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Video marketing 101: seven creative examples of branded video content

At Stonecastle, we believe in the power of videos. They can humanize your brand, inspire your audience, and empower your employees. But an effective video marketing strategy requires more than just a single video on your homepage. You need different kinds of video content that tell your story, over and over, from all sides.

In this article, we’d like to share some of the most popular types of branded video content we produce for our clients across a range of industries, from healthcare to non-profits to education. We hope the examples below spark some creative ideas for telling your story and reaching your audience more effectively.

 

1. Fundraising videos

Fundraising videos (or call-to-action videos) are all about capturing the essence of your mission in a way that moves audiences to share your story, learn more, join your cause, and give. They fly high above distracting details and aim straight for the viewer’s heart with a clear, compelling message. They’re designed to put viewers in the shoes of another person and make them relate to a problem in a new way. We like to say fundraising videos shouldn’t be watched so much as they’re felt. This video below we produced for the Nashville non-profit Uprise is a good example.

 

 

2. Customer testimonial videos

Customer testimonial videos (aka customer video stories) are a great way to let real people do the talking for you. Usually focused around one central character, these videos tell the story of how your product or service solved a problem for them. The value behind this type of content is that they don’t come across like traditional advertising with the hard sell. They’re more like a video version of an online review, which gives them a relaxed tone and a heightened level of authenticity. Check out this one we did for workwear brand Red Kap.

 

 

3. Commercials

These days, commercials aren’t just for TV. They can also be Youtube pre-roll ads and Facebook video ads. What makes them commercials is that they’re short (60 seconds or less, but ideally 30 seconds) and engineered to grab attention quickly. Since they’re designed as a high-impact tool to make a big impression fast, they generally require more polish and planning than other types of videos. But there’s a reason brands keep making them: they work. This commercial below was part of a TV brand campaign we created for Vanderbilt Medical Center.

 

 

4. Documentaries

Documentaries are an excellent tool for educating your audience about an issue. They tend to be broader in scope than other videos, and carry with them an aura of authority. This is a vehicle for demonstrating your expertise and passion, not for explicitly selling anything. Documentaries don’t have to be full-length features; they can be as short as three minutes and as long as two hours. They can also be split into bite-sized episodes. If you have a story with interesting characters who can bring audiences into a world they don’t know much about, then you’ve got the material for a brand documentary. We’ve made docs that screened at film festivals, launched on Facebook, and played at conferences. This one below was the centerpiece for a non-profit foundation’s red carpet fundraising gala.

 

 

5. Internal marketing videos

Internal marketing videos (or internal communications videos) don’t have to be lame. Your employees are the foot soldiers of your brand, so it’s important to create content that inspires and reminds them why they work there in the first place. Unlike external marketing videos, these videos can be longer and less on-brand. We’ve made funny hospital training videos, weird curriculum recruitment videos, and this one below to kick-off an employee appreciation event.

 

 

6. Animated explainer videos

An explainer video (also called an overview video or homepage video) is designed to explain your product or service in two minutes or less. Most explainer videos cover four main points: the problem, features and benefits, and how the solution works. The key to a successful explainer video is keeping it short and sweet, leaving your viewers with a clear understanding of what you do and a desire to take the next step. This one we created for a healthcare company is a good example.

 

 

7. Recruitment videos

Recruitment videos are a great way for you to cast your story for a very specific audience: potential employees, members, or students. If your goal is to attract the very best talent, then a recruitment video can go a long way toward capturing highly-qualified leads. These videos tend to live on social media as a part of paid social campaigns, and share a lot in common with commercials in that they’re designed to be high-level, slick, and attention-grabbing. Here’s one we did for Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing.

 

 

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