Product Videos: 7 Types (with Examples) and 6 Tips to Inspire Yours

Product Videos: 7 Types (with Examples) and 6 Tips to Inspire Yours

Have you ever tried to sell a product using a video? Maybe you’ve seen some of those “how-to” videos where someone shows you how to cook a dish or clean a house. These kinds of videos work because they show you exactly what you need to do.

Most people think that product videos only apply to physical products. In reality, they’re also a great way to sell any type of digital product.

Have you ever wondered what types of product videos work well in your industry? Or maybe you want to know how to create great product eCommerce video content for your next campaign. In this post, I’ll share some tips and inspiration for creating videos that will get attention and drive traffic to your website.

What Are Product Videos?

what is a _____?

Although product videos play a key role in marketing, they are not intended to come across as overt marketing materials.

Instead, they are designed to inform, educate, or inspire new and existing customers about a particular service or product. A product video might let potential customers see a product in action, for instance, or may provide a demonstration video for those who already have a product or service, but have not been able to use it to its full potential. While these certainly function as marketing materials and do serve to promote your product and get your name out there, they are not intended to include a sales pitch or CTA, necessarily, but instead focus entirely on the benefits and merits of the item or service you are promoting.

The nature of product videos means that they are narrow in their focus.

A sportswear brand’s marketing team might cobble together an animated video detailing all of the different ways their products can be used, but this is a broad-scoped video promoting a brand or a company as a whole. A truly stunning product video will focus all of its attention on a single product or single service in order to most effectively expound and brag on that particular product or service.

The goal of a product video is promotion, certainly, but it is also intended to create an engaging video about how to use a product, detail the ins and outs of a product, or offer potential uses for a product. Promoting the purchase of an item with your target audience is a natural byproduct. 

7 Types of Product Videos and Examples

Different types of product videos accomplish different ends and allow customers and potential new audiences to see different aspects of your products and services. They can all be used on a single product to dive deep into the various aspects of that product, or they can be used to target completely different products and services according to different needs and abilities. Knowing the ins and outs of different product videos can help you more effectively select which videos will most effectively serve your brand or company and display the value of your products. 

1. Introduction Videos

YouTube video

Introduction videos, as the name suggests, are used to debut a new product or a new service. An introduction video is essentially an explainer video that takes a close look at a product or service that is new (or new to your target audience). A CRM introduction video, for instance, might give a basic overview of what a CRM service is, and go on to explain what is being offered in that service. Intro videos assume that the watcher does not know a great deal about the product or service, and provide as much information as succinctly as possible.

As you can see from the example above, the CRM video is considered an introduction video because it approaches the service as though the audience is unfamiliar with what it has to offer, details the different aspects available within the service, and encourages further exploration and asking questions at the conclusion of the video.

Further Reading: How to Make a Company Introduction Video

2. Product Demo Videos

YouTube video

A product demo video differs from a product explainer video in the approach it takes to detail a product. A demonstration video provides a much more hands-on approach to describing a product and walks the audience through the use of a product or service. Product demo videos can be completed using a model that demonstrates the use of a product, an animation detailing the product, or a company member showing the product behind the scenes. All of these approaches can be useful and can be a reliable part of your overall product video strategy.

This video demonstrates the use of a pineapple slicer. Using a simple kitchen background and a short and succinct demonstration of the device, the product video introduces the product and demonstrates the manner in which the utensil is intended to be used.

3. Case Studies

YouTube video

Case studies are a form of product video that allows your audience to see the aftermath of your products or services in action. A case study takes a specific company, event, or niche and provides evidence of the product or service making an impact. A case study can be drier video production, focusing on numbers and percentages, or can be a livelier affair with a focus on overall effect and panache. These types of videos can combine the two approaches by showing more flair in the video itself and providing concrete numbers in the product description.

An excellent example of a case study video can be found here. This type of content does not overtly appear to be a sales pitch, but it encourages the audience to view the company, product, or service as one that has already accomplished a great deal of success or fueled plenty of change and suggests a degree of reliability. The partnership with Nike mentioned in the video is an example of how a case study can detail what a product or service has done (improve live events and subsequent engagement) while providing compelling video content and delivering product marketing materials without seeming too pushy or using strong sales language.

4. Interviews

YouTube video

Interview product videos use interviews to detail the features and successes of a product or service. An interview might take place in a home setting, with small clips of the person being interviewed using the product, or maybe a more involved process, with a panel of people being interviewed. Interviews lend an air of credence to a product or service because they allow people to connect with others who have (or reportedly have) used that same product or service. Interviews may be formal or relaxed, long or short, but all typically use the same basic format of having someone detail their own experience with an item or service.

Current customers can also serve as excellent resources for these types of videos. Whether those interviews are posted on a large site or simply posted on Instagram stories, hearing others’ successes and experiences is useful to form a positive opinion of a product or service. An example of an interview product video can be found here. In this video, the interview format is used in a tongue-in-cheek way, but the basic format is there: interviews are used to detail the value of a particular service or product.

5. Sales Videos

YouTube video

Sales videos are the product videos most are familiar with, but a good sales video does not rely on old practices and outdated approaches. Instead, this type of video provides clear sales pitches, while highlighting the different features and offerings of the products and services themselves. While standard marketing videos might go wide in the demonstration of their brand or company’s value by showing inspirational images, quotes, or footage, a sales product video is going to focus entirely on a single product or service and deliver the advantages in a clear, simple format.

