a longer video to a shorter length, then encourage your followers to click the link you’re promoting to watch the full video.

 

Remember, many of your viewers will be quickly scrolling through on their phones and won’t have time to watch longer content. Short and sweet is the name of the social video game.

Production time

One of the great benefits of social video is that a lot of the content will have already been made for other purposes, like event promos or product updates. All you have to do is post it (or at the most, edit it down a bit first). Making these kinds of videos might only take you a half-hour (if they already exist), or up to 2 days (if you’re creating original content).

Video length

The average length of your videos hosted on social media should be less than 2 minutes, but shorter than that is preferable. If you can cut down your video to 30 seconds or less, you’re a real social video superstar.

Metrics that matter

Take a case-by-case approach for measuring the performance of your social videos. Based on the platform, you’ll want to make note of the number of views, likes, shares, and comments your video is drumming up. Unfortunately, Wistia analytics are hard to gauge since your video will be hosted directly on the social platform, but looking at how your video performs on each individual site will shed light on its success.

Source: https://wistia.com/library/9-types-of-business-videos (Jordan Wellin & Kelsey Stevens)

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