In recent years, videos have turned into one of the most effective ways to reach an audience. If you are trying to market a product or service, a product video will be, for sure, one of the best shots at getting a successful sale.
But, while product videos can definitely be a powerful marketing tool, their effectiveness directly depends on whether or not you do a good job making them.
An effective product video not only informs viewers about your product but does so while convincing them to buy it.
There are plenty of avenues to make product videos like that, and even though there’s no specific formula that applies in all cases, we can give you some general principles to help your content stand out for its quality and effectiveness and make your products shine.
Be Clear About What You Are Going to Share
When it comes to spreading a message, the first step is — of course! — to know what this message will be. In the case of a product video, you must know what features you want to convey: those that, according to your market research, should be highlighted.
Remember, you didn’t start making or selling your products in a vacuum. You saw a need in the market and moved to provide a solution to it. Your audience is very rarely interested in your products for their “inherent qualities.” What matters most to them is how your product will help them solve a problem or need.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking these videos are just about showing your product. The ways in which your product will impact customers’ lives should be your product video’s focus.
The keyword here? Purpose. The goal to achieve with your product video should be well defined before starting the content creation process, and it should inform the elements you choose to include on (or leave out of) your piece.
Choose the Right Type of Product Video for the Job
Each product has its target audience, but not all potential customers have the same marketing needs at all times. You shouldn’t try to market to someone already familiar with your company and products the same way you would someone who has never heard of who you are, what you do and what you sell.
Understanding the different marketing needs and expectations of the people you are reaching out to with your video will allow you to choose precisely the type of product video that will be most engaging to them.
If you already know what you want to communicate and who your audience is, here are a few effective types of product videos you can consider:
- Explainer videos are a demonstrative type of marketing video. They describe clearly and engagingly the operation or usefulness of a product. They’re often an animated piece that covers a product or related topic in-depth
- Corporate videos are all about showcasing the identity and culture of the company behind the product. These videos seek to strengthen the brand by allowing viewers to learn about its mission, vision and values — only featuring your products indirectly
- Testimonial videos: Through this type of content, you can share the positive opinions that users have about your product. Many people trust a product more if someone who has already used it tells them their experience and opinions
- FAQ videos: If you feel that potential customers have several particular doubts about your product, this is a good way to address them. This type of video aims to answer a compilation of frequently asked questions
- Comparative videos show viewers a comparison between your product and those of the competition — a good way to differentiate and sell yourself as the best alternative
- Commercial videos are designed to promote your product overtly. They are mostly meant to raise awareness, and often serve as the first point of contact with people who might not have even heard about it before. They are a manifestation of presence: "I am here, this is what I do, and here’s why you should care”
Consider Where Your Video Will Be Shared
Among the fundamental decisions that you'll have to make before diving into your video's production is how said video will be shared.
The best strategy for this has a lot to do with your target audience. Every channel has its segment, and it's important to know which one suits your needs best so that you can tailor your video to fit that distribution medium.
Your video may (and probably should!) vary a lot according to the chosen channel. The platform specifications and audience preferences vary across Instagram, Facebook, television and other video distribution platforms.
If it will be posted on Instagram, it’s better if your video lasts less than a minute, as audiences there are used to brief content. If it’s for television, probably even less than that, as TV spots tend to require significant investments. If it's for Facebook, maybe your audience will be older than it is on Instagram, and that should inform the targeting metrics or even the aesthetics of the piece. And those are just a few ways in which different platforms favor different characteristics in their content.
Another platform where you could reach a wider audience is YouTube. Videos posted there can be longer, and you could try different types of videos to entertain and engage your customers.
Keep It Short and Concise
Few users will spend much time watching a video about your product. If your content is too long, viewers could end up getting bored and walking away, defeating your purpose with the piece.
A good product video must be able to concisely showcase the main virtues of the product. When it comes to this type of content, it's best to get straight to the point right from the get-go, without any distractions and then expand a bit more if time allows.
Show the product, list its strengths and mention its uses in everyday life, according to your goals. Consider eliminating anything else that you feel isn't essential.
Tell a Good Story
Stories have the power to connect on a more personal level with viewers and keep your audience entertained.
It's not just about formulating a story but about articulating a script that engages your potential customers while educating them about your product.
Offer a compelling story: A story with characters that reflect who your audience is, how they act and how they express themselves. A story that features situations they can instantly relate to and identify with. A story that doesn’t drag on or overstays its welcome by droning too long on a particular point. One that makes them as much a protagonist as your product.
Do it right, and your viewers remember what you’re selling long after your video ends. This way, you can create a stronger and more robust bond between them and what you offer.
Mix Your Style and Personality Into It!
Each brand and each product has its peculiarities. Make sure that these characteristics are reflected in your video.
Don't be shy! Add your style and personality to the content you are creating. The video must reflect your company as well as the essence of your product.
For sure, your product has a color and a particular style. These elements differentiate and make it unique. But, it’s important that your video adapts to this same aesthetic and feels like another piece of your branding.
Here are some ways to achieve that:
- Use your brand colors as part of the main aesthetics of the piece. For example, every video from Google has a clean-cut, white background aesthetic.
- Have your logo present, but don’t overdo it. A discrete logo in a corner is alright for most marketing videos.
- Infuse your script with your company’s tone. Just like Microsoft, which usually goes for a more professional feel in their content, while a company like HubSpot portrays a more casual one. Their videos tend to reflect those tones.
- If used correctly, jingles can be an amazing brand permanence building tool. Use your jingles during a CTA or when you introduce a product, and you’ll make them that much more memorable and that much more yours.
Add a Call to Action
Every product video should prompt viewers to further engage with your product or brand. A call-to-action (CTA) gives them a nudge to act beyond just watching the video.
Common CTAs revolve around including a link, an address or a phone number where the viewer can buy or order your product at some point in the video.
A CTA may be supported by the narration, script and even on-screen effects and sound design. However, do try to be measured with them as CTAs should still feel organic, a natural progression of the video they are in.
As long as you can make your CTAs feel natural, unintrusive and clear, you’ll be on the right track.
Your video should accurately represent your product. It's okay to emphasize its strengths, but they have to be real and genuine.
If customers feel disappointed after buying because your product is not as you presented it in your video, they'll probably never do business with you again. Moreover, your brand will suffer for it.
Relevant side note here: avoid using scare tactics. You don't want to scare viewers into buying your product. Remember that you are not selling the dangers of not buying, you are selling a product that you consider valuable and that can help them with something. Focus on that.
Product videos are one of the most effective channels for users to discover and get to know a product.
As we’ve seen, there are plenty of possibilities in terms of creating content that adapts to your profile and to your product.
To know what type of product video best suits your needs, you must evaluate what you want to say, to whom and how. With these answers, you have taken a big step towards creating effective content.
Then, make your video concise and compelling, genuinely representing your product with your style and your personality.
Victor Blasco’s an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.