WTF is Video Marketing? A Beginners’ Guide

March 2024
March 2024

John Ashbrook

I'm a Senior Writer. I put words together to create sentences. Hey, I'm doing it now! If it needs words, the call goes out: "This is a job for John!" My red phone rings, I slide down my pole, switch my laptop batteries to 'power' and my turbines to 'speed' then I begin typing. What am I going to type this time, I wonder? Let's see ...

Video Marketing is simply you using the power of motion pictures to sell your products or services. It’s what most people think of when you say “adverts”.


Traditionally, creating video adverts was something that only the big boys could do. The cost of production was prohibitive and the cost of broadcasting the adverts on one of the major television channels could be nose-bleedingly steep.

But that’s all changed. Today, you could shoot a video on your phone, edit it on your laptop and distribute it through your social media channels. Never in the entire history of moving images has it been easier to make a video and get it seen.

So, what’s stopping you?

So, You Wanna Be in Pictures?

Quiet on set. Sound ready. Camera rolling. Mark it aaaand … Action!

Video Marketing is a powerful medium that remains underutilised by many brands, because they don’t see video as attainable or affordable. It really is!

And, what’s more, videos are not a luxury any more. Video Marketing needs to be a core part of your marketing strategy.

The digital research platform Statistica labels Video Marketing as: “the leading digital consumer engagement tactic worldwide”, and points out that more than 80% of the marketers they surveyed post videos as part of their marketing mix.

A different survey conducted by Nogen Tech put the number higher, stating that “91% of businesses use video as a marketing tool”.

There is so much more to Video Marketing than just old school TV ads. Increasingly, it includes pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll ads when you’re watching shows on streaming platforms (which, let us not forget, includes YouTube), social media posts (and not just on video-only platforms like TikTok) as well as testimonials, explainers, staff training, product demonstrations, sales collateral and much more.

Video Marketing’s transition from TV screens to digital platforms marks a pivotal shift in how brands communicate with their target audiences as consumption of what is now known as ‘linear television’ (meaning: traditional broadcast TV) is replaced by viewers who consume video content by sampling a range of digital platforms.

Video Marketing is a Blockbuster!

The world-leading video production company, Wyzowl, did some extensive research and discovered that audiences are responding in an overwhelmingly positive way to video marketing:

  • 89% of consumers want to see more videos from brands in 2024.
  • 91% of people have watched an explainer video about a product or service.
  • 82% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video.

When they spoke to the professionals who are paying for these videos and who are carefully watching the analytics to make sure they are spending their investors’ money wisely, they were equally enthusiastic:

90%of video marketers say video has helped them INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS
90%of marketers say video marketing has given them a GOOD ROI
87%of video marketers say video has helped them GENERATE LEADS
87%of video marketers say video has DIRECTLY INCREASED SALES
86%of video marketers say video has helped them INCREASE WEB TRAFFIC
82% of video marketers say video has helped INCREASE DWELL TIME

The Magic of the Movies

Well-produced videos have an almost unique ability to engage people with powerful imagery and a narrative they can relate to. This can evoke emotions – from enjoyment to caring to anxiety, depending on your intent – which makes video an immensely powerful tool for connecting with audiences on a personal level. Emotional engagement is crucial for brands aiming to make a lasting impression.

Conversion and Sales

So, you see, the effectiveness of video marketing is not just theoretical. Research and case studies harvesting the feedback of actual marketers who use Video Marketing consistently show that video content can significantly boost conversion rates and enhance ROI, making it a strategic asset for businesses.

The days when videos were a luxury and gone, they are now a necessity.

Still need some persuading? Okay, let’s look at some of the qualities of good videos and the effects they have on audiences and potential customers.

Communicate Quickly

Viewers also ‘read’ video messages very quickly – which means you can communicate complex messages and set-up sophisticated situations very quickly simply through visual cues such as lighting, use of music, casting and location.

If a video features a child playing in a garden on a sunny day accompanied by playful music – that will immediately put you in a positive, nostalgic frame of mind.

If, on the other hand, you see an old woman shivering in a bus shelter on a grey, overcast day, in the rain, with slow, ominous piano music on the soundtrack – that is going to trigger a completely different series of emotional responses.

