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This post was updated August 2021.
Video content marketing is becoming increasingly popular for B2C and B2B companies, and for good reason.
By 2022, an estimated 82% of all online traffic will be video content.
However, there are still a number of brands that aren’t producing video content either because they think it is too expensive or because they don’t have any talent on the team that knows how to produce video.
After reading this post, you’ll know not only how to produce excellent content on a budget, but your team will also have the tools necessary to create videos themselves.
Specifically, you’ll learn how to build a video content marketing strategy, choose various types of video content, and see successful video content marketing examples.
The Importance of Video Content Marketing
Here are just a few of the statistics that show the importance of video content marketing:
- Viewers retain approximately 95% of a video’s message.
- About 92% of mobile users report that they have shared a video in the past.
- Marketers firmly believe in the power of video, with approximately 88% claiming that they will commit more dollars to it in the future.
- 86% of marketers say that video has helped them increase website traffic.
- About 93% of brands earned a new customer from a social media video.
- So it’s no surprise that 91% of marketers are satisfied with the ROI of social media.
How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy
Building a video marketing strategy is similar to building a blogging strategy. The only difference is that the content creation process involves a video camera instead of a Google doc. (Though it's arguably easier as you can talk into a camera instead of hiring a writer to put it on paper!)
Here are three basic steps to building your video marketing strategy:
Define Your Goal
As with any marketing strategy, it's important to define your goal first. Specifically, your goal might be:
- Driving awareness
- Increasing conversions
- Improving customer retention
All three of these goals will require a different strategy, format and messaging. For example, if your goal is driving awareness, you might have a weekly YouTube channel similar to Eric Siu's channel, Leveling Up.
However, if your goal is to increase conversions, you might instead choose to create videos that are embedded into your sales pages, product pages or even the blog.
On the other hand, if you decide to create a channel, you might make it more conversion-focused by showcasing customer stories. GoPro (more on them below) is an excellent example of a YouTube channel that is fairly conversion-focused as it's a collection of videos that are essentially case studies of customers using their product.
However, if your goal is to increase customer loyalty, improve retention, and even upsell your current customers, you could create a series of explainer videos showing how to use your product (particularly if it's complex).
For example, Ahrefs is an SEO tool that offers videos on SEO hacks and incorporates their product into the solution:
Therefore, new prospects learn about the product, current customers learn how to better use their product, and savvy users become acquainted with more advanced features only available on higher pricing plans.
Select a Format
Once you've defined your goal, select one format and stick to it. If you try to do interview-based videos, and then user-generated content, and then five-minute tip videos, you'll find it difficult to build a solid audience base, as they may like some videos but not others.
Even if you're not sure if one format is better than another, stick to it for some time and then add in a video with the other format you were debating. If you find that the other video format performs much better, try incorporating more of that format into your program.
Here are a few different types of video formats you can try:
- How to/Tutorials
- Social Media shorts
- Live Streaming
- Product Review
- User-Generated Content
- Personalized Video
Most B2B businesses choose to use an interview/Q&A, webinar or how-to/tutorial format, though that doesn't mean you can't make the other types work.
We'll look at a variety of examples of these formats below.
Finally, execute your plan.
Even if you only have an iPhone, start recording something this week. As you gain traction, you can start hiring contractors to professionally record the video for you and put the footage together. You might also upgrade your cameras in the future, though for now it's important to just get started.
Noah Kagan is an excellent example of execution. He started with very simple iPhone videos and now spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on his YouTube channel annually. In fact, here are a few of his earliest videos captured on an iPhone:
Today, these are his videos with teleprompters, professional editing, and much better thumbnails:
He credits much of his growth to consistency, and you can see that he posts regularly.
Therefore, commit to releasing a few videos (3-6) monthly for the next six months and watch as you gain traction. If you do have a small budget to spend on videos, you may want to consider hiring a freelancer on Upwork to put the video together for you.
Now that you have a simple strategy to follow, here are a few of my favorite video content marketing examples.
17 Engaging Video Content Types that People Love to Watch
1) Vlog: DailyVee
Gary Vaynerchuck is one of the most prominent figures in entrepreneurship and is known for his video content marketing strategies. He was one of the first marketers to leverage live video and social media at scale.
