A great promotional video can bring your message, your product, and your company to life. If you’re creating a promotional video, make the most of the opportunity by keeping these ten things in mind:

A great promotional video can bring your message, your product, and your company to life. If you’re creating a promotional video, make the most of the opportunity by keeping these ten things in mind:

1. Nail down a strong concept.

Don’t make the mistake of settling for a boring concept or developing your ideas on the fly. If you’re stuck for ideas, do some research: watch as many promotional videos as you can and identify ones that you like. Don’t copy them—that never works—but ask your producer to use them as inspiration for creating something fresh and unique for you.

2. Be realistic with your concept.

So, you just saw an episode of Lost and want to set your corporate video on an exotic beach locale? While the idea is thrilling, it may not be realistic. Understand your objectives for the video and the resources you have at your disposal. Be open to a collaborative solution that may better fit your goals and budget.

3. Know your audience.

What is the purpose of the video—sales? Awareness? Information? Entertainment? Who needs to see it—customers? Prospects? Stakeholders? How will it be delivered—on the web? At a meeting? On a DVD? This information is critical when designing a concept and delivering a message that your audience will enjoy and relate to. Do your research to see what types of content your target audience responds to best. For example, younger sales staff or customers often respond to humor that senior management just doesn’t get—but if it works with the audience, go for it.

4. Don’t forget the script.

Finalize the script before production begins. Is the information accurate and up-to-date? Does it fly by your legal department? Will it serve your business goals? It’s much easier to make changes in the office than on location with a costly cast and crew hovering nearby or in an expensive post-production suite. And when writing the script, keep in mind…

5. Brochure text is not a video script.

Don’t assume that an informative brochure or PowerPoint presentation will be an effective video script. What looks good on a printed page often sounds stilted, stiff, or incredibly dull in a video. Read the script out loud to others and get feedback on flow, tone, and cadence. If it doesn’t sound right, it may need serious tweaking by a professional scriptwriter—or you can chuck it altogether in favor of a fresh approach.

6. Save the feature film for another day.

You don’t need Gone with the Wind to get your point across. The best corporate videos are short, sweet, and attention-grabbing. A 15-minute video can feel like an eternity for viewers, especially online. A two-minute to five-minute video with higher production values will be far more effective.

7. Cast the right spokesperson.

Should you use your staff or hire professional actors? There are pros and cons to each choice. No one knows your business like those who provide your services or sell your products, but don’t star your CEO or any other staff member if they aren’t good on camera. If you’re not sure how they will come across, shoot a quick “screen test” using a small camera and available lighting, and then look at the tape objectively with your producer.

8. Be responsive to requests.

The producer may ask you to provide assets like logos, photos, products, brochures, or PowerPoints. You’ll certainly need to give feedback on scripts or rough edits. Additionally, you might need to secure company locations or make your staff available to participate in the video. Be as responsive as possible or production may get slowed… way… down.

9. Get the most bang for your buck.

So you’re shooting a training video? Show parts of it to customers. Use it as an introductory video to kick off your next big meeting. Turn it into a web commercial to spice up your website, and be sure to tag it for organic search purposes. Finally, post it on YouTube and other social media platforms—if it’s original or funny, it may go viral. Finding multiple uses for the video will provide a huge return on your initial investment.

10. Enjoy the process.

View the project as an educational experience, and one that can be a lot of fun. Ask questions. Watch examples of videos you like, and discuss with your producer what makes them effective. On the day of the shoot, eat good food on the set. Play your favorite music during breaks. Don’t get bogged down in unnecessary details that your producer can handle. Creating a good atmosphere during production enhances creativity and leads to enjoyment that ends up on the screen.

Producing a promotional video is challenging, fun, and extremely rewarding. Do your homework, but keep an open mind when you start production.

If you’re ready to create a promotional video, let Focused Filmworks help you give your audience the gift of sight.