Social media and video marketing have now gone hand in hand, just like peanut butter and jelly.

With more than 4.7 billion users worldwide, social media are potential channels for businesses to expand their reach and catch more eyeballs on their products and services. No wonder a whopping 93% of marketers worldwide are using social media as marketing channels.

You might also notice that most viral content on social media is in the form of videos– from funny product videos to real-life-inspired promo videos. Now that we know, videos are one of the most preferred approaches to making a hit.

But are social media enthusiasts keen to watch lengthy videos and long branded advertisements?

Obviously not.

Not all videos can have the opportunity to grab users’ attention and go viral. Only well-crafted and short ones. After all, users are only one second away from scrolling past one content to another.

Here are six popular types of social media that can deal with the 8-second attention span on social media.

#1. Story-Driven Videos

No one goes on social media just to be pitched with hard-selling marketing messages. This is why you need to go beyond promoting your business through social media videos– whether you do TikTok marketing, Twitter marketing, or any social media marketing.

The combination of both visuals and audio elements makes videos great media for telling stories. You can pack a whole promotional message into a compelling story. Not only will stories make your videos less hard selling, but they also give users a reason why they should stick around and share the video.

A solid story-driven video will make users feel a certain emotion, whether it’s pure joy, inspiration, or even nostalgia. Nike is well-known for its social video campaigns that deliver shareable empowering stories.

#2. User-Generated Videos

Creating videos for social media regularly is not the easiest thing to do. This is where user-generated video content comes in handy.

User-generated videos are exactly what they sound like: videos created by your customers or fans, such as product review videos, unboxing videos, or even how-to videos. These types of social media videos are considered more authentic and trustworthy than brand-created videos. After all, users can relate more to other users than businesses.

Here’s an example of a user-generated video from Airbnb. This is user-submitted footage of a user who shares their travelling experience.

#3. Live Videos

Social media is all about a quick, even instant response. This is why live videos have become one of the most popular types of social media videos in recent years.

Live videos are perfect for special events or announcements, such as product launches, conferences, or even just a quick Q&A session with your fans. The best thing about live videos is that they create a sense of urgency and encourage users to tune in and stay until the end.

This also allows you to connect with your audience in real time and create a more intimate connection. You can address their questions or concerns directly.

For example, Sephora often does live-streaming sessions that let users gain some insights about a specific beauty product and get beauty tips from experts, cosmetic founders, as well as celebrities like Lady Gaga.

#4. Testimonial Videos

Before you can make a user convert into a paying customer, you need to make them trust your business in the first place. That’s where testimonial videos come in.

A testimonial video is a type of social media video that features customers, clients, or even employees talking about their experience with your brand. These types of videos are great because they come from a real person who has actually used your product or service.

Testimonial videos build trust and credibility, which are essential if you want to boost sales through social media. They’re also relatively easy to produce since you can simply ask your customers or employees to record a quick video testimonial for you.

Here’s an example of a testimonial video from Ascender HCM. They posted the video on YouTubewhich also embedded on other digital platforms.

#5. Behind-the-scenes Videos

When a brand shows what happens behind the scenes, it gives users a glimpse of its human side. Remember that today’s internet users need so much more than an instant response. They also want to connect with humanized and not faceless businesses.

This is where behind-the-scenes social media videos come in. These types of videos give users a “fly on the wall” experience and show them what happens when the cameras are off. It makes your brand more relatable, approachable, and down-to-earth.

Behind-the-scenes videos also give you a chance to show off your company culture. This is especially important if you’re looking to attract top talent.

Here’s an example of short behind-the-scenes video content from Holland Bulb Farms.

#6. Tutorial Videos

Tutorial videos are a great way to show off your products and services while also providing value to your audience. These types of videos can be anything from “how-to” guides to product demonstrations.

The key to tutorial videos is to make sure that they’re actually helpful and informative. No one wants to watch a boring, long-winded video. Keep your tutorial videos short, sweet, and to the point.

Here’s an example of a helpful tutorial video from Rare Beauty on TikTok. This clip shows users some hacks to get flawless rosy cheeks using their blush.

#7. Interactive Videos

The most popular social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, in particular, are all about engagement. So it only makes sense that one of the best types of social media videos for Instagram is the interactive video.

Interactive videos are a great way to get users to stop scrolling and actually pay attention to your social media content.

These videos can be anything from polls and quizzes to challenges and contests. There are a bunch of stickers and features that you can use to make your videos more interactive.

Below is an example of an interactive social video from Good Dye Young. They create quick video content to answer one of the questions from their Twitter audiences directly.

Over to You

It’s crucial to provide social media users with a variety of videos as no videos are created equal– each of them has its own purpose.

For example, story-driven videos are effective in boosting shares and increasing brand awareness, while testimonial videos do a better job of establishing trust.

As long as you produce quality content that’s helpful, informative, or entertaining, you’re on the right track to boosting sales and conversions with social media videos.

With the quick list of popular social video types above, you now have a better idea of what social videos you should be creating for your brand to achieve your desired marketing goals.


Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).

Twitter: @breadnbeyond


LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro