Even though you want to avoid using sales speak in a business video, you’re bound to hear some jargon batted around while you’re planning and making one — as well as measuring its success. So what are the terms that actually matter, and what do you need to know to ensure your videos are promoting your business better than a windsock person ever could? Below, find our list of the most important industry lingo to familiarize yourself with, and how the terms you already know apply to videos.

Key message

Your key message is the *key* to your audience’s hearts! Really, you can think of it as a fancy way to say ‘story.’ In every great business video, no matter the goal, you should highlight a key message, one that viewers simply won’t be able to get out of their heads. Whether you convey that through an ear-worm style jingle or a short-but-sweet narrative is up to you. Narrow down that one big idea you want to drive home, and your key message will blossom from there.

Airbnb does a great job of telling a story while imparting a key message: that when you stay at an Airbnb, you’ll experience a place like you live there. 

Brand message

Brand messages are different than key messages (sneaky, right?). But actually, the term means what it sounds like. Whereas a key message is the main idea behind your business video, your brand message speaks to who you are as a business, and makes you stand out as the special entity that you are. Think of your brand message as your voice, and your key message as what you’re saying.

How does brand messaging factor into your video? The language, art, actors, music, and other elements that you use in your business video should align with what you stand for and want to convey. Brand videos are powerful because once viewers see enough of it, they’ll start associating you with a certain look or feel. So make sure every decision that goes into your video speaks to your brand.

Over the past few years, Dove has continued to create videos around the theme of expressing real beauty, adding to its brand message as a whole.

Value proposition

A value proposition will tell your customers or audience why they need your new chia-quinoa lemonade, corgi grooming service, or flexible bamboo-based camera tripod (seriously, if this is you, leave a comment below). In short, it’s how someone’s life will improve as a result of buying your product or service. In your business video, it’s helpful to address doubts or frequently asked questions so that viewers will know why they should say yes to you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to tell them why you’re so great. In fact, it’s almost always better to show than tell.


Engagement is where the looking inward stops, and you begin looking towards your viewers and hopefully soon-to-be customers. Engagement is a two-way street that works like a relationship. You want your customers to think about you, talk about you, and tell your friends about you because they like you so darn much — which could mean tagging you on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or linking someone to your awesome product video. Ultimately, how you determine successful engagement will depend on what you want to achieve, whether that’s clickthroughs, hashtags used, or @ mentions. All Vimeo members can use Vimeo’s stats tools to gauge how your viewers are interacting with your stuff, like whether they’re watching through to the end of a film or giving it a like, for example.


All this leads us to how to account for those goals: measurement. There are many tools you can use to measure the success of your video. Whatever unit you choose (clickthrough, hashtags, @ mentions, etc), it needs to be measurable. Are you looking for a certain number of views or shares, or the actual number of products sold? Determine your units, then start measuring them; after that, you can assess what worked and what didn’t, and see how you can improve in the future. Know what you want to measure from the get-go, rather than retroactively.

S.M.A.R.T. goals

And that brings us to S.M.A.R.T. goals, which will help you figure out what exactly to measure. At Story & Heart, when we determine the goal of our videos, we like to break objectives down into S.M.A.R.T. goals. We talked about this in a previous post on how to make an intro business video, but we can’t stress the importance of this framework enough. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

This list will guide you to outline goals you can measure concretely. It abolishes ambiguous aims like ‘go viral,’ instead replacing them with meaningful measurements.

With a strong slogan — ‘Ideas matter’ — Prezi lets audiences know exactly what the company stands for.


Another measurement metric? ROI, or return on investment. Things get a little more concrete with ROIs, because you’ll be measuring actual profitability (in cold hard $$$ signs).

How can you measure how much you’re making from a video? Divide your net profits by your total assets, convert that to a percentage, and voila! You’ve got a formula for your ROI to see how your finances are doing. For example, let’s say you spent $1000 on a video that generates $5000 of new sales for your line of scratch- and sniff-themed wallpaper. You made back five times what you put in, so that’s a 5X sales generation ROI. Gold star for you.

Conversion rate

Measurement may take into account your conversion rate, or, how often people do what you want them to do. Again, this will depend on your video and what surrounds it. Is it clicking an article or purchasing via an affiliate link? Subscribing to your mailing list? Liking or following your channel or page? Whatever the case, conversion rates are another way to help you determine what’s clicking (sometimes literally),  so you can either keep blazing the path that you’re on, or chart a new one.

A/B testing

On the topic of figuring out what’s going right and improving your strategy, you can use a handy cheat to see what your audiences prefer. Enter A/B testing. You can send out two separate versions of some form of communication — say, an email that links to a video in a line of copy vs. one that features a gorgeous still —  to see which one gets a better conversion rate. Once you’ve honed in on the winner, send that baby out into the world to #optimize #results.


A CTA, or call to action, directly asks or tells your audience to do something. Buttons, statements, hashtags, and more can be CTAs. It’s important that your video ends with one, and that your CTA is memorable and inspiring enough for people to actually act!

When it’s time to make a great film for your business, you can refer to these resources and common concepts to get fluent in the language of marketing, measurement, and engagement. And here’s our CTA for this post: do you have any other terms to add to our business video library glossary? Chime right in with your favorites below.