Best Practices

The Complete Guide to Video Marketing

Megan O'Neill


You’ve heard you should be using video marketing for your business. But what is it? Why should you be using it? And how and where can you start using video marketing for your business?

What is video marketing?

Read on for the answer to these questions and more! We’ll get you up to speed and explain how you can get started with video marketing yourself.

Table of Contents:

Want to jump ahead in this post? Here are the topics we’ll be covering. Click through to go to a specific section of the guide.

What is video marketing?

First things first, we’ll share a definition of video marketing. It’s really quite simple. Video marketing is just what it sounds like: using video to market something. You may be marketing your business, yourself, your product, your service, an event—anything goes! When you use video to do it, that’s video marketing!

If you’re still not exactly sure what video marketing is, not to worry. We’ll dive into some concrete examples as you read on for more clarity. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to take video marketing by storm.

Video Marketing vs. Video Advertising

The terms video marketing and video advertising are often used interchangeably, but they don’t always necessarily refer to the same thing. To clear up any confusion, we wanted to take a minute to explain the difference.

Video advertising is actually the paid component of video marketing. When you spend money to get a marketing video in front of a larger audience, it becomes video advertising‚ or a video ad. This includes anything from a social media ad to a YouTube pre-roll ad, television commercial, or any other type of paid ad unit that incorporates video.

Because video advertising is a component of video marketing, video ads are actually marketing videos. However, not all marketing videos are video advertising. Make sense? Here’s a diagram to help you visualize the crossover of video marketing and video advertising.

Video Marketing vs. Video Advertising

The Benefits of Video Marketing

If you’re asking yourself, “Why do I need video marketing for my business?” we’re here to tell you! The benefits of video marketing are vast. Incorporating video into your marketing initiatives, from your social media marketing to your email marketing, website and blog content, and more, is an effective way to drive everything from engagement to click-throughs, sales, and more.

We’ll touch on many of the ways to do this later on in the guide, when we get into video ideas. But here are a few juicy stats for you to chew on that should make it clear why now is the time to start using video marketing for your business.

  • 93% of marketers surveyed in our 2018 marketer report said they’ve landed a new customer thanks to video on social media.
  • 88% of these marketers also said they’re satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media.
  • Video is consumers’ #1 favorite type of content to see from brands on social media, according to our 2018 consumer report.
  • Including video in email subject lines and content boosts open and click-through rates and reduces unsubscribes.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine. Over a billion users are searching the platform, including your potential customers.
  • According to Outbrain, 87% of online marketers use video content.
  • Forbes reports that “viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it on video, compared to 10% when reading it in a text.”
  • Video on your website can help you appear higher in search results.

For more recent video marketing stats, check out our blog post on 30 Video Marketing Statistics from 2018.

Where to Use Video Marketing

Looking for ideas for how and where to incorporate video into your marketing strategy? As we’ve mentioned, it’s possible to incorporate video into pretty much any area of your marketing. To that end, we’ll break things down by platform, including email, your website, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and YouTube, including a few benefits and ways to use video for each platform.

Social Video Marketing

If you incorporate video into your marketing nowhere else, incorporate it into your social media strategy! Video gets more reach and engagement than other types of posts, including text, photos, and links, and has really become a must have for businesses on social media.

“93% of marketers say they’ve landed a new customer thanks to a video on social media.” – Animoto’s 2018 State of Social Video Report

Which social platforms can you use video marketing on and how? In this section, we’ll share an overview for video marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Facebook Video Marketing

In a Q3 2018 Earnings Call, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Video is a critical part of the future, it’s what our community wants.” With over 8 billion average daily views and more than 100 million hours of video watched every day, video is big on Facebook. Video is how Facebook users want to consume content.

There are a few different ways to get started with Facebook video marketing. The first is Facebook video ads. You can run targeted video ads to get in front of the right audience. With minimal spend, video advertising on Facebook can be incredibly effective, as shown in the examples in this video.

Organic posts, shared to your Facebook page without spend, are a nice way to engage with your audience as well. Share news and updates related to your business or share-worthy videos that engage, inspire, or entertain. When your followers share your videos, they help spread the word about your business to their friends and family, giving you more brand awareness.

Here’s an example of a shareworthy video for Facebook that’s also one of our customizable video templates. We’ll share more ideas and inspiration for Facebook videos in the next section on video marketing ideas. You’ll notice that this video is square. We’ll get to why square videos work well on Facebook in our section on video marketing tips!

