For the longest time, businesses have been using corporate videos as marketing tools. Whether it be to advertise their products, promote their services, or build their brand identity, corporate videos are the go-to media for the job.

It’s also worth noting that corporate videos come in many forms: explainer shorts, promotional materials, customer testimonials, and more. With this, firms never run out of creative options to explore.

However, thanks to the ever-changing trends in video-sharing platforms, new methods for delivering branded content came about. This is where documentary films enter the picture.

Unlike corporate videos, documentaries are meant to build a stronger emotional connection with audiences. It makes use of storytelling to tap emotionality and stir up positive associations.

As a firm interested in leveraging video marketing, you must understand the differences between these two formats. Doing so will enable you to utilize the right type to achieve your goals.

Without further ado, here are the three key differences between corporate videos and documentary films:

1. Corporate Videos Focus on the Brand, Documentaries Focus on the Personalities Behind It

In corporate videos, the concept concentrates on the company itself as well as its product or service. These are effective in establishing the organization’s reputation and in targeting customers through digital marketing. They’re also helpful in generating awareness about a certain offering.

On the other hand, branded documentaries give the spotlight to the founders and executives. They allow these personalities to tell the story themselves, therefore humanizing the content.  

2. Corporate Videos Use Scripted Dialogues, Documentaries Allow Spontaneous Conversations

Corporate videos are all about presenting an idealized vision; it is produced to help the firm put its best foot forward. Considering this, it relies mainly on carefully scripted dialogues and well-planned production elements.

Branded documentaries, in contrast, usually feature the film’s subjects answering questions as conversationally and genuinely as possible. This gives the format a higher level of authenticity and relatability compared to the former.

3. Corporate Videos Rely on a Well-Planned Script During Production, Documentaries Do Away With Rigid Structures

As mentioned earlier, corporate videos are made with carefully plotted scripts. During the pre-production stage, every aspect of the script is scrutinized before it is given the go signal for production. Furthermore, the goals that it must meet are clarified and refined to achieve the desired results. 

On the contrary, documentary-style videos are usually produced without rigid structures to make room for creativity and exploration. This setup allows for innovative deviations that may arise at any stage of the production process. However, it’s worth noting that this format still requires and follows some form of structure.


Corporate videos have been and continue to be an effective marketing tool for promoting brands or product and service offerings. With that said, you must also keep your eyes peeled for other video formats such as branded documentaries. They bring a different feel and vibe to marketing videos that you will certainly find useful.

This isn’t to say, however, that you must focus on one format and stop using the other. In reality, learning how to incorporate these two formats into your digital marketing strategies will help propel your business to success.

Storyteller Studios is the expert when it comes to Indianapolis video marketing. We specialize in crafting award-winning videos for businesses and causes of all shapes and sizes throughout the midwest – in St. Louis, Missouri, Chicago, Illinois, Kansas City, Missouri, and Dallas, Texas. If you want to tell your story and move more people with your videos, get in touch with us today and let’s start collaborating.