Before You Sell: Educate, Entertain, Engage, Inspire

Megan O'Neill


As you dive in and try to decide what types of videos to create for your business, we’ve got one big piece of advice: We encourage you to focus on content-driven videos over sales-driven. Read on to learn more and check out some of our pre-built storyboards for inspiration.

Business Video Ideas

Sales-driven vs. content-driven videos

What do we mean by sales-driven and content-driven? Sales-driven videos, as you may have guessed, are videos that really focus on your product. They hone in on an objective of getting people to buy now and are a good fit for the “Conversion” stage of the customer journey, which we discuss in more detail in our blog post on setting your goals for using social video.

Content-driven focuses on videos that educate, entertain, engage, and/or inspire. Instead of just telling people to buy from you, teach them something, entertain them, or inspire them. By doing so, you gain authority and trust so, when it comes time to make the sale, potential customers will have no doubts about buying from you.

Content-driven videos are a great way to reach customers during the first two stages of their journey—”Awareness” and “Consideration.” Hook them with truly valuable, content-driven video and then convert them with a targeted video ad that’s more sales-driven.

We’d recommend that for every sales-driven video you create, you create at least two content-driven videos. Think of it as a 1-2 punch—provide valuable content, provide more valuable content, and then go in for the sale.

So what makes content valuable?

In short, content is valuable if it adds something positive to a person’s life, whether it’s putting a smile on their face, teaching them something, or making them feel inspired.

As we mentioned above, this can be achieved through content that educates, engages, entertains, and/or inspires. What does that mean exactly? We’ll break it down:

  • Educate: Share your knowledge! What’s a common question potential customers have and are searching for? Answer it! What information can you share that will provide value to folks who may be in the market for your product? What news can you share that potential customers may not yet be aware of?

  • Engage: Start a conversation! Share a video that gives people the opportunity to share their own experiences, thoughts, or ideas. This is now especially important considering Facebook’s move to focus on content that creates meaningful interactions (read more).

  • Entertain: Show that you “get” your customer! Share content that caters to the interests and attitudes of your potential customers and shows that you understand where they’re coming from (and that they’ll want to reshare).

  • Inspire: Make people feel something or inspire them to take action, whether it’s simply to share your video or plant a seed of inspiration for wanting your product (before actually going in for the sale).

This isn’t to say that a sales-driven video isn’t valuable. It certainly is when it comes at the right time: after you’ve hooked them and they’re ready to buy.

4 content-driven video ideas

So what types of videos of videos can you create to achieve the above—educate, engage, entertain, and inspire? We’re glad you asked! We’ve pulled 4 ideas, straight from the pre-built storyboard starter templates in our Marketing video builder.


Tutorials are a great format for education, and we have a variety of storyboards that make it easy to plug in your own steps, including the Step-by-step storyboard and Step-based Tutorial storyboard, featured below.

Demo a product or teach viewers how to do something, step by step. Post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on YouTube to show up in searches related to your business.


Lists can actually be a fun way to educate, entertain, inspire, or engage! Hook viewers with a quick, punchy list that’ll stand out on social media with bold text and inspire engagement using the Top 5 List storyboard. Add or remove blocks to make your list any length.


The Editorial storyboard sets you up to tell a story that your audience will want to share. Showcase your expertise, pass along industry news, or share an inspiring story.

Behind the scenes

Engage with potential customers by showing off your personality and all the hard work and passion that goes into what you do using our Behind the scenes storyboard.

And as you dive into creating videos for your business, don’t forget that we’re here to help you along the way. Join the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community on Facebook  for tips, ideas, inspiration, and feedback on your videos, and download our free Guide to Building a Winning Social Video Strategy to learn more about making the most of social video!