You can also use video to spruce up your Facebook Page. You can add a Featured Video in the videos tab of your page to share more information about your business, or upload a Facebook video cover image to add movement to your page. We’ll show you how in this video tutorial.

Instagram Video Marketing

Instagram is quickly becoming another social platform businesses can’t afford to ignore. The mobile platform has over 1 billion accounts active every single month and 80 percent follow a business!

Instagram offers a wonderful opportunity to connect with potential customers with passions related to your business and, more and more, it’s driving purchase. In our 2018 survey, 48% of consumers said they’ve made a purchase due to a brand’s video on Instagram. And this is a whopping 32% increase from 2017.

Social Platforms Driving Purchase

Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, it uses the same Ads Manager as Facebook, meaning it’s also a great, and highly effective, place for running targeted video ad campaigns. In the following video, we’ll show you how to make an ad for Instagram in under 2 minutes.

Video also offers a unique way to stand out in the feed with eye-catching motion. Almost everything we post on the Animoto Instagram feed is video. Follow us for inspiration.

Instagram Stories also provide a whole new wealth of opportunity for businesses. Over 400 million accounts use Instagram Stories every single day. For viewers, IG Stories offer a speedy way to catch up on what’s happening right now with the people and brands you follow. And for businesses and content creators, Stories offer a fun suite of tools for engaging with your friends, fans, and followers in the moment.

How can you use Instagram Stories for your business? The ideas are endless. Here are just a few Instagram Story ideas for marketing your business:

  • Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at what you do
  • Educate with a quick how-to or listicle
  • Share product promos and sneak peeks
  • Introduce your latest product or service
  • Invite followers to a quick Q&A
  • Create buzz with an exclusive offer
  • Make an impact with before and after images

Finally, IGTV offers an evergreen opportunity to showcase vertical video content from your Instagram Stories. Check out our blog post on how to create vertical videos for Instagram Stories using Animoto’s square video format.

If you're interested in learning more, check out our complete guide to Instagram video.

Twitter Video Marketing

Video is also a wonderful way to stand out in the Twitter feed. Twitter reports that tweets with video are 6X more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos and 3X more likely to be retweeted than tweets with GIFs.

Twitter is all about having conversations and video can be a great way to elicit responses, stand out in existing conversations around trends, and get new conversations started. Check out the video below for some ideas and head over to Twitter’s blog for our post on 5 ways to use video to have conversations.

Additionally, because the feed moves quickly on Twitter, and Twitter users are usually on the go, on mobile, and scrolling quickly to discover, it’s a good place to post what’s happening right now, including trending news. Be sure to include relevant trending hashtags to get your video in front of a wider audience!

LinkedIn Video Marketing

Over the past year, the opportunity for using video on LinkedIn has emerged in a big way. The professional social networks introduced the ability to upload video natively to LinkedIn personal profiles in August 2017 and in late 2018 they made native video uploads available to businesses as well.

On LinkedIn, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you can post your marketing videos organically or run them as video ads. And according to LinkedIn data, video gets shared a whopping 20X more than other types types of content on LinkedIn and video ad campaigns generate view rates of nearly 50%.

There are a few main ways to use video marketing on LinkedIn. One is to promote a product, service, or event through video ads. This works well when you’re a B2B company—a business selling a service or product to other businesses. Here’s an example of a video designed to promote an event on LinkedIn.

You can also use LInkedIn video for recruiting. More than half of job seekers turn to professional social networks when they’re searching for a new job. Video is a fantastic way to give potential new hires a glimpse behind-the-scenes to really understand your values and what it would be like to work at your company.

Finally, LinkedIn is a prime platform for showcasing thought leadership. Share your expertise with a how-to video, trending news story, industry insights, and other know how relevant for the LinkedIn professional audience.

We’ll cover more video marketing ideas later in this guide. But if you’re looking for LinkedIn specifically, check out our list of LinkedIn video ideas on our blog.

YouTube Video Marketing

YouTube often gets lumped in with other social media sites, but we wanted to separate it out because of its importance from a search and evergreen perspective.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Over a billion users are searching the platform, including your potential customers. In fact, according to a Google Consumer Survey, “67% of millennials agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn.”

Having the answers to their queries related to your business or industry is a fantastic way to get in front of these new potential customers. Tutorials and how-to video content serve well to answer the questions people are searching for.

Here’s an YouTube video case study from boutique floral designer Jill Gaynor. Jill teaches viewers how to create their own floral arrangements with videos on YouTube and Facebook, including a DIY flower gift box for Valentine’s Day. These videos give Jill an opportunity to show off her expertise, as well as her product.

