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Understanding the Different Flavors of Video

OnlineVideo.net is pleased to present this excerpt from Online Video for Dummies. Read to the end to find out how to download your own copy for free.

Before you rush out and hire a production company to produce your first video, you need to understand that there are a lot of different videos you can make as part of your story. Some videos may require more talent and equipment than you have in your office, but that isn't true of them all. Here's a rundown of the different video types.


This type of video is the high-budget stuff. You hire Tom Hanks. You win a Golden Globe. No, really, branding videos tend to be more high-production value. But depending on the voice and personality of your company, a video of this nature may be something animated or filmed "Blair Witch" style. Branding videos are, however, the best opportunity to really tell a story using Freytag's narrative pyramid.


Kinetic videos, where words and images fly around the screen with a voiceover, are simple to produce and really grab attention. Kinetic videos require little more than someone adept with the software, a good script, and a powerful voice (we vote for Morgan Freeman, but he's usually not available).

Product demonstration

Got a webcam? You probably do, but if not, they are pretty inexpensive. These videos are designed to be informative, educational, and inexpensive or "budget-priced." When you convert your product videos to high-value branding videos, you lose the credibility and trust of your audience because they want to see someone just like them using the product they want to buy. Google Hangouts is a great tool for making product demonstrations if you want to go live.

Customer testimonials

Sometimes the best people to tell your stories aren't people who work for you. When customers become brand advocates (that means they really, really love your brand), they often can passionately tell your story on a different, more personal level than you or your employees. Sometimes these testimonial videos need a production company depending on how "professional" you want them to feel. Otherwise, just get out your smartphone and start interviewing.

Knowing How and When to Incorporate Video


If you're wondering when you should add video to your story, there's no hard and fast rule. Video generally serves one of two purposes.

  • Video can support written content. If you have a page of product information, having a video demonstration to support it is really impactful.

  • Video replaces written content. Get rid of that About page on your website. Use a branding video to get people emotionally connected to your company and then use a customer testimonial to explain how you helped that customer (and can help any customer with similar challenges).

Excerpted from Online Video for Dummies by Jason Thibeault. Copyright (c) 2014. Used with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Visit the book's page on Limelight.com to get a free copy (registration required).

Jason Thibeault is the senior director of marketing strategy at Limelight Networks. He is also the co-author of the upcoming book from Wiley Recommend This! Delivering Digital Experiences that People Want to Share.

Jason Thibeault's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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