21 Videos You Can Make To Serve Your Audience Better

Stumped on what video to create next? Or at all? Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. Sometimes you don’t even know the thing in front of you is a tree at all. I’m honestly not sure where I’m going with this metaphor, but if you know you need to make a video (or just plain want to jump onto that bandwagon for the hell of it) and don’t know what kind to focus on then, boy, do I have the blog post for you. Here’s a list of 21 videos you can make for your business that I pulled together for you – what’s great is that this isn’t even comprehensive, there’s loooooaaads more out there that you can make, but these are the top 21 I thought of, in no particular order, that are probably the most popular and effective format for business.

21 videos you can make to serve your audience better, earn trust, and build your brand / TorsG

1. demonstrate your product or service

Typically if you have a product, this is called an unboxing. The three most popular channels on YouTube (by views), at the time of writing, are PewDiePie (Gaming + silliness), Emimusic (erm … music) and Disneycollectorbr (aka FunToyzCollector). Why am I telling you this? Because that third one is the most important; it beats out Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Rihanna in the views sweepstakes. And what is it? An unboxing channel focussed on toys. If you have something you can video the unboxing of, now is the time to get on it.

Interestingly, if you have a service instead of a product, you can still create an ‘unboxing’ video. What you’re revealing is the process a client goes through, the results and the benefits, to the service you offer. Treat it like a product unboxing and show off all the parts.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: a long as it takes you to talk through unboxing the thing
PAIN POINT: buying the product or service to unbox

2. customer testimonials

Video is perfectly suited to customer testimonials because of the emotional connection you can create with the person on screen. The downside is that they do better when they’re professionally produced, so unless you’re local to your client and have a bit of video know-how and access to all the kit, this may not be something you want to attempt right off the bat. We know that people are more inclined to buy if what they’re buying has been recommended to them, a customer testimonial may not be as poweful as their best friend endorsing you, but they work far better than you just asking people yourself. In order for them to work, your testimonials should clearly show the before and after, highlight tangible results or show unexpected value. Testimonials give you the opportunity to sell yourself and/or your product, using your customer’s own language while putting forward arguments against their reasons not to buy before they can ask them. Not bad for one video!

DIY DIFFICULTY: not recommended
KIT NEEDED: camera, lights, external microphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: probably around a day
PAIN POINT: all the kit + filming

3. news or updates

The quickest and easiest way to tell someone something important is to just, y’know, tell it. Writing tends to involve some waffle, but video encourages you to be succinct. When you’re looking to deliver important news and updates, video can often be a better choice as it takes the guesswork out of tone, delivery and intent. The message is crystal clear because you’re hearing what the person is actually saying, instead of inferring from a wall of text.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
COMPLEXITY: camera, lights (optional), external microphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: over and done with lickety split
PAIN POINT: where to film?

4. behind the scenes

These are probably my favourite kinds of video, and are what got me into the television industry in the first place. I am a nosey nosey bugger that likes to know how things are done, what’s going on and who’s who. Behind the scenes videos deliver on all of the above and are a fantastic opportunity for you to bring your business to life while strengthening the emotional connection you have with your customers.

DIY DIFFICULTY: medium
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: at least a day
PAIN POINT: picking what to include + what not to

5. success stories

Give someone their five minutes of fame on your website and feature the success story of one of your tribe. Not only will it inspire others, but it’ll give you social proof and position you as an expert in what you do. Afterall, their success is based on what your business delivers, so make sure their story involves how they used your product or service to get where they are today. Sales video of the best kind, because it sells itself without you needing to.

DIY DIFFICULTY: medium
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, lights (optional), external mic
PRODUCTION VALUE: not too bad
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: around a day to film, if they film it for you then it goes a lot quicker!
PAIN POINT: getting the footage shot

6. case studies

Similar to the success story, the case study can help you position yourself as an expert in your niche, however this one tends to be told by the business rather than the customer. Here you’d break down a customer’s before and after, backed up with solid research and thoughtful conclusions that offer actionable takeaways. As videos go, these tend to be epic.

DIY DIFFICULTY: medium
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, screenshare
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: days and days
PAIN POINT: the research + the filming

7. interviews

These are great for audience sharing and social proof (‘look, they know so-and-so!’ Or, ‘They’re successful enough to know so-and-so!’). Here you’re offering your audience someone else’s expertise that either fills a hole in your knowledge, or supports what you’ve been saying about a particular topic, usually from a different perspective. You can go the controversial route if you like, but interviewing someone whose views are diametrically opposed to your own won’t make anyone look good, especially if it devolves into fisticuffs. Interviews are generally conducted in person, but Skype interview videos are available and can work if done well.