Today, he has a refined process with a videographer that follows him around and then drops the raw clips to the team, who immediately edits them for release. He has a mix of livesteams, Q&A videos, event recordings, social media clips, and more on his YouTube channel, DailyVee.
For example, he puts out long-form Q&A videos:
He also has a variety of shorter, vlog-style videos. For example, his series on success tips are all vlog-style though only about three minutes long:
As he has an entire team to back him, he can do multiple video styles, and it will work because the team can help him maintain consistency. However, most people can't afford this level of output, so choose just one of the formats and try it out.
For example, if you want to do a vlog style format similar to his, you can start with just your iPhone and record yourself anywhere. You can also look at what other people in your industry are doing to help you decide which format is best.
- Just get started! Even if you only have an iPhone, pull it out and start sharing your ideas.
- If your goal is to build a large audience and entertain, consider behind-the-scenes vlog videos and record relevant meetings, customer conversations, and more.
- If you choose to do many videos but don't have the bandwidth to publish them in-house, hire someone on Upwork to help you edit and publish them.
- Repurpose your content! If you have a 30-minute conversation, use a tool like Pictory to break them down into smaller social clips.
Related Content: How to Make a Video That People Will Watch Til the End
2) How-To: Shopify
Shopify is an excellent example of video content marketing done right with nearly 250,000 subscribers. Their offer is a platform for small-to-medium e-commerce businesses and is geared mostly towards solopreneurs.
Therefore, their channel consists mostly of how-to videos that teach viewers how to run an e-commerce store. The twist that makes their videos a success is that every video is advice from a real customer:
For example, 5 Ways to Find Business Ideas that Are Profitable is created by a successful Shopify store owner, Jason Wong of Doe Lashes:
This not only increases the credibility of the content, but it also makes Shopify a more legitimate brand.
They also have an interesting selection of videos from customers of when things go wrong in e-commerce and how to solve those problems:
- Create how-to videos that help people make the most out of your platform. The more success customers have with your product/service, the more likely they will continue to use it.
- Use customer stories (user-generated content) to capture interest. Advice from a successful customer is much more persuasive than one of your employees (who may have never run an e-commerce business).
- Address real pain points around your industry. These raw customer stories are uncomfortable yet invaluable to other customers.
3) Presentation: TED
TED has amassed an impressive following of nearly 20 million subscribers, and the majority of their videos are nothing more than recorded live events:
The draw to their brand is the impressive people who speak and their interesting viewpoints on various issues, from science to arts, from the prison system to self-expression:
One of TED's most popular talks was from Brené Brown, a “researcher story-teller,” called “The Power of Vulnerability” that has nearly 16 million views:
Therefore, if you are already hosting an event or mastermind of impressive people, start recording the talks. In fact, if you host dinners with friends, it could be something as simple as recording dinner conversations in a vlog-style video.
If you don't know anyone impressive and don't have a brand, think about how you can make it worthwhile for someone to speak for you.
For example, when Jayson Gaignard of Mastermind Talks was building his brand, he wanted Tim Ferriss to speak. At the time, he had no brand, yet he heard that Tim was doing a book launch, and the person that bought the most copies could have Tim speak at their event. So he found a way to purchase the most copies of Tim's books, and Tim spoke at Jayson's event.
- If you’re already hosting an event, record it and post the video to YouTube.
- An impressive lineup of speakers will make your content more successful, so think about how you can provide enough value to them so that they will want to speak at your event.
- Be mindful of the community you create. If you bring on a host of impressive speakers, your audience will also be much more impressive.
4) Explainer: Coinbase
Coinbase is a B2C company in the crypto space, so it's no surprise that most of their videos are crypto explainer videos and how-tos about using their product. This video series is an excellent example of what they do:
Rather than interviewing a team member or a customer, they use an animated explainer video. This can be an excellent option for larger companies that worry about talent leaving their show. For example, if the person that typically hosts your videos leaves, it’s likely that a percentage of your audience became attached to that person and will quit watching when they leave.
Coinbase also livestreams AMAs (As Me Anything) with the CEO and even go into Reddit to answer common crypto questions:
This is a super easy format to duplicate, particularly if your industry is trending. For example, if you have a fitness offer, you could have a fitness professional (ideally your founder) do an AMA. Or you could ask the expert to go through common Reddit questions on fitness and provide advice.
