Have you ever wondered why some promo videos convert while many others fail? I get it. If you had a satisfactory answer to this question, you wouldn’t be here. In business, time is money. So, let’s cut to the chase and get right to the point of how to create a promo video that sells.
Why and When to Use a Promo Video?
A Promo or Promotional Video is often used by businesses to promote an event, sale, product demos and benefits, discounts and offers, showcase brand social responsibility, etc.
A promo video works because it doesn’t burden the customer with all the information needed to make a buying decision at once. They are short, fun, and effective. They share short bursts of information that can be easily understood and committed to memory.
It works well in attracting new customers. Similar to a teaser or trailer of a movie in style and tone, a promo video is basically designed to attract the attention of the viewers, increase your conversion rates, and make them want to learn more. On the other hand, promo videos can also help engage with current customers by providing them with new reasons to do business with your company.
Now, it’s time to turn intention into action. Here are the four crucial steps to convert an idea into a promo video and get it in front of your target audience.
Step 1: Gathering the Materials
Identify Goals: This is the seed that gives birth to the whole video. You might think you’ve already sorted it out. Well, making a video requires investment. So, the trial and error method could prove costly. You should be very clear about the goal before moving to the next step. The goal of a promo video might be anything, from brand awareness, educating customers, increasing customer engagement, etc. Businesses with more than one goal in mind should plan on creating multiple videos.
Identify the Brand Personality: A sleek video might attract a few eyeballs, but it’ll soon fade away. To create a lasting impression, the promo video must be authentic and reflect the brand personality. As a business, what do you stand for and how do you want customers to perceive your business? Answers to these questions will help you identify your brand personality.
Work on the Message: An all-out promotion of your brand, product, or service will surely not impress the viewer. Throw in the right combination of what you stand for, the goal you want to achieve, and what the customers appreciate the most. This should be the message you convey through the video.
Duration and Budget: Too long or too short – both can ruin a promo video and make it ineffective. Having some sort of time parameter is necessary for making a promo video. The duration of the video usually depends on multiple factors, including the overall budget. Nowadays, video making and video editing charges have drastically come down, which is good news for businesses. Now, businesses can create an effective promo video even on a shoe-string budget.
Outline the Idea: You have the goal, brand personality, message, and approximate duration and budget in hand. It’s time to work on the outline or gist of the video. Create a paragraph or two that conveys the general idea of the promo video. Your idea in its current shape will have no impact on the viewer. In the next step, you’ll shape the idea into an interesting script that’ll connect and engage with the target audience.
Step 2: Giving Shape to the Idea
Choose a Direction: With the outline in hand there are many directions you can take. For example, it could be a simple video giving a brief introduction about your service. For your business promo video, you can adopt other methods such as problem/solution (stating what the pain points of the customers and how the product or service offers a solution), endorsement (using an influencer or celebrity introducing a product, service, event, etc), informative (stating some of the top features of a product or service), etc.
Tell a Story: We don’t remember a lot about our childhood. But, the fables we heard from our grandparents are sure to remain fresh in our memories even today. That’s the power of a compelling story. A message conveyed in the form of a story or skit will instantly connect with the viewers and stay with them for a long time.
Set the Tone: The tone decides what kind of reaction that the video invokes from the audience. For example, what emotion do you want the viewers to feel? Is it curiosity, laughter, compassion, etc? Keep in mind, the tone dictates the language, style, and vocabulary used in the promo video. Some of the common tones in a promo video include conversational, inspirational, humorous, and straightforward.
Add a CTA: The Call-to-Action is an indispensable part of a video. The CTA of a video depends on what you want the viewers to do. Usually, it’s quite close to the goal you want to achieve. For example, if you want more people to participate in your webinar, the ideal CTA at the end of the video should encourage viewers to register for the event.
Write the Script: It’s time to stitch together everything into a script. Script-writing involves organizing the above-mentioned materials into scenes, description of each scene, and voice over. You’ll find a number of script templates online, but you could come up with your own. A script is a video on paper. It’ll tell you what’s going to happen in front of the camera scene-by-scene, how it’s going to happen, and the props and music you’ll need before shooting the video.
Step 3: Begin the Pre-Production Work
Decide the Location and Casting: It’s economical to shoot a promo video indoors. But, if the script demands an outdoor location, then be mindful of finding a secure place. Also, sometimes you need a permit to shoot at certain locations. The place and time of filming also dictate the backdrop, lighting, etc. The script decides what kind of actors are suitable for the promo video. Write a detailed description of each actor before you start looking for them. For example, actor 1: African-American woman, average height, gregarious in nature and can sing; actor 2: Caucasian man, tall, wearing spectacles, nerdy with a vast vocabulary.
Storyboard the Video: A storyboard is useful for all parties concerned. It gives shape to your imagination and removes all doubts about the script before the filming begins. It’s vital for a promo video because it reduces the filming time and costs by avoiding frequent retakes and edits.
Edit the Script and Storyboard After Feedback: If you want the promo video to sell don’t rely on half measures. Two heads are better than one – abide by this saying and gather opinions and comments about the script and storyboard from your employees. Even better, you can create a survey to ascertain the likes and dislikes of the target audience. Gathering the best information from a large survey to edit the script and storyboard isn’t easy. You need to filter out unwanted information from the survey. Later, you can analyze the survey and use the most relevant answers to tweak the script and storyboard.
Step 4: Action!
Produce the Video: If you did the first three steps well, producing the video would be the quickest and easiest part of the whole process. Hire a production team that has experience in making promo videos. Plus, they need to be flexible to accommodate your inputs and bring your vision to life.
Add Graphics: In this stage, you create the title, annotations, subtitles/captions, and call to action. The graphic elements highlight the vital points of the video. It’s best to determine the font, color, and placement of the graphic elements beforehand and use them in creative ways to grab viewers’ attention.
Post-Production Work: Now, you combine everything – visuals, graphics, and audio – together. Even before you get the video engagement statistics weeks or months later, you can add a short poll to the video to gather your customers’ opinions. Polls are easy to create and they are quite effective in revealing the customer’s mind.
Promote the Video: It’s not over yet. You need to place the promo video at locations frequented by your target audience. Use the power of social media and push the promo video in front of the customers. Don’t miss any opportunity. Take the promo video to your customers through video emails. Work on your email deliverability to increase the popularity of the promo video.
Promo videos have the potential to bring in big money for both small and big businesses. Plus, they raise your overall brand identity and value. The key point is you must get it right. So, don’t take promo videos lightly. Each step mentioned above plays a vital role in the success of the promo video. Get the balance right and see your business soar.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios or brands all over the globe. I can catch up with him on his blog or on LinkedIn.