Promotional videos, also referred to as Promo videos, are pieces of content designed to promote or market a specific product, event, sale, marketing initiative, etc.
A promo video usually serves as a bridge between your potential customers and your product. These are often short videos created to boost awareness, draw attention, and spark interest in the viewers.
In marketing circles, promotional videos are considered an essential part of video marketing strategy.
Promo videos are the life and blood of the e-commerce industry. The online retail business is in constant need of quality content to market products, special sales days, discount sales, their happy customers, and a lot more.
The promo video serves as the magnet that draws traffic to the e-commerce product pages.
The special significance of promo videos is well-known.
So, the next logical question is how to create good promotional videos that work for you.
The following 5 steps will show you how.
Creating a Perfect Promo Video: A Step-by-Step Guide
The budget has little bearing on the promo development process. Whether you’re creating promotional videos for a big e-commerce brand or a one-product e-retailer, the steps remain the same.
This guide will help you get your videos not just on your audience’s screens but to their hearts. Here are the 5 steps to creating a perfect promotional video for your e-commerce store
It’s hard to imagine a video without a proper plan, and you would be directionless won’t know where to start or what to do.
The following are things to do before you sit down to write the script.
- Determine the goals
- Pick a direction
- Decide on tone and style
- Choose video type
- Set video duration
Determine the Goals
Ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve with this promo video?
Some of the common goals for promotional videos are creating awareness, driving traffic, increasing engagement, educating customers (about a product, discounts, events, etc.), and driving sales.
The goal could be anything, but keep it restricted to just one. Trying to achieve multiple objectives with a single video would confuse the audience and do more harm than good.
Pick a direction
A clear direction will lead to a compelling script. In the case of promo videos, there are so many different directions you can take.
If the promo video is about a product, you could use the ‘problem/solution’ template to showcase the offering.
Alternatively, the video could highlight just one main feature of the product. It could also have a celebrity introducing and endorsing the product.
Decide the tone and style
The tone and style of the video will decide the emotional response of the audience.
Consider factors such as product type and customer demography before choosing the tone and style.
The tone could be casual, friendly, humorous, retro, inspirational, quirky, adventurous, and a lot more.
Choose a video type
The next element to handle is the type of video you’re planning to create.
Your requirements and budget will determine the video type.
Some of the options you have include live-action video, animation, whiteboard video, etc. The absence of in-house talent is no excuse.
Suppose you want an animation promo video, you can very well hire an online animation production company.
Making any type of video for e-commerce nowadays is quite simple and easy.
Set video duration
Is it important to decide on the length of the video? Without a clear time limit, you’re likely to waste time, money, and create long, low-impact content.
Consider factors such as the audience, goal, budget, publishing platform, and message to decide on the video duration. Bear in mind that short videos are more effective than long-form content.
The decisions made and materials gathered are brought together into a framework. In the pre-production stage, the promo video takes a concrete shape just short of actual filming.
The following steps make up the pre-production stage.
- Finalize the idea
- Create the script
- Develop a storyboard
- Gather the equipment
Finalize the idea
With the customer persona, goals, direction, tone, style, and video duration in hand, finalize the idea and create the outline of the video.
In this session, you get to decide the characters, scenes, props to use, the Call-to-Action (CTA) to include, and text overlay, voiceover, and sound effects to add.
Along with the CTA, a link or a custom QR code can be placed to take the prospects to the product page.
Create the script
A ready-made video script template could save you time. Like in filming, it’s advisable to start with more and then vet the script repeatedly to remove unnecessary material.
The script forms the basis for you to decide the background, actors, colors, and other crucial video elements.
The script and storyboard go hand-in-hand. After storyboarding, you might have to revisit the script for minor changes.
Develop a Storyboard
Storyboarding is visualizing and creating the scenes on paper before the actual filming. It helps plug the gaps in the script before the camera starts to roll.
Bringing the script to life on paper will reduce mistakes and save resources. By creating a storyboard, you’ll know areas that need improvement and changes.
Storyboarding gives the actors and technicians a sense of what to do and how to do it better.
Gather the Equipment
You’ll be quite clear on the equipment required to start filming by this stage.
The lighting needs will change depending on where the video is shot. The props, background, editing software are some things to decide before the production stage.
The production stage, which involves the video's actual filming, would be the shortest if every preceding step is meticulously and effectively planned.
The following tips can help your production session go smoothly.
- Choose a producer
- Find a location
- Prepare actors and voice artists
- Film the video
Choose a producer
Regardless of the video length, you need a producer to gather all the necessary information and execute the plan on the ground.
