According to a study conducted by Forrester Research in 2009, one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words. That is a lot of information closely packed in an easy to consume packet. As an online marketer or a business head, embracing videos to engage your internet audience is surely at the tip of your tongue every once in while. However the tough question lies in deciding the type of videos that would work best for your case. Here are three types of videos you can consider to transform your reach among the online audience.
- Short films
Here is a brief note on the 3 types and how to use them.
1. Short films
(Typical-length: 2–3 minutes)
People love to see and share stories that trigger a strong emotion or cater to their intellect in a completely fresh way. Brands have been successfully using this human psychology to delight their online audience through potentially viral stories. Thanks to the popularity of internet videos, publishing a 2–3 minutes long film has literally become free as compared to the contrasting exorbitant cost of publishing TV ads.
What should be these about?
Owing to high budget and a big production effort, typically such videos are well planned in advance. Hence companies could choose to tell a soulful story to their audience in context of specific days, festivals or events like Christmas, Halloween, Mother’s day or even an upcoming football world cup. You could pick up a theme that reflects the philosophy your brand stands for.
Usually, these are slightly high budget options in terms of production particularly if you are going for a live action shoot. Typically a decent quality live-action film that can potentially go viral would have a cost of more than $10000 for production.
- Choose the right appeal for your video before building a strong story around it. Most commonly used appeals are love, care, humanity, nostalgia and humor.
- To keep the budgets reasonable, you can consider going the animation way. However this highly depends on the emotion and appeal you want to keep for the film. Some stories do require showing real people.
- Audio is as important as visuals. Sometimes a good background music itself can drive your message deep into your audience’s psyche.
- These videos are much longer than average attention span of millennial users on internet. So judiciously use the element of anticipation to drive them till the end.
Although there are some great examples out there on internet in this category, I would like to showcase two videos published on Mother’s day from two different brands.
While both the videos are quite emotionally intense and hence went viral on YouTube instantly, notice the contrast in the amount of effort and cost required in their production.
2. Animated Explainers
(Typical length: 1–1.5 minutes)
Animated Explainers have become the most popular and successful form of videos on internet today. Be it about explaining the business value about your existing offerings, launching something new or educating your audience, animated explainers are delightful and amazingly effective. Since animated videos are cute, colorful and exaggerated they make storytelling much easier in a lot of ways. The trend started when Dropbox created an explainer video to introduce their game changing concept of easy to use cloud based file management system. With a simple landing page video, the company was able to effectively explain how Dropbox works and hence trigger their well known exponential growth. Today every company feels the need to embrace explainer videos to convey their business value to the desired audience.
Read more to know why animation works well for explainer videos.
What should be these about?
Typically explainer videos highlight the pain points of your potential customers and establish the need of a better solution in the market. A magical solution is then introduced to fill in that need, also highlighting the amazing features and unique propositions of your solution. Multi-video explainer campaigns could also be used to highlight different features or use-cases of your solution or to show how your solution is helpful for different verticals.
Typically the cost of an animated explainer video would depend on its length and the style of animation. Good quality minute long explainers could range anywhere from $1000 to $5000.
- Keep them short. Anything longer than 90 seconds is an over-dose when it comes to explainers.
- Try to keep the narrative conversational and light hearted.
- Animated explainers are as good as the weakest element in them. Best explainers out there have a an effective script, delightful visuals and a powerful audio.
- You can use DIY tools like Powtoon and GoAnimate if you have budget and time constraints. However, going with a professional agency could certainly make your videos more effective by many folds.
Here is the link to one of the explainer videos made by Wildbeez for a fin-tech product called Appzillon.
The video was well received by the audience with an 84% engagement factor and led to a 30% increase in sales for the product through multiple online and offline channels.
Check how this explainer video played a crucial part in Appzillon’s growth story.
(Typical length: 15–45 seconds)
What are people doing today while sitting in a metro train, or a cab, or while they are in a queue?
According to Entrepreneur, the average millennial is spending 5.4 hours on social media per day, and during most of this time he is mindlessly scrolling through his social media feeds. By creating short-form snackable video content , brands are leveraging this mania to catch the attention of their online audience like never before.
What should be these about?
Although it might seem counter-intuitive but snackable videos require a lot more creativity than their longer counterparts. The challenge lies in telling a meaningful story in a really short time-span. Snackable videos could be about showing a DIY process, individual product features, funny video snippets, mashups of top-5 things and what not. There is no particular rule around this. The idea is to let your thoughts run wild while choosing a theme.
The production cost for such videos entirely depends on their nature. While they could even be made for free, in most cases some investment on good shooting equipment and editing software becomes a must. While these could be done in-house, working with a creative agency on conceptualizing and production might be a better bet.
- Although such videos have a shorter production life-cycle, brainstorming, planning, scripting and pre-production still holds immense importance.
- Use text generously. A lot of people watch such content on the move and might not be paying a lot of attention to sound. Besides, getting rid of a voice over cuts time, effort and cost in production
- Create multi-video campaigns. Snackables are like popcorn or chips. People love to have them one after the other. Think of a unifying theme around these though.
- Keep capturing or collecting a lot of footage related to your domain. You never know when could this be used. Stock footage options like Shutterstock can also be used if you want to avoid shooting.
- You can also go the animation/motion-graphic way to create short colorful stories.
- Use the power of simple online video editing tools like Animoto, Magesto, Typito etc to create snackable videos in minutes.
One of the brands that has completely transformed itself using snackable video content is Tastemade, a global food and travel network targeting online millennials. Check out their DIY video on ‘ How to make Broccoli Tots’
Doesn’t that look tempting? I could give you more examples of snackable videos, but this video has inspired me to a make myself a midnight snack, and perhaps download the Tastemade app as well.
So you get the point. Videos are powerful and they come in different forms, styles and length. If thoughtfully conceptualized, they can bring in a new dimension to your business. Please share your favorite business video campaigns in the comments below.
This post was originally published by me at