Less than a year after uploading her first video, Jill’s YouTube channel boasts over 24,000 minutes of video watched, with the average viewer sticking around 1:03. The videos have also brought in sales. A music agent at a top talent agency saw the videos and hired Jill to create florals for gifts, events, and meetings.

If you don’t have an audience of your own on YouTube, not to worry. Similar to other social networks, you can reach a highly relevant targeted audience on YouTube through targeted ads. Learn more in our beginner’s guide to YouTube ads. We’ve even got a series of templates for YouTube video marketing to help you get started.

Video Email Marketing

Video can provide a major boost to your email marketing. But don’t take our word for it. Check out these video email marketing stats. Simply including the word “video” in an email subject line can:

  • Boost open rates by 19%.
  • Boost click-through rates by 65%.
  • Reduce unsubscribes by 26%.

In addition to including the word “video” in the subject line of the next email you send out, here are some video-related ideas for boosting click-throughs within your email itself:

  • Include an appealing thumbnail image that viewers can click on to watch your video.
  • Try superimposing a play button over the image to entice viewers to click.
  • To entice even more clicks, try creating a short gif featuring a few frames from your video and superimposing a play button on top of that. Click here to see an example.
  • Don’t forget to hyperlink your image or gif so that when viewers click it will take them to a page where they can watch your video.
  • Include text in your email letting people know that they can click through to watch your video.

Recently, for direct sales, including personalized videos in emails has also become a trend. Vidyard reports that this practice can lead to a 500% lift in email conversion for businesses.

Online Video Marketing on Your Website

There are also innumerable ways to add video to your website. But first, why is it worth it? Here are just a few stats that showcase the importance of including video marketing on your website:

  • The average click through rate (CTR) for a website using video is 4.8%. This is compared to an average CTR of 2.9% for websites without video.
  • Having a video on a landing page makes it more likely to show up in the first page of search results.
  • The average consumer spends 88% more time on a website if it has video.

Pretty compelling, right? So how can you incorporate video marketing into your website? Start with a video that explains your business. This can work nicely on your homepage or About Us page. And don’t forget you can repurpose it for a featured video on Facebook and on your YouTube channel too!

Video also works well for showcasing products. Not only do consumers find product videos helpful when making purchase decisions, but videos on product pages have actually be shown to positively impact average order value (AOV), conversion, and revenue.

Video can be a nice addition to customer service or help content too. Don’t tell people how to troubleshoot a problem—show them. Offer your customers a friendly face and a smile instead of a text-only article.

Video Content Marketing

Video is also a nice addition to your content marketing. Outside of your main website, you’re likely creating content like blog posts, articles, or guides. When you create new written content, just like this guide, include video to make it more engaging!

And remember, videos themselves are pieces of content. Video content marketing as a term is often used interchangeable with video marketing, especially when it refers to the non-advertising parts of video marketing.

5 Video Marketing Ideas to Get You Started

We’ve got an endless supply of video ideas, including LinkedIn video ideas, holiday video ideas, event video ideas, video storytelling ideas, and more. But deciding where to start can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out. To that end, we’ve put together a list of 5 video marketing ideas to get you started.

Idea #1: Company Overview Video

First things first, create a video all about your business. Tell your story, including who you are and why you’re passionate about serving your customer base.

This could take the form of an About Us video like the one shared in the previous section of this guide. You could also go behind the scenes to showcase the experience a customer or client will have working with you. Or, you can share a video about your company values.

Idea #2: Video Ad

We mentioned video advertising in a few sections of this guide. Getting started with a video ad for Facebook or Instagram is a great way to test the waters and see what video advertising can do for your business. Create a video telling the story of a product, offering a special promo, or explaining the benefits of your offering and try running to to a targeted audience.

Idea #3: Expertise Video

Create a video that shows off your expertise. This is the type of video we mentioned was great for YouTube, but it’s a shareworthy option for Facebook and LinkedIn too. This could take on the form of industry insights, as in this example.

But your expertise doesn’t have to be industry-oriented. You can also share a list or teach a skill, as in this example.

Idea #4: Shareworthy Social Video

Engage with your followers and reach a wider audience with a fun, shareworthy video for social media. We’ll share a few ideas here, starting with the simplest: a quote video. Choose a quote that’ll resonate with your customer base, pair it with a couple photos or video clips, and you’re done!

Lists can also be fun to share in video form on social media. We shared an example earlier in this guide featuring a list of quotes, but you can make a list about anything your audience cares about and would want to share.

Another idea is to tell a story related to a trend. Remember to include related hashtags when posting on Instagram or Twitter in order to reach a larger audience. In this example, a florist tells the story behind the popular monstera plant.

