Last updated on 12th January 2022
An average of 2,500 new videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Getting noticed amongst all that footage is tricky. Which is why you’ll need to be highly creative to make your business stand out. Help is at hand, however, with our list of 21 YouTube video ideas for businesses that want to be seen on the world’s second largest social media platform.
Amazing YouTube video ideas
1. Behind the scenes (Ugly Drinks)
Giving your viewers a sneak preview into how your business operates is a great way to build more views and engagement. Taking them behind the scenes with a privileged tour of the inner workings of your business will reveal your brand’s relatable human side. Which in turn encourages your audience to become more invested in your offer. Even if you’re a small team that relies on remote working and coffee shop meet-ups, like Ugly Drinks, you can still provide a fascinating inside view of how your business operates with this creative YouTube video idea.
2. Recruitment video (SAP)
Are you searching for an ‘agile’, ‘value-added’ candidate who can ‘reach out’ to your clients? No? Good. Instead, why not ‘park’ the business jargon in favour of an inspirational recruitment video that really illustrates your business’ core values. A great recruitment video can even tackle big issues like gender equality. Business software giants, SAP, used an animated recruitment video to great effect in their efforts to position their workplace as somewhere that actively encourages women to aim higher. You could use this type of YouTube idea to influence your own recruitment campaigns.
3. Company culture (HubSpot)
Another good YouTube video idea if you’re vlogging for business is to make a video that highlights your company’s culture. Unpacking your business’ goals, values and reason for being is a great way to demonstrate what makes your organisation tick. Your video doesn’t have to be stuffy or overly corporate either. Digital marketing gurus, HubSpot, absolutely nailed this idea with their kitsch, 80s inspired company culture video. This semi-animated video pokes just the right amount of fun at themselves, whilst still accentuating their professionalism – a textbook example of a ‘work hard, play hard’ company culture.
4. Meet the team (Olympus Group)
As we know, it’s the people behind the brand that invariably drive a company’s success. Giving your audience a glimpse of the faces and personalities of those responsible for creating your products or delivering your services is a great way to foster a stronger personal connection with your customers. It’s captivating to see how a diverse workforce can pull together for a common cause. More often than not, your personnel can become your company’s most vocal mascots. Or they can be your mascots and make them in Olympus Group’s case. You get the picture.
5. Product showcase (Nest)
A product video is an excellent YouTube video idea for businesses planning to demonstrate the features and benefits of their must-have invention. Our research shows that 84% of people have been swayed to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video. Nest develop smart, connected-home devices that are designed to simplify everyday activities, like controlling your thermostat. It stands to reason then that they’d produce an elegantly simple animated explainer video to demonstrate the benefits of their smart home concept. Keeping it simple like this is a great place to start when showcasing your own product.
6. New product announcement (Google Now)
When the time comes to launch a brand-new product, an announcement video gives you the opportunity to wax lyrical about its advantages. More in-depth than a product showcase, this type of YouTube video idea can even feature a comparison of predecessor or competitor products to show how your new product has evolved. If you can show your prospective customers how your product works and why it can benefit them, just as Google achieved with aplomb in this animated explainer video, then you’re already halfway there in terms of convincing your viewers that they need your product in their lives.
7. Special event announcement (McDonald’s)
Another great YouTube video technique to keep your audience engaged is to create some hype around an upcoming special event. Promoting a one-off event that really captures the imagination and taps into the current zeitgeist can be a really effective way to generate buzz around your brand. McDonald’s are the absolute masters of leveraging topical issues to draw attention to their corporate social responsibility efforts. In this example, they created a brilliant animated video to highlight all the alternative modes of transport customers could use to pick up their Big Macs on World Car-Free Day. Tortoise-driven sled anyone?!
8. Explainer video (Wyzowl)
Explainer videos are perfect for illustrating how a product or service business works. Ideal for simplifying complex features or theories, explainer videos are far more illuminating and immediate than words can ever hope to be. In fact, our studies have shown that 69% of people would choose video over text to learn about a product or service. We’ve produced our fair share of explainer videos and have even gone as far as creating this explainer video to explain explainer videos. We’ll let the video do the explaining!
9. Employee profile videos (Hilton)
Profiling an individual employee working at your company can be a great way to give your audience a one-to-one introduction to your talent pool. Adopting a narrower focus than a ‘meet the team’ video, employee profiles typically involve a short interview that uncovers your interviewee’s background, skills and contribution to your business. Hilton’s video provides an interesting insight into the motivations behind one team member’s reasons for joining the hotel chain. Human interest is always compelling material for YouTube videos.
10. How to/tutorials (GingerPale)
If you don’t know how to do something, where’s the first place you go? YouTube, right. The video giant is awash with tutorial videos and it’s a genre that you can tap into. The point of this YouTube video idea is to share actionable knowledge for your viewers to learn from. You’re an expert in your field, so why not underline that fact by offering handy hints and tips to your audience? YouTube animator, GingerPale, does exactly that with this step-by-step animated explainer about how he goes about producing his videos – from writing the initial script, right through to uploading his creation.
