Companies come in different sizes and budgets; but, in the end, they're all basically pursuing similar marketing goals: to explain their product or service (for people to understand what they're selling), to build brand trust (for people to trust what they're selling), and, of course, to close more sales (for people to actually take money out of their pockets).

And among the all types of marketing content on the Web, video is probably the most effective to use to achieve those goals: Nearly 52% of marketers worldwide choose video as the content with the best ROI (return on investment).

People love video: On average, video content is shared on social media 12 times more than regular images; and, what's even more interesting, 85% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service after watching a marketing video. Moreover, marketing videos tend to boost conversion rates between 15% and 75%!

At the same time, videos improve your website's Google rankings, and they guarantee your brand a place on YouTube, the No. 1 video-hosting website, which also lets you track your viewers' behavior for free.

The thing is, not all videos are created equal: There are various types of video content, and you should choose wisely which will help you achieve your specific marketing objectives.

Let's sum up the most popular among those objectives, and learn what type of video will help you achieve each.

'I need to build brand awareness and increase online visibility'

Whenever you need to spread your brand's name all over the Web, educational videos are a great option. These types of videos don't flagrantly sell a product or service; they offer knowledge instead, teaching your audience something new.

After watching an educational video, your potential customers will learn something useful and, consequently, feel closer to your brand.

Cartoon animation in educational videos is, often, a fun and effective effect. With over 130,000 views, this neat animated educational video reached the top of YouTube rankings for the relevant keywords in a matter of weeks:

How-to videos are also a top choice when branding is the main goal. These types of videos basically explain how to solve a problem with a certain product or service, step by step, offering real value to your leads and potential customers.

As with educational videos, when done right, these videos don't blatantly reveal to your potential customers that you're selling something; they're solving an actual problem instead. Due to their practical nature, these videos are easily and rapidly shared in social media, building a great amount of brand awareness organically.

A fine example is this iPhone how-to video:

Another cool alternative, although a bit more salesy than the other two, are commercials. These are usually shorter (30-60 seconds) and tend to be more stunning than most marketing videos.

And if you opt for an animated commercial, you can make your brand colors come alive, create lovable and memorable characters, and even produce your own tune. You can't get more brand-boosting than that.

Here's a cute TV animated commercial with a super-catchy jingle:

'I need to explain what I do and increase conversions'

Most of the time, to take the action you want them to take, people need to really understand what you're selling. Whenever you need to unveil your new product or service and lead your potential customers to convert, animated explainer videos are one of the best choices available.

Explainer videos are usually 2-3 minutes long; they're made to catch the eye, explain, convince and convert in a short period of time. They're easy for people to watch all the way through, as well as to share on social media, where attention spans are short.

By using characters tailored to suit your target audience—characters your potential customers can relate to—these videos can be used to customize the entire experience; they are therefore one of the best video marketing tools around.

Here's a fun and successful animated explainer video made for the Gigtown app by Yum Yum Videos:

'I need to generate brand trust and close more deals'

If your main objective is to make your potential customers trust in your company and your brand, you can't go wrong with an about-us video. They show who or what your company is, and how your business and team work to help customers.

Testimonial videos are also super effective in creating brand trust and convincing people into making a purchase decision. In these videos, your customers (or sometimes actors, in lieu of customers) speak about your product or your brand, or both, building social proof and giving a hint of why your potential customers choose your company instead of the competition.

A well-made testimonial or about-us video can be the final push to close sales. Bear in mind that 90% of consumers admit their buying decisions are influenced by reviews and ratings.

Here's a solid about-us video:

And here's a neat testimonial:

'I need to show my product's features'

Sometimes widespread promotional content isn't enough to close a sale, because people need to get a detailed look at how a product or service works before they take their money out of their pocket.

A product demo is the ideal video content for grabbing those potential customers. Demo videos allow you to disclose your product's features in detail and make its attributes stand out. You can make a live recording for physical products or use the screencast technique, which works best for apps and software.

These videos run up to 10 minutes, on average, because they're usually aimed at people who have already decided to buy certain products or services, and they're specifically looking for the best features, brand comparisons, and price-quality-value relationships.

Here's a cool demo video made by MacUpdate using the screencast technique:

A few words about metrics

Whatever your video content, you must be able to track and analyze its performance. YouTube offers a wide range of free video metrics, such as views, dropouts, recurrence, most-watched segments, etc.

Other hosting services, such as Wistia, offer subscription plans with more specific performance metrics and a few neat customization assets when embedding your videos to your websites and landing pages.

Let's sum up

Videos have proven to be one of the most effective types of marketing content around: They have great ROI, audience engagement, and shareability.

Different types of video content will help you achieve different marketing goals:

  • Educational videos are great for building brand awareness.
  • Animated explainer videos are perfect for pitching your company and increasing conversions,.
  • Testimonial and about-us videos can be used to generate brand trust and close deals.
  • Product demo videos showcase your product's features in detail.

Knowing when to choose the right type is the key to using your video content wisely.

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How to Use Video to Achieve Your Marketing Goals: From Awareness to Sales (And in Between)

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Juan Jose Mendez is content manager at BitPagos, a provider of electronic payment solutions.

LinkedIn: Juan Jose Mendez