- If you've built an audience, ask your CEO to jump on an AMA. If you don't have an audience, go onto Reddit and answer questions in your industry.
- A series of explainer videos (animated or live) is ideal for a product in a particularly complex industry like Coinbase. Given that the market is so new and their product is relatively cheap, creating videos that generate brand awareness will also likely generate conversions.
Learn More: How to Craft a High-Converting Explainer Video
5) Animated: Various
Animated videos are a fantastic way for small businesses on a budget to try video content, as you can create them on your laptop with animation software that ranges in price from free to free trial to paid.
For those with technical or complex products, animation videos are a great way of breaking down complicated subjects into an easy-to-digest medium that anybody can understand. For that reason, it’s no surprise that animated videos are most often used as explainer videos, which work well on a sales landing page.
There are several types of animated videos you can choose from.
Trying to explain to someone what phishing means is a lot easier when you can show them, and what better way than with a 2D animated video (from Cisco):
Here's an example of a 3D animated video from Gore Medical that shows their medical device in action with more detail than a 2D video:
Breadnbeyond created a moving typography video, which can be great for storytelling (text pops onto the screen while the narration is going on in the background):
Whiteboard animation is another great format for explainer videos, as shown in this RSA video, because it uses a combo of text and image:
- With a good smartphone, simple editing software and a keen eye, you can probably produce a quality video for free. A video animation tool like Vyond can help you do this.
- Animated videos are great for any budget. 2D videos can cost between $1K-$5K, which is within budget for many small businesses. Whiteboard animated videos can cost between $3K-$10K. 3D videos can range between $10K-$30K to produce. And moving typography videos are also about $10K-$30K.
- Choose the right animated video style based on your business and what you’re trying to communicate. For a topic like phishing, a simple visual like a 2D animated video can help, while a 3D animated video is better suited for a medical device company because it allows them to illustrate the intricacies of how the device works. Whiteboard animation works well when you have a lot of text/narration that can't necessarily be illustrated with an image.
6) Tutorials: Headspace
Headspace is a meditation app that helps you improve your focus and release stress. Similar to Coinbase, meditation is an increasingly popular industry, so there are plenty of video topics.
As of this writing, they have about 500,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel and 300+ videos. Many of their videos are either explanations of common meditation FAQs and tips…
…videos to help users get the most out of the Headspace app, or “mini meditations” so that newbies can try it out:
Given that they are a large brand that produces many videos, it's no surprise that they don't have a single host. Therefore, most of their videos are either guest experts, meditation teachers or animated videos. Y
If you have a product where the alternative might be a live or in-person session, consider bringing on an expert to do a video similar to a live session. For example, if you have a yoga app, you might bring on a yoga instructor to do a class within the app.
- Create tutorial videos that help your users better use the app or tool you've created.
- Bring experts (yoga teachers, meditation instructors, etc.) to teach the skill your tool or app automates.
- If you have a large brand, animated videos can be an excellent way to avoid retention issues if a host leaves.
7) Case Studies: Magnus Method
The Magnus Method is a fitness app and course developed by Magnus Lygdback, who has trained actors like Gal Gadot for superhero/action movies. He now offers a membership program with fitness courses.
To build the brand, he started by creating a variety of YouTube videos with teardowns of the diets and workouts of the “superheroes” he trained:
Needless to say, these became incredibly popular, and most of his videos today are tips for the average person to get in the best shape of their life:
He only started the channel about a year ago, and today he has over 131,000 subscribers.
Obviously, most of his fast growth came from his own remarkably interesting personal experience. After all, it's not every day that you meet the person who trained Wonder Woman or other action heroes for blockbuster movies!
But you don't have to be a movie star trainer. Here's what you can take from this to incorporate into your own channel.
First, you can do teardowns of people who have done incredible things and analyze what they did to get to where they are. For example, you provide tutorial videos on applying movie makeup and how to use those tips in real life. Or, outside of the entertainment industry, you could interview entrepreneurs like the founder of Spanx and discuss actionable tips from how they achieved their current success.
Even if you don't have famous clients, you can still do case studies of your own clients. This may actually be even more effective at driving conversions as some people may be intimidated about purchasing a course designed specifically for action movie stars.
