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Promo Video Ideas

Making a Killer Promo Video

How to make an eye-catching promo video

With the right creative direction, a promotional video can really sell your brand in the eyes of your target audience.

Whether you have a new product launch, mobile application, or service, creating a promo video showcases your content in a digestible format that drives traffic and views.

A video promo is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal.

Why should you use promo videos?

Promotional videos exist because the quickest way to get your viewer’s attention is by distilling your complicated offering and presenting it in a way that creates excitement.

Excitement is the keyword here.

Too often have I seen businesses creating videos that are jam-packed with information but fail to engage the viewer. These videos are a perfect sidecar to long-form content that fully illustrates the product or service but should never strive to replace it.

How long should a promo video be?

The video should be as long (or short) as it needs to be to convey your message in its most straightforward form.

I know, I know. Everyone always wants a specific, proven duration to work from. In my experience, I’ve seen really engaging 3-minute videos that kept me hooked the entire time and 30-second videos that totally fell flat.

Generally speaking, you should aim to keep it under 2 minutes, but feel free to break that rule as the content should guide the duration. Not the other way around.

Once the script is being developed, a picture will reveal itself on how you can cut the fat. Focus on outlining your key points and brainstorm how you communicate them succinctly.

What makes a promo video engaging?

Graphics! Text! Movement! Oh, my. The biggest recommendation I can make is don’t overthink your video. As long as the message is clear and concise, it will be more effective than trying to cram in as much copy as possible.

Remember, what might be vital to you might not be as important to your customer.

Try to put yourself in the potential customer’s shoes. Wine and dine them with the promo, and close with the CTA (call-to-action) where they can learn more from the long-form content. You are on a journey…get them excited to join you.

Recipe for success

Set achievable goals

No, duh, right? Seriously though, think about what you are trying to accomplish by creating this promo.

Is it to increase brand awareness? Well, then make sure it is authentic and communicates what you are all about.

Is it to drive website traffic or sales? The focus, then, needs to be on communicating specific selling points or how your product or service can help solve problems.

If you are thinking to yourself, “I want all of that,” I would encourage you to consider what the most critical issue to solve is and target that. Many videos try to accomplish too much and end up coming across as a discombobulated mess.
Think of your primary goal as an active one. Any secondary objectives should be passive. I’ll break this down a bit more in layman’s terms.

Let’s say that you have this new product coming out. You’re in a heavily saturated industry with some big players, and you also struggle to get brand recognition. You know you need to show off this new product, but you also strive to get people to remember you.

What do you do?

What not to do

Don’t try to actively accomplish both by spending half the time on each subject. If you are making a product promo, don’t deviate from the message by consuming 30 seconds of a 1-minute video talking about your company or the mission.

That can be a different video. Or a series of videos. I know that video production can get expensive, however, the ROI of creating good content dramatically outweighs the cost of building a single ineffective video that doesn’t amount to new revenue.

Like the Star Wars X-Wing pilot trying to take a shot at the death star, STAY ON TARGET. The worst thing you can do with a promo is put too much pressure on it to solve all of your marketing problems.

What you should do

Keep the message clear and ensure it comes across in the first 5-10 seconds. Show off your product and its key features and take small passive opportunities to highlight your brand. A logo intro/outro or bug with a voiceover can go a long way.

Your goal is to entertain/excite your customers, not show off your company for a slight ego boost.

If you make good content, make your brand accessible through graphics and VO, and have a clear direction, the viewers will associate your brand with the product.

Think of all the commercials you’ve seen in the past that have become Memes. Can you clearly remember what brand they were associated with? This is an important distinction to be made if a promo is successful or not.

Here’s a successful example that everyone likes to use:

Do you notice how the brand name is only mentioned at the beginning and end? Most of the video is spent addressing their customers’ pain points in an entertaining manner. It focuses on what makes their products enticing, instead of trying to solve every single marketing goal there is.

Did you know who the heck they were before they created this video? I sure didn’t. Brand Awareness was created because this video achieved what it set out to do: Sell more razors on a subscription basis.

The goal of Brand Awareness was secondary to illustrating why their product was better. The video did a great job at showing that, creating a memorable experience that linked directly to the brand name.

Don't let quality be cast aside

In the pursuit of creating content for mass consumption, it might be easy to forget that quality plays a huge role in successful video marketing. Ensure that the fundamentals are met. Here are some examples of that:

  • Video is clean, well-lit, and free from compression artifacts.
  • The sound quality is warm and clear. Ensure there is no echoing or anything that could detract from the message
  • The video’s design is consistent throughout and consistent with the brand’s look, fonts, graphics, and motion guidelines.