That’s all without a word being spoken.

This speed of communication comes in very useful on platforms where an ad has just five seconds to make an impression before the viewer hits ‘Skip’.

Higher Retention Rates

Good video content can be more memorable than text or a single image, helping your message stick in the minds of your target audience. This increased retention rate is invaluable in a cluttered media landscape where ads and social messages are being fired at people from a range of directions all the time.

SEO Benefits

Incorporating video content can help boost a website’s search engine rankings – especially if you take care over the titles and meta-text.

This helps to build backlinks to your site and increases likes and shares. Also, while your potential customers are watching your videos, their dwell time is clocking up – all of which helps you climb the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page).

Search engines prioritise content like this that engages viewers, and videos are particularly effective in this regard.

Social Sharing Potential

Videos are more likely to be shared across social media platforms than any other type of content. This amplifies a brand’s reach and can dramatically increase exposure to potential customers.

Humans are naturally drawn to moving visuals and narratives. Video content leverages this inclination by delivering compelling stories and visuals that captivate audiences, fostering a deep connection.

Trust Building:

Careful use of video content can foster a sense of trust and authenticity. When they offer behind-the-scenes looks, product demos, customer testimonials and just content which puts a friendly face on your business, videos allow brands to present themselves transparently, nurturing trust with their audience.

Information Retention

In an oft-repeated figure, 3M (who, apparently, do more than produce Post-Its) once claimed that ‘we can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text’. This figure has never been substantiated and was originally issued in a Presentation Skills guide back in 1997. But it has widely been accepted and is quoted with wild abandon. If it’s good enough for Fast Company and Forbes, it’s good enough for us!

What’s absolutely true is that the majority of people absorb information more successfully and more completely if they take it in visually. The educationalist, Edgar Dale, spent more than 20 years developing and improving his theories in various editions of his book Audiovisual Methods in Teaching (1946 – 1969). His “Cone of Experience” demonstrates that, in the absence of personal hands-on experience,  the majority of learners respond most positively to a mix of audio and moving picture or, in other words: video!

So, people remember personal experience the most – but you can tap into some of that using video marketing.

Let’s depict that in an easy-to-remember illo. We’ve divided the cone into convenient 10% slices, to make this point succinctly, although that does mean we’re taking some liberties with 20-plus years of Dale’s theorising. Sorry, Ed. Forgive and forget.


#CMAsterclass: Best Practices for Video Marketing

Anyone can create effective and engaging Video Marketing content. All it requires is a little knowhow based on some solid strategy. And, how do you create the strategy that will inform the content of your videos?

Know Your Audience

Do your market research. Successful video marketing begins with a deep understanding of your target demographic. Tailoring content to meet the specific interests, needs and pain-points of your audience ensures greater engagement and effectiveness.

SEO Optimisation

Make sure you optimise video titles, descriptions and tags. This will be a massive help for the search engines in presenting your work to your potential punters. Leverage keywords cleverly to make the most of this.


Incorporate narrative elements into your videos. This makes them more engaging and memorable. A compelling story can resonate with viewers, making your message more impactful. If you’re not sure how to tell your own story, we have a blog about that! A great starting point is to think of a problem your customer may have that your service can solve – then tell that story!

Quality Over Quantity

While it’s important to regularly put out new marketing content (of all types) – you always need to ensure that the idea is good and the execution is great! When it comes to Video Marketing, it may make more sense to focus on producing fewer, higher-quality videos. These will be more likely to leave a lasting impression on your audience.

Call to Action

Make sure you have a clear, actionable CTA (Call to Action). This is essential for driving viewers to take the next step, whether it’s visiting a website, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase. If you offer people options, that may just slow down their decision making and, if the moment is lost, they could click nothing and move on. So, make sure that each video has a single, simple offering that people can respond to – then make it easy for them to do exactly that.

Next Stop Hollywood: Essential Tools for Video Marketing

The right tools can make or break your video marketing efforts. From budget-friendly options for beginners to professional-grade software for more experienced creators, the market is filled with tools designed to meet various needs and skill levels.

Cameras and sound recording equipment, editing software and distribution platforms for hosting and analytics are all important choices that need making, But, the good news is, there are many options to choose from!

