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When you think of online video, chances are you think of YouTube. Statista projects it’ll have 2.9 billion users by 2025.
So, naturally, when businesses add video content to their marketing strategies, they often host their videos on the platform.
If you plan on joining those marketers, what kinds of videos should you make to promote your organization? We asked 26 business YouTube channel owners and tapped into our own expertise to provide 15 examples to inspire you.
Out of those 26 respondents, 11 were agencies or consultants, 10 provided business-to-consumer (B2C) products, and five offered business-to-business (B2B) products.
For further context, the majority of respondents — 18 — post to their channels weekly, making them frequent users.
The survey pool also specializes in a wide range of video genres, with education, explainer, and product demo videos being the most popular.
Onto 15 popular types of YouTube videos for your business to try, including those highlighted by respondents and some we suggest ourselves:
Video tutorials teach viewers how to perform an action. Businesses often create tutorials related to their products or niches. This video format helps you establish your authority in your industry, build trust with customers, and connect back to your product.
At Royal Locks Curl Care, Casey Simmons uses tutorial videos to demonstrate products and connect with the curly hair community. “The curly-haired community is seeking videos in a tutorial format that show product application demos (i.e. ‘before’ hair, product application/use, and ‘after/finished’ results) and reviews on the same hair texture and curls that they have. Often, people come to our YouTube channel to solve a problem they are experiencing with their hair,” Simmons explains.
Simmons continues, “For example, they have been straightening their hair for years and want to stop and begin caring for and styling, their hair naturally curly. They don’t know where to begin and seek YouTube to show them demonstrations of products and the benefits they are seeking. These benefits range from dry and damaged hair that needs repair, wanting to protect the hair, cleansing and conditioning to add nourishment, adding volume, getting a great shape or definition and holding it, or reducing frizz.”
“Visiting our YouTube channel also provides support and engagement within the curly-haired community. If a viewer is having a hard time getting the curls they want, they can get ideas from others and apply it to their own life. Curly hair isn’t just about the products, it is a lifestyle. The community celebrates the outward expression of a unique inner personality that is curly hair,” Simmons adds.
At Databox, we often use tutorials to explain how to use our product, such as in our How to Build a Great SEO Client Dashboard blog post. You can watch the connected YouTube video here.
Tip: Wondering what resources you need to start making YouTube videos for your marketing? Check out our guide to video gear and tools.
In an ask me anything (AMA) video, an audience asks a subject matter expert questions about hot topics and their process.
This format lends itself well to YouTube Live, YouTube’s live streaming format. Your viewers can ask questions in chat, and the subject matter expert can answer them in real time. Then, once your stream is over, YouTube will archive the stream as a video people can watch at any time.
If you have a well-established audience, the AMA genre lets you connect with that community and build authority with them. AMA streams and videos tend to be laid-back because of the interactive nature of the content.
If you host your own AMA stream, consider having a whiteboard available so your subject matter expert can explain ideas more effectively. You can see how this works in The Futur’s AMA with Chris Do.
Educational videos include a broad range of subgenres, including tutorials, explainers, and related videos. They educate viewers and improve your authority with them as a result.
This type of video was the most popular among our survey participants, and they had a lot to say about them.
Alex Cascio from Vibrant Media Productions notices a lot of performance from short, one to three-minute-long educational videos. “These can be trending topics or industry-specific, but if properly put together with clear messaging, captions/titling, and at least decent quality will help maintain viewership and perform well. We create all different types of videos, but ones that are short/educational have grown the best organically. Even if it’s a competing that has a decent amount of views on it for it, you can typically outrank them if you properly fill out your titling, thumbnail, tags, and video detail,” Cascio says.
Jeff Moriarty of Moriarty’s Gem Art also finds success with educational videos. “Educational videos result in the most views, the most likes, and the most engagement for our business. They are also the ones that have taken off virally on Reddit the most often, resulting in huge spikes in followers and views,” Moriarty explains.
At Online Optimism, many of the high performing videos are educational in nature, according to Jordan Figueredo. “These videos go beyond what we are doing as a company and are more big-picture trends, steps, guides, answers, etc., which resonates very well with our viewers,” Figueredo says.
We also rely a lot on educational videos at Databox. One educational video series we have is Data Snacks, which digs into different topics related to data and analytics. Here’s an example of one of our episodes.
Explainer videos do what’s on the tin — they explain a topic. These videos break a subject down to its bare components. They familiarize your viewers with subjects related to your industry, brand, and product.
