10 Types of Video Production Compared

Written by
Elly Henriksen
Published on
July 2, 2024
Table of contents

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From the tiny screens of our smartphones to the cinema halls, videos have become the universal language of our times.

But while it feels like a no-brainer to feed your audience's insatiable appetite for videos, as a creator, you might have difficulty choosing exactly what type of video to create.

With so many different video types at your fingertips, the decision is akin to picking the right outfit from an overflowing wardrobe.

This blog post compares the main 10 types of video production and video genres, giving you a more precise map to:

  • Guide your creative decisions.
  • Caft videos that match your vision and resonate with your audience.

Examples of types of video production

Below, we outline the main categories of video production, looking into the different video types in each category, as well as into production costs and time implications.

1. Corporate videos

Corporate videos have outgrown their traditional roles. From the mere marketing tools they used to be, they've become practical communication tools that offer companies a unique platform to showcase their culture, values, and mission. That's why corporate productions include a broad range of video content that supports business activities, such as:

  • Training materials: Training videos educate employees on new processes, tools, or company policies.
  • Compliance guides: Compliance videos convey legal and ethical guidelines for a specific audience in a digestible, easier-to-understand format.
  • Testimonial footage: Testimonial videos featuring customer experiences or employee endorsements boost a company's credibility and trustworthiness.

The most common types of video production for corporates tend to be training videos and informational videos, with companies investing significant time into onboarding and ongoing training. Check out this corporate video example:

Intro to Customer Centric Leadership Strategies

In terms of production, most corporate videos usually require a medium budget. The goal is to balance high-quality production with existing financial constraints and, ideally, with a minimal production time.

2. Animated videos

Animated videos tell stories and share information in a way that sticks and appeals to broad audiences. When companies turn to this production type to create animated informational videos, they typically get to choose between various styles:

  • 2D character animation: A simple and versatile artistic style that relies on two-dimensional characters and scenes.
  • 3D character animation: A more complex style that creates a dynamic and immersive experience by adding depth and volume to characters and environments.
  • Vector animation: A clean and sleek style that relies on computer-generated vector graphics and is also scalable, maintaining quality regardless of size changes.

When planning animated video projects, consider that costs vary depending on the animation style and video length. This direct length-budget relationship is because each frame in animation must be individually created and designed by artists. Longer videos naturally require more extensive work and resources.

3. Explainer videos

Explainer videos communicate complex ideas, products, or services in an engaging and easily understandable format. Animated explainer videos, in particular, are incredibly versatile and can be tailored to various needs, which is why many businesses and innovators prefer them.

On platforms like Kickstarter, explainers are often the first point of contact between creators and potential backers, making it essential for these videos to be clear, concise, and compelling.

The production style of explainer videos varies greatly, mostly because different products and services have distinct presentation needs. Graphics and animations help illustrate the complex functionalities of tech products, whereas a narrative-driven approach with customer testimonials may be better for a lifestyle product.

The variety of styles means that these types of video production differ widely in budget and execution time. A simple, graphics-based video is more budget-friendly and quicker to produce. In contrast, a video requiring high-quality animations, professional actors, or elaborate sets costs more and takes longer.

4. Product demonstration videos 

Product demonstration videos offer a visual and practical showcase of a product's features and benefits. Basically, they help potential customers understand the product and its value proposition. 

Demos often pair with product review videos where users share experiences and opinions about the product. Combining testimonial videos with product demonstrations enhances the authenticity and trust of these informational videos while creating a powerful narrative.

Screencast software makes it easy to create different types of videos that demo software or digital products. Tools like Synthesia, which offers screen recording capabilities, allow for easy and cost-effective video productions and high-quality demonstration videos like this one:

TimeSaver: Time Tracking App

A medium budget will likely be necessary for physical or educational products requiring live demonstrations or interactive product videos. These productions often involve elaborate setups with professional equipment and actors or presenters, like in this interesting video from LifeSaver

5. Live videos

Live videos, including news clips and news events, live streams, and live-in-studio productions, are a dynamic and engaging video style that is increasingly popular across various platforms.

A live production uniquely appeals to the audience because it feels immediate and authentic. It offers an unfiltered real-time connection with the video content, thus pulling people in.

For content creators, live productions also present a unique element. Because production and post-production happen simultaneously, there's little room for error. The planning and execution must be precise. Without extensive editing or post-production work, doing a live video reduces production time.

Budgets for different types of video in this category can vary greatly depending on the desired production quality. The costs for a basic live stream, such as a solo vlogger streaming from a webcam, can be relatively low. And simple live streams only require essential equipment like a camera, microphone, and a stable internet connection.

In contrast, high-quality in-studio live productions require a much more substantial investment in equipment, crew, venue, set design, and technical support.

6. Presenter videos (talking head videos)

Presenter videos, or talking head videos, typically feature a presenter or speaker who directly addresses the audience, explaining concepts and sharing insights or knowledge.

The human element creates a personal connection with the viewer. Having a presenter makes information feel more accessible. In return, accessibility helps with the goal-oriented nature of these videos used for education, internal communications, or training purposes. 