- If you’ve done something impressive (such as training superheroes for action movies), people would love to hear about your experience and any tips you learned along the way. Storytelling is excellent for videos!
- If you haven’t done anything impressive, analyze impressive people who have achieved the success your audience wants and provide actionable tips for them along the way.
- Use your own client case studies and add a story element to them. This puts you in the position of authority.
8) Interviews: Leveling Up
Our own YouTube channel, Leveling Up, has been growing steadily over the past several years to almost 60,000 subscribers. This channel is a combination of interviews with entrepreneurs, videos from Eric and Neil Patel's Marketing School podcast…
….or marketing tips you can put into action right away from Eric himself:
As this YouTube channel is designed to fuel Eric's own brand, digital marketing agency Single Grain, and their software tool Clickflow, it covers a variety of different marketing and entrepreneurship topics.
One of the key insights from the Leveling Up show is that many of these videos are just repurposed from live streams and podcast interviews. For example, there is a whole playlist from the Marketing School podcast that he runs with Neil Patel:
Therefore, they get three pieces of content (as they also live stream it) by repurposing one recording.
This is also an excellent example of a B2B business channel that a single host runs. As Eric is the owner of the company, he doesn't have to worry about the host leaving the show. The only downside is that this asset won't be very valuable if he ever decides to sell the business.
- If you’re already doing a podcast or live streams, just start video recording them and add them to your YouTube channel.
- Interviewing other people is a great way to generate buzz around your YouTube channel.
- If you decide to have a host, make it the owner of the company. While the asset won’t be useful in a sale, it will be very valuable as long as they stay.
9) User-Generated Content: GoPro
GoPro is known for its contests where videos of epic adventures (filmed with a GoPro camera) are submitted directly by customers. Not only are UGC videos fun and exciting to watch, but each one is also essentially a case study of how you can use a GoPro video camera.
Some of their videos are collaborations with athletes and influencers, though they also have a popular competition for the coolest videos. Their challenge gives $1 million to the most epic video submitted.
By emphasizing user-generated content, they have a better chance of customers sharing more of their adventures with GoPro and increasing their customer reach.
So if you have customers that are already doing entertaining activities with your product (using your clothing brand at a sporting event, using your bike on a mountain ride, etc.), create a contest! For example, ask users to submit videos of themselves using your product in extreme conditions by tagging you on social media. This is one of the best ways to turn your current customers into brand advocates.
- Use contests to incentivize your customers to make videos and share them on social media for you.
- GoPro's videos are almost exclusively customer-shot adventures. If that’s the one video format that works for you, double down on it.
10) Pain Point How-Tos: Neil Patel/Ubersuggest
Neil Patel has mentioned numerous times that he believes video is the future of marketing. So it's no surprise that he has a thriving YouTube channel that feeds into his marketing tool, Ubersuggest.
In fact, his video channel has shifted from how-to videos with various tools and tricks to very specific tactics and strategies you can execute within Ubersuggest to improve your marketing.
For example, here are just a few of the titles he uses:
When you click on these videos, you can see that each one is essentially a tutorial of using Ubersuggest:
As you can see in the title above, he's targeting pain points that potential Ubersuggest customers would query (“SEO for beginners”) rather than a title like “how to use Ubersuggest.”
People are much more likely to click on a title addressing their pain point over a title mentioning a product they've never heard about.
So as you're creating videos that include your product, remember to create them from the standpoint of addressing your customers' pain points rather than just talking about your product.
Another reason why Neil's videos do so well is that he has spent years building a brand through content. He is essentially the poster child of consistency, and you can see from his YouTube history that he's been posting a few videos per month for the past several years, and now his team posts about three videos per week.
So even if you don't have a big brand, pick a topic and just start creating content. Consistency will always win.
- If you have a product, create how-to videos around specific pain points that your product solves. Remember to title it with that pain point search query.
- Building a brand takes time, so remain consistent with your video content marketing. Neil has been posting to YouTube since 2011 and is now nearing 1 million subscribers.
11) Instructional/Q&A: Kopywriting Kourse
Neville Medhora is the founder of the Kopywriting Kourse and has been a popular blogger over the past several years. However, it's only been within the past few months that he's found success with YouTube.