11. Product/service/app tutorial (Headspace)
An excellent technique for gaining exposure to your product or service is making a tutorial video. You can walk your audience through the intricacies of whatever you’re selling and share valuable insights into the best ways to use it. You can learn from the likes of meditation app developers, Headspace, whose lovely clean and simple animated example epitomises the stress-free experience that their app sets out to deliver. If you can align the look and feel of your tutorial video with the fundamental principles associated with your product like this, then you’re onto a winner.
12. Webinar (Yoast)
If you’ve hosted an educational webinar, you can post the recorded footage of your event on YouTube for those who couldn’t attend your event the first time around or to generate traction with a whole new audience. By their very nature, webinars are designed to be interactive and those interactions translate extremely well into video format. SEO experts, Yoast, launched a conversational-style webinar to explain essential SEO tips. This is one of the most accessible and easiest YouTube video ideas for you to try without having to stretch your budget too much.
13. Live stream from an event (EA SPORTS FIFA)
There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation about witnessing a live event. If you’re planning a special event or launch, then why not stream it live? You can use your social channels to generate interest well in advance and build up a groundswell of excitement. Take a leaf out of EA SPORTS’ playbook, who live streamed the latter stages of their FIFA FUT Champions Cup event to thousands of engaged viewers. If you’ve got an interesting product to speak about, the engagement levels are worth the logistics.
14. Ask Me Anything (SPORF)
Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussions have been popularised on Reddit and Twitter but translate perfectly to video. This type of YouTube idea can either take the form of a live stream or a recorded event where you collate your audience’s questions in advance and pose them to an expert in your business. AMA videos can often reveal surprises. For instance, who could have predicted that Eden Hazard is as sharp witted off the pitch as he is skillful on it without this video from SPORF?
15. Interview someone interesting (BBC News)
Put that little black book to work and invite an interesting or authoritative figure from your industry to appear in an interview video. This is an opportunity for some valuable reciprocal exposure and is particularly useful if you can make it a collaborative effort, whereby your video is shared on each other’s channels. Just be sure to do your homework and thoroughly vet your interview subject beforehand, as Guy Goma’s now legendary BBC ‘interview’ proves in all its cringe-worthy glory.
16. Testimonials (HP)
If you’ve received positive feedback from your customers or clients, why not ask them to come in and film a testimonial video? As far as actionable YouTube video ideas go, this is right up there with the best of them. Testimonial videos are a great way to evidence “social proof” and offer an independent perspective on your products or services. You could even ask customers to send you webcam testimonials to save time and money. It helps if you can splice your testimonials with footage of your products in action, just like HP did in this testimonial video.
17. Whiteboard video (Moz)
Whiteboard videos are an engaging way to explain complex ideas with a highly visual narrative. The traditional approach is to film an expert deconstructing a theory on a whiteboard. However, latterly the growing trend is for digital whiteboard videos featuring an animated illustrator who draws a story as the narrator tells it. If you go down the old school route, you’re heavily dependent on finding a charismatic speaker, like Moz’s Rand Fishkin, who can bring the discussion subject to life. If you don’t have anyone comfortable enough in front of camera, then the digital route works just as well.
18. Competitions/contests (Kiesel Guitars)
Competition or contest videos are an excellent way to get your audience involved in your video content. If you can encourage your viewers to develop their own mini-videos as part of your wider competition, then not only are you ramping up the engagement but you’re also going to benefit from fresh, original content with very little effort required on your behalf. When Kiesel Guitars ran a contest to find a guitarist with the most creative “licks” using one of their guitars, they hit advertising gold.
19. List videos (Neil Patel)
We all love a good list. You’re reading this article, right?! Lists are powerful because they tap into what psychologists call “schemata” – the mental maps we build up from experience – and provide digestible, bitesize snippets of information. If you’re breaking down techniques or top-ranked products, then a list video can work wonders. Follow the example of SEO guru, Neil Patel, and employ this YouTube video idea to give your audience added value with a list of useful recommendations for them to take away and use.
20. Top tips (Warhammer)
Another way to enrich your viewer’s lives is by providing tips that subtly promote your brand, product, or expertise. If you can provide actionable tips on a topic that you’re knowledgeable about, then you’ll foster a level of trust that should see your audience visit you again to glean more insights and buy into your products or services. Warhammer have a cult following of avid hobbyists and by sharing tips on how to achieve the perfect paint job they simultaneously upskill their customers and promote their paints and figures. It’s a clever dual approach to building up a cache of brand loyalty.
21. Case studies (Ritz Carlton)
Taking the customer testimonials YouTube idea a step further, case study videos are the perfect way to illustrate how your products or services have benefitted particular customers. This type of collaboration can give you relatable content that brings your product offering to the fore. Ritz Carlton achieved this in a really innovative way when they created this animated video that highlights the true story of a happy couple whose romantic proposal story unfolded in one of their hotels. The upshot is a beautifully subtle endorsement of the hotel giant’s upmarket offering.
As this list proves, there are countless YouTube video ideas that you can leverage to get your business noticed. All you need is the spark of an idea and either the hands-on skills to do it yourself or the support of creative collaborators to develop eye-catching and memorable live action or animated explainer videos and the YouTube world is your oyster. If you’d like to learn more, then check out this blog about how to get more views on YouTube.