While working through the keywords for our Adwords campaign, we noticed that the search terms people use to find us often don’t match the type of video they are seeking information about.

The main confusion appears to be over Corporate Videos, Marketing Videos, Product Videos and Sales Videos.

This got us thinking. As video professionals, we should be doing our bit to help clear up this confusion.

So here’s a list of terms and their meanings which will help you sort out what kind of video you really need to help your business to market, sell, train, educate, communicate, and grow.


Some people use the term Corporate Video to mean any video produced for a company, excepting TV commercials and training videos. However, Corporate Video has a more specific and useful meaning:


A Corporate Video is a specific kind of video designed to be part of the corporate image of an organisation. It is a high-level presentation of the organisation. A Corporate Video communicates key aspects of the organisation’s values, philosophy, and ethics, as well as showcasing product ranges or spread of services. It should position the company’s values, assets and product mix against those of its competitors. A Corporate Video encapsulates the corporate philosophy of a company, its flavour, essence and difference.

Your Corporate Video should make the viewer respect your organisation, feel positive and confident about engaging in a relationship with you, and look forward to doing business with you.


A Corporate Video is used to deliver a high level message about a company, prior to a more specific presentation – financial, technical, shareholder, etc. It can kick off an AGM, or a business-to-business sales pitch, a presentation to potential partners or to government authorities. When translated into different language versions, it will give a company or organisation international reach.


Target audiences for a Corporate Video:

  • Shareholders
  • Investors – institutional and individual
  • Analysts
  • Brokers
  • Bankers
  • Clients/Customers
  • Governments/Legislators
  • Potential Business Partners
  • Potential JV Partners
  • Employees


This is a video designed to help get a prospect over the line and close the deal.


A Sales Video is a video used in a presentation to help the salesperson or sales team make a specific sale, or on a website to help move the customer through to an online purchase.

A Sales Video usually sets the scene for a more detailed technical, financial, or logistical sales presentation or a customer-specific proposal.

A Sales Video usually contains a more detailed look at your products/services, facilities, after-sales service and support, and testimonials, with the objective of making the potential customer confident about making the purchase, closing the deal, processing the transaction, and eager to give you cold hard cash for what you are offering.

A Sales Video will emphasise the quality and utility of the product, and your organisation’s ability to deliver the right product with excellent service and support. The result is a prospect who is ready and willing to buy the goods.


It can be delivered as part of a face-to-face sales meeting or pitch, or to potential customers/clients online.

When used by a salesperson or sales team, it can open the presentation, to be followed by a more specific proposal tailored to the prospect’s requirements. When used online, its job is to deliver a sales pitch which results in the prospect hitting the buy now button. It can also be used in-store at point of purchase.


Target audiences for a Sales Video are:


  • Potential Customers/Clients
  • Sales Staff (for training)
  • Online Customers


  • Potential customers online and in store


(This is the confusing one)

The term ‘Marketing’ is so loose and elastic, it has come to include most aspects of sales as well as promotional, marketing and advertising activities, as well as investor relations. Obviously, a phrase with so broad a range of meanings is pretty useless for communicating anything.

Similarly, the term ‘Marketing Video’ is a catch-all for any video which does any part of the sales, marketing or investor communications job.


The old meaning of the term Marketing Video was a video about marketing.

The more ususal meaning is any video which is used to communicate and enhance the perceived value of a product or service to potential customers or investors with the object of selling that product or service, or attracting investment (think kickstarter videos).

Often a marketing video will perform just one part of an entire marketing matrix. As such, it has to dovetail in and complement a number of other marketing activities.

An online talking head video is a marketing video. So is a video that is so compelling, funny, dramatic or interesting that it ‘markets’ itself – in that people will want to share it with other people. This is the elusive viral video.

A corporate video could be called a marketing video. So could a sales video and a product video. A safety training video is NOT a marketing video. Though a sales training video might be considered a marketing video.

This kind of marketing video is any video which is part of that group of ‘marketing’ activities which includes anything and everything that makes the likelihood of a sale more probable.