Idea #5: Content Teaser

It’s important to note that you don’t always have to start from scratch. You can start with what’s already working for you from a content perspective and turn it into a video. Try finding a popular blog post and creating a content teaser to share on social to drive traffic back to your website. Check out our Blog Teaser storyboard template for inspiration.

Video Marketing Tips

Now that you understand what video marketing is, where you should use it, and are armed with some video ideas, we thought we’d leave you with a few tips to help you get started on the right foot.

Start with what works

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel with your video marketing. Start with what’s already working in your other marketing. What non-video content pieces are your customers engaging with? What articles or blog posts are getting the most traffic? Add videos to spruce up the content, appear higher in search results, and keep viewers on the page longer, or turn the content into video form to share on YouTube and social media!

Start with what you have

It’s a common misconception that you need to start from scratch with each and every video, grab a camera and shoot something brand new. You can actually get started with photos and video clips you already have. All the photos you’ve shared on social media can be repurposed to create a video. Product photos can be repurposed to create product videos. Photos of yourself or your team in your shop or studio can be repurposed to create behind-the-scenes content. You get the drill!

And if you don’t have any photos or video clips, that’s ok too. You can get started using stock imagery. In fact, there’s a stock library of over 1 million Getty Images photos and video clips available to you in Animoto that you can use to create your marketing videos.

Keep your audience in mind

When you make a new marketing video the first question to ask yourself is who are you marketing to? You need to first understand your audience and then put your video together in a way that will resonate with that audience. Use photos or video clips they’ll relate to and share information uniquely related to the problem you, your product, or your service can solve for that specific audience.

Tell a story

People don’t share ads, they share stories. So try to approach your marketing videos like a storyteller. Sure, you may have a call to action (CTA) in your video that promotes a sale or encourages viewers to buy from you. But try to tell the story of the ways the viewer’s life will be improved with your product or how you’ll go about solving their problem.

There are all sorts of stories you can tell and you’ll recognize them from our list of video ideas. You can tell the story of how to do something, the background story of a product, the story of how something is made, the story of a trend, the story of how one of your customers’ life was changed—the possibilities are endless.

Create for the platform you’ll be sharing on

When you sit down to make a video, you’ll also want to keep in mind where you’ll be posting the video. Different types of content work best for different platforms, specifically on social media.

For instance, we talked about YouTube being a place for content that answers the questions your potential customers are searching for. Twitter, on the other hand, is more more ephemeral and is a good place for posting what’s happening now.

Social Media Behavior by Platform

And when it comes to planning video content according to platform, it’s not just the topics that count. It’s the format as well. In social news feeds, for instance, square videos will take up 78% more space than landscape ones. And if you’re creating content for Instagram Stories it’ll need to be vertical and under 15 seconds.

Create mobile-friendly video marketing content

Did you know that over 75% of worldwide video viewing is mobile? More people than ever are watching videos on the go on their phones and mobile devices. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to keep mobile viewers in mind when creating marketing videos. Here are some tips:

  • Plan for sound off. Use text so that videos can be understood whether or not the sound is on.
  • Plan for the small screen. Make sure your story comes through on a small screen. This is especially important when it comes to your text. Make sure it’s big enough that mobile viewers will be able to read.
  • Preview on a mobile device. The best way to see how your video will look on mobile is to preview it on mobile!

Include a call to action

Don’t forget your CTA. You are marketing with video, after all. And your marketing videos should each have an objective, whether it’s to buy now, visit your website for more information, read more on your blog, sign up for a newsletter, share, or leave a comment.

Make sure to include the CTA in your video and, if you’re sharing on social, to provide all the right links and additional information in your description or accompanying copy. Tell your viewers what action you want them to take next.

Keep an eye out for inspiration

Finally, keep an eye out for inspiration. One of the best ways to come up with new ideas for your own video marketing is by seeing what other businesses are doing. So as you scroll through your own social media feed or visit different websites on your own time, keep an eye out for the video marketing that catches your eye. What do you like about it? How could you incorporate it into your own marketing?

Getting Started with Video Marketing

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of this complete guide to video marketing. Ready to create your first video? Here at Animoto we make it easy.

An Animoto subscription provides everything you need to drag and drop your way to powerful and professional marketing videos. With customizable video templates, designed with success in mind, you can create your own videos in minutes. With over a decade in the industry and partnerships with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Animoto is used by more than 1 million businesses worldwide.

Try it for free today or learn more about using Animoto for business. Happy video making!