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The Ultimate Guide to Video Marketing Content Types

In the era of modern content marketing, video has become a cornerstone for brands and businesses looking to increase their reach, awareness, leads and ultimately sales.

It’s no wonder that the marketing world is now buzzing with guides, articles and research papers that cover every aspect of video.

The effectiveness of video marketing is clearly evident:

  • Over 65% of executives visit a website after viewing a B2B video.
  • Brands and businesses that incorporate video into their marketing mix can yield 49% higher revenue.

Video content is more than a top-of-the-funnel marketing asset, it’s creative and flexible in both form and purpose.

The issue is video covers such a wide range of applications – it’s not a one-size-fits-all content type, far from it.

Different video types perform better at different stages of the funnel.

Therefore knowing when to use which video marketing tactic, why and at what point of the marketing funnel is just as important as producing the video.

Video Content Marketing Funnel

To assist you, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to video marketing content types, along with notes on where they best fit in the funnel, the difficulty of producing each video and the optimal marketing channels for you to publish them on.

Content Type: How To’s.

Funnel Stage: All

How-tos aren’t necessarily applicable to any one stage of the funnel and can be used throughout social media channels to provide customers with a continual resource on your products and services.

Production Quality: 3/3

How-tos can take the form of simple explainers recorded on a webcam or smartphone but they could also be highly produced with animations and extensive descriptions.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 3

The length of a how-to depends on topic but overall, it’s best to keep them fairly short and snappy to best capture top-of-the-funnel leads.

Distribution Channels: Email, Social, YouTube, Website.

How-to searches are incredibly popular and according to Think With Google, the quantity of these searches are increasing by 70% yearly on YouTube. Also BuzzFeed states that the ‘how-to content title’ magnetizes viewers and is only second in shares to a listicle-type content.

How To Asana: Planning with Asana Calendar

The sliding animations and smooth transitions within this video add an engaging element and help to hook the viewer. By showcasing how the task scheduler within Asana works it empowers potential prospects to understand what the workflow would look like if they were to purchase the tool. Also, it doubles up as an onboarding training video for new-signups that will help to increase customer retention and reduce sign-up churn.

Content Type: One To One Personal Messages

Funnel Stage: All

The one-to-one personal message is ideally used in a B2B scenario.

Production Quality: 3/3

Do not worry about the quality of a one-to-one personal message, so long as it is comprehensible and is highly personalised to the individual that you’re targeting.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 1

Keep it snappy, about the same length as it’d take to read an email.

Distribution Channels: Email, Private/In-Person, Direct Mail

The one-to-one personal message has grown in popularity due to the mass integration of video recording functionality in messenger, direct mail and email apps. A one-to-one personal message is therefore pretty simple to create and it’s naturally more impactful for B2B communication.

Check out this Video

Simple and honest in format, this one-to-one video is the perfect example of making brand to brand communication a little more personable and light-hearted.


Content Type: Explainer videos

Funnel Stage: Awareness

Explainer videos can either cover broad subjects related to your niche or industry or a specific topic within your brand’s guise.

Production Quality: 3/3

Good explainer videos require a high level of production quality to be effective, however you can choose between live shots or animation according to your budget.

Optimal Length (Minutes): Varies

The length of an explainer will vary with topic and subject.

Distribution Channels: Website, Social, YouTube, Direct Mail

The explainer video provides a unique opportunity to explain basic, advanced or detailed business concepts surrounding your product or service. This is perfect for complex, expensive or abstract B2B products.

Hubspot’s explainer video on the subject of AI and machine learning is highly detailed and is considerable in length as it makes a valiant attempt of overviewing an incredibly complex subject. Though not strictly associated to Hubspot, this video has attracted thousands of viewers and successfully explains a range of AI subtopics such as natural language processing, chat bots and machine learning.


Content Type: Promotions and Awareness

Funnel Stage: Awareness

Promotional marketing videos are the type of advert you’ll see on YouTube, etc. They’re captivating, visually striking and easily digestible.

Production Quality: 3/3

It’s essential that your message and product are perfectly communicated. As this style of content is usually aimed further down the marketing funnel, it’s essential that production quality is at its best.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 1

Keep promotional videos short for maximum consumability.

Distribution Channels: Website, Email, Social, Direct Mail

The promotional video is more-or-less your typical all-in-one video which overviews your products, services and brand. It allows your to apply the full creative scope of video production, whether you’re aiming for a dynamic fast-paced advert which overviews and exciting new product or are going for a quieter and more astute overview of your business.

Unsurprisingly, GoPro opt for a high-tempo promo video with lots of quickly edited shots, adventurous scenes, music and a generally busy format that captivates viewers. If you think about it, this video was probably extremely easy to produce. It makes the best use out of actual GoPro clips and by simply combining them into one continuous video, it shows the diversity of the GoPro device and how it easily be used for many different types of scenes and activities.