DIY DIFFICULTY: difficult
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, lights and external microphone, pro backdrop (optional)
PRODUCTION VALUE: high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: set aside a day per person
PAIN POINT: all of the things

8. brand builders

Typically, these are visual short stories that communicate the values and guiding principles that your business is built on. They’re often animated, illustrated or stop-motion, however don’t underestimate the power of live action storytelling. They’re designed to make people feel happy about your brand and business, and when done well can bring a smile to your customer’s face. Want to see my absolute favourite?

DIY DIFFICULTY: difficult
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, software for stop motion, screenshare software
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling to high (depending on type)
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: pretty darn large, there’s a lot of planning involved
PAIN POINT: all of the things

9. how-to/self-serve

One of the best things you can do with video, for you and your business, is record how someone does something, because that means you can set up a canned response in your emails that points people to that video whenever they ask what they’re supposed to do. These can also be tutorials, always a popular choice of video for consumers, but essentially you’re looking for ways to teach many with one video, rather than teaching one on one multiple times.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: you can knock these out quite quickly if you need to
PAIN POINT: the edit

10. faqs

This one kinda follows on from the one above, but another great use of video is to record a short answer to each of the frequently asked questions you get and link them from your FAQ page. It helps get your response across in a much easier to follow format, and gives you the opportunity to really show the answer. Remember, show don’t tell is the key to great video!

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: another one you can get through quickly if you want
PAIN POINT: none (hurrah!)

11. sales or ads

Look, you’re going to have to sell at some point if you want your business to succeed, it’s an unfortunate fact of life for those who hate selling. Video can really help with this area, and is great at converting when used in ads. It comes down to that show, don’t tell thing I mentioned above, because it allows people to get a much better idea of what they’d be getting once they’ve purchased. It also helps position you as someone who knows their stuff, and is worth spending the money on. Buying is an emotional decision, hidden behind a logical knee jerk justification, so keep that in mind. Becky, the person featured in my favourite brand building video above, did an awesome sales video for her book ‘I’d Rather Be Short’ that you can view here that gives you a great insight into her product but in a really fun and on brand way that got me laughing along and literally buying into it.

DIY DIFFICULTY: difficult
KIT NEEDED: all of the things (inc a teleprompter)
PRODUCTION VALUE: high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: lots of planning, lots of takes
PAIN POINT: potentially all of the things

12. press releases

Similar to news updates, a press release video tends to be more professionally produced and would be available for use as an ‘official statement’ should one be required. This is one where you may want to drag a hairbrush through your hair and maybe smudge on a little eyeliner. Think evening news, but with your normal accent instead of an RP one.

DIY DIFFICULTY: difficult
KIT NEEDED: camera, external microphone, lights (optional)
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: set up can be time consuming, if you use a teleprompter you’ll need less takes
PAIN POINT: where do you film + all of the kit

13. epk

That’s an Electronic Press Kit, in case you’re not in the know. Advertisers like to ask for an EPK as it provides numbers on things like followers, downloads, views, likes, shares … essentially it’s like the popularity police looking for your entry credentials. If you’re in need of an EPK, consider using video to provide an overview of information. Steer clear of specifics that will need constant updating, instead use it to provide insight into your business and how you do what you do. This isn’t customer facing as such, so you can get away with being more technical if necessary.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, screenshare software
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: mostly it’s about planning and piecing all the the footage together
PAIN POINT: the edit

14. vlogging

Ah, self-documentation at its best. I do love a good vlog, I find them a really interesting insight into people’s heads. Vlogs can be great at documenting the process you’re going through as you create a new product or service, they can help build anticipation and they can help create that emotional connection that converts your audience into raving fans. Not for the faint-hearted though, you have to be a-okay with switching on that camera regardless and covering it all – think reality TV, the best ones are the most dramatic.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: minimal
PAIN POINT: hiding nothing + crying on camera

15. white papers

Got insight into something cool about your niche or industry that’ll bring all the boys to the yard? Put it in a video. This one works a lot like a case study, but where a case study focusses on a specific customer, product or group, a white paper takes a more general approach. This, too, is usually an epic video.

