Reality check: video is not the silver bullet everyone says it is!

The Internet is a graveyard of thousands upon thousands of marketing videos that failed to attract views, failed to hold people’s attention, and most importantly – failed to convert!

If you don’t want your video marketing content to suffer the same sad fate, you will need to do better than 90% of other brands that use it. Luckily, that’s not hard!

In this post, we’ll examine 5 things you can do to make sure your videos don’t fall flat and actually work. Let’s go!

1. Be story-driven, not sales-driven

If your video marketing content is only concerned with closing the sale, to your potential customers it will come across as irrelevant – at best. At worst, they will hate it and want nothing to do with your brand.

With thousands of advertising messages pestering consumers every day, who can blame them?

So instead of being pushy and salesy, you want your videos to tell an interesting story. You don’t even have to worry about “adding value” – just give them a good story.

On this blog, we’ve talked about things that make a great story-driven video many times – like, a great many! If you want to learn more, you can check out those articles.

But for an example of how smart video marketing content harnesses the story, look no further than…

Example: case studies

Case studies convey your brand message through the vehicle of a customer success story. They strike the perfect balance between being interesting and being sales-oriented.

When your customers see someone like them go through a transformational journey – made possible by your product or service! – they take notice. That’s why case studies are such a popular format of video marketing content. They work!

Of course, your story-driven videos don’t have to follow the case study formula alone. You can tell stories about fictional characters, your employees, your CEO – anyone. They are simply an effective framing device that helps you create memorable video marketing content!

2. Be contrarian

There’s a lot of video marketing content online. And 99% of it delivers the same generic message in the same done-to-death way. Just pick any random assortment of marketing videos and you’ll see what we mean!

If you want your videos to inspire people to buy from you, the one thing you can’t afford is to blend in and sound (or look) just like everyone else. In business, that’s a death sentence.

So ask yourself: what are some of the things everyone in your industry is doing with their video marketing content? And how can you zig when everyone else zags?

There are many ways to stand out from the sea of near-identical videos – challenging industry norms, emphasizing your USP, picking a fight with a big competitor, and so on.

But here’s our favorite one…

Example: humorous video marketing content

Humor is an excellent way to make your videos noticeable and memorable. Very few brands use it. And even fewer do it well. And that’s a shame!

Injecting humor into your content is a proven strategy for attracting more viewers, increasing engagement… and getting stuck in your customer’s head for weeks to come.

Now, to be fair, it can backfire as well. But there are some solid rules of thumb you can follow to craft humorous video marketing content that resonates. For example, check out this presentation for advice.

3. Be understandable (to your customers)

People in your target market speak their own language. And we don’t mean a language like English or Spanish. No.

We mean the words and phrases they use every day to communicate with each other – and with themselves. The exact terms in which they articulate their problems, fears, hopes, and dreams.

That kind of language!

For example, some viewers of your video marketing content won’t mind it if you talk to them in their own industry lingo. That way, they know you speak their language – and therefore understand them!

And vice versa, other customers might want you to communicate in plain English, breaking down complex concepts into words and phrases they will easily understand.

Let’s see how this works with real-life marketing videos…

Example: explainer videos

To understand how video marketing content is shaped by the language you use, watch any good explainer video. You can start with some of ours (#humblebrag)!

Immediately you will notice this: videos meant for a general audience (like millennials) will sound different from the ones aimed at more granular groups, like C-level executives. That’s by design. Any given target market will have certain words and phrases that they use to describe their reality. Talking to them in that language is an easy way to create marketing videos that resonate.

If you want to discover what your customers’ “vocabulary” is like, we recommend doing some customer development surveys and interviews. We guarantee that you’ll walk away with some groundbreaking insights!


Brands like Twitter, Uber, Hubspot, and others are already using whiteboard video to attract more customers. Discover exactly how they do it, along with 9 more business-boosting tips – like how to increase your conversion rates by 20%!

Click here to download your copy of “Top 10 Ways to Use a Whiteboard Video”


4. Be actionable

Usually when we think about high-performing video marketing content, we think about views. After all, that’s what’s easiest to measure. That’s what everyone sees when they watch a video on a third-party website. And that’s what all marketers brag about!

But the truly successful videos don’t just attract viewers – they also inspire them to do stuff. And the way they achieve that is by having specific, urgent, and valuable calls to action.

We’ve written an extensive article about what makes a compelling call to action, so we won’t wax poetic about that here. But we will examine one type of video marketing content you can learn this technique from!

Example: any good lead generation video

You can divide all marketing videos in roughly two categories:

  • Engagement videos, meant to strengthen the relationship with your customers…
  • …and conversion videos that aim to get a specific response from viewers.

Both of these can, and should, incorporate calls to action. But it’s the conversion videos that provide you with the best examples of how to create actionable video marketing content.

So next time you see a video that asks you to click through to a product page, or enter your email address, or buy something – study it. See how it’s done, and why the call to action succeeds… or fails! It will teach you a lot more about high-converting video content than this short article ever will.

5. Be visual (and mean it)

By definition, video is a visual medium. Duh!

But of course, you knew that already. But what you might not know is just how important those visuals are to your overall message. Hint: they are critical!

Here’s a very easy way to test if your video marketing content is good enough – meaning, that it’s persuasive and clear and will grab your viewers’ attention. Just do this:

Turn off the sound, and watch the video. Does it still make sense?

A great piece of video marketing content will manage to convey the message with visuals alone. That’s one of the reasons why whiteboard and cartoon animation is so powerful. Both rely on visuals to tell the story, and the narration only serves to reinforce it further and add more nuance.

Here’s an unconventional but relevant example of how this works…

Example: “Hugo” by Martin Scorsese

Hugo is a 2011 movie about a boy living in a train station. It boasts lavish visuals, groundbreaking camera work, and meticulously crafted sound design.

And if you were to drain all the colors from its rich palette, and completely remove all sound… the story would still make sense! Sure, it wouldn’t be as nuanced as before, but you’d still be able to follow the plot and feel all the emotions the director wants you to feel.

That’s exactly how great video marketing content works. And you don’t have to be a genius director to pull it off!

But you might want to have someone experienced in your corner…

We can help you create high-converting video marketing content for your business

We specialize in whiteboard and cartoon animation videos, but guess what – we make awesome animations of all kinds, too! Just check out our animation samples here.

We would be thrilled to create a high-converting, custom-animated marketing video for your brand. Let us know what style you’re interested in, or take your pick from:

       Motion graphics and cartoon animations

       Virtual Reality Animation

       Digital stop motion animation

       2D character animation

And more.

If you’ve ever watched a slick animated video and thought, “I want one!” – today is the day! All you need to do is enter your details below, and we’ll arrange a free, no-strings-attached pow wow to talk about your awesome video idea!