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Video Content Marketing: What It Is and What It Isn't

Posted by Alex Holmes

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July 4, 2016


Here’s your quick crash course in the difference between video content marketing and commercials. If you’re considering adding video to your content strategy then this is a good place to start.

Video Content Marketing: What it is and What it isn’t ...

Simply put,

  • Video content marketing IS informative, engaging, and sometimes entertaining.
  • Video content marketing IS NOT a commercial.
  • Video content marketing IS accessible to more marketers than traditional video advertising.
  • Video content marketing IS NOT something that magically works no matter what.

Video Content Marketing vs. Commercials

Commercials are about SAYING, whereas video content marketing is about SHOWING.

Brands use commercials to say things about themselves: “This is what we do,” “This is where we are located,” “We are having a sale this weekend,” “We are better than our competitors,” etc. Video content is how brands can show their consumers who they are, how they operate, what their personality is, what it is really like to work with them, etc.

Look at these two campaigns from Gatorade as an example:

Commercial: We Love Sweat” Campaign  


Video Content Marketing: Sweat it to Get It” Campaign 


We get the same core brand message from both: Gatorade is for when we sweat. The commercial is just telling us Gatorade loves sweat, but the fun vending machine video shows us we can’t even have Gatorade unless we earn it by sweating. The “We Love Sweat” commercial is meant to be experienced passively when it runs on TV or before a online video, but the “Sweat it to Get it” video is meant to be experienced on its own, shared and talked about the viewer can engage with the content.

Video Content Marketing: Open to the Public

Video content is a powerful force in marketing right now and, unlike most traditional advertising, it isn’t just for big powerful brands. Just to enter into the TV or digital video advertising space, you must not only invest in the production of the commercial but also have a big enough budget to get good placement—it needs to run often enough to build frequency and get a reaction. Plus, you will need to have fresh, new ads regularly.

Conversely with video content, anyone with a decent smartphone has the basic tools to enter the field. All it costs to get content in front of consumers is the time it takes to upload it and press “share.”

Live video content is an exploding form of marketing, and luckily, it’s also the easiest form of content you can create. If you’re going to incorporate video into your content marketing, I suggest you research and develop a clear goal for it. That way, you can make sure it’s working toward your goal, because it’s very easy to get swept away in the fun of video marketing and lose sight of the end-game (which is usually increased revenue).

Inbound Marketing 101

Topics: video, inbound marketing, media, professional services

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