Promotional videos can be an enormously effective way to reach your audience, inspire confidence in investors and customers, and build the strength of your business or organization. That’s because video is a phenomenal medium for telling stories.
However, producing a good promotional video can be tricky. Some people think making a great video requires a magic touch, but really, all it takes is solid technical skills, a creative idea, and the perfect script to pull it off.
So instead of enrolling in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Videography for that magic touch, just consult these tips on how to produce effective promotional videos with minimal fuss, and how to host and distribute your polished, final product.
Best Practices for Promotional Videos
#1: Be Brief
Can you remember ever watching a promo video that was 5 minutes long and actually enjoying it? Most likely the answer is no, and that’s because the best promotional videos are short. Research shows that more and more viewers drop out the longer a video lasts. By the time a video reaches two minutes in length, about 25% of viewers have already walked away. By the time you get to 10 minutes, more than half of the viewers are gone.
So to hit the sweet spot in terms of viewership, make sure to keep your video short and to the point. Aim for the 2-3 minute mark on your promotional videos. Generally, the rule of thumb is always the shorter, the better.
#2: Have a Creative Vision
The idea of making a promotional video will burn out rather quickly if there isn’t some sort of creative momentum and thought process going on behind-the-scenes. It’s easy to waste time and money producing mediocre content without the right creative vision.
Therefore, before any video project gets started, you should be sure to have established goals and a clear sense of how you are going to reach them. Generally, a good creative vision is achieved in group discussions between video producers, marketing experts, and other leaders in your business.
To get started, get people in a room, give them coffee and food, and let them brainstorm. However, after those initial creative sparks start to fly, it’s probably best to have one person in charge.
#3: Capture Quality B-Roll
Effective videos usually rely on dynamic visuals, rather than mundane images like close-up shots of people talking. To make your videos more engaging, cut away to relevant scenes while narration continues. This footage is referred to as B-roll, and it’s essential to almost every promo video.
To capture good B-roll, you’re going to have to consider the story you want your video to convey and the visual images that can help tell that story. For example, if your promo video is about a specific product, you could use B-roll showing the design, fabrication, and testing of the product.
#4: Tell a Story
The bottom line for any visual project is storytelling. This means some degree of character development (be it a person, business, or product), tension, and plot is required. You can learn more about storytelling by reading our blog on the topic.
#5: Make It Interesting!
Above all, the story you tell has to be interesting to people. The best promotional videos keep you watching because you literally can’t turn them off!
Whatever method is employed to capture an audience’s attention—great writing, stunning visuals, surprise, awe, or humor—a good promo video always keeps you on the edge of your seat.
For example, check out the amazing promo videos from GoPro. This company focuses on visuals to make their videos interesting, but uses music powerfully as well. The key is to elicit an emotional reaction within people in order to make them feel something.
#6: Make it Funny
One of the best ways to make a video interesting is to employ humor. For example, check out this funny and irreverent video from Dollar Shave Club. This promo film was produced in 2012, and has since been viewed more than 22 million times.
The right sort of humor can make a video more effective than you could have otherwise imagined, even causing it to go viral. However, streamlining the humor is important. You don’t want to go too broad or overboard and end up alienating your audience.
#7: Go Professional
Making an effective promotional video is difficult. It requires talent in video editing, an excellent sense of timing, aesthetic sensibilities, high-quality equipment, the right tools for the job, and a certain je nais se quoi.
Creating business videos shouldn’t be a half-hearted undertaking. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right! Hiring professional filmmakers to produce your videos may cost a pretty penny, but the final product will be well worth it.
#8: Play Your Video During Meetings, Conferences, and Webinars
Once you’ve produced your video, the next step is to distribute it. There are many different ways to do this. Ideally, your video will speak for itself, inspiring people to share it among their networks and post it to their social media profiles and websites.
One great way to leverage the effort that you’ve put into your video is to use it in meetings, conferences, and webinars to help generate some buzz, bring up the energy level, introduce people to your business, or share some specific information.
This can be a great technique, but don’t overdo it. Most people won’t want to watch a video more than two or three times, no matter how interesting it is.
#9: Post Your Video On Your Website
A promotional video is only valuable as long as it gets a lot of views! And of course, one of the best ways to get views is to share your new creation on as many platforms as possible, including posting it to your website.
A good business video hosting provider like DaCast will provide a white label service that enables you to embed your video onto your website without having to rely on a branded video player like you’d get when embedding a YouTube video. This gives a more professional feel to the whole experience and will make your video inherently your own.