As a filmmaker I get asked a lot about promotional videos. There is a lot that goes into creating one and not every one is the same. Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating a promotional video/trailer.
1. Keep is short
As they say time is money and attention spans are short. When you watch a commercial how long do you watch it until your attention is taken by something or someone else? Honestly it’s not long. Sometimes less than 30 seconds. 2 minutes at the most, 1 minute at best, and if you can get it down to 30 impactful seconds, even better. You want the full amount of your audience’s attention and not still be rambling when they are long gone.
2. Content is King
Is it informative, interesting, attention grabbing, and rememberable? Does it make you want to learn more or engage with the product? Would you tell other people about it? Take the Old Spice commercials. It is a product that has been selling for over 75 years but only recently has it really come to the for front due to great their great marketing campaign.
You know those old dubbed Japanese action films where the mouths are moving but the sound doesn’t seem to line up? Yeah, no good. Sure it’s nostalgic if you watch one of those movies but doesn’t really help if you are trying to sell a product today.
Also if you want to have music overlaid then make it something that fits the mood and won’t put the audience to sleep. If it is music with voice over, make sure you can still hear the voice.
4. Keep it Steady
If your camera shakes more than an actor on the Blair Witch project, there may be a problem. Keep the movement steady. Best way to do this? Hire a professional. Granted, I am a filmmaker, but even I wouldn’t do my own camera shots. They always come out bad if I do.
5. Know your Audience
Who are you trying to target and how do you get their interest. Axe body wash aims towards the younger generation while Dove campaigns for all women and signifies beauty at any age. Both work very well to get who they are targeting.
6. Stay on Budget
Too many ideas and not enough resources can cause big problems. You don’t need the biggest budget to have the biggest impact. As they say, less is more. Any BIG idea you have can always be made into a small more suitable one.
7. Plan Ahead
Know what you want to do ahead of time instead of just doing whatever comes to you. If you don’t plan it out it will show. Ever watch a commercial and scratch your head afterward and wonder “what were they thinking”. Yeah that comes from not planning ahead.
8. Have a Message
What is it that you want to say about your company or product? What do you ultimately want people to take away to remember you by. Dove wants you to know you will feel beautiful no matter who you are when you use their products. Chrysler wants you to know that there are hard-working behind their products. Hulu wants you to know that you can catch up on your favorite shows with them on any device. What do you want people to know about you?
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to a great promo video.