What’s Your Type? How to Pick the Best Video Style for Your Topic

When it comes to content, it’s not hard to see why the ever-popular video remains an enduring choice. This visually-engaging medium can be extremely effective at quickly capturing the attention of an audience, conveying a message with impact and emotion, and compelling viewers to take action.

However, with so many different types of video to choose from – from testimonials to animations, training videos to customer case studies – the first challenge is choosing a video format that’s most suitable for your topic, your audience, and your organisation.

To help you decide on the type of video that’s best for you, we’re breaking down six common video types and outlining how these can be used to win over your audience.

Case Study Videos

Designed to highlight a product or service by showcasing the experience people have had with it – such as patients, customers or other stakeholders – case study videos are a fantastic way to showcase a new initiative. 

Like a written case study, a video case study may first outline a problem or pain point, then introduce the solution and its benefits, followed by an overview of the results obtained.

If you want to demonstrate the way something works using a case study video, you may want to have an actor play the part of the customer or patient, with actual staff members playing their own roles to create an authentic feel. 

Case study videos can also be a good option if you’re looking to secure funding in order to expand a successful initiative; by demonstrating the positive results delivered so far, this type of video can provide a compelling visual tool.

Case study videos in action: Check out this case study video we created for the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and eHealth NSW: https://vimeo.com/293642593

Mini Documentaries

For emotive topics or messaging that would benefit from a strong storytelling approach, a video in the style of a mini-documentary can be a great choice. Running anywhere from a couple of minutes to around 25 minutes, mini-documentaries are a good way to deliver your message in a relatively short space of time.

Mini-documentaries can be an ideal vehicle for communicating the story behind an initiative or organisation, using a strong narrative to elicit an emotional response from the viewer in an engaging and memorable way.

With a shorter duration compared to full-length documentaries, mini-documentaries are also ideal pieces of content to be shared via online channels, such as social media, email newsletters and customer communications.

Mini-documentary videos in action: Here’s an example of a mini-documentary we produced for the NSW Department of Education, in a six-part series focusing on students with a disability: https://vimeo.com/579694726

Event Videos

If you’re running an event, why not use it as an opportunity to capture some exciting content which can be turned into engaging videos? Event videos are a popular choice, simply requiring a video production agency like Magpie to come along and film the event, and then use the footage to create a video or even multiple videos.

Using the footage from your event, we can create anything from a short ‘sizzle reel’ featuring key highlights – perhaps with ‘vox pop’ interviews with speakers and attendees – through to full-length recordings of your speakers, including their presentation slides.

Event highlight videos are a great way of showcasing the main elements of the event and can be easily shared across digital channels, while the full-length options can provide valuable content for a variety of purposes.

Event videos in action: Take a look at this highlights video we put together for an event at Sydney University: https://vimeo.com/717211401

Video Testimonials

With a video testimonial, you can share the positive feedback, opinions and experiences of your customers, patients or stakeholders in a visual format that’s engaging and often very persuasive.

Video testimonials work best when the participant is enthusiastic about the topic. By capturing their passion and positivity, you can create compelling videos that strongly promote the technology or service in an authentic way.

For effective video testimonials, we recommend using good B-roll of the speaker engaged in the topic or service.

Video testimonials in action: You can check out a video testimonial produced by Magpie here: https://vimeo.com/430909535

Animated Explainer Videos

Need to demonstrate a new technology or application that isn’t live yet (meaning you can’t film actual footage of it in action)? An animated explainer video could be the ideal solution, allowing you to showcase the technology via animation.

Animated videos aren’t just useful for non-live technology – they can also be used to explain complex processes in a simplified and visually-engaging way that makes it easier for the viewer to understand.

We recommend keeping animated explainer videos to a maximum of 90 seconds (ideally around one minute). What’s more, a professionally-written script and narration by a voiceover artist will help to ensure your animation engages your audience while nailing your messaging.

Animated explainer videos in action: Here’s an example of an animated video we created for Transport NSW: https://vimeo.com/504162972

Training Videos

Whether designed for standalone distribution or for inclusion in an eLearning module, training videos can be a perfect way to educate and train viewers about a particular topic, technology or application.

Training videos can be anywhere from 2-5 minutes (or longer if required) and can take a variety of formats. You may want to feature an expert presenter such as a doctor or engineer, act out example scenarios using trained actors or real staff (or a combination of both), and/or use a professional voiceover artist to narrate the script.

Animation is another option for training videos. This is a popular style for new apps and other technology, and can also be beneficial for explaining complex topics and presenting them in a simplified way.

Training videos in action: Check out a training video we developed for the Department of Primary Industries: https://vimeo.com/460391809

Of course, there are other types of videos that might be a better fit for your project. To explore your options, contact Magpie – we’ll have a brief meeting to discuss your requirements and then put together a proposal and quote for you to review.