Lights, Camera, Action – Production

There are any number of combinations of equipment that you can employ – depending on what you want to achieve. But, at the very least you will need:

  • Cameras: A good quality camera is essential for producing clear high-definition images. Even hand-held ‘selfie’ videos need to look good. Camera equipment can range from extremely expensive professional-grade cameras to high-quality consumer cameras (known as ‘prosumer cameras’). But, don’t forget, you can achieve remarkable effects these days using up-to-date smartphones with advanced camera features.
  • Microphones: Nothing lets a video down more swiftly than poor sound. It’s one of those easily-overlooked aspects of filmmaking that is, nevertheless, crucial. Depending on the type of video, you might need lapel mics (for interviews), shotgun mics (for on-location shoots), condenser mics (for voiceovers and studio work) or studio mics (for voice-over work).
  • Lighting: Proper lighting can significantly improve the visual quality of your video. It’s amazing the difference just a couple of filmmaking lights can make. Basic lighting kits should include a key light, a fill light, a soft-box (to make the light less intense) and a reflector (so you can bounce one light back and light both sides of your subject with just one light).
  • Tripod: A tripod is necessary for stabilising your shots and avoiding shaky footage. Of course, you may want shaky footage, in which case, just hand hold the camera. For dynamic shots where the camera moves you may want to consider sliders (where the camera moves slowly sideways) or gimbals (so you can grip the camera safely in one hand and manoeuvre it).

Lights, Camera, Action – Crew

You don’t need a crew of hundreds of skilled professionals any more, however, you do need a bare minimum of people behind the camera to ensure a smooth production.

Of course, depending on the nature of the video being made, a skilled filmmaker can do a lot of these jobs themselves, all at the same time.

  • Producer: Someone needs to oversee the entire video production process, from planning to execution. This role can include scheduling, coordination, legal clearances and, most importantly, budgeting.
  • Director: This is the person who is, essentially, line manager on the shoot – they understand the objective of the project and instruct everyone else on what to do to produce the desired effect.
  • Camera Operator: Handles the camera work, ensuring that all footage is captured according to the director’s vision.
  • Sound Technician: Responsible for capturing high-quality audio during the shoot, which includes mic setup and monitoring audio levels.
  • Editor: Although part of post-production, an editor is crucial for assembling the captured footage into a coherent and engaging final product.

Lights, Camera, Action – Post-Production

There are various tasks that need to take place once the raw footage has been shot. This requires a range of solutions, for example:

  • Editing: Essential for cutting the footage into the correct sequence and removing bad takes and unnecessary passages. Popular video editing options include Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro.
  • Sound Editing: For improving audio quality, adding sound effects, or creating a soundtrack. You can use software packages like Avid Pro Tools or Audacity (which is free).
  • Graphics and Effects: For creating titles, motion graphics and visual effects. Adobe After Effects is a standard tool in the industry. Now we’re getting into the more user-surly end of the software market – these tools really need to be used by someone with specific skills and experience.
  • Storage: Video files, especially in high-definition or 4K, can be large. External hard drives or cloud storage solutions are necessary for backing up and storing footage.
  • File Management: Organising footage, audio files and other assets is crucial for an efficient post-production workflow. Everything needs to be clearly labelled or it could be lost forever.

So, you see, while no one pretends video production isn’t complicated – it doesn’t need to be prohibitively so. You can produce great work with a well-thought-out creative idea, a few skilled practitioners and some software solutions, you genuinely can produce videos of the highest calibre!

Getting your Video Marketing Seen

Of course, you can have the most amazing video ever made, but it won’t do you any good if no-one sees it – so you need to think about how you are going to strategically distribute your Video Marketing.

Different platforms cater to varied audiences, encourage different forms of engagement and offer distinct advantages and limitations. So, let’s check out a few pros and cons:



  • Massive Reach: YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, offering unparalleled access to a vast global audience.
  • SEO Benefits: Being owned by Google, YouTube videos are often favoured in search results, increasing visibility for your content and driving organic traffic.
  • Monetisation: YouTube allows creators to monetise their content through advertising, potentially providing an additional revenue stream.
  • Longevity: Videos on YouTube have a longer life span compared to content on other platforms, often accumulating views over months or even years.


