Video Content marketing: the six web video formats


If Cisco’s forecasting will be confirmed, in three years the contents of this article would be not only read but also experienced first-hand through a video.
The American tech giant forecasts that in 2019, 80% of the contents used online will be videos.
The reasons of this seemingly unstoppable growth dwell in the fact that we live in an age of informative overload that naturally lead the users to select contents that can be interesting, involving and ready to use. So, video is the language that more than the others manage to reach this target: if it is true that an image is worth a 1,000 words, then a one minute video is worth 1.8 million.
“Video is one of the best performing drivers
in a successful content marketing strategy”

A revolution that does not concern only the users but also and first of all the brands that, in such a complex and competitive scenario, can reach their target in an effective and involving way thanks to the extreme versatility of the video tool, that can thus become the driver of a successful digital content marketing strategy.
One should not underestimate that, due to the cutting of shooting and editing technologies costs, shooting a video is quite less expensive than it used to be just ten years ago.
One should also always remember that shooting quality alone it is not enough to guarantee the effectiveness of a video narrative product.
Secret to its success is almost always related to the goodness of the creative line, to the ability of keeping the interest high since the first seconds and that to manage to inflect the message through the right format.

“Shooting quality alone it is
not enough to guarantee success”

Furthermore, it must be remembered that each environment has its set of rules: a web video, destined to be distributed through Facebook can not be built with the same language of a product destined to be on a website homepage.
Let’s tidy up about the main languages used in digital marketing video and their effectiveness related to the different digital environments in which they live in.

1. Advertising video between media buying and social media
Advertising video is a kind of format derived from TV commercials that, usually, lasts 15’’ or 30’’. It is mostly a high or very high budget product video that show the features of a product or service.

A web video of this kind had a limited effectiveness since it is threatened by a generational resistance (young targets do not identify with the commercial language) on one side, on the other a technological issue bound to the wider and wider use of adblocking programs which stop advertisement pop-ups directly through the browser in use.
Video advertising is a format that works only if distributed though a media buying activity while its organic efficiency on social media is severely limited.



2. Motion Graphics: serial and flexible contents
As hinted by the word itself, they are short web videos in motion graphic with the purpose of explaining the functioning of a product or- if matched with texts – of presenting news and facts.

Thanks to its simplicity and dynamicity, motion graphics is a highly successful and extremely flexible video format. Plus, it is a product that is optimized for seriality because it is easily replicable and resizable since the costs are mostly concentrated on the initial graphic project.


3. Emotional Storytelling: the role of the cinematographic tale

Emotional storytelling is a narrative form of web video that is centered around a story told in first person by one or more people and that appeals on empathic language.

To be effective, such kind of video must use techniques more similar to cinematographic language than to advertising.
Key elements of emotional storytelling are the story, told in a fascinating way, with warm and touching images and strongly involving music.
This kind of video is particularly suited for diffusion through social media and for organic sharing.


4. Web series and younger people involvement
A web series is a fiction video (which means the story and characters aren’t real but scripted ad hoc, as they are in movie or TV shows), structured in episodes and usually (but not necessarily) declined in a light and funny language.
It is a kind of web video that is very successful especially on social media, that makes if seriality (and thus of affection towards then characters and the story) its point of strength and usually is more attractive to younger people, more used to experience contents in a asynchronic way, thus not tied to a  planning made by someone else.



5. Viral videos: not just views
A viral video is a clip that becomes popular online through social media sharing: it is wrong to evaluate it based on the number of views reached by the video: virality is about engagement and sharing, not the number of views (which could be easily obtained instead with a media buying activity)

A viral web video is a great way to promote brands and works mostly with awareness. Despite it is very difficult to forecast with certainty how viral a clip can become, there are creative and psychological techniques (related to the study of users’ behavior on social media) that can help its sharing and diffusion.

6. Pranks: a lot more than candida cameras

As we saw, the web (and social media in particular) reward honest and emotional language. And what is more honest than the reactions of people in front of unexpected situations?

On this premise the pranks are based. Contrary to “old” candid camera based on the effect derived from grotesque and absurd situations, pranks can also provoke moving reactions.

The effectiveness of this web video type on social media is usually very high and, if well constructed and planned, pranks can be a driver of virality.