Content Type: Vlogs

Funnel Stage: Awareness, Retention

Vlogs can help you both capture new leads and retain customers. Regular vlogging can enhance your social profiles considerably, increasing your brand reach and awareness.

Production Quality: 1/3

Vlogs are easy to produce with a simple USB microphone and webcam. Simply add a brand logo and you’re good to go!

Optimal Length (Minutes): Varies

Vlogs can range from lengthy tours of conferences to quick 2 minute updates on a task you’re working on.

Distribution Channels: Website, social

Vlogs provide you with a simple method of populating your website and YouTube channel with video content. Vlogging has grown in popularity thanks to the tremendous success of streaming platforms like Twitch, where 335 billion minutes of video were watched in 2017, up from over 20% from the previous year.

Mike Pitt from Marketing Fundamentals created this effective vlog of the Ignite B2B marketing conference in London, 2017. The purpose of the vlog is simple; provide an overview of a subject or topic to both other marketing companies and brands as well as any other interested parties or individuals. This video provides an insight into an invite-only marketing conference, it doesn’t utilise extensive production techniques or editing, which is typical of the vlog content format.

Content Type: Webinars

Funnel Stage: Awareness / Consideration

Webinars capture new leads and aid in the customer consideration process. Webinars allow you to demonstrate your knowledge and insight into your industry, sector and niche.

Production Quality: 1/3

Webinars need great video and audio quality but the video itself doesn’t need a high of standard of production for it to be successful.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 25-30

If a webinar is too short then it becomes more of an explainer. A longer video ensures that your content will be able to provide an in-depth overview of the topic. Also you can create unique, one of a kind content by inviting guest speakers, customers and partners to collaborate with you on the webinar.

Distribution Channels: Website, Email

Webinars are lengthy videos that seek to teach prospective brand customers a subject over the course of 20 minutes or more. They serve as a networking tool as well as a content form, connecting industry-wide professionals in a central hub for open discussion and cooperation. Not only are webinars valuable in the present moment they’re conducted,  as repurposable assets they can be for your website or social media afterwards and remain useful long after the webinar has finished.

Neil Patel’s 1hr 45min video on customer acquisition might make your eyes water but that shows his commitment to understanding the topic and the digital marketing industry.

Content Type: Whiteboard

Funnel Stage: Awareness, Consideration

As well as capturing new leads, whiteboard videos illustrate your brand’s commitment to existing leads within the funnel.

Production Quality: 1/3

The beauty of the whiteboard video is its simplicity in production but effectiveness to quickly create relatable content.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 2 -10

Whiteboard videos need not be longer than 10 minutes or so.

Distribution Channels: Website, Email, Social, YouTube

Whiteboards are the legacy device classroom equivalent but they still make a great platform for teaching. Serious explanations balanced with rather juvenile drawing and writing gives the whiteboard video a long-lasting charm. The whiteboard video’s advantage lies in its ease of adoption. Write a script, plan out how you’ll use your whiteboard and film!

Moz have famously taken advantage of the whiteboard. Moz’s “Whiteboard Friday” seeks to teach a new subject to viewers each Friday with the use of a minimalist whiteboard setup. These videos are simple, easy to produce and they’re natural and intuitive to learn from.

A high-resoluton image of the whiteboard, audio and text transcript are attached to the blog post which creates a truly beautiful multi-media experience. This also provides you with the opportunity to view and consume the content in your preferred medium.

Content Type: Product demos

Funnel Stage: Consideration

The product demo sits firmly towards the bottom of the funnel. If a user is interested in buying a product then the placement of a product demo can make all the difference.

Production Quality: 2/3

Product demos need a high enough quality to place the product in the spotlight.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 3

Unless your product is particularly complex, keep your product demo nice and short.

Distribution Channels: Website, Social Media, Direct Mail

Product demos are closely matched with explainers. They do however tend to physically illustrate a product or service feature or task via physical demo or screencast. Product demos are essential and illustrate your commitment to teaching buyers how to get the most out of your product.

Demonstrating a product and its functions is much more intuitive than simply writing a user manual. Hubspot research indicates that 73% of customers prefer to purchase a product after viewing a demo and that 71% think video is better than a user manual.

Furthermore, Adobe, in their 2018 digital intelligence briefing, outlined the ways in which video demos vastly reduced support queries by explaining product usage in an easily understood format.

CrazyEgg is an interesting, complex product that makes it a worthy candidate for a detailed product explainer. This video explains the concept of the software and overviews its key features. It isn’t a particularly long video but it’s still sufficient in enough to explain the tool’s core features and UI control.

 Content Type: Culture videos

Funnel Stage: Decision / Retention

Culture videos don’t have a particularly specific place in the funnel but they do aid with brand decision making. A brand is more likely to do business with a company that presents its culture openly and positively.

Production Quality: 1/3

Culture videos can remain simple and honest in production and format.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 2 – 4

There’s no need to go overboard with the length of a culture video.