  • Competition: More than 500 hours of new video content is uploaded every minute – meaning there is a huge amount of competition for those viewers’ eyeballs.
  • SEO Effort: Success on YouTube requires understanding and implementing SEO best practices, including keyword research and optimisation, but that should all be part of your initial strategy.
  • Ad Interruptions: Unless they’re using YouTube Premium, your viewers may have the video interrupted by adverts, which can potentially drive them away. However, the mere fact that you have ads enabled means the algorithm will serve your video to more viewers.

Social media is an obvious way for you to get the word out – especially if you already have good followings on your socials.

Facebook & Instagram


  • Targeted Reach: Both platforms offer sophisticated targeting options through paid advertising, allowing you to reach specific audiences through their interests, behaviours or location.
  • High Engagement: These platforms are designed to foster social interactions, which can lead to higher engagement rates for your videos.
  • Varied Formats: Through ‘stories’ and ‘reels’ as well as organic posts and paid advertising, these platforms support a wide range of content strategies.


  • Ephemeral Content: Content on these platforms can quickly become outdated or lost in the feed, requiring a constant stream of new content to stay relevant.
  • Pay-to-Play: To achieve significant reach, paid promotion is often necessary. Organic reach is often suppressed to encourage users to go the paid route.
  • Algorithm Changes: Frequent changes to the platforms’ algorithms can affect the visibility of your content, making it hard to predict performance.



  • Professional Audience: LinkedIn is the premier platform for B2B marketing, offering access to business professionals and decision-makers.
  • Content Longevity: Content on LinkedIn tends to have a longer shelf-life than on more fast-paced social networks, allowing your videos to continue generating views and engagement over time.


  • Niche Content: The platform is best suited for industry-specific or professional content, if you need to talk to end users rather than business people, LinkedIn is not the platform for you. On the other hand, if you do want to talk to business people – you are far more likely to find them on LinkedIn.
  • Lower Engagement Rates: Compared to more visual and interactive platforms, engagement rates may be lower.

Your Own Website


  • Control: Hosting videos on your website allows you to control the viewing experience, free from ads or competing content.
  • SEO Benefits: Embedded videos can improve your website’s SEO, increasing your site’s visibility in search engine results.
  • Lead Generation: Videos on your website can be used effectively in lead generation strategies, encouraging visitors to stay on your site, visit more pages, sign up for more content or contact you directly.


  • Limited Reach: Unless your website already has significant traffic, videos may not reach as wide an audience as they would on social media or YouTube.
  • Bandwidth and Hosting: Hosting video content can eat up your onsite storage, which can increase your hosting costs. Videos can also consume bandwidth, which may result in your whole website responding more slowly to visitors’ clicks.

So, you have a range of options open to you, any or all of which may be appropriate for different content if it has different targets and different intent. By strategically selecting distribution platforms that align with your audience’s habits and your marketing goals, you can amplify the reach and impact of your Video Marketing.

Or we could do your Video Marketing for you!

But, here’s a thing: If you still aren’t confident that you can pull it off, or you simply don’t have the time to commit to this; guess what… We can do it for you!

Here at CMA, we embed ourselves into our clients’ businesses. Your goals become our goals and we are totally committed to helping you reach, then exceed them.

Whether you’re needing to digitally transform your sales pipeline with a CRM, or freshen-up your image with a rebrand, we’re there for you.

And if you need to create world-class Video Marketing, we have the strategy, we have the technology, we have the talent to turn your ideas into box office gold!

And cut. That’s a wrap.

Further Reading

Elevate your Video Marketing with on-trend content:
A full suite of Video Marketing facts and figures:
More in-depth research into Video Marketing results:
An in-depth study of Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience:
A great guide to the kit you need to produce videos:

John Ashbrook

I'm a Senior Writer. I put words together to create sentences. Hey, I'm doing it now! If it needs words, the call goes out: "This is a job for John!" My red phone rings, I slide down my pole, switch my laptop batteries to 'power' and my turbines to 'speed' then I begin typing. What am I going to type this time, I wonder? Let's see ...
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