20 Video Ideas for Content Marketing
This week’s blog is a guest blog, written by Tom Kuder, President and Founder of Content Marketing Startup and originally appeared here on July 31, 2017. We’re grateful that Tom gave us permission to share this valuable content with you. Regardless of whether your video is DIY video or you hire a professional, these ideas are bound to get you thinking about how to use video effectively.
An explosion of tools for video beginners makes it easier than ever to create compelling visual content. With a bit of practice, these tools can help you take your message far beyond static words and images. But you’ll still need to come up with the right video ideas to enhance your content marketing efforts.
We’ve got you covered.
Here are 20 content concepts that are a perfect fit for video.
Start with one or two of these. Then come back to this list whenever you need new inspiration. Roll camera!
Video ideas, #1: Explainers
Explainer videos help you illustrate product concepts, business problems, solutions, benefits and more. They’re particularly useful for describing complex or intangible products and services, or unique new approaches that aren’t yet well understood.
- Keep them short – two minutes or less
- Aim them at a specific persona and his/her pain points
- Consider using animation and stories
- Avoid features – focus on benefits
- Use them on your website to introduce your offerings
Video ideas, #2: Value propositions
Your company’s value proposition positions you in the minds of prospects and customers. Whether you summarize your benefits, explain how you’re different from competitors or highlight a strong resonating focus, a video can enhance the understanding of your unique value.
- Keep this very short – 30 seconds to a minute
- Use visuals, animation and a narrative to propel your explanation
- Work hard on the script to keep language simple and short
- Use examples and stories
- Place on your About page or Home page
Idea #3: Thought leadership
Have a new way of looking at a problem? Feel strongly about the right or wrong way to do things? Want to help people avoid mistakes? Share your thoughts in a video.
- Talking heads are okay – alternate tight and long shots
- Balance shots of people with visuals and illustrations
- Emphasize points with word slides – 1 or 2 words in large type
- Use these to augment your blog articles or About page
#4: Company culture
Your business culture can be an asset that helps buyers choose you over other suppliers. Perhaps service permeates every corner of your organization. Or your people are creative and quirky. Or intellectual curiosity is a foundation of everything you do. It’s easier to show this in a video than to tell it in words.
- People are the focus in this type of video
- Use very short interviews or testimonials
- Tell a story and illustrate it with people, visuals and music
- Create a mood and a vibe
- Place these on your About page and social profiles
Video ideas, #5: Case studies
Videos about the successful use of your product or service can strongly influence buyers, especially in the selection stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Use a problem-solution-results story line
- Mix interviews with action shots and simple visuals
- Go into a bit of detail – up to 5 minutes
- Tell the customer’s side of the story
- Use these as lead nurturing content
#6: Social proof
Social proof videos are related to case studies because they’re about real customers. But social proof videos are much shorter and are aimed at generating leads rather than nurturing known prospects. Think of them as the most quotable quotes from your most supportive fans.
- Use shots of customers giving quotes and testimonials
- Record online video chat sessions to get footage
- String together several customers in a compilation – up to 30 or 45 seconds
- Organize into themes if you can – service, quality, value, etc.
- Place these on your home and solution pages
Video ideas, #7: Home page introduction
Many websites have a large “hero” image and headline at the top of the home page to welcome visitors and state a high-level benefit. Fewer sites have a video in this location. A home page video can help your site stand out, create immediate engagement and communicate your site’s value better than text and an image.
- Keep this very short – about 10 or 15 seconds
- Don’t set the video to auto-play – let visitors launch it
- Choose a still image for the video that’s welcoming
- Overlay a headline or title if you can
#8: Automated email sequences
Once you identify a prospect (lead) you can use a series of emails to “nurture” him or her toward a buying decision. Advanced email systems such as ConvertKit help you automate this process. But instead of simply sending email readers to a page of text, send them to a video.
- Plan and create the video series up front
- Include a video thumbnail in each email to increase clicks
- Keep your email short and expand on your message in the video
Idea #9: Email campaigns
Use videos to enhance your regular email marketing campaigns. When you introduce a new product, announce a webinar, solicit surveys or communicate some other key message, add a video thumbnail linked to a supporting video, and watch your open and conversion rates soar!
#10: Support a landing page
Landing pages are web pages focused on eliciting a single response to a call-to-action (CTA). Visitors “land” on them from social posts, web banner ads, email links and other content invitations. Videos on the landing page itself make the page more engaging and can increase the likelihood of conversion (getting the visitor to respond to the CTA).
- Script the video to encourage a response
- Reinforce the text content on the landing page
- Keep these between 30-60 seconds
- Place at the top of the landing page, just below the headline
Video ideas, #11: Webinar recordings
Record your webinars and use them as video content. Recordings are a great way to reinforce your message and stay connected to attendees. You can also use recordings to reach out to those who registered for the webinar but didn’t attend. And you can offer the recordings to your website visitors as lead generation content.
- If possible have someone other than the presenter manage the recording
- Practice ahead of time to optimize audio, slides and presenter shots
- Edit to trim beginning and end slack footage
Idea #12: Video catalog
If you offer a product that’s visual (art, supplies, tools, furniture, consumer goods, etc.) a video catalog could help your promotion.
- Use 3 or 4 shots of each product in use or from different angles
- Create a compilation or use individual videos for each product
#13: Social campaigns
Social posts with links to videos gain more engagement than those without. Enhance your campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social channels with videos that reinforce your core message.
Video ideas, #14: Email list building
Videos can be used to create a short educational course, which you can offer for free in exchange for an email address. The course content should have some value but could also be a subset of a bigger (chargeable) course. This helps you build an email list of people interested in your topic for future promotion.
#15: Teaser / trailer to a bigger offer
Much like Hollywood, video trailers can “tease” your audience about the “real thing.”
- Create the final offering first, then use outtakes
- Promote a video-based educational course
- Video technique should be upbeat and enticing (teasing)
Video ideas, #16: Behind the scenes
Record a video of one of your key business processes to highlight the action. The process could be ideation, production (making of), technique, technology or any other aspect that might be intriguing to prospects.
- Works well for visual processes – manufacturing, art, crafts, etc.
- Use to augment blog articles or product pages
Idea #17: FAQs
Ask your sales and customer service staff about the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) that they receive. Then turn those into short topical video answers. They’ll help both existing customers and potential prospects understand your offering better – which can lead buyers to buy.
#18: Training videos
While not strictly marketing content, publicly available product training videos are often viewed by prospects considering a purchase. Potential buyers use training videos to self-educate, learn about usability and customer experience, and evaluate your company’s support and educational stance.
#19: Open the box – what’s inside
The components of physical products, educational courses, and even services can be illustrated in video. These help buyers know exactly what they’re getting with their purchase.
Video ideas, #20: How-to instructions
This is different than #18 (training) because the instructions don’t have to be limited to product use. If your company knows a lot about a broad topic, but offers a product in a narrower niche, then this kind of video content is for you.
- Create videos that instruct on a broader level than your product
- Show how your product fits into the bigger picture
- Reinforce your credibility and subject matter expertise
Is this the complete list?
Twenty video ideas is a lot, but probably isn’t the complete list of possibilities.
- What else have you thought of or tried for video content?
- Which of these ideas is most interesting to you? Why is that?
- How do you see video as part of your content marketing strategy?