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5 Types of Video to Add to Your Social Media Marketing

Updated March 1, 2021

Do you want to refresh your social media marketing? Video is a great way to engage your audience, but it can be difficult to determine what options will work for your brand. Let’s break down five valuable options for your consideration.

1. Live videos

If you have a significant following, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and other streaming services make it easy to connect with your audience. Livestreaming lets you talk with your users.

#Livestreaming makes sense if you have a significant following, says @realjoeforte via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

FlavCity with Bobby Parish, a YouTube channel, has 1.3 million subscribers. A recent livestream from his kitchen received over 27,000 views, some of whom chatted live too.

A screenshot of Bobby Parish livestreaming from his kitchen with his daughter. The chat feature is displayed showing comments from viewers.

Live videos often are most effective for announcements, behind-the-scenes looks, and product information videos. Regular short video updates can continuously engage your audience, while longer live video sessions can be a way to dig deeper with your followers through Q&A sessions and direct chats.

Live video tips

  • Test your setup to make sure all your technology works.
  • Invest in the right technology. Lighting and sound are incredibly important.
  • Promote your livestreams well ahead of time on your social media accounts.
  • Use scheduling tools, such as Facebook’s Premiere, to make your video more visible.
  • Livestream at the same time every week – regularly scheduled programming – for your audience.

2. Tutorial videos

Tutorial videos have mass appeal and are among the most frequently shared on social media. The videos can relate to your products and services or can be broader topics that relate to your audience and industry.

Tutorial videos need to be clear, educational, and entertaining. They need to be long enough to show every step and short enough to be engaging. The most important information needs to appear in the first minute, while the total video shouldn’t be longer than a few minutes.

Absolut created popular tutorial videos for drink recipes using Absolut vodka. They’re interesting, entertaining, and shareable:

Tutorial video tips

    • Ask your followers about what tutorials they would be most interested to watch.
    • Remain active in comments and respond to messages throughout the video’s life.
    • Make the videos clear and to the point – they’ll be easier to follow.
    • Don’t rely too much on tools or techniques your followers aren’t likely to have or understand.
    • Have a clear call to action at the end.

3. Informational videos

Informational videos can cover any topic. Build your content archive with videos on a variety of relevant topics. Make them unique, clever, or insightful. When adding video to your social media, concentrate on content likely to be shared – something valuable to make it worth the viewer’s time.

When adding #video to your #socialmedia, it’s best when it’s share-worthy content, advises @realjoeforte via @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

Informational videos can come off as boring or dry if they aren’t produced well. Your content should not only be interesting to the viewer but provoke the viewer to want to share it.

Notarize, an on-demand, remote notary delivery service, created a popular informational video to explain the premise of its application. It explains its app using humor and absurdity:

The same information could have been displayed without the humor, but that might not have held the same appeal for its core demographic – people who are comfortable with digital apps and who don’t have a go-to notary.

Informational video tips

      • Infuse the videos with personality that matches your brand identity.
      • Don’t make the videos too long or too detailed.
      • Analyze which videos perform the best to inform your future informational videos.
      • Invest more time and money in these videos, as they’re likely cornerstones of your content.
      • Pay attention to what people say on social media: What do they want more of?

4. Behind-the-scenes videos

Behind-the-scenes videos are a great way to make your company and your team more personable. Highlight day-to-day operations, your offices, your manufacturing processes, and more. Interview employees, talk to the vendors you’re closest to, or speak with your best customers. All of these things are designed to give prospective customers a better idea of how your company works and who you are.

This type of video is designed to build trust and brand identity. Video really gives the opportunity to dig down into what makes a brand exceptional – something other on-screen brand displays can’t do. A memorable behind-the-scenes video can grow a relationship between company and customer – and if the video is entertaining or sufficiently informative, it will be shared.

Digital asset management platform PhotoShelter developed process-oriented videos of innovative creative campaigns for its audience of marketers, photographers, and artists. The Behind the Scenes With the Storytellers series provides a window into the creative strategies of top brands like GE, the Premier Lacrosse League, and the University of Maryland Medical System.

Behind-the-scenes video tips

      • Infuse these videos with personality.
      • Think about the little things that employees do throughout the day that your customers might find interesting.
      • Tell the story of your products, your brand, your people.
      • Incorporate customers, vendors, or employees into the videos.

User-generated videos

User-generated content is quickly becoming a fantastic and easier way to engage an audience. You can encourage your followers to create videos and ask them to incorporate your hashtags into the upload.

User-generated content is a brilliant way to grow an audience because users are more inclined to share content they create. Viewing the user-generated content also is an excellent way to get a feel for your audience members’ personalities and what they’re interested in.

When requesting user-generated videos, the most important aspect is to directly interact with and acknowledge your audience. Your users make an effort to produce content for you and they need to be properly rewarded. Praise the best content, share all the content, and give attribution to all the users. Encourage users to share content they like (not just their own), and make sure to track your hashtags.

User-generated video tips

      • Encourage users to get creative or silly with their content.
      • Properly attribute the content to the creators and thank them.
      • Encourage featured users to share the videos with their friends.
      • Ask other users to vote on content or to share the content they like the most.
      • Consider a giveaway or contest linked to user-generated videos.

Lights, camera, action

By consistently producing different types of videos, you can bring in an audience from multiple platforms and demographics. A healthy mix of video content on social is essential to making sure your video content campaign continues to grow – and your social media continues to attract followers.

Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used). 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute