42 Ways to Use Video to Grow Your Business

Original Article By Jimm Fox, President, One Market Media 

New visual languages, graphic interfaces, rich media content, lower video production costs and shrinking attention spans are changing how businesses communicate. In-house or outsourced, video is becoming a standard delivery medium for marketing and communications activities. Here are 22 High-Growth examples, by category:

Customer Reference Videos

1. Video Customer Testimonials (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Nothing is more compelling than seeing and hearing your customer (ideally in their own environment) extol the virtues of your products and services or explaining how you helped them achieve their business goals. These videos usually run from fifteen second snippets to a minute and are typically combined with or used to support other marketing material.

2. Video Success Stories (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Similar to a customer testimonial these videos run between one and two minutes and follow an interview format where the person on screen answers questions posed by an interviewer just off-camera. These videos are usually delivered as stand-alone marketing support materials and are often grouped with other customer success stories.

3. Man-in-the-street Interviews (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
These videos are typically done to promote events and to build buzz around coming events but can also be employed to capture ‘spontaneous’ responses to targeted questions that help promote your product or service or to help differentiate the benefits of your brand compared to the real or imagined problems associated with your competitors. Soft drink companies, phone companies, fast food companies often use this format in advertising. Sometimes they are genuine. Sometimes they are completely staged. ‘Authenticity’ is becoming a style…

Product and Service Promotion

4. Product Presentations (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Product (or service) presentation videos are typically employed early in the buying cycle. Product or service presentations focus on benefits and talk from more from your customer’s perspective. They should speak clearly to how your product solves a specific business, personal or economic problem that your prospect is experiencing. They are used to help your customers and prospects differentiate between the benefits of your products and services to those of your competitors.

5. Product Demonstrations (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Product demos show how your product works and highlight the features that differentiate it from that of your competitors. Software screen captures, a 3D cut-away, or a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works. These videos are typically used to influence a prospect who is relatively far along in the sales cycle. In technology marketing these videos would be targeted at the technical approvers who need to understand how something works. In consumer marketing these would be targeted at buyers of larger ticket items who are further along the sales cycle.

6. Product Reviews (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
The best product reviews are trusted third party reviews. Video reviews can be found anywhere from YouTube to various business portals. To the extent they help you, they should be referenced. You can also partner with trusted third parties to create product reviews for your own products.

7. Visual Stories (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Quickly rising in popularity, visual stories employ illustrations, animations and motion graphics with a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner.

Corporate Video

8. Training  and support video

9. Training (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
Corporate video first gained prominence with training (service, support, sales, personal development etc.) and continues to be one of the best uses of video. Online Video is a cost effective substitute for in-class training. You can also easily integrate video into online training management tools.

10. Just-in-time learning (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Contextual training videos are becoming very popular on the web. ‘How-to’ videos, video manuals, on-site video reference, quick assembly demos, and other types of video are being used to supplement or replace traditional training. Mobile video will increase the popularity of this type of video.

11. 21. Health, Legal & Safety (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
The cost of dealing with health and safety related issues within organizations continues to grow. Video is one of the most effective means of minimizing these costs.

Advertising , marketing  and promotion

12. Commercials (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
While advertisers are becoming more selective in how they chose to spend their promotional dollars with broadcast television, other venues for commercials such as online video pre-roll, online sponsorships, in-game advertising, event sponsorships and in-theatre advertising are starting to take the place of broadcast / cable commercials. A proliferation of video screens cropping up on every building, device and structure will create an even more diverse set of advertising opportunities. The challenge will be to create specialized content targeted to an ever shrinking niche audience.

13. Viral Video (Popularity: High  | Growth Potential: High)
A video is viral if it is so compelling that people want to share it. (Calling a video ‘Viral’ doesn’t make it so). Viral videos have to be extremely engaging, entertaining, shocking or meaningful to be successful. Unfortunately some of the most successful viral videos have little connection (and therefore value) to any brand. (Everyone references ‘Will it Blend’ but very few viral videos are remotely this successful in actually driving sales.)

44. Email Video (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Testing has shown that open rates can double if you include video in your email marketing activities. To be effective the video should be purpose-built to elicit a specific conversion activity such as requesting a demo, more info etc.

15.  Content Marketing (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Huge)

This is a broad category that will become very important over the next months and years. Much of the content (video or otherwise) being creating today by companies is focused on selling. Focusing on solving your customers problems first and then associating your brand with those solutions will be increasingly more important and effective. (i.e. Home Depot could create a branded ‘how-to’ series that sits on their website and shows their customers how-to fix anything. They would, or course, reference tools and supplies available in their store but more importantly, they would generate tremendous value for their customers and prospects – value that would accrue to them over time.)

16. Landing pages and micro sites (Popularity: Moderate  | Growth Potential: High)
Video is beginning to replace or supplement text and graphics as a content element on many corporate websites. Landing pages can offer a more compelling call to action with video. Some micro sites on larger web properties are self contained, purpose-built conversion machines that have the singular purpose of generating a conversion activity (sign-up for more info, attend event, order something etc.). Video is becoming an important part of the conversion process.

PR Support and Community Relations

17. Video Press Releases (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
The standard four paragraph press release is now being supplemented with video and rich media to tell a more engaging story. Video is now being purpose-built to directly support the important company announcements. The new challenge for press releases is to change the focus from the company to the customer. Don’t forget to shoot some B-roll while you are there- to use as VNR!

18. Community Relations Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
If your company is out working in the community, being good corporate citizens, helping the environment or contributing to important causes you should be capturing those efforts on video. Show the world what you are doing, don’t just talk about it.

Event Video

19. Event Presentation video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Events represent a unique confluence of expertise and opportunity – often under-leveraged. Trade Shows, meeting and conferences are usually attended by your top sales people, your corporate executives, industry experts and other influential business people. If you are speaking at an event or someone is referencing your company you should be capturing this valuable content on video.

20. Round table Sessions (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Take the opportunity at an event to corral four to six of your best customers and other industry experts, put them in room and video tape them talking about industry trends, business issues and the future of your industry. This content will be the most valuable content you could ever capture.

Other Uses of Video

21. In Store Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: High)
Wal-Mart has its own profitable in-store TV network that makes shoppers aware of new promotions. LCD screens are ubiquitous. In store LCD’s will be networked and customizable offering you the ability to promote your own goods and services or make money by promoting other complimentary services.

22. Mobile Video (Popularity: Low  | Growth Potential: Huge)

Yep, ‘there’s and Ap for that’. Mobile video will soon be the largest video category outside of broadcast. In the short-run, mobile video will consist of hastily re-purposed video made to fit on a mobile device. It will quickly evolve into a much more specific format – five to fifteen second hyper targeted messages that are part of geo-located and micro-niched promotions.

To read ALL 42 ways, go to Jimm Fox’s original article:

Jimm Fox is President of One Market Media – a video marketing company in Canada



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