With 83% of marketers admitting that promotional videos give them a positive return on investment and 68% of consumers confessing that they prefer to learn about a product or service by watching a promo video, the question isn’t whether you’ll join the 87% of businesses now using video as a marketing tool but rather when you’ll join the video revolution.
A promo video is a video designed to promote a business’ products or services to its customer base. The best promotional videos aren’t necessarily overt sales pitches, but instead weave a story to provoke an emotional response from their audience to build an affinity with a brand. Since the advent of YouTube and other video sharing sites like Vimeo, just about any business can now create their own promo videos and reach out to prospective customers.
But how do you go about creating an awesome promo video and what do you need to bear in mind during the planning and production stages? Well, we’ve pulled together all the ideas, examples and tips you’ll ever need to develop a kick-ass promotional video campaign.
9 Promotional video ideas
Before we get too far into the nuts and bolts of creating a brilliant promotional video, let’s take a look at 10 of the most popular types of promo videos to give you some ideas about how you could approach yours.
1. Explainer videos
Explainer videos provide an impactful way to promote your brand’s products and services. They’re especially useful if your business deals in highly technical products or complicated theories. They give you a chance to break down the complexities of your business and distil them into a simple visual format. Our research tells us that a whopping 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn about a product or service, which highlights just what an important medium they’ve become for capturing the hearts and minds of potential customers. Check out these brilliant explainer video examples for further inspiration.
2. Customer testimonials
Where do you start when researching a product online? Customer reviews, of course. In fact, studies have suggested that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. The only thing better than a face-to-face recommendation is hearing from a happy customer on film. Customer testimonial videos are a much more instant and engaging way to highlight the first-class products and services you’ve delivered than written words alone. Independent brand advocates can give you way more social proof than you can yourself, as our own customer testimonial videos illustrate.
3. Meet the team
Even if you have the best product in the world, if your image harks of a corporate, stuffy or distant corporation, you’re going to struggle to convince people to buy your wonder-product. Why? Because we humans are driven by feelings and crave connections. One of the best ways to humanise your business and help your audience to feel connected with it is to introduce them to the team of people behind your brand. This lets your audience know that there are real people putting their hearts and souls into producing your products.
4. Product announcement
A great way to generate buzz around your world-beating new product is to film a product announcement video. You can ramp up the anticipation with product demonstrations and a full run-through of the features and benefits that you’ve packed into it. Tech giants Apple are the masters of this genre. They’ve turned their product launches into annual events. In fact, their product video to launch the iPhone 11 had just shy of 30 million views at the time of writing. While you’re unlikely to gain that much traction (sorry!), it’s well worth taking a leaf out of Apple’s book to create your own hype.
5. Tips and tricks
Okay, so we’ve already established that your customers read and watch reviews before they buy a product. It’s also a safe bet that if they want to learn new skills, they’re going to head straight to YouTube. Which presents you with a great opportunity. You know your products inside out and better than anyone. Why not impart some knowledge upon your audience? If you can share useful tips and tricks that bring added value to their lives, then you could boost the loyalty of existing customers and attract a legion of new followers at the same time.
6. Before and after
Before and after promo videos are an excellent tool for demonstrating the worth of a product or service. For instance, you could highlight a specific problem that customers faced before they bought into your brand and then showcase all the benefits they enjoyed once they came on board. Laundry detergent manufacturers are the masters of the before and after genre, as this video from Vanish shows. If you’ve got a product or service that produces dazzling results for your customers, then why not consider showing them off with a convincing before and after promo video?
7. Special event
A promotional video can be a powerful medium for generating anticipation and excitement before a special event you might be planning. You can create a groundswell of interest amongst your audience by creating a teaser video that gives away just enough details to create a buzz. This can then be shared across your social channels, email newsletters and blog to maintain plenty of traction. Music festival organisers use this technique to great effect, using footage from their latest festival to generate the pre-requisite amount of FOMO needed to persuade customers to buy tickets to their next shindig. Take note!
8. Behind the scenes
Similarly to the “meet the team” concept, a behind the scenes promo video is another excellent way to show the heart and humanity of your business. Giving your customers an exclusive, access all areas glimpse into how you make your products or hone your services is a great way to subtly promote your wares in a highly authentic and relatable manner. Seeing the production or planning process first-hand can significantly ramp up your customers’ appreciation for the expertise that goes into what you have to offer. This type of promo video works really well if a charismatic member of your team can lead the tour and share some valuable insights.
