You’ve probably heard the term “promo video” thrown around a lot, usually in the context of an online commercial surrounding an upcoming event. But what actually is a promo video? Why make one? And how do you make a good one?
Today we’re going to answer all those questions and plenty more, covering the benefits of creating a promo video, when you want to use a promo video, and how to best use them in your overall video marketing strategy.
Let’s dive in!
What Is a Promo Video?
A promotional video (or promo video) is a video similar in style to a commercial, but used for the express purpose of promoting a specific marketing initiative, sale, or event. Promos are often similar in style and tone to a teaser video, where you grab your audience’s attention and draw them in to learn more, like this vertical promo video for a curbside cook-off event:
Another example: You have an upcoming promotion for 50 percent off your lawn and garden furniture over Labor Day Weekend – so you create a simple promo video to highlight your offer, including the details and dates of the sale.
In both instances, you aren’t trying to sell a particular product like you are in a product video, or promoting your brand, like you would with a brand video. Instead, your goal is to draw the viewer in to find out more – like a teaser trailer does for a movie!
When Should I Use a Promo Video?
Promo videos are great for attracting new visitors by building awareness online for upcoming events and promotions. If your viewers are new to your brand, a promo video can introduce them to your company by piquing their interest with your current promotion.
For those who do know your brand, promo videos can also engage current and recurring visitors by drawing them back in and giving them another reason to consider doing business with your company.
Here’s a good example – say a potential client or customer is on your site and has been considering your product or service for awhile now. By sharing a promo video with them for an upcoming promotion, you can provide additional value and one more reason for them to say yes.
Check out this video, which includes an actual discount code at the end:
Why Promo Videos?
The short answer? Because promotions work. Sometimes, all a future customer or prospective client needs is that extra push to take the leap and try out your product or service. Studies have even shown that certain promotions, like offering coupons or discounts, can lead to a rise in oxytocin levels, making people happier and more likely to buy.
You likely already know how well this works with limited time discounts – creating a promo video for your events or promotions just helps get the word out in a form that your followers want to see. Customers actually prefer watching videos from the brands they follow, as it makes information easy to digest and remember.
Promo videos are a fun and effective way to convey information, especially time sensitive information you need your audience to easily grasp and commit to memory. Think about all the advertisements you see during the lead up to holiday weekends from big brands promoting their own promotions. Or teaser trailers that perfectly capture the mood of a film and go viral, even with very little information about the actual plot.
In the same way, you can effectively use promo videos to attract new customers and engage current visitors to come check you out – especially if you’re trying to get attendees for an event.
What Makes a Good Promo Video?
The promo video may seem simple in concept, but there’s definitely a few key elements you don’t want to leave out when you’re creating your own. They include:
- Think like a teaser. The goal of your promo video isn’t to take a deep-dive on your product or services. It’s a quick, attention-grabbing trailer to highlight a promotion or event, so use fast cuts in your edit, as well as catchy sound bites or titles.
- Stay focused. If you’re promoting an event, keep your promo video all about the event details. What will the guests experience there? What vendors will be there? And most importantly, when is it all going down?
- Don’t overlook graphics. You’re going to want to a visual call to action, whether its a discount code for a percent off or a time and date for an event or promotional period ending. Use visual titles to help the viewer focus on what you want them to remember.
- Create multiple versions for social. You’re going to want to use your promo videos a lot – especially for time-sensitive promotions. Try creating a handful of alternate edits of your promo videos so your social feeds don’t get too repetitive!
- You can use promos for your business. Don’t feel like you have to have a deal to make a promo video. You can use a promo video just to tease or highlight an aspect of your business in the same way you would a timed promotion or event.
How to Create a Promo Video
There are many ways to construct a promo video, but they all follow the same basic steps. Here are our basic guidelines for getting started.
Step 1: Script it out.
Start with the most basic concept: what are you promoting? Next, come up with a playful concept: what’s your angle on this promotion? Is it holiday-themed? Are you urgently corresponding about a pain point your viewer regularly faces? Or if it’s an event, how can you get creative around the theme of the event?
Focus on keywords and key concepts you want to use in your promo video. What are three or four of the key takeaways you want your audience to remember about this promotion? For example, if you’re doing a short business promo video, you might want to focus on a few core values you want your audience to connect with, like in this example:
Keep your script short – promos can be up to a minute or minute and a half, but we don’t advise that. Thirty seconds and under are the sweet spot, especially if the promotion is pretty straightforward. Event promos can go longer, but again, we don’t recommend going over a minute if you can help it.
Step 2: Storyboard your vision.
A lot of the time, promo videos will require visual aids like graphics or title cards, so make sure to plan those out in advance using a storyboard. Even if you’re going to be promoting an upcoming sale and want to show off your storefront or products in a montage format, you should try and map out what all you want to feature. The more you plan ahead, the easier it is when you show up to set and film!
In the case of an event promo, you might be using footage from a previous event to promote an upcoming one. If that’s the case, you can still plan what key elements of your past event you’re looking to feature to make the assembly easier on your editor!
There are also opportunities to create multiple versions of the same promo video. Try coming up with a few short variations on the same theme or idea, so you can create multiple promo videos for the same promotion. But remember to keep them simple so you can shoot them all at the same time!
Step 3: Produce your video!
You’ve scripted and storyboarded your vision, so now it’s time to produce the video! Depending on your goal, shooting on location in your store, office, or event location is the best way to go.
If your promo video includes an abstract or short narrative concept, you’ll want to secure those locations in advance. For example, for an abstract promo video, you might want to use a studio space with a totally white background, so all the emphasis is on your unique and exciting product.
Step 4: Assemble your video edit, and don’t forget graphics!
Once you’ve filmed your video, it’s time to put it together. This is also referred to as the post-production stage; if you don’t know much about post-production, check out that link for a full breakdown.
One of the most critical elements in a promo video is sharing vital information, like discount codes, dates and times for events, or deadlines for the end of a sale. Make sure you include that information visually with graphics and title cards so your audience doesn’t miss out!
Graphics help add and highlight key information, and can be used in all sorts of creative ways. It’s always best to plan ahead when it comes to graphics, so coordinate them accordingly by baking them into your storyboard for maximum efficiency.
Check out how we used graphics creatively in this promo we created for one of our own marketing initiatives!
Step 5: Promote your promo video!
Now that your video is done, it’s time to promote it! The goal of a promo is to get the word out, so try some of the following techniques to get your promo video seen:
Social: Your social channels are one of your company’s key owned audiences, so definitely push out your promo video (or videos) on your social media feeds!
Email: Just like you would send multiple emails to promote an event or discount promotion, you’ll want to email your subscribers (multiple times) with your promo video in newsletters and e-blasts so they remember to take advantage before it’s too late.
Paid Ads: Put some spend behind your promo video to get it seen on social media, and use retargeting ads to retarget your followers and subscribers who have opened your promotional email so they’re reminded of the promotion!
Website: When promoting a time-sensitive promotion, you don’t want to miss any opportunity to engage potential customers, so post your promo video on your website and company blog, too!
Need additional help?
Promo videos can seem straightforward, but getting them right isn’t always easy. The right promotion can bring in big bucks for companies big and small, so don’t skimp when it comes to creating the perfect video collateral. Promo videos serve a specific purpose, but also help elevate your overall brand identity and voice, so striking the right balance is essential if you want your promotion – and brand – to succeed.
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