Distribution Channels:

Culture videos are great for advertising your brand’s work ethic and environment. This engages other brands with your company, providing them with an insight into your brand’s inner workings which is great for building personal rapport and business links.

Moz advertise their company’s laid back, progressive and modernistic office culture in this short and simple video. It humanises their company, which is great for forging a positive brand image for B2B advertising. Culture videos have become more important in the digital age as tech companies have become more esoteric – it’s wise marketing to be honest and transparent with your future employees.

By making sure that your message is genuine, you’ll be able to attract the right people and sustain your desired company culture

 Content Type: Customer Stories

Funnel Stage: Consideration / Decision

Customer stories and reviews have a great impact on decision making. 93% of consumers bring customer experiences and reviews into consideration when buying a product.

Production Quality: 2/3

Customer stories don’t need extensive production but keeping things slick and professional is advantageous.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 3

Customer stories just need to be long enough to cover the core aspects of a product review.

Distribution Channels: Website, Social, Direct Mail

Customer stories are multi-purpose videos that positively apply to both B2B and B2C marketing. Providing valuable insights into customer experiences can vastly aid prospect decision making. Customer stories are always relevant and can be displayed across your social media and website.

The customer story or testimonial is impactful thanks to the trust it evokes in those who watch it. Neuroscientific research suggests that in a matter of seconds, we can strongly sense the legitimacy of human behaviour, even through the medium of a video. If you build authentic customer stories and testimonials then you can bake trust directly trust into your brand.

FreshBook’s testimonial takes a classic problem > solution > product format, viewing FreshBooks through the eyes of a typical client. It focuses on the customer narrative and is simple, positive and effective at conveying its authenticity. This sort of video captures viewers by relating their own issues to the issues of the happy client.

Content Type: Onboarding

Funnel Stage: Retention

Onboarding retains warm leads and buyers by illustrating brand commitment.

Production Quality: 3/3

Onboarding videos should evoke care and attention via the use of high quality production techniques.

Optimal Length (Minutes): 3 – 15

Depending on your product, keep onboarding videos long enough to adequately cover the subject in full.

Distribution Channels: Website, Email, Private/In-Person

Onboarding wraps up a welcome message, short tutorial and some handy tips into one useful video that enables new users to quickly settle in with their product. Onboarding retains new users who might otherwise have become confused with a product’s features, resulting in abandonment and customer churn.

In this video, Canva walks new users through their browser-based image editor and design tool. It’s a simple tool and for the most part, this onboarding video overviews Canva’s most basic functions whilst touching on the tool’s more powerful features.

Content Type: Expert Interviews

Funnel Stage: Retention

Expert interviews present your brand as an authority which can help retain users.

Production Quality: 1/3

Interviews are simple to produce – the hard part is getting commitment from the expert to conduct an interview!

Optimal Length (Minutes): 3 – 15

Interviews can be any length but the longer you can go on for, the better. It’s essential to ask the right interview questions and extract as much insight as possible, you’ll always be able to easily edit the raw footage later on.

Distribution Channels: Website, Email, Private/In-Person

Bringing an influencer or key industry/niche figure in for an interview is awesome PR and marketing for your brand. Not only are these types of videos highly shareable, they also mark you up as a brand or business that has clout and authority.

Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, is a key figure in SEO. Spanish marketer Romuald Fons conducts this superb lengthy interview with Rand, they chat about many facets of SEO ranging from user satisfaction metrics to Google algorithms and the future of SEO. Not only is this type of video highly engaging to your target audience, it paints a picture of brand authority and knowledge.

Content Type: Live Events

Funnel Stage: All

Facebook and YouTube Live video can be used at any juncture of the marketing process.

Production Quality: 1/3

As long as you’ve got decent audio and video, you’re good to go! The honesty of a live video will go along way in engaging people.

Optimal Length (Minutes): Dependant on user engagement

Live videos can go on and on and on, so long as you have viewers! Evidence indicates an average live stream watch time of 34.5 minutes for desktop and 3.5 minutes for mobile. Keep an eye on your viewer total and wind down your video when engagement drops off significantly.

Distribution Channels: Website, Email, Social, YouTube

Video marketing is already evolving! Facebook live has emerged at the cutting edge of video content and it offers brands and businesses an innovative platform to create video content with a difference. 80% of customers now love to see live video from their favourite brands.


Cookery and crafts master Martha Stewart hosted this festive Facebook Live crafts session which slowly and subtly markets her own products which are exclusively available at Home Depot. This live video required a bit of set up but once rolling, the improvised nature of a live video only aids in showcasing its authenticity and relatability.

Be aware of the caveats of each content type but don’t get bogged down when picking and choosing. There’s something to accommodate for every single one of your process, outcomes or goals. Plus once you’ve completed a few videos, you can easily package them into a finely tuned video marketing funnel.