9. Recruitment video
Promo videos are also extremely powerful tools for attracting new talent to your company. Sure, you could (and probably should!) post an advert on LinkedIn and the usual job sites. But, if you really want to grab the attention of prospective candidates, a recruitment video can be a great tool in your efforts to attract high calibre personnel. This type of promotional video gives you the opportunity to illustrate your company’s values, culture and vibrancy. Done well, a recruitment video should sell your business so effectively that you’ll be inundated with applicants.
Great examples of promo videos
Now that you’ve got a few ideas in mind for the type of promo video you’d like to produce, let’s take a look at five examples of killer promo videos that we think really hit the nail on the head.
Escape the Clown (Burger King)
To mark the release of “It Chapter Two” Burger King Germany leapt at the chance to take a swipe at their clown-fronted rivals. Using a combination of geo-targeting and Augmented Reality, the aim of the campaign was to persuade customers to “flee and run” from the golden arches to #EscapeTheClown and take refuge at their nearest Burger King for a one cent Whopper. It’s clever, cheeky, tongue-in-cheek and effective – racking up almost 40,000 views on YouTube. Burger King managed to simultaneously ramp up the tension with an eerie soundtrack and break it just as easily with moments of wry humour. They essentially broke all the rules here and got away with it.
European Championships (BBC)
In August 2018, Glasgow and Berlin jointly hosted the inaugural European Championships. This new multi-sport event brought the continent’s leading competitors together for an 11-day celebration of world-class sport. This promo video for the BBC’s coverage of the event gives a subtle nod to the multinational line-up of athletes, as well as the multi-city hosting setup and the rich heritage of European sport. The sumptuously illustrated animation, which takes inspiration from vintage travel posters, features a number of events played out before the backdrop of iconic cities and landscapes from across the continent. With its soaring soundtrack, this promotional video really gives you that classic picture postcard “wish you were here” feeling.
Will it Blend? (Blendtec)
Blendtec have grown a loyal following of converts thanks to their “Will it Blend?” series of videos. The company’s founder, Tom Dickson, pits one of his blenders against all sorts of weird and wonderful objects; blending everything from iPhones to Rubick’s Cubes and, in this case, his driver and golf balls. There’s so much to love about this video: the hammy script, the cheesy theme music and the legendary catchphrase. But, the real star of the show is the blender, which demolishes everything in sight. This video alone has had close to 1.4 million views and the whole series has attracted nearly 300 million views!
Intelligent Network (General Electric)
Trying to explain the concept of software that optimises a train’s journey is no mean feat. Such an abstract and, dare we say it, dry subject needs special treatment. Which is where an effective explainer video comes into its own. Remember how we said they’re a great vehicle for unpacking complex theories? Well, here it is in action. Using a split-screen format, GE’s promo video uses the familiar format of one of those tenuous maths problems that involve predicting the arrival time of two identical vehicles. With a whip-smart commentary and pared back illustration, this promotional video does a brilliant job of simplifying what could otherwise be an inaccessible topic.
NERF Blaster Showcase (NERF)
This animated explainer video from NERF is a really simple but effective example of how to demonstrate a product with minimal fuss and maximum impact. Using a CGI rendering of their latest blaster, NERF give us an immersive 360-degree tour that showcases the toy’s myriad features and inner workings. This video is all about the product. There’s no voiceover and no storyline as such. There isn’t even a major mention of the Fortnite cross-promotion, save for a few captions. If you’d rather play it straight when promoting your wares, this simple but effective promo video is a great example of how to get it right.
Promotional videos – our top tips
Hopefully, having seen our examples of promo videos being used to their full potential, you’re now inspired to give it a go yourself. If so, here are 10 top tips to help you get started.
1. Establish your objectives
This tip applies to any marketing activity, but it’s especially useful to have clear goals in mind when creating a promo video. What is it you want to achieve with your promotional video? Do you want to build brand awareness? Educate your audience in some way? Or drive sales? Your end goal will have a dramatic effect on the creative direction you take. So it’s well worth spending some time nailing down your targets from the offset.
2. Set the tone
Having established your objectives, it’s important to set the right tone to achieve them. Depending on your line of business, the tone you adopt can make a huge difference to how your message is received. A firm of solicitors might choose to keep their messaging serious, whereas a beer manufacturer can afford to be a bit more light-hearted. Have some fun with it and don’t be afraid to poke some fun at yourself if it’s appropriate to do so.
