Online Video Types – Know Your Purpose

When it comes to online videos, all videos are not made the same. Nor should they be. In fact, each video that you produce should have a clear purpose. Do you know what you expect out of each online business video? By knowing the video’s purpose, you’ll be able to produce a video that fulfills it as well as be able to measure the video’s success once posted online.

Three Types of Online Videos
Most online videos fall into three categories: informative/educational, conversion, and viral videos. Each of these categories has its own purpose. For example, an informative video endeavors to educate viewers about a product, service, industry, or issue while a conversion video strives to convince viewers to perform a specific action such as subscribing to a newsletter or buying a product. Viral videos are often used to build brand awareness or drive traffic to a Web site.

Informative Videos
Informative videos are educational videos. Creating a informative video allows you to provide value to your site’s visitors while also distinguishing your company from your competitors. After all, buy sharing your expertise, you are demonstrating it and building trust. If your competitors are not doing the same, who do you think will look more credible from your customers’ perspectives?

Understand that an informative video isn’t necessarily going to translate into immediate sales. While you may see some immediate and future sales as a result, sales are not the primary purpose of informative business videos. Depending on how you optimize an educational video and where you post it, you may see: increased traffic to your Web site, incoming links from other Web sites (which can both drive traffic as well as provide additional PageRank from Google), return traffic, higher listings in Google search results, more trust with customers (and future sales). In addition, if your product videos show users how to use the product or troubleshoot common problems, you may experience fewer calls from customers seeking help.

Conversion Videos
Conversion videos have a single purpose: to convert prospective customers into actual customers. This purpose may be a multistep process with a conversion video first prompting your site’s visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, download a white paper, or download a trial version of software or it could be an immediate prompt enticing the prospect to buy now.

When producing a conversion video, it’s important to understand what you want your customer to do as a result of watching the video online. Do you want the user to download a white paper? Then make sure you prompt the user to so and provide links on the page where the video is hosted. Make it as easy as you can for the user to do what you’re asking him to do.

Viral Videos
Viral videos are online videos that viewers find interesting enough to share with others. Most often, this happens organically though many companies attempt to create videos specifically with hopes that the videos will “go viral.” This type of video is most often found on video-sharing sites such as YouTube rather than on corporate Web sites. If you’re hoping for a viral video sensation, you’ll want to create a video that’s funny and unexpected. In addition, you’ll need to post it on the popular video-sharing sites so that it is more easily discovered and shared.

Understanding what you want to accomplish with your online videos before you begin shooting is an important part of the video production process. Once you understand what you want to accomplish, you can then create a workable plan and shoot your video with confidence.

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