How to Make a Promotional Video for Your Company: 7 Steps
The thought of making a promotional video can be daunting for businesses. Today, though, you really don’t need to be a Spielberg or Scorsese to produce a persuasive film.
As a matter of fact, you can make a promotional video for your business in seven easy steps.
Here’s everything you need to know about why you should and how to make a promotional video for your company:
First things first – what is a promotional video?
In a nutshell, a promotional business video is a piece of film footage that’s used by a company to promote, showcase, highlight or advertise something to do with their brand.
Types of promotional business videos include…
- Videos that offer an insight into company culture
- Videos that showcase a new product range or service
- Videos that celebrate a milestone or achievement
- Videos that help to tell a brand’s story
- Videos that wish customers a happy Christmas or Easter, etc
- Videos that promote a future event
- Videos that review or reflect on the success of a past event
- Case studies or testimonial videos
A company’s promotional videos can be used in a range of places including…
- Social media sites
- Website landing pages
- Marketing emails
- Presentations to everyone from potential investors to stakeholders
What are the benefits of promotional business videos for brands?
Making a promotional video can be valuable to a company for the following reasons:
Research by technology conglomerate Cisco suggests that as much as 80 per cent of all traffic on the Internet will be video-related by 2021.
If you’re trying to reach out to customers online, you’ll need to offer video content or risk being overlooked in favour of other competitors who do.
Statisticians believe that adding a video thumbnail to an email can up click-through rates by as much as 40%.
It’s thought that 64% of internet users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
Research suggests that embedding videos in landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 80%.
How to make a promotional video for your company
There are two routes you can go down when creating promotional videos for business purposes.
- The DIY route
- The professional route
Below we’ll offer an insight into both avenues.
The DIY route
It’s possible to make your own company promotional video in just seven steps.
STEP 1: Get the gear
The good news is that you won’t need to spend the kids’ inheritance on movie-making equipment in order to make a passable promotional video.
All you really need is:
- A point-and-shoot camera – and this can include a quality mobile phone camera
- A tripod to ensure shots aren’t shaky
- Some editing equipment – this can be as simple as a movie making app on your phone.
STEP 2: Decide on your message
There’s no point making a video for video’s sake. You need to know the exact reason you’re making the video and the audience you’re trying to target before you start planning the content.
You should be able to sum up the purpose of your video in a single sentence.
- Demonstrate our new product for our teenage customers
- Show customers how to do task A, step by step
- Promote a Q&A with the CEO
STEP 3: Create a storyboard
Creating a storyboard for your promotional business video will ensure that you get all the shots you need in as little time as possible.
Without a storyboard it’s easy to miss shots that will be essential to the final edit, and to get distracted and go off on tangents when it comes to filming.
STEP 4: Get permission
Many first-time film makers forget the legal side of the video production process.
Before you start filming, ask yourself if you have permission to film all the people you want to use in your video.
If you’re not filming on your company’s own site, question if you have the right to film at your desired location.
STEP 5: Casting
Casting is a delicate process. You might think this is the easy part, especially if you intend to film your CEO or members of the company. However, not everyone behaves naturally in front of the camera. Some people struggle to know where to look or stiffen up.
The key here is to ease whoever you’re filming into the session. Engage them in small talk in front of the camera first. Then do a couple of short trial shots, after which you can deliver constructive feedback.
STEP 6: Shoot
Light’s, camera, action. It’s as simple as that, as long as you stick to your storyboard.
STEP 7: Edit
One tip to follow when editing your shots is to ‘murder your darlings’. This means you need to question the worth of every shot.
You may like a particular shot because it looks arty, but if it doesn’t add value to the footage, chances are you’ll need to edit it out to make way for more valuable content.
The professional route
When you first start out in making your own promotional business videos there are a number of common mistakes you will probably find yourself making.
These can include:
- Producing the wrong length of video for the place you intend to share it
- Omitting a call to action
- Not filming enough B-roll
- Forgetting to film an opening, wide-angle, scene-setting shot
- Not branding correctly
- Filming with your camera at the wrong orientation
To avoid all of these pitfalls and more, you can enlist the services of a professional video production company.
Today, promotional video packages are budget-friendly and can include everything from cast selection and location scouting to storyboarding and expert post-production.
Video production companies can offer services that are not as easy to carry out at home, such as animation and the production of films that combine animation with real life footage.
Animation can be particularly effective when you’re trying to bring an abstract concept to life or when you want to inject a little bit of colour – both literally and metaphorically – into a potentially difficult topic.
Kartoffel Films was tasked with creating a promotional video for Age UK that raised awareness of the availability of pension credit.
To bring the content to life, Kartoffel, animation company in London, created an animated video that used colourful and cute illustrated characters in an animated village to keep audiences engaged while a voiceover spoke about pension credit and how elderly people could claim it.
What makes a great promotional video?
Research by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science in the School of Marketing at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia, suggests that videos that trigger emotions are twice as likely to be shared on social media sites as those that don’t elicit an emotional response.
There are a variety of ways to put an emotional slant on your promotional business videos.
- Creating content that makes people smile or giggle
- Filming footage that stirs up a sense of nostalgia in people
- Developing content that triggers feelings of affection
- Basing your promotional video around a case study that people can empathise with
- Filming footage that gives a sense of what it feels like to be in a certain place rather than just showing what that place looks like
- Creating a video that shows people overcoming challenges
It’s easier to add emotion into some types of videos than others. You might struggle to make a whiteboard tutorial video emotional, for example.
However, if you can add an emotive element to your footage, you should.
Studies have shown that changing the thumbnail on a video can improve its play rates by a massive 34 per cent.
Choosing the right opening shot for your video can be crucial to getting it viewed.
Thumbnails that tend to grab attention include:
- Close-ups of faces
- A visually compelling image
- An image with an unusual angle that encourages people to want to see more
If you’ve never heard of B-roll before, it’s the footage that’s captured to enrich the story you’re telling.
The CEO of a coffee chain is talking to camera about how great the company culture is.
Suddenly, the image on screen switches from the CEO’s face to a close-up of a barista making a cup of coffee in one of the chain’s stores. The CEO’s voiceover continues, but the visual shot has changed.
The silent shot of the barista is the B-roll.
The main value of B-roll is that it keeps audience engaged. Viewers will get bored of your content quickly if it focuses on the same shot for 10 seconds or more. Adding in B-roll keeps the video interesting and keeps audiences watching for longer as a result.
Summing up in six points
- Making movies is no longer just for Paramount Pictures and 21st Century Fox.
- It’s now possible for businesses to make a promotional video on a budget in order to do everything from engaging stakeholders to upping landing page conversion rates.
- Companies can make their own promotional videos in just seven steps.
- However, pitfalls can occur when going down the DIY route.
- For peace of mind businesses can benefit enormously by enlisting the services of a professional promotional film-making company.
- No matter who makes the promotional video, however, the best films feature emotion, quality B-roll and a killer thumbnail to get audiences hooked from the get-go.