3. Choose a style
You’ll want to choose a style of promo video that best suits your messaging and brand values. Are you looking to promote the human side of your business through a live action video? Or would your products and services be better represented in a quirky animation? Animated promo videos give you the freedom to be extra creative with your storytelling and there are several different types of animations you could opt for to get your point across.
4. Spend time on the script
The value of words cannot be underestimated when it comes to creating most marketing content, especially a killer promo video. Just as a beautiful website is nothing without great content, a promotional video with a weak script is as useful as a chocolate teapot. Developing an on-point script lets you plan your messaging in detail and save tons of time (and expense!) changing things in post-production. Check out our article on how and why you should write a script.
5. Storyboard the narrative
Storyboarding is an amazingly helpful tool for bringing your script to life before you shoot a single frame of your promo video. Creating a blueprint for how the script will play out is essential to ensuring your promo video looks exactly how you’d imagined it. A storyboard is a great visual cue for everyone involved in your video (actors, animators, producers, colleagues) to use for direction. The more detailed you can be at this stage the better the likelihood of creating an effective promotional video. These handy tips will help you to create the perfect storyboard.
6. Ensure it’s high quality
Creating a memorable promo video takes time, effort and, dare we say it, expense. That’s not to say you can’t produce a great promotional budget on a shoestring – you can – but that doesn’t mean you can afford to scrimp on the quality of your video. Your promo video should be done to the best of your budget and abilities to ensure it gets the engagement you were hoping for. Otherwise, it could be a whole lot of wasted time and money if it falls flat. Not to mention the damage a poorly executed promo video could do for your company’s reputation. If you’re not completely confident of creating your own high-quality promo video, then we highly recommend seeking the help of an established animated video agency that can help bring your vision to life.
7. Don’t neglect the sound
Have you ever watched a video on YouTube only to find that the sound quality was so poor you couldn’t bear to watch it? Well, it’s worth remembering that when you make your own promo video. A great script depends on good quality audio to do it justice. Live sound requires good quality equipment in an appropriate location that won’t throw up background noise, while your post-production music and voiceover audio also needs to be expertly mixed to maximise your video’s impact.
8. Keep it short
There has been plenty of market analysis to suggest that videos up to two minutes in length generally enjoy the best engagement. In other words, if you can keep your promo video short and sweet, it’s far more likely to be watched, liked and shared than a longer promotional video. In fact, videos over this length can expect a significant drop-off in interest. All of which backs up the need for planning, script writing and storyboarding to ensure you can get your message across clearly and concisely.
9. Use it widely
A promo video is a powerful marketing resource that you should circulate as widely as possible. You’ve gone to considerable time and expense to make it, at the very least you should use it to its maximum potential and get as many views as possible. That means posting your video across your full array of marketing channels, including your website, email newsletters and social media. Not to mention at any events you might be attending. Encourage your followers to like and share it to get the most traction possible.
10. Use video SEO
YouTube has more than 1.9 billion users and those users watch over a billion hours of video every day. Considering it’s the second most visited site after Google (who just so happen to own it), is it any wonder that the search engines favour online video content? Not that it’s as simple as posting a video and expecting to reach page one. It’s important to use tried and tested SEO techniques – like labelling your videos correctly, transcribing them, and using relevant keywords – to ensure your promo video does get the notice it deserves.
We know from our own research that a staggering 91% of marketers now consider video to be an essential part of their marketing strategy. From a commercial sense, that makes total sense. Consumers are accessing more and more video every year, as growing access to YouTube and smartphones in particular are helping to feed our voracious viewing habits. Which is why it’s essential to be a part of the conversation in order to compete.
Gone are the days when promo videos could be dismissed as an expensive marketing “luxury”. Online video platforms, like YouTube, give businesses the opportunity to broadcast their messages on a much tighter budget than traditional forms of advertising. If they’ve followed all of our hints and tips, and execute their video well, then the rewards can be massive. You only have to look at Blendtec, and their 300 million views, for proof!
We hope you found this article useful if you’re planning to make your own promo video. For more inspiration, check out our best video ads of all time and these awesome explainer video examples. If you’d like any more help producing your very own promo video, then please drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help.