DIY DIFFICULTY: medium
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, external microphone, screenshare software
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling to high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: possibly weeks; there’s the research, the planning, not to mention the filming and the editing
PAIN POINT: the research + the filming

16. workshops

Another firm favourite of mine, although I’m yet to dip my toes into this particular ocean. Workshops are a great way to use video, giving you the opportunity to show what you and your business are made of, create those connections and offer invaluable information. The key there is invaluable. What you teach has to be real, actionable and worth the time it takes for you to teach it to the audience. In return, many entrepreneurs then sell a related product or service at the end – be careful with this, particularly if many in the audience are new to you and your offerings. If your workshop or webinar hasn’t warmed them to you, positioned you as an expert worth listening to, or has been pitched to the wrong audience, it’s unlikely anyone will buy. Be clear on the outcome you want people to take once your workshop is finished and you should do okay.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone/webcam
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: days, possibly weeks, it’s all about the planning
PAIN POINT: the research + the materials

17. showreel

Think of this like your greatest hits. Got something worth showing off? Add it to your showreel. You can showcase your favourite products, your biggest wins, your most successful clients. However you want to do this, it’s a great way to say ‘yo, here’s an overview of all the things I do awesomely’ … or words to that effect.

DIY DIFFICULTY: medium
KIT NEEDED: awesome editing software
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling to high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: depends how long it takes you to piece everything together
PAIN POINT: the edit

18. live streams

Another type of video near and dear to my heart – live streaming your video is really kinda awesome (and not a little terrifying at first). This allows your audience to interact with you as you give the mother of all knowledge smackdowns. PeriscopeMeerkatBlab and live Google Hangouts on Air are fantastic ways to help you build your audience, get recognised as an industry or niche leader and give you social proof. If you’re not there yet, you need to get on that bandwagon quick smart for live streaming is the way forward my friend.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: smartphone/webcam
PRODUCTION VALUE: low
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: point and shoot!
PAIN POINT: the research

19. video podcast

Say what? Yep, a podcast, that’s also a video. What’s great about a video podcast is that you can stick it on iTunes as well as YouTube, and from there it has the potential to reach many a new person in the dark about you and your business through their television. Not to mention, iTunes is a fantastic search engine, so each episode has the potential to find you new subscribers if you utilise SEO effectively. Just like an audio podcast, video podcasts have the potential to help you grow your audience quickly, but when you add in YouTube’s power it only gets you potentially more reach.

DIY DIFFICULTY: medium to difficult
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone/webcam, external mic, lights (optional)
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling to high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: days to weeks per episode
PAIN POINT: all of the things

20. documentary

This is a little different from a behind the scenes as it’s often a little more removed, a little more formal and a lot more focussed on a specific story instead of a general ‘here’s what we do in this part’. It can be a great way to tell the story of your brand or business, but it can take a lot of work and is often a longer video than others that may be easier and just as beneficial for you to create. That being said, documentaries are awesome, so if you have the time, knowledge and story then I say go for it.

DIY DIFFICULTY: middling
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone, external mic, lights (optional)
PRODUCTION VALUE: middling to high
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: days, possibly weeks, depends on how much you want to cover
PAIN POINT: all of the things

21. onboarding

Clients, new customers, even new staff – onboarding videos can help you give people a jump ahead by showing them what they need to know in an easily digestible manner. It also introduces you to them in a way you control, letting you show them the answers to issues or questions that may arise and makes them feel included and valued in a warm and fuzzy way.

DIY DIFFICULTY: easy
KIT NEEDED: camera/smartphone
PRODUCTION VALUE: low to middling
TIME INVESTMENT REQ: can be put together pretty quickly, it’s more about how you edit it together
PAIN POINT: the edit

Where the fun really begins is when you mix and match. Take a sales video (number 11) for a product that you’re an affiliate of and walk your audience through how to use it (number 1). Pat Flynn does this with ConvertKit, and he does it well – he shows people what to expect from the platform and then shares his affiliate link if people are convinced enough, and feel they’ve been provided enough value by his video. He then gets a commission for every person he sends over to ConvertKit, at no extra cost to the person purchasing. Genius.

You can create all sorts of videos for your business by either working your way down the list or identifying where you’d get the greatest benefits from the smallest effort (especially if you’re new to video). Or, choose the route of furthering your goals. Not only is video flexible, but its benefits to your business make it a perfect opportunity to start experimenting. So stop looking at all the trees and get filming.

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21 videos you can make to serve your audience better, earn trust, and build your brand / TorsG
21 videos you can make to serve your audience better, earn trust, and build your brand / TorsG

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