Video Types and Their Uses

Ok, so the title isn’t the most inspired in the world.  But hey, you must be keen to learn about video types and their uses to have landed here. And I have no plan to disappoint you. So with no further ado, this post is all about video types and their uses.

If you want to produce a video you might ask, what video type do I want? Funny, inspiring, informative or educational? But really the first question should be ‘what is the purpose?’ Because once you know that it’s much simpler to figure out what to make.

So let’s begin by discussing the different types of videos and how they can be used.  And this should help you figure out if the type will suit your purpose.

Video types

Generally, web videos fit into four categories. Educational. Inspiring. Entertaining. Informative.

So which one of these categories does your communication idea fit into, how do you choose one that suits your purpose?

Let’s work through these categories and the video types that fit into them.

Educational videos can be training videos, capacity building, knowledge building or ‘how to’ videos. Their purpose is to educate the audience in some way.

Inspiring videos are often used to project what is possible. To get people to do something or to motivate an audience, or to connect with them emotionally.

Entertaining videos can be funny, story-driven, creative and provoke emotion. There are many styles and options but their purpose is to entertain the audience. People want to share entertaining videos, they may not remember what they were about two days later but they’ll remember how it made them feel.

Informative videos tend to be about ‘how to’s’ or training, building capacity or sharing updates.

It’s easy to remember these types with a simple acronym E I E I O… just like Old MacDonald’s farm… ok I degrees but the o could stand for ‘other’ or ‘Oh’?

Video Uses

Educational videos

Often used as ‘about’ videos as their purpose is to educate an audience ‘about’ something, a brand, a product, a company etc. You often see them on websites.  Live videos are also often educational and can be made with simple tools such as webinar software.  Facebook, Instagram and YouTube all support live videos so this makes them by far the easiest and most accessible to create.  This type of video is very effective for education and also very straight forward to create as they require minimal editing and can be produced on a computer with a webcam or even your phone.  No expensive camera gear is required.

Animation is often used in educational videos as animation can be very useful to communicate complex ideas and information.  Often you’ll see a series of educational videos that drip-feed out the content over a number of videos.

Inspiring Videos

A pitch video is usually inspiring because you’re trying to get the viewer on board with your idea. You’re pitching an idea to them. Fundraising videos are generally inspiring because you want your funders to feel something, to really engage with your project or cause and be inspired to donate.

Likewise, social cause videos need to inspire the audience to connect them to an issue.  Other uses for inspiring videos are campaign videos, crowdfunding, a website about videos, videos that you send directly to your sponsors. Videos that you use in presentations or speeches.  Inspiring videos are also great for advocacy and taking your audience on a journey.



Entertaining Videos

This is a very common type of video.  Apart from the news, just about everything we watch could be considered entertainment in some way.  So what is the purpose of entertaining videos and could they be right for you?  Advertising videos are often entertaining as they want you to feel good about what your watching.  And associate feeling good with the product being advertised. Promotional ads are often entertaining.

If a video is funny or humorous, it becomes very sharable and will work well on social media which can help your message spread.  Videos that spark emotion make them sharable.  People may not remember the content of the video a few hours after they watched it.  But they’ll remember how it made them feel and will likely tell others about it.

Entertaining videos are often scripted & creative. They may use actors and require storyboards, scripts and higher production needs than other types of videos.  But they could also be a talk show, or interviews and not scripted.

Informative Videos

Often informative videos are instructional, how-to or teaching videos.  They can also be really useful for capacity building, internal communications as well as social sharing.  We’ve created many videos for large companies wanting to keep their teams and stakeholders up to date with project progress.  They’re a great way to build goodwill with teams and keep them in the loop.  Equally, they can be very useful to keep local communities abreast of developments.  As well as creating content for use in social sharing.

There’s a lot to unpack and we’ve got loads of examples and ideas in this Moonshine Moonshot episode on Video Types and Their Uses which you can click on just below.

Whatever you decide to create, videos are a great way to communicate.  The trick is to know your purpose and then choose the type of video that’s going to connect with your audience the most effectively.

There’s lots to learn about how to craft a good video but this will get you thinking in the right direction.  You can find lots more topics on video production in the Moonshine Moonshot blog. We cover everything from messaging, calls to action, who’s the best messenger and how to cast your talent.

As always, we’d love to know what you think so leave us a comment.




Want more tips? Watch our bonus video: 9 ways to make the most out of your content marketing


Our goal is to WOW you with great tips that help you make great content. The world needs more great content. There’s no shortage of boring videos so avoid the pitfalls by learning how to make engaging videos that make an impact by following this series. In the Moonshine Moonshot series Mike Hill and Sue Collins discuss how to make the impossible possible with weekly episodes diving into new topics. They share loads of tips and info on how to improve your communications and generate results for your projects.

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