123rf20383296 largeWith YouTube being the second most visited website in the world, it shouldn't be hard to see why having a presence on the immensely popular streaming video network can be highly beneficial for any business. As Internet connections continue to get faster, more and more content formats are becoming viable, allowing brands from all industries to tap into their target audiences in ever more effective ways.

[quotes]Video marketing is just one of many areas of content marketing, but it's also among the most effective, both on the large screen and the small screen.[/quotes] Video in itself is also a versatile format suited to a wide range of different purposes, and it's particularly suitable in industries that rely a lot on visual appeal, such as travel and real estate. The following highlights five powerful types of video content:

1. Product Demonstrations

There are few better ways of bringing your product to life than by a product demonstration. By incorporating things like animations, motion graphics, screen captures, and presenter voiceovers, [quotesright]product demonstrations are particularly suitable for technical products that might otherwise confuse target audiences if they did not have any visual guidance. [/quotesright]

Product demonstrations are particularly beneficial for innovative tech startups, since they gives such companies the opportunity to showcase new ideas and help consumers to actually relate to them. In fact, studies have shown that consumers are around 85 percent more likely to make a purchase if they can view a product demonstration first. Even better is to combine a product demonstration with a customer testimonial.

2. Animations

In some industries, recorded video might not be the most suitable content format, but that certainly doesn't mean they can't still tap into the potential afforded by streaming video. Animations which are, in many ways, analogous to still infographics, present an ideal format for delivering a message by incorporating motion graphics, statistical representations, 3D animations, and technical information in an engaging way.

As is the case with infographics, animations are a great way to make dull subjects more fun, engaging and interesting. [quotesright]Animations are also ideal for companies that sell services rather than products, [/quotesright] since they can use moving images to illustrate how the service can benefit its users. In other words, animation brings the subject matter to life and delivers your message in an innovative way.

3. Virtual Tours

Similar in nature to product demonstrations, virtual tours serve to effectively teleport viewers into the heart of the action to such an extent that they can better relate to the product or service you're trying to sell and how it concerns them. [quotes]Virtual tours offer the most dynamic and personal experience in situations where other video formats might fall short. [/quotes]

With the rise of virtual reality, virtual tours are set to take on an entirely new level in the coming years. For example, real estate agents can use this innovative form of video to transport audiences into properties they have for sale. Similarly, auto manufacturers and retailers can use virtual reality to literally place people inside a vehicle and, to a degree, allow them to experience it first-hand.


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4. Video Logs

Video logs (vlog) are personality driven to the extent that [quotesright]they help to give your brand a human face and make it easier for people to relate to. [/quotesright] Similar to normal blogs in many ways, they help to inspire social engagement through comments and sharing but, they offer a welcome break from written material on occasion. They're also particularly effective on today’s small screens, which often aren't the best for reading.

A video blog is a series of short videos posted consistently, typically once or more per week. Just by spending five minutes in front of a web camera, you can present yourself as a human being rather than a “brand ambassador.” Video logs still have yet to become widespread beyond the tech and video game industries, but the fact that so few companies have embraced them makes them fertile ground for exploring.

5. Interviews

One of the primary goals of most content marketing strategies is to establish a brand as a thought leader in its industry. Consumers are far more likely to buy from a particular company when they consider it to be a trustworthy authority in its niche, so [quotes]what better way to establish yourself as a thought leader than by interviewing other senior figures in your industry? [/quotes]

Video interviews can be included in a video log strategy as a way to provide something a little different on occasion. Interviews can also help to build relationships with potential partners and other important voices in your industry. However, a good video interview should not feel scripted like a testimonial, although your job is still to make the subject do most of the talking.

Final Words

The above list highlights some of the most effective video formats, but there are others that might also be suitable to your business. However, [quotesright]at the very least, you should be using video as a medium for demonstrating your products or services and helping existing customers to get more out of them[/quotesright] by way of tutorials, presentations, and just demonstrations themselves.