A study by the big brains at Forbes uncovered a data point that blew my little socks off. Reportedly,

“viewers retain 95% of the information after watching a video, versus a measly 10% retention gained from reading text”.

That’s pretty newsworthy.

So – not wanting to miss out – the ten percent tidbit you need to retain from this burst of brainpower is that

‘video is the weapon of choice’ for all ambitious brands wanting to reach their precious customers.

Why is that? Well video does an awful lot of heavy lifting when it comes to communicating. For a start it requires minimal effort on the part of the viewer. No tricky language, vocabulary or syntax to decipher from a written piece of comms. No way. Video combines moving imagery and sound to elicit our attention and goes as far as to entertain us, all whilst simultaneously communicating a commercial message. Be that as a snappy six second burst or a languid 3 minute explainer. Video can flex its captivating charms in any which way we need.

As marketers hunting the next possible means of influencing our customers to purchase – video has the ability to be harnessed and deployed in all manner of provocative ways. According to the Wyzowl 2022 State of Video Marketing Report, nine out of ten marketers accolade video’s ability at increasing traffic, increasing new business leads and directly increasing sales. Video is a versatile weapon when wielded wisely.

I’m sure we all share a common sense that video is highly effective – so it’s heartening to be assured by Forbes findings. The next question really then becomes – what form of video should I be creating? The good news is there’s a video for pretty much anything you can think of. To help – here are the top ten forms of video created in 2021.

Explainer Videos. Be they for a product or a service offer – the most popular video format of last year was the trusty ‘explainer’. Prospective customers (B2C and B2B) want as much relevant information about you before they make any tentative steps towards an actual purchase. A good explainer instantly gets to the heart of a product. Outlines the relevant points, indicates why it is a superior choice, answers all the obvious queries and overcomes the common obstacles before illuminating the benefits. Do this in under 2 minutes and you’re onto a winner. This is true for highly complex, financial models all the way through to simple water filters.

Social Media Videos. We all know that social media is an essential tool. However, it is also veracious in its appetite for a continual flow of video and other interesting content. No surprise then, that 68% of all videos produced in 2021 were specifically for these platforms. The aim for video in this context is to be ‘thumb-stopping’. This is achieved by being ‘entertaining, educational and/or informative’. Trick is to replicate this form of video daily, weekly, monthly.

Testimonial Videos. First hand endorsement provides instant credibility. A packaged form of ‘word-of-mouth’ harnessed to be spread far and wide. Unscripted, real-looking, unstaged responses work the hardest. A sniff of a prepared response and your video will fall flat and do the opposite of what you intended. You’ll lose cred and put yourself at a disadvantage. When folk talk about ‘authenticity’. This is what they mean.

Presentation Videos. Knowing how easy it is to use video to entertain a crowd – it’s clear why video is used in presentation meetings. A great way to inject some ‘energy’ or to set the ‘mood’ in ways untenable by a presenter and a Powerpoint 🙂 From a sizzle-reel that conveys a concept, to an infographic that unbundles a complex business opportunity, to an address from an overseas CEO. Video mainlines emotion directly into any situation. Powerful stuff.

Advertising Videos. Yep. Good old fashioned ads. Carefully constructed comms that pack a commercial punch in 6, 15, 30 and even 60 seconds. Single-minded slingshots that nail the most compelling and competitive aspect of a product. Almost half (42%) of marketing videos created last year can be categorised as advertising.

Product Demonstration Videos. From the unboxing, to the first use. To how to clean or maintain. Demonstrations remove the need for a ‘User’s Manual’. Who ever looked at those anyway? Far easier to flick on a demo video to get to grips with any new product. Very much an ‘After-Sales’ experience, but one that will help the user get the most from their new purchase. Great opportunity to cross-sell ancillary, complementary products at the same time as being helpful 😉

Training Videos. Obvious when you think about it. Now that we no longer work in a central HQ and are disbursed in our ‘home offices’ – being able to train staff is not as easy as holding a two hour session in the office. Be it refinements in SAP. New methods of timekeeping. Or to get to grips with a new CRM process. Training videos enable a controlled conveyance of information and instruction. The beauty is, the video can be used multiple times across multiple groups of employers without the physical need to replicate the presentation.

Videographics. Much like ‘infographics’ but far more dynamic. The ability to distil statistical data into visual representations is an artform that has the ability to reveal the hidden meaning behind a wall of numbers. Some (me in particular) more readily grasp the information when depicted this way. It allows the interpretation of data to flow more readily. Funny how some brains are wired, but this can be really powerful when wanting to illustrate the importance of a data based insight.

Customer Service Videos. When we are not visiting ‘bricks n mortar’ stores as frequently as we once did, there is a risk that the ‘customer service experience’ begins to wane. A friendly video designed to welcome shoppers to your digital environment is a smart bridge between the two realities. Such videos are even more receptive when used to explain a ‘service shortcoming’ such as being out of stock on certain line items. A video of a company representative, kindly and sincerely apologising for any inconvenience, goes a long way of assuring shoppers that you have their interests at heart.

Behind the Scenes. Bringing shoppers into ‘the tent’ or the ‘inner circle’ can be quite a treat. Not for every shopper of course, but for those with a desire to understand more than the regular shopper, being given a ‘sneak peak’ at how the next line of fashion is decided on, or what inspired the latest app development, or to a brief explanation behind a new product development – each give greater reason for the shopper to feel ‘connected’ and in so becoming, fell that the product is an essential part of their life. Pretty powerful right.

Video is indeed nothing but versatile.

When you get down to the business of planning marketing plans for the year – you can be confident that video will play an essential role in winning and holding the attention of shoppers. A means of gaining awareness, of lifting engagement and ultimately driving sales.

Viva la video!

Which reminds me – must turn this article into a video ASAP!

Thanks for reading.


David Flanagan
Director of Content & Strategy


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