Sasha Matviienko of KGC Canada sees positive results from explainer and how-to videos. “ Every YouTube video we make is designed to give value to consumers. One of the favorite formats to give value is How To & Explainer videos. We first tried making these videos based on SEO research and noticed that for almost every product people are searching for the benefits & how to use them. So we trusted the data and never looked back,” Matviienko says.
While this genre works well for top of funnel topics, you can make an explainer video as product- or brand-focused as you want. Shopify, for example, has an explainer video for its product.
Product reviews involve evaluating a product’s quality and usefulness. These videos generally relate to products outside of your brand. So, you’ll see them often used for channels that specialize in reviewing products.
When it’s appropriate for you to film a product review, this video format helps you build trust with viewers. The people who watch your video will see you as a source to come to when they need to make purchasing decisions.
One of the most prominent sources for product reviews out there is the New York Times’ Wirecutter vertical. Its YouTube channel includes plenty of video reviews, including this video on wireless earbuds.
Challenge videos can have multiple angles. They can show you performing a viral challenge, presenting your team with a challenge, or putting out a challenge to your viewers.
These videos are more community-focused and showcase your brand’s human side. They make a great opportunity to get viewers familiar with your team or interact with you.
Some of the most popular examples of challenge videos from the past decade happened during the Ice Bucket Challenge trend. Brand professionals and regular users alike doused themselves in ice-cold water to raise money for medical research. Even The Muppets went in on the trend.
With podcasts trending in the content marketing world, it’s important to find ways to market them. Video podcasts present podcasts in a video format, often in the form of a recorded video call.
Like their audio counterparts, video podcasts bring in new leads and offer opportunities to connect with other professionals in your industry.
But, if you decide to publish your podcast as a video, you might benefit from a shorter format.
Alex Birkett explains, “I’ll admit that we haven’t experimented with everything, but the videos that have done the worst are full, unedited podcast conversations. It might work for Tim Ferriss or others with big brand names, but not for us.”
Birkett continues, “What works better is just a slight variation: 2-5 minute clips from the full conversation. We clip off passionate rants, contrarian opinions, or tutorial walkthroughs and give it a specific title that maps to a YouTube keyword that has some search volume. These quick clips can also be used as YouTube shorts if they’re short enough. These have done MUCH better than the full interviews.”
To give you a better idea of what Birkett means, here’s one of Omniscient Digital’s podcast clips. It’s ten minutes long compared to the hour-long audio version.
Behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos show what happens at your organization. They can show off your day-to-day, highlight a staff member’s work, or showcase your company culture.
BTS videos humanize your brand and connect the viewer to your team. If you work in a niche industry that the typical person doesn’t know about, they can also be enlightening for your customers.
CoSchedule shares a lot of BTS content on its social media and YouTube channel. Its video on making meaningful graphics combines the BTS format with the educational genre by having CoSchedule’s graphic designer explain her approach.
Product launch videos announce your release of a new product or feature. This format capitalizes on YouTube’s social media capabilities. Viewers who get their news from YouTube as a social media channel will learn about the newest updates from your organization.
Plus, if you have an interactive product like software, video also helps you describe your product in ways you can’t through text or images alone.
At Databox, we used YouTube as a channel to update our subscribers on our recently released custom reports feature. Our video showcases the feature as it works in our interface.
Product demo videos demonstrate how your product works or how to use your product. Because of this dual purpose, they can come in the form of showcases or informational videos.
Video allows you to show off your product’s details and answer common questions about using it. Many people learn best by watching someone do something, so a product demo video can help them truly understand what you have to offer.
This video’s a little grainy, but it’s one of my favorite examples of a product demo to share. It shows you how to use the AeroKat chamber to give a cat an inhaler.
Funny videos have the goal of entertaining the viewer. Many have the sole purpose of being funny, but they can also be educational or advertise your product.
Videos focused on humor have great share potential when you pull off that humor well. They also build trust with customers who are skeptical of brands that focus entirely on product-focused content.
Kizik’s Monte Deere says, “For our hands-free shoe company, our best-performing video by literally millions of views demonstrated the product through the framework of a comedy sketch. They say that the shorter the better, but this video clocked in at two and a half minutes.”
Deere explains, “To show off the advantages and utility of a completely hands-free shoe, we told the story of a man who can’t wrap his mind around not using his hands to put his shoes on. Investigators interrogate him and slap him every time he tries to use his hands, but really just wanted the opportunity to try the shoes for themselves. It proved our most shareable on Facebook and upped our subscriber numbers, further solidifying our brand identity and our approach to future marketing campaigns.”