Businesses that want to reduce their workload outsource the task to a production company.
Find a location
Again, the producer would be responsible to find the location, among other things.
Outdoor shooting might require permission from local authorities, owners, etc. Alternatively, filming indoors will require extra lighting, which needs to be arranged in advance.
Prepare actors and voice artists
The producer must explain to actors what’s required of them.
The producer might have to work a little harder and longer if employees of the company form part of the video. Make a list of qualities and capabilities required for the video before you start screening the actors.
Film the Video
Commence the shooting of the video when everything is ready.
It’s always better to film more than less. This is to avoid errors or a situation where you realize something is missing and go back for a shoot all over again.
Once the filming is done, the raw footage is sent to post-production for editing.
The raw footage is nothing more than a bunch of mismatch scenes.
The post-production stage is where the footage is edited, text annotation and CTA are included, and audio and graphical elements are added to the video.
By the end of the phase, the promo video should be ready for publication by the end of this phase.
The role of an editor in the success of video is incredibly underrated, and it’s the editor who brings your idea and vision to life.
The editor is responsible for bringing the scenes, voice, graphics, text, and various other elements together and ensuring they are in sync.
Now is also the time to add captions/subtitles so that the video is equally effective and engaging when the sound is muted.
Work with the editor to create slightly different versions of the video for A/B (split) testing.
5. Promote Your Promotional Video
Since the purpose of using promo videos in e-commerce is to attract attention towards a product, event, offer, etc., you need to take the videos to the audience instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Here are three actions you can take to make your promo videos more visible.
- Post promo videos on Social Media
- Include promo videos on your e-commerce website
- Use email marketing to promote your videos
Post Promo Videos on Social Media
The options you have are plenty. Depending on your customer demography, you can post on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, or other social media platforms.
The promo videos can be added to your organic social posts or included as part of the PPC campaign.
Promo videos that had a good run as organic posts can be promoted as video ads to boost the reach.
Include Promo Videos on Your E-Commerce Website
The versatility of promo videos allows you to use them anywhere on your e-commerce site.
Embed the content in your blog posts to encourage readers to visit the product page.
Promotional videos could also become part of your FAQ page and customer service chat.
Use Email Marketing to Promote Your Videos
You can increase the open rate of your emails just by adding the word ‘Video’ to the subject line. People prefer to watch videos than reading text to gather information.
For an e-commerce business, it wouldn’t be a lot easier to drive traffic to a product page by sending promo videos through email marketing software like Moosend or Klaviyo than using text newsletters alone.
Promotional Video Examples
Now you know how to create a good promotional video from scratch.
Before you put these tips to test, here are some examples of promo videos that’ll trigger the spark of imagination and get your creative juices flowing.
Google Pixel 4
When was the last time you visited a brick-and-mortar store to purchase a phone or its accessories? Nowadays, more and more people take the e-commerce route to buy phones and other electronics.
E-commerce can generate interest for their upcoming phone launch by including the product launch event video on their website.
Short snippets of the main event on social media platforms would help drive traffic to a landing page containing the full video and detailed information about the product.
The product-reveal event video that introduces the Google Pixel 2 is a perfect hook to attract prospects to find out more about the phone.
Blue Apron Meal Kit Video
What better way to promote a product than getting customers to endorse and sing paeans of its qualities and usefulness?
Using videos created by professional reviewers adds influencer value to the content. It would be better to include testimonial videos of existing customers which would appear more authentic and trustworthy.
That said, Blue Apron’s meal kit review by a popular YouTuber is both refreshing and useful to the viewers.
For an e-commerce business, such promotional videos could highlight the best features of products, showcase why their product is better than others, and drive traffic from social media to the product page.
MC Hammer Commercial
Short, impactful, and to-the-point – the three pillars of a perfect product commercial.
The MC Hammer advertisement video works because it highlights the problem (ugly nail holes) and presents a solution as clearly and plainly as possible.
The product promo is memorable because it’s simple without any drama or flashy elements to confuse or distract the audience.
Add to the video an effective call-to-action (example: buy online now), and you have a winning product promotional ad that can be used anywhere on the web.
Promotional video – this marketing technique is neither new nor a secret.
It’s a well-known video marketing format that most brands, including e-commerce entities, use. Hence, creating promo videos doesn’t guarantee success.
But with our 5 step guide, your promo videos will stand out, bring in more prospects, and rake in the big bucks.
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.
You can catch up with him on his blog or on LinkedIn