When creating videos for a product, especially one that may be new for many viewers, companies should take into consideration a number of best practices that will elevate their video above the competition and connect with potential customers. Effective product videos are carefully targeted, typically short in length, showcase the product in action, and sometimes incorporate humor or memorable messaging without appearing to push the product on the consumer.
Here are the 7 best practices that we recommend for creating compelling product videos:
Know Your Target Audience
While many products may appeal to a widespread demographic, a video is most effective when it considers a more narrow target audience with the highest possible interest in your product.
What is your buyer profile? Are they young or old? Male or female? Married or single? Tech-savvy or tech-challenged? The closer you can pinpoint the typical buyer, the more you can tailor the video to that buyer’s mindset and needs, which leads to another important consideration.'The closer you can pinpoint the typical buyer, the more you can tailor the video to that buyer’s mindset and needs.' - Jonathan L. Bowen, JLB Media Productions Click To Tweet
Avoid the Hard Sell
To create an effective product video, avoid the “hard sell” and focus instead on solving a problem or providing a solution for your potential customer’s dilemma. According to Yankelovich, Inc., the average person is exposed to roughly 5,000 ads per day, so people naturally adapt to tune out irrelevant information and sales pitches. You have to break through their apathy to another ad by appearing to speak directly to their needs and personality, which is why the buyer profile is such a critical factor to consider.
The hard sell for a product makes potential customers feel like you’re screaming, “We want your money, so hand it over.” A video focused on how your product will make their lives better, less complicated, or even just more fun makes potential customers want to do business with your brand. You don’t need their money; they need your product. At least, that’s what you want the viewer to come away thinking.
Establish an Emotional Connection
By focusing your message on a target demographic and showcasing your product’s value, you can connect with the viewer on an emotional level and create a perceived need for what you’re selling. Car companies selling a family-friendly SUV don’t try to convince single buyers their car is “cool,” but instead show a family hopping in the car after soccer practice, demonstrating the comfort and practicality of the spacious interior, or highlight features that would appeal to a parent with kids. A parent watching might take notice and identify with the actors in the commercial, which is the first step toward convincing a viewer the product has value to someone like them.
Now you’ve established a connection, but you have to follow through with more information.
Highlight Features with Humor or Case Studies
Once you’ve piqued their interest and established value, showcase all of your product’s features in a professional, yet fun way. Humor is often effective by helping lighten the mood of a stiff, overly corporate video and can force viewers to let their guard down, which in turn helps connect with potential customers in a way a boring, hard sell video can’t accomplish. Make sure to integrate useful information with humor, though, as a study done by Ace Metrix found that humor without useful information did not lead to effective advertising results.
Another way to connect with viewers in a product video is to consider using customer case studies and testimonials. Again, you’re looking for short and sweet soundbites, but ones that drive home the messaging of why your product is such a smart purchase.
Consider a Series of Videos
If your product has numerous uses depending on the person, consider a series of videos rather than one long video trying to appeal to everyone. Typically, if you’re trying to cast too wide of a net, you’ll end up with everyone tuning out during parts that don’t apply to them and potentially stopping the video altogether.
If you want to showcase the wide variety of uses for a product, another idea is to split-screen them so you’re showing two or four people using the product at the same time in different situations, dividing the screen into sections. It visually communicates quickly your product has numerous applications and the information delivered is fast enough to focus a viewer’s attention without letting their mind wander.
Make Your Product a ‘Must Have’
Many products may not be as cool or desirable as a brand new iPhone, but never think a product video has to be boring just because the product is more practical. To the target viewer whose problem your product addresses, it’s exciting, so treat it as such by emphasizing the benefits.
If you can make a viewer think, “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?” you may have won a new customer. Plus, unlike the newest iPhone, maybe your product can seem like a “must have” instead of a luxury or status purchase. People like to think they’re spending their money wisely and being frugal, so if you can address a need or solve a problem, your product is cool even if it’s just an indestructible chip clip.
Keep it Short
Ultimately, most research has shown that viewer engagement falters on even the most well-produced videos after 2-3 minutes, so keep your messaging on point and don’t try to cram every possible use or soundbite into one video. According to Animoto, product overview and product demonstration videos are best served in the 1-2 minute length.
When you have a polished, well-targeted video that explains your product’s benefits and connects with your target audience, maximize its value as a marketing tool by posting it to numerous sources. While your company website is the obvious choice and YouTube a close second, make sure to share it on Facebook, post a link on Twitter, and where appropriate, even e-mail links to tastemakers and experts in your field. The value of a well-made video is best exploited when you maximize your video’s exposure.'The value of a well-made video is best exploited when you maximize your video’s exposure.' - Jonathan L. Bowen, JLB Media Productions Click To Tweet