As you can see, his first few videos are not professionally made, though the real issue is that they don't have a consistent theme. So even if someone liked the style of one video, they might not like the next video posted. In addition, you can see that he only posted a few videos the first year.
Nonetheless, his YouTube channel has since become much more consistent and exploded in popularity with over 60,000 subscribers.
Everything from his posting schedule to his thumbnails has become much more professional and consistent and his subscriber count reflects it.
Most of his videos are either long-form Q&As with other entrepreneurs (not just copywriters) as well as various copywriting tips from Neville himself. The blend of Q&As with guests, along with how-to and tip videos from the channel's host seem to be a trend in successful YouTube channels, so think about how you can incorporate those two formats.
He also has a very charismatic voice that makes his channel popular, but this voice would also make it difficult for the channel to thrive without him. Therefore, only create a channel like this if you are selling a course or are the owner of the business and never plan to sell.
- If you’re selling course, creating a YouTube channel where you discuss various philosophies and ideas around the course topic is a great way to build trust and credibility.
- Interviewing popular influencers in the industry is also a great way to bring a new perspective to your audience and earn credibility.
- Optimizing your thumbnails can have a massive impact on the success of your channel.
12) Testimonials: Conversion Rate Experts
While most of the examples we’ve discussed this far are typically brands that leverage YouTube, Conversion Rate Experts is an excellent example of a company that incorporates video testimonials onto their own website.
Given that they are the Conversion Rate Experts, it’s no surprise that these testimonial videos likely convert extremely well:
Rather than housing these videos on YouTube, they chose to keep them on their own website as this will help to convince people who are considering converting. However, it's unlikely that these testimonials would drive traffic to a YouTube channel.
- Use video testimonials on your sales page and don’t be afraid to include many of them. CRE has a total of 83 testimonial videos on their sales page!
- While video testimonials are excellent for conversions, they won’t drive traffic and followers to a YouTube channel.
13) Product Tips: AppSumo
I've already mentioned how Noah Kagan has grown his personal brand's YouTube channel, but his company, AppSumo, also has a very successful YouTube channel with about 60,000 subscribers.
AppSumo is essentially an affiliate site for software companies. You can post a deal for your software on their website, and they offer it to their audience. So it makes sense for them to have a YouTube channel with various entrepreneurial tips.
While I might argue that these are a little too broad, they do also have a selection of more conversion-focused videos. For example, their explainer videos of various software they offer are very useful at convincing people to pull out their credit card and convert.
Another thing worth noting is that a variety of different people run their YouTube channel. This eliminates the issue of what happens to the channel if one person leaves.
- If you do any kind of affiliate marketing, a two-minute overview of the product can dramatically increase conversions.
- If your goal is to convince people to make a purchase, focusing on specific product explainers is ideal, though don't expect people who have never heard of the brand to watch it. Therefore, it might fit better on the product page itself.
- If you're a B2B business building a YouTube brand, consider using several different employees to be the face of the brand.
14) Interactive Webinars: Chatfuel
Given that chatbots are somewhat complicated to set up and still a relatively new marketing channel, it's no surprise that they offer a host of tutorial and webinar videos explaining how to use the product.
They are also similar to Neil Patel in that each title starts with a pain point (“How to Automatically Respond to Instagram DMs”) rather than (“How to Use Chatfuel's Instagram Features”).
Their videos are still quite simple, as the majority are just screen shares:
So if you have zero budget for YouTube, this is an excellent way to get started.
One side note is that they have excellent engagement with their videos. With about 12,000 subscribers, they usually have thousands of views on their videos and several comments. The reason why they likely have excellent engagement is that they interact with their customers in the comments:
- Screen shares are an excellent way to get started with video content marketing and these how-to tutorials help improve customer loyalty and engagement.
- Title your videos in a way that focuses on the customer pain point.
- Respond to questions and comments from customers quickly.
15) Personal Experience: Garry Tan
Garry Tan of Initialized Capital is one of the newest rising YouTube stars in the startup space. He was previously an investor at Y Combinator and has a lot of experience and wisdom to offer founders.
He has only been posting videos for about a year, though he's already amassed an impressive 166,000 subscribers. The key to his success likely lies in consistency. He has published about 3-5 videos per month for the past year, and over time, his format has become more and more consistent.
