The demand for video content is rising. According to Wyzowl, 66% of people prefer learning about products or services by watching a short video rather than reading a blog post. YouTube users quintupled the amount of time they spent watching shopping-related videos—think of unboxings and product reviews—in 2018 as compared to 2016. But what types of YouTube videos should you be using?
We asked more than two dozen profitable YouTube channels why they started their channel and the types of YouTube videos that led to their success.
The following is a list of the seven popular types of YouTube videos that we heard the most. You can produce one or many of these formats to run a profitable YouTube channel for your business.
1. Company vlogs
Vlogs are a type of YouTube video where the subject(s) show clips of their day or discuss a topic in various locations while holding the camera.
Companies can use company vlogs to showcase exactly how you operate, how your employees think, and the informal dynamics that happen daily. When viewers see you share their beliefs and values, they are more likely to pick you over your competition—especially if they are between 18 and 54.
James Hayward-Browne, Marketing Manager at Rise At Seven, produces The Sauce. It’s a weekly vlog showing the company’s culture, employees, and cute dogs in spontaneous scenarios. So far, they’ve secured millions of pounds in revenue from it.
“We have found that the vlog pops up in conversation with clients, new leads, and within the industry; we are now known for it,” says Hayward-Browne.
Company vlogs also attract job candidates aligned with what you do, how you do it, and why: three components of team culture that determine an organization’s performance.
“We have become a workplace that many aspire to work in,” says Hayward-Browne. “We have had queues of applications mentioning The Sauce and it has really helped our employer brand.”
Since company vlogs are informal, you can record them using your phone or camera paired with a lavalier microphone or pair of headphones. These vlogs can show your employees’ workflows or rituals to make your viewer feel part of your day-to-day routine.
2. Review videos
Review videos evaluate a product or service to help viewers purchase something. People who look for review videos are at the consideration stage of the sales funnel, which means that a thorough review can result in a sale of your product or an affiliate product.
Cooper Mitchell, the owner of Garage Gym Reviews, started evaluating gym equipment after realizing existing reviews were sparse and unhelpful. So, he launched a channel to help people pick the best gym equipment for their needs, earning over 300,000 subscribers.
Cooper saw more brand awareness after posting on YouTube. “Unlike Google,” he says, “YouTube automatically recommends your stuff to people interested in your niche. This allowed me to build an audience much faster than I would have with a website alone.”
He’s also seen an increase in sales after publishing on YouTube. “Garage Gym Reviews operates on an affiliate model,” he says. “So, getting my reviews out in front of people naturally led to more [affiliate] sales.”
The first step to reviewing products is discovering what your audience wants to know more about. You can find this data on forums and Subreddits where people ask others about products they’re considering buying. You can also read your audience-defining documents, like buyer personas and jobs-to-be-done, to learn about products that your audience likes.
Once you discover their product interests, you can upload video reviews on YouTube that describe the advantages and disadvantages of picking each product.
3. Product videos
Product videos are a type of YouTube video that shows viewers the benefits and functionalities of your product. You can use them to highlight your product’s value propositions, solve doubts, and address common sales objections. Discussing these topics in a video encourages leads to buy your product and customers to remain as partners.
Jae Jun, the founder of Gorilla ROI, uses product videos to receive fewer support tickets or spend less time answering technical questions.
“We were answering a lot of the same questions via email and help tickets from our users and potential new customers,” says Jun. “We realized it would be better to create a detailed video of every feature and to include it into our product wiki page, documentation, and emails.”
As a result of these product videos, Gorilla ROI spends one-third less time on support and receives half the number of tickets. The onboarding time also decreased, as people can now watch videos at their own pace.
You can create product-centered videos by picking one functionality from your product and then describing the problem it solves. You should discuss one idea to avoid overwhelming viewers with too much data. For example; this video answers one question from clients and prospects: how do I make a Vyond character walk or run?
As you produce more videos, you can create an FAQ page or help center so that customers and leads can learn everything about your product from one place.
4. “Portfolio” types of YouTube videos
Portfolio videos introduce prospects and customers to projects you have done, giving you social proof. Social proof is a psychological event where people decide what to buy based on other people’s opinions of a product.
If you show successful projects and add feedback from your client, you’ll influence prospects to work with you. You can also record your portfolio videos to reveal the results for potential clients.
Arthur Prokopchyk, Business Development Manager at Code Inspiration, uses portfolio videos to raise brand awareness through SEO. The SEO benefits could come from the extra chance of showing on Google’s results page.
“While YT views are low, our videos are watched on ‘alternative aggregators,'” says Prokopchyk. “Among them are Google My Business profiles and BisVue. Additionally, native upload to socials increases the number of our videos in search results.”
