Whether you find yourself regularly falling down the YouTube rabbit hole or scrolling yourself into oblivion via the auto-play videos on Facebook, there’s no denying that video is slowly working its way into the driving seat of the content marketing industry.

With 2016 statistics from Wyzowl revealing that 61% of businesses are currently using video as a marketing tool and 85% of businesses stating it is likely they’ll begin or continue using video in the future, it’s likely that if you’re reading this, you’ve woken up to the huge opportunities a dabble in video could have for your business. Just remember that all video was not created equal and you need to focus your energies in just the right way if you want a chance of achieving the desired result. If your goal is to harness the power of video to build brand presence, here are the best types of video for the job:

Thought leadership videos

Thought leadership content is one of the most effective ways to highlight your brand as one that can be trusted and relied upon. Capture attention by educating and inspiring your target audience, answering the questions they want answered and solving the common problems that they are likely to come across in the industry – you will not only garner a whole lot of attention, you will niftily position yourself as a trusted advisor. The sort of trusted advisor that prospects will turn to when they are finally ready to part with their money.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Thought leadership videos target the earliest stages of the buyer’s journey and they do so by offering plenty of useful information. This type of video could take the form of a webinar, interviews with experts or industry event coverage videos, to demonstrate that your business is on the frontline, reporting back to their loyal followers all the twists, turns and trends the industry might be taking. According to the 2016 Content Preference Report from Demand Gen, 78% of buyers listed webinars as content used to make B2B purchasing decisions. Whether it’s a live stream or an on-demand video, allowing your audience to engage directly with experts will offer buckets of value as well as ensuring your brand name is associated with the top minds in the biz.

How-to videos

It might be easier count to tally up who hasn’t googled a ‘How to’ video when faced with a task in everyday life… it’s one of the reasons my smartphone is permanently glued to my hand. Instructional videos are an excellent engagement tool, perfect for keeping your brand at the forefront of your customers’ mind until they are ready to buy by providing practical solutions to the issues they need to address. Keep instructional videos simple and easy-to-follow, using a combination of footage, screen grabs and images if they get your point across clearly. Plus, keep your content engaging with a snappy script that keeps your customers from glazing over.

With research from Contently showing that video is 50x more likely to get organic page ranks in Google search than plain text, it’s especially important to ensure your SEO strategy is on top of its game when producing this sort of video. In this way, you can give your video a boost when prospects turn to the trusty search engines to solve their issues.

Product demonstration videos

Product demonstration videos must be handled with care as they begin to verge on potentially very ‘sale-sy’ territory – just the sort of thing we seek to avoid with effective content marketing. However, bear in mind that a Hubspot infographic revealed that 90% of users find product videos helpful in the decision making process. Clearly, bringing your product or services to life in video form ignites a spark in the mind of the audience as they visualise owning or using the things you offer – just be sure to fan the flames with caution and keep the tone explanatory rather than veering onto the hard sell shoulder. A good tactic to steer clear of this pitfall is to avoid being too product-focused. Instead, focus on the story you’re trying to tell and the goals your product can help to accomplish as you paint the big picture for your audience to enjoy. Effective communication with your sales team will help you pinpoint any areas that might need expanding on in the video – they are best placed to let you know any questions your market might still have after watching and if anything else could be worked in to secure a sale.

Employer branding videos

Finally, revealing your brand’s human side with a sneak peek into your company culture might feel miles away from making a sale, but this type of video can go a long way in creating an image of your brand that makes a memorable impression. A Harvard Business Review article found that “the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level”. One of the ways to do this is to inspire a sense of belonging and a video that showcases the unique personalities behind your brand, welcoming the audience into the inner sanctum, is an excellent way to achieve this.

You might want to take your audience on a virtual tour of the office, allowing them to take a peek at your team at work, or turn your best brand advocates – your employees – into the stars of your video. Get it right and you might just find this sort of video can work wonders for recruitment purposes too.

To find out more about how we can help you incorporate video into your content marketing efforts, contact M2 Bespoke today.