How to Choose the Right Format for Your Marketing Video (The Simple Way)

In our extremely-online world, it's easy to binge a ton of video before we make breakfast.

Creating and editing videos has never been easier. Naturally, everyone's jumping on the bandwagon to promote their wares with videos. Got a product or service to sell? Slap together some footage, add a quirky filter, and voilà! You're practically an influencer.

But wait… there’s more. 

Understand your audience and goals.

Before producing any video, define your target audience and goals clearly. Whether creating a detailed creative brief for a major campaign or jotting down themes for a social media post, aligning content with strategic objectives ensures relevance and impact.

A simple way to think about your goals is the basic choice between growth marketing and brand marketing. Here’s a simple breakdown of the two:

Growth marketing focuses on driving immediate results, such as user acquisition, conversions, and revenue growth. These types of videos are performance-oriented, designed to lead to actions like signing up, making a purchase, or downloading an app. These videos often have short term goals, used in conjunction with paid advertising, and highly personalized targeting of audience segments.

Brand marketing is about building long-term brand equity. These videos often focus on narrative and emotive storytelling, conveying the brand’s mission, values, and positioning. Success is measured in terms of sentiment and engagement.

Here are some examples of each:

Growth Marketing:

  • Product Demos: Showcasing how a product works to drive direct sales.
  • Customer Testimonials: Real customer stories that build trust and drive conversions.
  • Tutorials/How-To Videos: Educate potential customers on using a product to address pain points, leading to sign-ups or purchases.

Brand Marketing:

  • Brand Stories: Videos that tell the history or mission of the company to build a deeper connection.
  • Culture Videos: Highlighting company culture to attract like-minded customers and employees.
  • Emotional Campaigns: Creating emotional resonance through stories that align with the brand’s values and ethos.

Our video for Samsung Digital Health's product launch

Key Differences

  • Focus: Growth marketing videos aim for immediate action and measurable results; brand marketing videos aim for long-term engagement and emotional connection.
  • Content Type: Growth marketing uses more direct and informative content; brand marketing leverages storytelling and emotional appeal.
  • Measurement: Growth marketing focuses on direct performance metrics; brand marketing looks at broader engagement and brand perception metrics.
  • Audience: Growth marketing often targets specific, high-intent audiences; brand marketing targets a broader, more general audience to build awareness.

Each type serves a distinct purpose in the marketing funnel, appealing to different audience segments with tailored messaging and formats.

Choosing the Right Length for Your Video

Screenwriting guru Syd Field used to preach “start late, leave early.” What he meant by this was to streamline your storytelling so that you limit exposition up front, and you leave the audience with just enough suspense and intrigue to keep their attention.

Nothing tests this more than the ultra-compressed formats of modern social platforms. Sometimes you have just a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, and the story might be over in as little as 30 seconds.

Even if you’re planning on releasing a longer version of your story, you should plan for a version that works at 30 seconds or 60 seconds.

Here are some thoughts on ideal lengths for each format:

Brand Marketing Videos

Customer / Brand Storytelling Videos

Given that these tend to take a more editorial approach, you should allow enough time to really dig into the story. These can run anywhere from 3-30 minutes in length.

Product Launch or Announcement Videos

1-2 minutes is the sweet spot for introducing new products or services.

Customer Testimonials

Keep it under 3 minutes per testimonial, and provide cut-down versions or supercuts with shorter sound bytes.

Growth Marketing Videos

Promotional or Offer Videos

Grab attention quickly and emphasize the urgency of the offer in 15 seconds to 1 minute.

Social Media Ads

Designed to attract attention and drive immediate action, you should aim for 15-30 seconds for platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook.

How-to, Tutorial, or Explainer Videos

Given that you are aiming to clarify complex concepts or demonstrate how to use a product, you should ensure that you have enough time to provide useful insights. Spend at least 2 minutes covering the topic, and stretch out to 5-10 minutes if you have a lot of key points or background information. Some YouTube creators build tutorials that are quite lengthy, approaching 30 minutes, so there is no theoretical limit.

Customer Education Videos

These educate customers about industry trends, best practices, or related topics. 2-5 minutes. Focus on delivering valuable insights or actionable tips.

Promotional or Offer Videos

Much like social media ads, these must emphasize the urgency of the offer and seize attention. Anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute.

Of course, all of these recommendations are based on typical viewer attention spans and platform preferences. Adjustments may be needed based on your specific audience and goals.

Moving to Production

Now that you've identified your audience and goals and settled on the appropriate format for your video, it's time to move into production.

In a future post, we'll dive into the stages of production and the resources required for each.

Need a hand?

If you need help bringing your video concept to life, please contact us at Belmondo. We've got over a decade of experience creating award-winning videos for clients in (almost) every industry and (nearly) every format.