One-third of all online activity is spent watching video content. You can tap into this huge market of video-watching consumers by creating a promo video for your product or service.
What is a promo video?
Promo video is shorthand for promotional video, which can be a number of different types of videos that a brand or company uses to promote themselves or a product. Different types of promotional videos include:
- Brand introductions: This type of promo video provides an overview of your business. It might include a company mission statement and a summary of goods and services offered. A brand introduction is also a vehicle for a company to show the visual identity of its brand to the world—is it a fun, quirky, colorful company with an incredibly powerful video editing tool or a high-tech, sleek car manufacturer? A brand intro should help show off everything about a company, not just what it offers.
- Product releases: When you roll out a new product or service, you can use this type of video to introduce it to the world. There are about as many ways to make a product release promo video as there are products in the world, but Apple certainly is known for its product videos. For inspiration, take a look back at some of the iPhone release videos to see how Apple positioned what were often subtle but significant improvements to their flagship phone.
- Informational videos: Brands can build customer bases by providing them with valuable information. For instance, a spice company can share recipe videos as part of its overall social media presence, and as a means to drive up sales. (“Make this amazing chicken recipe your family will love (and use our spices)”)
- Entertainment: Promo videos can be forms of entertainment. Just look at all of those insurance ads, which are often funnier than anything on the comedy channels. Entertaining promo videos do the double duty of both selling your audience something, and entertaining them, which hopefully makes them remember the thing you are selling for much longer.
- Testimonials: Testimonial videos usually come from existing customers who rave about how much they love your products or services. You can spruce up a website and add some credibility to your business by creating videos featuring past or current clients talking about how you helped them, solved a problem, or made them more money. Think of it like Yelp, but you get to choose who writes the reviews.
Why create and use promo videos?
Compared to text content, promo videos offer a more engaging and effective way to convey information. Videos work brilliantly in the body of an email (provided you are savvy enough to figure out how to embed a video in an email)—a report by Forrester Research shows that including video clips in a marketing email can triple your click-through rate. They also enhance conversions on Facebook ads and on the landing pages of company websites.
Some other great reasons to release a promo video include:
- The big launch of your brand.
- The unveiling of a new product.
- An endorsement from a notable influencer.
- A calendar event (like a holiday or the change of seasons) that might inspire someone to buy your product.
- The highlighting of a satisfied customer.
- The highlighting of a team member from your business.
- A limited-time sale.
- An upcoming live event.
How to make promo videos
Good promo videos do require some camera and editing skills, but what matters most is a vision and a coherent message. Use this step-by-step guide to map out all the steps of how to make a promo video.
- Decide on a goal. Is the point of your video to introduce your brand to a new audience? To re-up your relationship with an existing audience? To drive sales? To recruit employees? Decide what you aim to accomplish before you begin.
- Pick your tone and style. You need to match your intended message with a delivery style. If you’re selling something, you probably want to be upbeat and inclusive. If you run a serious business (law firm, funeral home), you probably want a more somber mood. If you’re marketing to teens, you need to know . Whatever you choose, make the style match the substance.
- Envision how your video will be viewed. Where do you want this video to appear? Will it mostly be in social media ads? Will it be on the splash page on your website? Do you imagine most people viewing it on a work computer or on their personal cell phone or tablet? Answer these questions in conjunction with your choices about goals and style.
- Make a script. Your script isn’t just about spoken lines. It should also feature stage directions and proposed camera shots. Will there be multiple scenes? Multiple locations? If this seems intimidating, you can get a video editor or marketing firm that specifically helps clients bring video ideas to life.
- Create a storyboard. It’s now time to turn your script into a storyboard where each camera shot is pre-planned via illustrations. Online marketing video makers can help you with the storyboarding process or you can also hire an illustrator (or just do it yourself if you’re really good at drawing stick figures).
- Budget the whole thing. Using your script and storyboard as your guide, figure out the cost of the entire video project. If you are planning to shoot a lot of live footage, you may need the help of a professional line producer who specializes in budgeting film projects and coordinating on set. If you’re going the ultra-low-budget route, you can use a bunch of stock video footage. You can even make the entire video based on a single person addressing the camera. But give them a great-looking background, or it could end up looking like a hostage video.
- Film your video. You’ve got your budget, your script, and your storyboard. Now it is time to film. Stick to your budget, but don’t skimp out on the production process. The worst thing is to get to the editing stage, realize your footage is inadequate, and have to start all over again. You’ll quickly learn that it was in no way worth the $75 you saved during the shoot.
- Assemble your footage and edit it. In video production, an “assembly” is where you compile all the footage into one extremely long batch of video, and from there you start chopping it down. Whether you work with an editor, a full-service promotion video maker, or do the whole thing yourself, prepare to do a tremendous amount of cutting. You can make rough cuts of the video to show to collaborators, and then continually fine-tune based on the notes that you get. As you edit, keep thinking about the goals you set out, the tone you intended, and the way you imagine people viewing these videos. Let that guide you through the post-production process.
- Get your video out into the world. With your video shot and edited, you’re now ready to get it out to its intended audience. If that means spending big on an online ad campaign, don’t hold back. Your video is only useful if it gets eyes on it.
6 tips for a good promo video
If you really want your promo video to land with an audience (and who doesn’t?), keep the following six tips in mind.
- Think like a teaser. Online attention spans are limited. If you make a long video, there’s very little chance that most people will make it all the way through. Imagine your promo video as a teaser that piques people’s interest, but mainly causes them to engage beyond the video—by buying something or by following you on social media.
- Stay on topic. Keep your video focused on its intended message. In most cases, you will be either explaining what you stand for or issuing a call to action. If you stray from your main goals, you’ll miss your chance to influence your audience in the way you intended.
- Don’t overlook graphics. Graphics offer a great way to spice up your promo video. Editors and marketing video makers can help you add these if you’d rather not navigate the editing software yourself.
- Create multiple versions of your video for social media. Tailor your videos to the platforms they appear on. A Facebook ad may well be viewed by an older person, while a Snapchat ad might be viewed by someone a good deal younger. You might also benefit from multiple videos so that someone getting served your ads isn’t watching the exact same one every time.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your promo video will say a lot about your business, so you want to make it as sharp and tightly edited as possible. A lot of today’s video production software is very user-friendly and features tools like drag and drop video uploaders. If you don’t have the video skills to make that happen on your own, pay for a promotion video maker, or use a freelance line producer, camera operator, or video editor. You don’t want to have to redo your entire video campaign because the first one looked incompetent; get it right the first time by asking for help.
- Your promo video should align with your overall brand identity. From tone to style to color scheme, your promo video should feel like a piece with your entire brand at large. Make sure whatever marketing videos you create will fit in with the rest of your online offerings, and that they accurately represent the goods and services you provide.
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