A Guide to Video Types, When and How to Use Them  


The award-winning video-production company, Sparkhouse, has 2.7K+ worldwide clients, and 10K+ videos produced. It worked for brands such as Honda, Nissan, CapitalOne, and many more. So when they talk about video production, one must listen :). Let’s hear Torrey Tayenaka, CEO of Sparhouse, talk about video types, when and how to use them in your marketing strategy.

Video is an excellent marketing tool, especially following the pandemic. Roughly 86 percent of businesses use video as a marketing tool, which is up from 85 percent in 2020.

Furthermore, 87 percent of video marketers reported that video offers a positive return-on-investment (ROI), which is up from the 33 percent that felt that way in 2015.

If you want to get the best results from video, however, you need a strong video marketing strategy and a solid understanding of the different types of video, how to use them, and how to set your business up for success.


The Benefits of Video Marketing

If you’re not familiar with video, it can be intimidating to start. Filming yourself or your products takes some work, so you may be wondering if it’s worth it.

Yes, video marketing is worth the effort. Using video to market your brand opens up a world of opportunities to reach your audience and grow your business. Here are some of the biggest benefits of video marketing:

  • Videos are proven to boost conversion rates
  • Video provides a positive ROI, especially with all the options for creating and uploading videos
  • Using videos can build trust in your audience, boosting your conversions, customer retention, and customer loyalty
  • Videos boost your ranking and improve search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Videos are more likely to resonate with users, encouraging sharing on social media


Different Types of Marketing Videos

Like any content, videos have subcategories. Knowing how to use the subcategories to your advantage helps you target them to the right phase of the sales funnel.

Let’s take the different types of videos one by one.


Sales Generation Videos

Sales generation videos are created with the intent of landing a sale. You may be familiar with sales generation videos that are on the radio or television. While traditional sales generation videos like these still exist, digital marketing led to a rise in online sales generation videos.

Where Should Sales Generation Videos Be Posted?

In most cases, sales generation videos should be on social media platforms and landing pages. The social media channels you publish videos on depends on your audience – where do they spend the most time? Let’s say you have a cosmetics brand for teenagers. Probably Instagram and Tik Tok would be your main social media channels.

Sales generation videos need to be approached with in-depth market research to ensure you’re getting the most for your effort and marketing spend. Keep in mind that sales generation videos have excellent conversions on landing pages in particular.

When Should Sales Generation Videos Be Used?

Sales generation videos have the sole purpose of driving sales of a product or service. These are direct response marketing and should be created with the intent to sell in mind. Because of this, it’s important to understand the stages of the buyer’s journey and use the sales generation videos during the decision phase.

What Videos are Sales Generation Videos?

Sales generation videos may include:

  • Paid ads: These are the online version of radio and television commercials.
  • Brand awareness videos: These videos introduce your business and your product or service. BarkBox has an excellent brand awareness video with a fun and playful tone.
  • Humorous videos: Humor can be used for persuasion, so many businesses use funny videos to market their products and capture the attention of their audience. Best of all, humorous videos are more likely to be shared on social media. Here’s a great example of a humorous video for a natural deodorant.

What can Sales Generation Videos Do?

Done well, a sales generation video can:

  • Convert leads to buyers
  • Improve brand awareness and increase online presence
  • Gain the audience’s attention to influence a purchase decision
  • Address customer pain points and concerns
  • Connect the customer’s problem with the solution your product or service offers


Product Videos

Product videos are specific to a product or service you offer. They act as a promotional tool to highlight your brand and share individual offers. In many cases, product videos take an educational stance and teach your audience how to use a product to solve their problem.

A product video can be used to flow into your sales generation video, but that’s not its intended purpose. The goal of a product video is to address the customer’s problem and highlight a product or service as the solution.


Where Should Product Videos Be Posted?

Unlike sales generation videos, product videos can go anywhere. You can include a product video as part of a blog post or other long-form content. You can use the blog post to address the problems and offer your product as the solution, then show your audience how with a product video.

Product videos can also be used in emails. If you can create a strong subject line and email, your audience is more likely to engage with your video in an email than on the internet.


When Should Product Videos Be Used?

In terms of the buyer’s journey, product videos belong in the consideration phase. They’re intended to address the customer’s problem and offer the product as a solution.

The consideration phase differs from the decision phase in a few key ways. The consideration phase means the customer is early in the process of researching the solutions to their problem and considers your product as a possible solution. It doesn’t have the same urgency as the decision phase, in which the customer is ready to buy. You’re trying to prepare your customer for the decision phase and the sales generation video.


What Videos are Product Videos?

Product videos focus on the product or service. These include:

  • Testimonial videos: These are videos that feature a customer’s review or testimonial of the product or service. They’re not only social proof, but add a layer of authenticity to your business and product. These often go into detail about the problem and the product as a solution, giving customers more confidence in what the product can do for them. Take a look at this wonderful customer success story for Hubspot.
  • Demo videos: These videos show the product and highlight its features and benefits. Typically done with the business owner or an employee showing how the product works, these videos are in-depth and clearly connect the features with the real-world benefits. This is a great time to highlight the unique value proposition, or what differentiates your product from the competitor’s product. Check out this innovative example of a demo for a meditation app.
  • Lifestyle videos: These videos focus on showing how your product or service works in the real world – how it fits into a customer’s life. Your audience sees other people with the same pain points and learns how the product or service helped them. This lifestyle video shows all the real-world benefits of TheTube Wearable Waistband.