You could follow a three-stage case study format to produce a portfolio video that encourages prospects to become customers. To do this, first look for records of your latest, most successful projects. You can then write the company’s background, reasons the prospect should reach out to you, and the expected results after your partnership.
You can then record yourself or animate a video that presents this data alongside clips of the product or service you delivered.
5. “Educational” types of YouTube videos
Educational content teaches viewers a skill, process, or concept.
You can use educational content to help viewers resolve a doubt or problem they commonly face. Resolving these doubts will position you as the expert in the topic you discuss, increasing the chances of viewers buying one of your solutions.
Educational content is the most accessible type of YouTube video to produce. All you need is your expertise, a problem or doubt to resolve, and a recording device facing you. To explain complex topics, use charts and metaphors that simplify ideas without reducing their importance.
As a result of their accessibility, you can use educational videos in many ways to get different results.
Establish yourself as an industry expert
Educational content can only position you as a reliable expert if the video doesn’t pitch products every second. When you bombard viewers with products instead of helpful information, viewers can think your tips are biased.
Jeff Moriarty, Marketing Manager at Moriarty’s Gem Art, used educational content to establish his brand as the go-to expert in the gem industry.
“No one was educating our audience without trying to sell them something,” says Moriarty. “We wanted to create videos with the sole goal of answering their questions, no strings attached.”
So, his team produced in-depth guides that taught topics like how to cut gemstones and how to polish quartz. Now, viewers email them to mention how helpful their videos are and recognize them at industry shows.
“We are no longer just a retailer, but an expert in our industry,” says Moriarty. “That means increased trust, which leads to more sales.”
Introduce viewers to a new value proposition
You can use educational content to help viewers experience a product or service that you offer as they learn a new skill. This use case is helpful for companies with a disruptive offer, as the content can turn skeptical leads into buyers.
Seb Evans, the co-founder of Banquist, records step-by-step cooking tutorials so that viewers can learn new recipes from Michelin-Star chefs. The videos also let viewers familiarize themselves with Banquist’s unique offer: they deliver ingredients to your door and then have a chef explain recipes through videos.
“By posting on YouTube,” says Evans, “we’re giving potential customers a glimpse into what to expect if they choose to purchase from us.”
As a result, potential clients clearly see the differences between Banquist and meal-kit delivery services and eventually become actual clients.
6. Opinion-based videos
You can use opinion-based videos to defend or challenge news about your industry or the status quo. By taking a stance, you will reveal your knowledge about the field and become a trustworthy advisor about anything related to it.
Regie, the host of Regie Collects, uses live streams and reaction videos to challenge book collectors’ beliefs and views. For example; he rejected the industry’s belief that there’s no wrong way to collect comics in a late 2021 live stream. The live format lets him address viewers’ counterpoints and prove why they should doubt their current worldview.
“My brand Regie Collects has grown into one that is respected by both the collectibles community and industry leaders,” says Regie, “including CGC Comics, BCW Supplies, GoCollect, and Shortboxed, among others.”
This recognition turned his YouTube channel and related products into a reliable source of income that he now uses to produce videos.
You can produce opinion-based content by brainstorming misconceptions or realities that you and colleagues from other departments don’t believe. The brainstorming session doesn’t have to be synchronous—you can survey them to save time and produce videos faster.
The survey can consist of three questions:
- What’s a reality about our industry that you disagree with?
- Why do you disagree with this reality?
- How can our audience act differently?
These questions aren’t a silver bullet to intriguing opinion-based videos. Instead, they are questions to inspire you to build a coherent argument on why others should think as you do.
Documentaries are among the least common—but most popular—types of YouTube videos. Docuseries are series of videos that discuss a real-life event or teach the same topic from different angles. When people learn the same data over changing conditions, they are more likely to recall what they are learning.
Docuseries reinforce a message over multiple videos. Therefore, you can use them to continuously prove the value of your product or knowledge and influence them to partner with you.
Yi Mao, a Communication Specialist for Super Purposes, uses docuseries to entice leads about the value of partnering with the company to make job-seeking easier.
“The docuseries shows how our program affects real people on a weekly basis,” says Mao. “The success stories show how our former employees used their time with Super Purposes to forward their careers and find the job of their dreams.”
While the docuseries is a few months old, it has already helped Super Purposes to reach a market that mostly watches videos.
You can create a docuseries discussing clients’ experiences by contacting previous customers and asking for consent to record them. Depending on your budget, you can host the calls on Zoom or in person.
To avoid missing the opportunity of featuring an impactful partnership, offer benefits for the clients that help you, such as discounts or early access to new services.
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