The point is, when you use the term ‘marketing video’ its meaning is so broad and vague, only you know what type of video you’re talking about.


A product video is a video designed to showcase a product (or service). it can be a lavish extension of a TV ad, a highly technical exploration of a product, or a simple, elegant introduction or explanation of the product and it’s key features. A product video is often like a really long commercial.


A product video showcases a product or product range, demonstrates it in use or in action, and explains the benefits of its (many) features. A product video, like a TV commercial, needs to be enthusiastic, positive, and confident.

The utility of a product video is that it can introduce and detail the features and benefits without the constraint of a 30 sec. time limit.

A good product video can exert its influence early and/or late in the purchase decision-making process.

A product video will make potential customers understand the features and benefits of your product in a way that makes them want to purchase, or reassures them that they have made a good purchasing decision.


A product video can be used online, in showrooms, at exhibitions, at point of purchase online or offline, it can be mailed or emailed to prospective customers. It can work as a stand-alone sales machine or it can be part of a structured sales pitch.


Target audiences for a product video are mostly B2C but can include re-sellers:

  • Customers
  • Potential Customers
  • Online Customers
  • Potential Distributors
  • Potential Retailers – Coles, Woolworths, etc.



A short (please), simple (please), clear (please), concise (please) video that explains the utility/value of a system, a product, or a process.

It usually includes illustrations or simple animations. And is most often deployed online. The two main types of explainer videos are whiteboard videos and talking head (or presenter) videos.


A simple, graphic video in which words and iconic images are drawn onscreen while a voice-over speaks. Good for explaining single topics succinctly, like your company’s philosophy, your company’s difference, a product benefit, or a particular point-of-view.

Whiteboard videos are usually bland, boring, and the format has been beaten to death.

They make your organization look like it has just woken up after a long sleep.


Also known as a spokesperson video. Usually a simple, portrait-style video featuring a company representative selling the company or the product, or a customer endorsing the product or the company. Talking head videos are deployed on websites, blogs, social media forums, etc.

Depending entirely on the selected Baphomet, talking head videos can be quite interesting or achingly dull. Mostly the latter.


A talking head about a product, service or organisation.


A talking head interacting more or less competently with a product.


Anything except a TV ad or a safety video.


A web video is any of the above, deployed on a website, a blog page, a video site such as Youtube and Vimeo, or on social media pages – Facebook and Google+.


A web video.


A video on your website.


A web video that is so entertaining or compelling, that people share it with colleagues, family and friends. In this way, the video ‘markets’ itself. This viral quality is the holy grail, or mecca (or shangri-la or ganges, if we want to be truly inclusive,) of online video making. However, many are made, few are chosen. It takes genius and luck. But mostly luck.

Viral success can raise awareness of a brand. And demonstrate that a stodgy brand maybe isn’t run by superannuated old farts. But viral success doesn’t often translate into measurable sales success.


There are a number of different kinds of training videos. Each has, at its core, an intent to educate the viewer into a new, better way of doing something. Mostly, training videos are not marketing videos.

A Safety Video is not trying to sell anything except, perhaps, the idea of performing work related tasks without killing or injuring yourself and others.

A Sales Training Video is a video which educates sales staff, bless them, into more effective selling.

A Product Training Video can be for customers or employees. It educates users of a product into more effective, efficient, safer or more productive use of a particular product.


Avoid broad, generic terms like ‘marketing video’ and ‘promotional video’ because nobody will have a clue what you’re on about. And some will suspect that, maybe, that’s your plan.

If there is a hierarchy of video terminology here it is:


Sells the organisation. Big Picture. Aim for the Stars.


Sells the product. Features & Benefits


B2B – Sells the product, value, utility, service, support, relationship, etc. Usually deployed during sales presentations to set the scene before mentioning the price.

 B2C – Sells the product, value, utility, service, support, relationship, etc. Usually deployed on websites and at point of sale, to push the sale over the line.


Like ‘promotional video’ the term ‘marketing video’ is so vague it’s meaningless. So use it whenever you want to communicate nothing and confuse people.



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