What can Product Videos Do?

Done well, a product video can:

  • Show in-depth benefits and features of a product
  • Outperform competitors
  • Create customer loyalty
  • Position your business as an authority in the industry
  • Educate buyers to lead them toward the purchase


Educational Videos

Educational videos are videos that teach the audience something. They’re among the most valuable of the video types since they’re all about helping the customer first. These can be used to nurture your audience and position your business as an authority.


Where Should Educational Videos Be Posted?

Educational videos can go anywhere, but they tend to perform best on social media. You can post educational videos using live options like Facebook Live or IGTV on Instagram, or pre-record the content and post.

These videos are also helpful for supporting your blog content. If you have a blog that teaches your audience something, a video can be a wonderful complement that can boost rankings and help your audience better understand the content.

Another option is to take an existing blog post and turn it into an educational video. Some users prefer learning through watching a video than reading a tutorial, so you can reach an entirely new segment of your audience.


When Should Educational Videos Be Used?

Educational videos are a good choice for the start of your buyer’s journey. They capture attention, show the problem and the solution, and provide tons of value. Keep in mind that you should be providing value throughout the entire buyer’s journey, however, and not just in the early stages.


What Videos are Educational Videos?

Educational videos are designed to teach a lesson. These may include:

  • How-to videos: Often posted on YouTube, how-to videos offer live demonstrations of how to use a product, solve a problem, or master a skill. Here’s a good example of a how-to video for using Asana for Slack.
  • Explainer videos: Typically short, explainer videos are direct and use simple methods and languages to showcase subcategories of the product or service. Grammarly has an excellent explainer video that shows you how the service can make you a better writer.
  • Webinar videos: This is an online version of an in-person seminar. Webinars are long and bring together different community members. You must also sign up for a webinar, making them excellent for lead generation. Though most webinars are live-streamed, webinars may be recorded and offered to viewers at a later date. Notion has a powerful webinar video that offers real value to its customers.

What can Educational Videos Do?

  • Create a flow between discovery and consideration phases
  • Position your business as a thought leader in the industry
  • Capture leads
  • Widen the brand reputation
  • Generate interest and engagement on social media


What Videos Work Best for Increasing Traffic?

  • PPC ads: Pay-per-click ads, or PPC ads, are placed on search engines and websites to generate traffic to your website. As the name suggested, you’re charged when someone clicks on the video.
  • Social media videos: Social media videos may be paid or organic, but both offer an opportunity to increase reach and build an audience. Social media channels offer options to filter your audience and only show your videos to the people most likely to interact with your business, whether by past purchase behavior, gender, location, or age.
  • Viral videos: Viral videos are excellent are increasing website traffic, but there’s no easy way to make a video “go viral.” While you can’t aim for a viral video, you can focus on delivering the most valuable information to the audience in the most relatable and sharable way to encourage engagement.


Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Videos

Though a bit more advanced than other types of video, AR and VR videos offer an immersive experience for the viewer. VR videos make your viewer feel as though they’re standing in the middle of the content, whatever it may be, and allow them to control the experience. Videos are usually viewed through specialized VR devices.

AR videos are similar to VR videos in that they create an immersive experience, but they simply add a digital layer to whatever the viewer is already seeing. Many brands use AR to show users how a product would fit into their lives, such as art or furniture. The user simply points their camera at the bedroom or living room, and the technology places the art or furniture into the space. See how AR can bring a product to life with this example.

Both VR and AR can be used in a variety of ways and on a variety of platforms, but they’re not ideal for every brand. They’re also more complex to create than standard videos, but well worth it if they help your customer say “yes” to the purchase.


Tips for Video Marketing Engagement

In addition to creating compelling content, you can increase video engagement with a few tips:

  • Respond to comments live to show people that you care about their needs and encourage a two-way conversation.
  • Experiment with use cases for newer features, such as Instagram Live and Facebook Live, to learn about best practices, dos and don’ts, and more.
  • Check metrics for the videos you post to see how many viewers you had, how many times viewers replayed the video, and how much engagement the video received. You can get insights into what worked and what didn’t to improve your next video.
  • Film in a controlled, quiet environment to limit background noise. Viewers will be less likely to continue watching your video if they’re struggling to hear what you’re saying.


Choosing Your Video Marketing Methods

The best part about video marketing is that you have numerous options for how to create videos, where to post them, and what to include. Ideally, you should create a variety of videos to reach wide audiences and see how your content performs, but if you’re limited by your time or budget, you can focus on a targeted strategy.

Each video has its place in the buyer’s journey, and it’s vital to know where your video fits in the process. Once you know that, you can tailor your video content to connect with your audience and choose the best place to post.


Get Started with Video

Now that you know the options for video marketing, the best practices, and some tips, you’re ready to get started. You can make videos with your computer or smartphone, and as you grow and learn, you can invest in professional equipment, a studio environment, and other tools to improve your video quality.  



Torrey Tayenaka
Torrey Tayenaka
+ posts

Torrey Tayenaka is the co-founder and CEO at Sparkhouse, an Orange County based video marketing production agency. He is often asked to contribute expertise in publications like Entrepreneur, Single Grain, and Forbes. Sparkhouse is known for transforming video marketing and advertising into real conversations. Rather than hitting the consumer over the head with blatant ads, Sparkhouse creates interesting, entertaining, and useful videos that enrich the lives of his clients’ customers. In addition to Sparkhouse, Torrey has also founded the companies Eva Smart Shower, Litehouse & Forge54.



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