In the early ages of the internet, when connections were slow and expensive, trying to use a video online was a recipe for disaster. But social media, mobile devices fed with 4G and 5G networks, the simplicity of cross-sharing and reposting, and an eternal fight for consumer attention means that video has attained a hard-earned place at the top of the digital landscape.

After all, in one survey last year, 85% of businesses used video as a marketing tool – and of those who did not, 59% plan to start in 2020. That means the marketplace is getting more crowded, with more companies trying to entice customers toward their products and services. With the increased competition, it’s becoming more important to not only utilize video content effectively, but to ensure that you have a comprehensive, overarching strategy that guides you.

Valuable, high-quality video content will be the cornerstone of marketing in the 2020s – and it takes more than just pointing and shooting with a phone, hoping you go viral. Here’s some must-know material for effective video marketing in the decade ahead.

 

Different Kinds of Content

For every platform and purpose, there is a different kind of video and set of rules to follow: tutorials, behind-the-scenes stories, animations, recruitment videos, livestreams of a product launch…the list, quite literally, can go on and on.

You’ll want to make different choices for formatting, orientation, and specific style depending on your purpose, and where your content ends up – for example, on Facebook alone, optimal screen ratios and runtime will change, depending on an ad’s placement in Timelines, In-Stream, Sidebar, or Marketplace. Using the same video for each different platform is a quick way to be ignored, so be wary of repurposing without looking into the specific requirements first.

Beyond that, consider the look and “feel” before you begin – knowing if you’ll need professional lenses and lighting, overlaid graphic sequences, or just a simple camera phone can save a lot of headache later on.

Here are some of the most common types of video content you might want to use:

Animation. More than cartoons, this also includes graphic overlays, dynamic images, and custom animation that can range from simple drawings to complete narrative sequences.

Slideshows. If you only have pictures, you can easily create a slideshow video that tells a compelling story, and set it to music if needed.

Social media posts. Generally restricted to a minute or less, these clips are straight to the point and should be engaging all the way through, but are usually more simple to film and edit.

Full-scale productions. Or content that represents your brand to the world, a sleek and well-shot video is the way to go. Think professional cameras and lighting for commercials, promo videos, music videos, etc.

 

How to Choose What You Need in a Marketing Video

With so many options – and more individual capability than ever – how do you choose what you want? The factor with the single biggest impact is likely to be your budget, because a well-made video will take a lot of skill, techniques, expertise, and time. It is an art and a science, after all.

For example, a 30-second clip from your phone might be great for an Instagram story, but if you’re looping a promotional video at an industry tradeshow, you want a professional and highly engaging video that will attract people. That means not just trimming clips, but also planning the whole shoot to begin with, colour correcting, creating animation, using transitions and speed shifts, and so on. Long videos can take seasoned pros dozens of hours to properly shoot and edit; here’s a look behind the scenes at how much editing is required for one four-minute video. Now imagine creating individual versions, with different formatting and lengths, for all social media platforms, for a website, for distribution…you can see how the time really adds up.

There is good news, though. You can often get more from each video than just the final product. Longer videos can be split up to create compelling promo content, and behind-the-scenes clips create excellent teasers. Be creative in how you use your content and how you tell your story, because often, customers are just as curious about the process as the end result.

Now, with that said, there’s nothing wrong with taking it easy and utilizing simple clips from camera phones as part of your video marketing strategy. Genuine, off-the-cuff content can perform as well as anything highly produced – in the right setting for the right audience. It’s all about getting the balance right and using different types of video effectively to highlight the strengths of your brand.