While it may seem difficult to constantly rely on a presenter to create such instructional videos or how-to videos, tools like the AI video maker Synthesia simplify the process.

Synthesia uses artificial intelligence to generate realistic videos without a live presenter or any filming setup. You sit at your computer, type in the text you want the presenter to say, and the tool turns it into a video. That video features a virtual presenter who speaks your text in your selected language. It looks incredibly real and works for different types of video. Here's how it's done:

Discover Synthesia in 4 minutes | Product Tour

With this approach, creating presenter videos requires minimum expenses, time, and human resources. One monthly software subscription and someone at your company in charge of AI video production can help you create tens of monthly videos.

7. Promotional videos 

Promotional videos capture the audience's attention and convey a message compellingly. These marketing videos can take various forms on different channels, from the standard TV commercial and occasional real estate video to online video ads.

While each promotional video type serves a unique purpose, they all share the goal of promoting a product, service, or brand. So, the term encompasses a lot more than product video.

Promotional videos motivate and persuade. They intend to drive action — make a purchase, sign up for a service, share the video content, interact with the brand, etc. Successful promotional videos require creating content that resonates with the target audience, capturing their interest and compelling them to act.

One of the successful advertising videos is Dollar Shave Club's famous ad, "Our blades are f***ing great."

DollarShaveClub.com - Our Blades Are F***ing Great

This viral ad generated 12,000 subscription sign-ups in the first 48 hours it went live. And from the 28 million YouTube views it got since then, 4,75 million views were in the first free months.

Production-wise, when creating promotional videos, it's common practice to record one long marketing video and edit it into shorter segments for use on various platforms, especially social media.

This approach makes content creation more efficient. It lets you soften the high production costs by finding multiple uses that generate revenue for one expensive production. So, shorter versions of the main promotional video can be tailored for different platforms, optimizing engagement and reach.

8. Documentary films

Documentary films are a powerful medium for storytelling and presenting real-world issues, personalities, and events (the latter differs from event videos). They come in various forms, each offering a unique perspective on the subject matter. And among the diverse documentary genres, poetic documentaries and participatory documentaries stand out for their distinct approaches to storytelling.

The production budget for documentaries can range from mid to high, largely depending on the profile and scale of the project.

Most documentaries have a runtime of 30 to 90 minutes, and the longer ones can cost as much as a reality TV show to produce. Cost factors include production quality, the need for specialized equipment like macro lenses, and travel to specific locations.

Expenses also come when filming in remote or hard-to-reach locations that require logistical planning and potentially more crew members. Still, ‎remote video production technology opened up cost-saving opportunities by letting you film anywhere you need without taking the entire production team on set, thus optimizing the budget.

9. Entertainment videos 

Entertainment videos are a broad and diverse category, including music videos, travel videos, destination videos, social media videos, and full-fledged online movies and series. This range of content ensures something for every taste and interest, making entertainment video clips a crucial part of the media landscape.

Music videos are a particularly vibrant subset of entertainment videos. They visually show what a song is about, adding more feeling and story to the music. And they can range from simple, low-budget productions to high-end cinematic experiences, depending on the artist's vision and resources.

When it comes to production, entertainment videos can be either creator-made or production studio-made.

Production studios typically produce films and series, often with medium to high budgets, allowing for more elaborate storytelling, higher production values, and a wider reach. 

By contrast, creator-made content on social media platforms, such as short Facebook videos, fun stuff for TikTok, and long-form YouTube videos, is usually produced with more modest means. An independent video producer may start with limited video capabilities. They rely only on their cellphone cameras, creativity, and personality to engage viewers. Or they gather large audiences around comparison videos on hot topics.

The budget for entertainment videos varies significantly. While production studios often have substantial budgets for their projects, many micro-creators have shown that it's possible to entertain and amass a large following with minimal resources like a smartphone-filmed online video.

10. Educational videos

Educational videos are indispensable to learning and knowledge sharing. Stand-alone in nature, an educational video provides clear and concise explanations of a specific concept (for instance, how blockchain works). The focus on teaching and learning concepts in video lessons differentiates this type of video from the more structured, multi-step video training.

Yet another aspect that differentiates educational videos from video training is that they are designed to cater to a wide range of learning needs. They have a less specific learning path but can focus on a single concept or idea, allowing content creators to delve deeply into a subject.

Educational videos can go from formal academic instruction to TED videos, online courses, and informal teaching on specific topics, like in the example below:

Introduction to Neural Networks | Cloneable Example Video

Whether you craft your educational video as an animated explainer video, in-depth lecture, or interactive tutorial, you can really tweak it to cater to visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners, making it a highly effective educational tool.

The solution to creating almost any type of video

AI can be your savvy scriptwriter, editor, and director.

Creating a video with Synthesia is streamlined and time-saving, eliminating the need to schedule filming, set up equipment, or find a suitable presenter. This can be particularly helpful for businesses or educators who require frequent updates to their video content or need to produce videos in multiple languages — Synthesia can generate them in 130+ languages.

You can use this AI video maker for (almost) all video types, and you'll only need your computer and an internet connection. Make a free AI video today.


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