In the early days, he had a mixture of various video formats. In fact, these were his first three videos, and each one is different (interview, story and tips).
Today, he's much more consistent with providing (mostly) tip-based videos or teardowns of startups he has invested in.
Though what really makes Garry’s channel popular is his own personal experience. He has unmatched experience in investing (and life) and has seen a lot of the most successful companies today grow from scratch (such as Coinbase, Instacart, and more). His videos are a mix of advice and philosophizing:
If someone on your team has a history of interesting experiences, see if you can have them contribute at least some stories to your channel. Otherwise, you may want to interview people with interesting stories.
By the way, Eric Siu interviewed Garry Tan on his own YouTube channel – cross-promotion is a great way to help each other out!
- Garry’s videos are full of stories and real experiences. Can you find someone on your team with years of experience to contribute a few real stories?
- Maintain consistency with your publishing schedule, thumbnails, and formats.
16) Behind-the-Scenes: Victoria’s Secret
Victoria's Secret has one of the most popular YouTube channels, and after receiving backlash for insensitive content, they have rebranded and grown their channel to nearly 2 million subscribers.
Some of their most successful videos thus far are behind-the-scenes clips of shoots, interviews with designers, and vlog-style videos with their models:
People love to see behind-the-scenes videos, so if you're an e-commerce store, try incorporating more of them into your YouTube channel.
In addition, the marketing team was smart to realize that people love Victoria's Secret models. In fact, many of these models already have YouTube channels of their own. Therefore, they did videos with several of the models who already had channels, and the effect was similar to hiring a very famous influencer.
For example, this video with model and YouTuber, Romee Strijd, is one of the most popular on the channel with nearly 185,000 views. As you can see, the video next to it with a model that doesn't have a YouTube channel only has about 15,000 views.
While you may not have a group of Victoria’s Secret models for your marketing campaigns, think about which of your employees already have a following on social media. How can you incorporate them into your marketing strategy?
If you don’t have any thought leaders in your company, is there a way you can create some? For example, can you choose a brand ambassador and send them to conferences, make them the face of your brand, and build their own online presence?
Or can you partner with influencers? A long-term partnership may be one of the best ways to bring people closer to your brand.
- Leverage influencers for your videos or make one of your employees an industry influencer.
- Create behind-the-scenes shoots and share your philosophies and brand story.
17) 360°/VR: National Geographic
Virtual reality (VR) is booming, and while we’re not quite at the point of offering a full-on VR experience through video content, 360° videos are a pretty good alternative. These immersive-style videos use fisheye lenses to place users in the center of the action, allowing them to pan around the scene with their finger (smartphone) or mouse (laptop).
If your video content is educational or you want to take your viewers on a new journey, this is a great format.
This video from National Geographic takes the viewer into the wild to get a close-up view of some lions. “In this VR film by National Geographic Explorer Martin Edström, you will come face to face with Gibson and his mother, as they struggle with their pride’s alpha male.” (Once you hit play on this video, touch/click and hold to move the video/your point of view back and forth.)
360-degree videos offer an exciting and immersive experience for the viewer right in the comfort of their own home, while allowing marketers to optimize content that is truly memorable. And National Geographic's content is particularly well-suited for this type of video:
- 360-degree videos can be filmed, distributed and optimized with various Google tools, such as Cardboard Camera, VR View, and Street View.
- Equipment for making a 360 video can get expensive, but “even if you just have a small budget, there are still some good possibilities for shooting 360-degree videos. For example, providers such as Insta360 have action cameras that are both affordable and deliver astonishingly good quality. The Insta360 cameras also offer what is known as ‘Flow State’ image stabilization, which works amazingly well.”
Last Words on Engaging Video Content
If you’re still not using video content, your brand won’t just be missing out on massive opportunities to engage your audience, you'll also be losing serious ground to your competitors.
Not only is YouTube the second-largest search engine, but it also has nearly 2 billion active users.
Despite popular belief, it isn’t difficult to get started and earn attention. Even if all you have is an iPhone, you can still get started.
With a solid video content marketing strategy that considers your brand, your audience and your goals, you can start creating video content that offers real value for your viewers. Ultimately, that’s what compels and converts.