The Complete Guide to Engaging Marketing Videos

Everything I’ve learned from working at a video agency

Image for post
Image for post

Just a few years ago, we would say that video only should be a part of your marketing strategy. Nowadays, we don’t use the word marketing apart from the word video. There is only one essential marketing tactic, and it includes video as its main element.

Recently, videos have been emerging as a powerful marketing and promotional tool for a wide range of businesses. For what it’s worth, video marketing has gained some rules that distinguish an excellent video from a bad one. Marketers assume that if it was to fail, your video marketing strategy could be of significant harm to the product and the company.

When making a marketing video, think strategically. Start by rethinking your intentions and business values. The work will flow if you know why you’re doing this. Ninety percent of customers claim that product videos help them to decide if they’re going to buy a product or not. To boost sales and present your brand properly, you should make a marketing video that resonates with people’s needs.

Here’s a list of some solid advice that will help you to understand what makes a good marketing video.

1. Know Your Goals

You should know precisely what your marketing aim is. That will be your only direction for your videos from there on out. Consider making this step before you start your campaign. It’s probably the number one video marketing tip.

Image for post
Image for post

2. Create and Stick to a Storyboard

A storyboard is essential. Plan your video as thoroughly as possible and make a clear script. If it contains vagueness, reduce it to the level where everything will be understandable. It’s what makes a base for your video, something that helps you to move slowly but confidently. The goal is to create a script that will match your marketing campaign. Preplan every step carefully; you have to know every detail.

3. Create a Memorable Title

The eye-catching title is a vital element of a good marketing video. The internet is full of videos that could have the same name. To make yourself distinguished from that crowd, create a unique, memorable title. Another good idea is to use one of the keywords in the title.

The memorable title could contain a contradiction. That creates compelling interest, makes viewers silently ask themselves what this might be about. For example, WeTransfer named its new campaign “Please Leave,” which is, at first glance, confusing. But actually, WeTransfer highlights a filesharing service that’s made to help people spend more time off the internet and to use it for creative purposes.

4. Work Hard on the Beginning

What is more important than the beginning of the video? These several seconds can make a fortune. Think through how you’ll fill them with the first images that your customer will encounter. If the viewer isn’t engaged in the opening moments of the video, they’ll switch to something else. That is almost the rule. Consumer engagement is vital for marketing; most of your marketing success comes from the ability of your video to be an engaging tool more than anything else. No matter what you’re trying to sell, if your video is not captivating from the beginning, it won’t work.

Take a look at this video made by Google Android. The very first scene answers in one way or another a possible viewer’s question, “Why should I watch it?” By the way, the video was shared 6 million times.

5. Make a Narrative: Tell a Story

The human brain has a bias toward storytelling. Instead of selling stuff, like it used to be in marketing, businesses should consider telling stories. A great example is a commercial made by Airbnb, where we can see storytelling at its best. It evokes emotion and makes people understand and treat your brand differently than a simple selling video would. If you tell the story behind the product, its history, or the problems that could be effectively solved by it, your business could become more appealing to the audience. The best thing about storytelling is that you don’t need a big budget. Learn how to make an exceptional narrative from those who succeeded.

6. Concentrate on the Effect of the Product

Over the years, marketers realized that to promote a product successfully, you don’t have to talk about it constantly. Do you know the old saying “Show it, don’t tell about it”? That can be applied to a good marketing video. Tell instead the purpose of your product and in what situations it would be good to use it. Concentrate on the mission you see ahead of you. A distinctive feature of a bad marketing video is talking too much about your product and how good it is. It can come across as too pushy and can turn your consumers away from your product.

7. Make Sure the Voice Sounds Professional

The main way of using a voice in a marketing video is to lead a narrative. If it’s made professionally, where every word is spoken by a nice, calm voice and with clearness, it will likely leave a better impression than one with an uncertain, amateur speaker.

8. Make a Video Accessible on Different Devices

In other words, make it easily accessible on the phone. Mobile video marketing is crucial. Just take a look at these facts:

  • 92% of mobile video viewers most likely share a video they liked with their friend.
  • 90% of Twitter video views are watched on a mobile device.
  • Ten million videos are watched on Snapchat per day.

To exclude mobile viewers from your marketing strategy could be too harmful to your business.

9. Stay Creative

It may sound like quite obvious advice, but people tend to give up on some videos and turn their attention to others. Many viewers decide whether they are going to watch your video in seconds. To prevent your marketing video from such a sad destiny, try to be creative: Use different filming techniques, mix animation styles, look for unusual things to implement.

Engage people to watch the whole video. In a world where hundreds of hours’ various videos uploaded every day, it’s quite a challenge to make a viewer finish a single one. We believe that creativeness is key to that.

Remember the video about animals made by Google Android? If fact, that was just a series of pictures. Believe it or not, it was one of the millions of ways to be creative in video marketing, even though we did not see original content creation in that video. However, thinking outside of the box can be that simple.

