Skip to the main content.

3 min read

Video Strategy: Which online video style is right for you?



Saying you need video for your business is kind of like saying you need a website. Both are general terms for an essential tool that can mean a lot of things. Websites can range from a simple and very basic informational microsite to an extremely complex fully integrated customer portal with an eCommerce back end.

Think of video styles in a similar way. You can have a quick ten-second video clip shot on your phone of a favorite client talking about how much they love working with your organization, or you can hire professionals to produce a 15-minute company video that involves multiple shoot days, multiple set ups, extensive post-production, and  animated graphics. Knowing which video style is right for you isn’t a simple matter.

Everybody can end up with a video, whether it is self produced or produced by a professional production crew. There is no end of video content that can be useful for your organization. When you are thinking of using video for marketing, you have many different styles to choose from. It all really depends on your goals and how the video or video series fit into your overall marketing strategy.

If budget is an issue, make sure you produce smartly. Getting a professional crew to shoot your next Instagram video works for some brands, but for others a quick iPhone video might do the trick. If you have a specific budget for the year, your company might be better served if you hired that production crew for a video that can be evergreen.

Here are six video styles to get you started as you think it through.

1. Testimonial online video

Testimonial online videos can be an organization’s most powerful tool. And they can be quite budget friendly. A real person talking about a real experience is always compelling and sometimes quite powerful. There is nothing more engaging than hearing and seeing someone speak passionately about something they believe in. Seeing and  hearing a person speak positively and authentically about your organization is a great way for viewers to connect with you brand. If done well, it can reach right through the screen and grab the viewer.

2. Company culture online video

Who are you? That is the question this video needs to answer. Is your organization service or mission based? What’s your process? What is your culture like? Viewers want to know whether you are a good fit with them. These videos should help viewers see the people behind the company. By highlighting the behind the scenes of an organizations, viewers can buy into your overall vision and future goals. It’s a way for viewers to personally and emotionally connect.

3. Micro-video content 

These short videos are a quick flash into your brands “spirit”.  Instagram’s videos can be 3- 60 seconds and is a viable way to engage and inform your followers. Overall, these mobile videos are  ephemeral. They are alive as long as your video hasn’t been pushed down your followers feed by other content. They can be a simple as the BBC’s news reports on Instagram or as intricate as the stop motion animation of this on Facebook.

4. Tutorial/ Explainer online video

We’ve all seen these online videos. Sometimes they are animated, other times they are live action. They have one thing in common. These tutorial videos are supposed to quickly and efficiently teach the viewer how to do or “explain” something. These videos can also simply break down an organization’s mission, product or service.   A tutorial or explainer video should position your company as an expert in their field. 

5. Product online video

After watching a product video consumers are 64-85% more likely to buy a product. And they increase understanding of your product by 74%. If you are selling a product online , there is nothing more important than educating your customers   And what better way to do it than with a video. They don’t have to be long. They should include the most important elements of the product and how its used.

6. Documentary or Micro-documentary video

This video is the story of your company, which can delve deeply and substantially into your organization and its mission. It should reveal a complete view of your history, successes and future goals.

Online video is all about getting viewers to better understand your mission. Making those tiny connections can be the difference between a customer becoming engaged or clicking away. To make those connections, produce content for the viewer you want and place that video where it will be found. Educate your viewer. Any form of branded content can be very effective in building a community. Produce the video that will best fit your audience.  Also consider leveraging prep-produced content.

Repurposing your previously shot footage can really help your overall budget bottom line. If your organization produces a 3-minute corporate video that incorporates interviews and b-roll about your organization,  break it down in to smaller pieces of content. Take the strongest sound bites and edit them into a shorter video file that can be its own stand-alone social media post.

Video Strategy: Which online video style is right for you?

Each of these online video styles tells your story in a different way. By incorporating multiple video types into your marketing plan, you help viewers get a more universal view and build a stronger connection to your organization — but don’t forget to make sure your video is branded in some way. If your video will live on a website, your website branding may do the trick. But if this is a video that is made to be shared  and will be located on YouTube, then make sure people know where the video is coming from.

(Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2014 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.)


Download your free ebook: Your Guide to Video Strategy

5 SEO Basics to Make Your Best Content Eminently Findable

5 SEO Basics to Make Your Best Content Eminently Findable

Whew! You’re exhausted. You’ve just finished a sprint to get your mobile-first site updated after Google’s latest Core Web Vitals algorithm change....

Read More
Promotional Item or Landfill?

Promotional Item or Landfill?

Promotional products were a $20 billion dollar industry by 2014, with brands appearing on everything from award plaques to watches. By dollar...

Read More
Web Accessibility and You: Why It Matters

Web Accessibility and You: Why It Matters

There are over 1 billion people around the world with disabilities, who have a combined spending power of approximately $6 trillion. This includes...

Read More