Chris Castanes from Surf Financial Brokers saw a similar trend. “Our channel is all about life and health insurance products, which can be boring. With that in mind we have a few humorous videos, like “Can Zombies Get Life Insurance?”, which have gotten some good feedback. Our most watched video is a YouTube short with a cat in a hammock. I actually had someone call for life insurance after that one,” Castanes tells us.
One recent example of humor from a prominent business is AAA Insurance’s take on Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
With short videos’ rise in popularity due to platforms like TikTok, marketers now pay more attention to shorter video lengths. Many organizations see higher performance from shorter videos in their data.
“Hands down, the videos that perform the best on our channel are the shortest ones,” says Clearsurance.com’s Vickie Pierre. “There’s no question that we’re in a generation of consumers whose attention span only seems to get smaller and smaller. And data backs that up. Most people don’t view videos in their entirety. Rather, they stick around long enough to decide whether they want to even stick around.”
Pierre adds, “As a result, we have found our shortest videos have the best performance, and the best return on investment. They may not necessarily have the highest number of views, but our analytics reveal that people will watch most, if not all, of our shorter videos. For us, this is a success because that means they’re receiving the entire message — not just a portion of it. In the end, this gives us a greater opportunity to make a true, meaningful connection with our viewers.”
YouTube’s YouTube Shorts format could work well if you plan on following this trend. Since they fall into the short video genre, though, consider comparing your Shorts performance to your data for TikTok and Instagram Shorts.
Red Bull has released quite a few short videos in 2022. Here’s one that covers a similar subject to its longer videos on amazing physical feats.
To find out what types of video content perform best with your audience, you may track video engagement metrics such as watch time, number of views, likes and dislikes of each video individually using a variety of tools, including YouTube itself.
Now you can quickly monitor your video content performance in a single dashboard that monitors fundamental metrics, such as:
Now you can benefit from the experience of our video marketing experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template showing the most important metrics for measuring your YouTube channel performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in marketing reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your YouTube account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
Question and answer (Q&A) videos work similarly to AMA videos, except they tend to have a predetermined list of questions. Instead of the audience asking questions, someone from the YouTube channel talks to the subject expert.
This video format gives you the chance to network with subject matter experts in your field and build authority with your audience. Since Q&A videos have existing questions, you don’t need a large audience to get the conversation going.
You can also combine the Q&A and AMA format by asking someone questions on stream and leaving room for audience questions. Optimist uses this approach all the time with its Q&A videos, such as in this interview with Tim Soulo.
Community-based videos can use one of two approaches to connect your brand to your community. They can bring together community-submitted clips, or you can engage with your community yourself.
When we asked marketing experts about the best ways to improve YouTube clickthrough rate (CTR), one solution mentioned was to build a community. Community-based videos give you the chance to do just that.
MailChimp reaches out to the entrepreneur and creator communities as a whole to create original videos profiling their work. Note how this interview with Brightland’s founder hardly mentions MailChimp at all. Instead, it focuses on her story.
In collaboration videos with other brands, you partner with another brand to create content for your audience. You can collab with a business in an adjacent industry or work with an organization in a totally different field. Depending on your product, you could also work with an influencer your audience follows.
When you create a collaboration video, you expose your brand to two groups of people — your audience and your partner’s audience. This approach gives your content more reach and lets you connect with businesses with similar goals.
MediaPeanut’s Sofia Morales has plenty of experience helping brands create YouTube content. Currently, collaboration videos perform well. “The most effective video content that we have launched so far are the personal video blogs where we invite and collaborate with YouTube influencers to try on some other client’s products as well as in visiting/interviewing the product owners, place, or service that we are trying to promote via produced and curated videos,” Morales says.
Morales has also found success with funny videos, challenges, and food reviews. “What makes these different is its unique presentation despite some brands not being open to adopt these strategies despite its effectiveness in getting more product awareness and engagements from the audience,” Morales explains.
One big brand example of a YouTube collaboration is Buzzfeed and Purina’s video short about a man and his puppy.
Which of these video types will work best for your brand? The only way to find out is to research your audience, try out different formats, and review your analytics data.
Databox’s YouTube integration makes the third step easy. Build a dashboard including your top metrics, such as time viewed, subscribers earned, or total views. Then, pay attention to the types of videos that score well on those metrics.
If you want to try the process out for yourself, it’s free forever to connect up to three sources and use up to three databoards. Sign up for Databox today.
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