A great example we find compelling is what Reebok did in this video. This is a completely wordless narrative that depicts one woman running at different times in her life. The #HonorYourDays campaign indicates that people, on average, have 25,000 days in their lives. “Honoring the body you’ve been given” is the motto of the video.

Image for post
Image for post

10. Add Subtitles

There are at least two reasons why you should be adding subtitles to your video. First, it will make your message reach more people. If you do one translation, your chances to have a bigger audience is much better than it was before. The second reason is important due to the following fact: Many people tend to watch videos silently. If you’re going to share video on social media, it would be helpful to have subtitles because most social media users (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) watch a video without sound.

Image for post
Image for post

11. Use Animation

Even if you find live video your preferred medium, still consider adding some animated things to your video. Animation is an extremely powerful tool for promotion. It’s cheaper than video, and it gives you way more creative possibilities than a live video. It is also very inspiring. It’s one of the strongest marketing tools at the moment, used by such giants as Google, Facebook, Apple, and more.

Ikea also creatively used animation in their marketing campaign. In the explainer video, they used very simple graphic animation with pleasant colors and faceless characters (yet very different ones).

12. Educate Your Audience

Kurzgesagt is doing a great job of educating people. In this video, they explain the origin and the ways of functioning of bacteriophage. The colors, animation, narrative, and the story are in perfect combination.

13. Make Your Video Short

It’s a ground rule in video marketing: Never make a video that will last more than two minutes. Some people won’t even bother opening a video with a length of three minutes. It’s important not to cross this fragile line and to keep your viewer both engaged and tired. To do something memorable, you actually need only 40 seconds. Don’t forget that after Instagram has popularized short video stories, people tend to consume micro-videos more often. So if you can make a shorter version of your marketing video without losing the critical point, it makes it much easier and more enjoyable to consume and understand the information. If your video is more than two minutes, revise and cut it a bit.

It took only 30 seconds for American Express Gold to explain and creatively show the benefits of the Gold card to their clients.

14. Make a Connection With the Audience

If you’re making a high-quality content, a few things could prevent you from success. However, the content is not enough. Since you work for people and your audience has lots of expectations and questions, always try to make a strong connection between you and the viewers. Encourage them to ask questions. In any case, the area you work in, like any other, is full of questions that hang in the air waiting to be answered. Don’t afraid to take those to your video.

Image for post
Image for post

15. Don’t Forget About SEO

We all know well that to rank you high, Google should have something to base their ranking on. Make a good description of your video, find appropriate and precise keywords, and this SEO approach might work well for you.

16. Promote Video Properly

Don’t just post your video, make it visible for many people. Consider making a promotional campaign. Post it on your website, talk about it on every social media your brand has, including YouTube. Probably YouTube must be the first one on this list.

17. Let Your Business Values Be Visible

Sharing your values is what helps you to build a conduit for communication. It is also what makes communication possible. People always associate themselves with something that coincides with their worldview. And this is natural because it’s quite hard to agree with something that you don’t believe in. If you make the values that you follow visible through the video, it will be a good foundation for a trusting relationship with a viewer.

18. Be Positive

The intonation, the mood, you have from the very beginning of the video is a sort of meta-narrative. A positive attitude has a great impact on buying decisions. If you can create a safe, engaging atmosphere in your marketing video, you’ll be able to reach your clients’ emotions. As you might have heard, consumer’s decisions, including purchasing, are based on emotions. What you need to avoid is no emotional response at all. When it comes to promoting a product, you have to make your viewers feel something. At least something. So stay positive in a video: Use pleasant music, nice voices, colorful graphics — for example, as Mcdonald’s did in this commercial.

19. Know Your Targeted Audience

In order to make a good marketing video, you have to know who you’re making this video for. That includes where your viewers live, what cultural background they have, and what kind of devices you expect them to use for watching the video.

It’s easier to know how to make a video when you create it for an individual according to the specific information that describes this individual. The more your marketing video is made for someone in particular (targeted audience) the higher your chances to boost the conversion rate. If you know your audience, you’ll be able to understand how to make really compelling videos. Plus, the engagement will be better because the message will speak directly to the viewer.

20. Offer a Call to Action

After people spend some time watching your video, you should focus their attention on considering making an action. In such a way, the video will lead them to some natural conclusion or a logical consequence. Ask yourself what your main purpose is for the video, and what you want viewers to do after learning the content of the video.

Image for post
Image for post

21. Utilize Proper Filming Equipment

Besides what we already mentioned, many other aspects make a good marketing video. Make sure that the lighting, filming technology, and the choice of the camera are appropriate. Knowing the limitations of your equipment, as well as the advantages it gives you, is vital. The technical side of a marketing video is always important to improve. Understanding the possibilities of video will help you make it as beautiful as you can possibly imagine.

Written by

The founder Darvideo Animation Studio — Ukrainian 2d&3d videoproduction. His advice is based on 10-years experience and over 700 successful cases.

Sign up for The Better Marketing Newsletter

By Better Marketing

Our map to the marketing world. An occasional newsletter highlighting the best stories, tips, and tools to become a better marketer.  Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Thanks to Niklas Göke