The type of product video can be found here. This is a great example of a sales video: the video is not explaining a product or interview anyone about the product. The premise is clearly a sales pitch. Unlike traditional product videos, however, the video is short, sweet, and to the point, and uses humor and pared-down imagery to focus on a single product.

6. Tutorials/How-to Videos

YouTube video

Tutorials and how-to videos differ from demo videos primarily in their scope. Tutorials are a longer-form approach to a product demonstration. A demo product video is usually quite short and to the point, while a tutorial video or how-to video will rely on a more personal touch, and may offer different ways to use a product or service or indicate the ins and outs of a product in greater detail. A demo video may focus on parts and practices, but a how-to will focus on actual use and any versatility that may accompany the product or service.

This is a great example of a how-to video. This particular video is a more professional approach, but influencer marketers and staff members can also be used to create more laid-back tutorials and how-to videos. The video above is a tutorial video because it clearly walks you step-by-step through the process of using the sinus cleansing device.

Further Reading: How To Make an Explainer Video That Sells: Your Complete Guide

7. Promotional Videos

YouTube video

Promotional videos are another type of the more common form of product video, as they are clearly working to promote a particular product or service. Promotional videos are similar to introductory videos, but instead of focusing on merely introducing a new product, promotional videos work hard to illustrate why a product or service is powerful or necessary for the audience.

This GoPro video is an excellent example of a promotional video because it focuses on a single product and promotes the many different ways it can be used. The promotion of the product alone–not a lifestyle or something broader–and the identification of the different specifications of the device all come together to create a simple but compelling promotional product video.

6 Top Tips to Create Product Videos

Creating product videos can be intimidating, but the process does not have to be a painful one. There are simple steps you can take to create consistently compelling and arresting videos that inform your audience, persuade them to purchase your products, and demonstrate the value of what you are offering. By creating your own product videos, rather than outsourcing or using generic videos, you can make sure that your videos are in line with your previous branding efforts and closely match your audience’s typical wants and needs.

1. Know What Kind of Product Video You Need

Before you begin creating your videos, you need to determine the type of video that you need. Understanding the different types of videos will help you identify the format that is most likely to suit your product or service’s features and offerings. Familiarize yourself with different videos by looking at peers’ or competitors’ and begin the creating process! 

To help determine the video that is best for your product, consider the following rundown of each type of video: 

  • Introduction Videos: To introduce new or reimagined products.
  • Product Demo Videos: To show a product or service in action.
  • Case Studies: Case studies improve the reliability of a product or service by demonstrating its value. 
  • Interview Videos: Interview videos lend a more personable air of legitimacy to a product or company. 
  • Sales Videos: Sales videos are overt sales materials that encourage your audience to purchase an item or service. 
  • How-To Videos: How-to videos are intended to improve customer experience and increase customer awareness of proper product and service use. 
  • Promotional Videos: Promotional videos are designed to promote a service or product–though not necessarily one that is new or redesigned. Instead, this is a basic ad format that focuses on a single object or service.

Further Reading: Small Business Video: 8 Creative Ways Your Small Business Can Leverage Video Marketing

2. Find Out What Works Best with Your Audience

The first step toward knowing what works best with your audience is knowing what works with your audience. Pay attention to the photos and videos in your content marketing strategy that continually get the most likes and engagements. Practice using different product videos to determine which type of video most closely connects with your audience. Once you have a solid bevy of experimentation under your belt, you can begin to predict what your audience wants and improve your reach and influence. 

Further Reading: 13 Powerful YouTube Tools You Need to Grow Your YouTube Audience

3. Choose The Right Camera

Your budget will play a substantial role in the equipment and style of video you shoot. You do not need to immediately invest in top-of-the-line equipment; many phones are now designed to be used as content creation tools. Before investing in new equipment or using existing high-end equipment to film your product video campaigns, evaluate the purpose of your video. If you are eager to showcase real people using your products, a smartphone may work just fine. If you want high-quality close-ups, detailing, and features, use a more extensive camera setup. 

4. Shoot It!

As an infamous sportswear brand would say, “Just do it!” There is a learning curve involved in shooting your own marketing materials, and product videos are no exception. If you need to prepare a script, do so and run it past a few people to make sure it is cohesive and fits the style you are going for. If not, get your equipment, and get rolling!

5. Edit It!

Editing is an invaluable step in the creation of product videos. Whether you add effects to the video, or you cut down your “film” to improve the timing and cohesion of your work, you must always make sure that your videos are of the best possible quality–both in terms of resolution and in terms of content. Once you are satisfied with your video, compress it to post it online.  

6. Upload It!

Before uploading your video, prepare all of your additional written content; i.e. video descriptions, hashtag clusters, snippets, and closed captioning. Once everything has been proofread and properly categorized, hit that upload button!  

Ready to Create Your Own Product Video Now?

More and more people found that video is an incredibly powerful tool for driving traffic and sales. It’s not just because it’s easier to watch than reading text, but because it’s much more engaging. Creating high-quality videos is a great way to promote your products and services. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on fancy equipment; just use what’s available to you.

Product videos can also easily be shared via YouTube and added to your existing site or blog.

Can you share some of the videos that you think are cool?

Hero Photo by FilterGrade on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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