You may think that your customers don’t care about quality, but in my experience, people might not know why they dislike something but still realize that something about the video doesn’t feel right.

Build supporting content

Sure, a great video should be able to stand on its own legs, but why not create additional content that props it up? You spent all this money making a promo; take the opportunity to look at the video as a whole and see how you can elaborate on the topics covered. This can be in the form of other videos, blog posts, white papers, or press releases.

Promo videos should be a piece of your whole marketing strategy. Give your audience a fair chance to learn more if they desire.

What type of Promo styles are out there?

It is essential to decide on a direction early on in the process. What will the tone be? Your goal is to tell a story. How you tell it is totally up to you. Ensure that the tone matches your brand strategy. Additionally, identify your audience and see what jives with them.

Tonal Ideas

  • Comedic
  • Playful
  • Informative
  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring

Promotional Video Ideas

  • Product Launch
  • Brand Explainer
  • Before and Afters
  • Sales, Discounts, and Offers
  • Testimonial Videos

Promo videos and Video Marketing

Ok, the teaser video is done. What now?
Here are some real-life examples of how you can effectively leverage your promo content:

Use in landing pages

Promotional videos on landing pages give the visitor a quick way to see if they like what you are selling. Pairing up video with some key selling point copy and a call-to-action can drive conversion rates.

Social Networks

Social media lends itself nicely to broadcasting promotional content, whether it be a product video or explainer video.

Facebook

Good ol’ Facebook. It’s not just for your Aunt Marge to argue politics with a complete stranger. This social platform was one of the earliest adopters of an ad platform, and it features a robust set of tools for you to show off your video promos. Create your video campaigns, set your target audience, and go.

Linkedin

Depending on what your business is selling, Linkedin might be your gold mine at reaching decision-makers and executive-level professionals across a wide array of industries. Like other social networks, Linkedin boasts a video player to accompany their post formats. In the past couple of years, they have also beefed up their ads platform as well.

Instagram

Do it for the ‘gram. With various aspect ratios available, Instagram gives a lot of flexibility for creativity when creating posts, stories, carousels, and IGTV. Part of the Facebook Ads platform, Instagram offers even more exposure through their sponsored posts and stories.

Vimeo

Vimeo is an excellent option for broadcasting your video. Though the audience isn’t as big as Youtube, Vimeo has a proven track record of providing users a way of consuming great content. Additionally, it is a great way to embed videos into your website rather than self-hosting them.

Youtube

Youtube is an obvious choice when it comes to deploying your promo video. It has the added benefit of providing views while also educating the customer on what you are selling. You have the ability to optimize the title, keywords, and description to drive traffic to your content further.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Advertising

What ad would be complete without engaging visuals? Adding in promotional videos can make your expensive marketing campaigns more click-worthy.

Website Product Pages

Search engines love video right now. Web pages that feature video are more likely to have a slight boost in rankings on Google than web pages without. Additionally, you might end up getting rewarded with your video thumbnail on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), further driving click-through rates.

Blog Posts

Promo videos make a beautiful companion to blog posts highlighting a new product offering or service. Content writing is pretty much a standard these days in any marketing strategy. Why not add video content to complement it?

Email Marketing

So, email technology hasn’t evolved as fast as other internet services. Unfortunately, there isn’t an excellent way to embed video content into your emails, but create a fantastic thumbnail, slap on a play button graphic on top, link it to a landing page with the promo, and boom. You’re off to the races.

Another option is to have your production company cut down a short snippet of the video to be exported as an animated gif. It’s not the prettiest format out there, but it can be an engaging idea to encourage clicks. Make sure to check that your email marketing software supports it first, however.

TL;DR – Key Takeaways

  • Be realistic in your expectations of what a single video can accomplish.
  • Focus on a singular message.
  • Keep the message clear and concise.
  • Be true to yourself, but keep the customer’s wants and needs in mind.
  • Make killer content that people would want to watch.

You made it this far. #levelup
Still, confused? Give us a shout, and we would be more than happy to help out.

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Paul Melluzzo
Paul is a multi-disciplinary Creative Director with a background in Film, and Design. He has over 12 years of experience in the creative industry and has worked with both film productions and brands, such as Hallmark, Lifetime, NBCUniversal, Shiseido, and BareMinerals.

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