The Top 8 Business Video Formats. Because There are Different Ways to Use Video in Your Marketing.
You’re a business owner or marketer. You’ve made the decision that you need a video for your website. Now you need to decide WHAT KIND of video you need. There are many business video formats to choose from.
Here are some of the post popular. Which of these will work for your business?
Of all the business video formats, this is perhaps the most basic—a person talking to camera.
In a business video, the talking head format can be used in various ways. Maybe it’s an interview, with an off-camera voice asking questions. Or a presentation, with the talking head explaining a product or a process. Or a testimonial, where the talking head is one of your customers.
Your talking head can also act as a spokesperson—a representative of your company. This can be you, the owner, a knowledgable sales person, or even a paid actor.
You can also use multiple people in a talking head video. That’s where snippets of dialogue are edited together, cutting from person to person, giving the impression that customers say similar things about you. This is also known as the “Man in the Street” format.
That leads us to our next video format:
A montage is where multiple clips are edited together, flowing from one image or idea to the next. As mentioned above, this can include cutting from person to person. But a montage video doesn’t have to use dialogue at all.
It can also be used to show highlights. Sports montages are common on ESPN. Or it can be used for a video tour, showing multiple details of an overall scene.
For example, a home tour video might feature close-up shots of the kitchen appliances, the backsplash tile, the dining area, the master bath, edited together to a music track.
It can also be a tour of a trade show or business conference—showing various exhibits, speakers and events.
A montage can also tell a story, highlighting important events. This is also known as a “Day in the Life” format.
If you’re on a tight budget, a photo slideshow can be a cheaper alternative to a video montage.
As the name implies, it uses photography instead of moving images. But the effect is very similar to a montage. You’re editing images together, and can add camera movement during the editing process to emphasize specific parts of each picture (known as the “Ken Burns Effect”).
Here’s another common format from the news industry. We see two people on camera—an interviewer and an interviewee.
The interviewer, or host, asks questions and is responsible for keeping things moving. Sometimes, they hold a microphone and control the flow of the conversation.
Interviews are a common format for talking to employees or interacting with customers. If you’re doing lots of videos, they’re also a good way to tie your videos together. The interviewer becomes a recurring element in your communications.
In a scripted scene, characters act out an idea. They don’t talk to the camera, they talk to each other.
It’s like the difference between reality TV and a cable show drama.
In the world of business video, scripted scenes can be used to re-enact a problem, to show real-life examples, or to inject humor.
Some business videos are designed for a specific purpose. For example, explaining how a website works, showing product features, or a business process.
This is where a Demonstration Video comes in handy. It literally demonstrates how to do something, showing step-by-step instructions.
A cooking show is one example—it’s a demonstration of how a dish is prepared. The viewer follows along, watching each ingredient being added.
Many product launches include a demonstration video of some kind, showing new product features and explaining the details of how the product works.
Demonstration videos are also common for employee training. They might show the correct way to install something, or new techniques to use in a sales call.
Demonstration videos are also known as How-to and Explainer Videos.
This is one of my favorite types of video marketing. We produce a series of short videos that offer handy tips or expert advice.
For example, a furniture maker might explain the differences between good and cheap construction. Or a landscaper might offer advice for caring for plants.
Video Tips tend to be short and easy to produce (it isn’t uncommon to shoot ten in a day). So they’re not only cost effective, they’re perfect for use in social media.
Infographics are very popular in website design. They’re those little bits of artwork that illustrate abstract ideas.
They tend to be simple shapes and objects—a coffee cup, a pencil, a house, a smartphone. They can also be bar charts, pie charts and other types of graphics.
In video, we can borrow existing vector art files and animate them in simple ways. Maybe the bars in a bar chart move. Or the hands of a clock turn.
Graphics can be paired with typography to communicate a story, or with audio from a voice over announcer.
Of course, there’s no rule that says you have to follow just one of these business video formats. You can also use a combination of two or more.
Maybe we start with a talking head, then while they continue talking, cut away to a montage or animated graphics. Or maybe our video tips include a product demonstration.
It’s all about communication—what you’re trying to say, and finding the best way to say it.