Let’s get real. Increasing sales is the goal of almost every marketing strategy. You know it, marketers know it, and you can bet audiences are very aware of it too. Which is why the marketing game is mostly about looking for ways of appealing to target audiences’ needs, and motivating them into taking action — To have them fall in love with a product, or even idea, so that they end up making a purchase. However, that’s so much easier said than done! One of the best ways to go about it, though, is having a robust inbound marketing strategy that delivers the right kind of content at the right time. And that’s where product videos like whiteboard animations come in. The Power of Product Videos Product videos revolve around explaining what a product or service does, plain and simple, showcasing its tangible benefits in a visually compelling way. Done right, they can be an outstanding asset to drive sales up by positively and directly influencing customers’ decisions. People love to try products and services before buying them, something that in the era of e-commerce, has gotten increasingly difficult to do. When people shop online, all they have to make a choice are customer reviews and whatever media you can provide about the product. Needless to say, when it comes to effectiveness, pictures and descriptions can’t compete with video content. A product video lets you deliver all the information your potential customer could possibly want in a short amount of time while taking control of the narrative. You get to decide which features you want to drive the most attention to or to emphasize aspects you’d want to stay with your audience long after the video ends. Product Videos & the Buyer’s Journey As mentioned before, content marketing is all about giving a potential client those little nudges they need to make a purchase. About showing them how what you offer can fulfill their needs. About having them fall in love with your product and buy it. When it comes to the stages of the customer lifecycle, or the buyer’s journey, product videos are best used during the latest stages, also known as the decision stage. After the potential customer has identified a necessity and has considered different alternatives to solving that need. At this stage, they are finally making a choice and committing to a solution between different brands. By displaying details about functionality and benefits in compelling ways, these videos do a great job of dissipating whatever doubts keep prospects from becoming a paying customer, and there are plenty of ways of doing it. Some focus on showing the product in action; others showcase its benefits using storytelling, and yet others try to pull at the heartstrings… The end result is the same, though: To prime a customer to close a deal. What Makes a Good Product Video? Product videos come in all shapes and sizes (more on this in a minute), but before we get into the specifics, it’s worth it to talk a bit about the core elements that are essential to making these videos great. Understanding of the Product and its Best Features You need to know the product like the back of your hand, and understand its main benefits from a consumer perspective — What are its core values? By identifying what the value proposition of your product is, you are able to understand what the first thing that you need to communicate is. The message that you need to raise as your video’s (and product’s) flag. Put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. Think about what they value most, what they are probably most interested in. Then use that information to find the best ways to communicate those features to them. Engaging script A great script is vital if you want a successful product video. It needs to strike a balance between being informative, useful, fun, and engaging. Interesting enough to catch and hold the viewer’s interest. The story you tell with it needs to be and sound genuine. Make it too stiff or robotic, and it will most likely come through as fake. In this regard, your video’s tone will depend on the audience you are speaking to, but it has to be decided from the start and communicated effectively in the script. Investing some effort in nailing down a great script can be the difference between reaching out and engaging your audience, or missing the mark entirely. Branded Aesthetic Having a uniform audiovisual aesthetic is also vital, and that applies to any video, not only product ones. Try to stay as close as possible to your brand’s visual and aesthetic cues. Doing so creates a visual strand between what your potential client thinks of your brand, what it thinks of the product itself, and what they think of your message. Tying them all on a subconscious level and strengthening the effectiveness of both brand and product. Use your branded colors to inform your video’s palette. Include your logo as a small watermark on the top corner of the video, and at crucial events in the narrative. Include company jingles and taglines as well, whenever possible. And that’s just to cover the basics! Long Enough Your video’s primary goal should always be to communicate your product’s value proposition effectively. And do so in an interesting, engaging way. It can’t just be a droning checklist of the benefits read aloud – although we’ve seen our fair share of videos that miss the mark like that. Product videos need an appealing narrative or context to make them effective, so making your videos long enough to deliver your message without leaving essential details out. That being said, you should never ever make them longer than absolutely necessary. And on that note Short Enough I know, I know! We did just say that your video needs to be long enough to communicate everything that makes your product great. However, even if your product’s list of benefits is long, your video can’t be. As a general rule, short videos tend to outperform longer ones, particularly in the marketing realm. The goldilocks zone for most marketing videos sits around the 2 min mark. Online, people are continually being bombarded with content, all promising instant gratification… So, don’t make it harder on your content by having it going on and on. Audiences won’t appreciate that. Relatable You need your video’s message to get through to your audience; that means making relatable pieces. The first step toward that goal is to understand who your target audience is, what they want, and how they communicate and then mirroring those preferences in your content. That said, simply using the kind of language that your audience uses is not enough. There’s nothing more relatable than watching a story unfold before your eyes. To empathize, understand, and even identify with the plights of characters in a scene. Your videos should use the power of storytelling whenever possible. Professional Above all, your video content should have a high-quality finish, portraying your brand and content as credible and professional – which makes it vital to choose skilled video companies that are up to the task. However, it’s important not to misunderstand “Professional” here with “formal” or even “serious,” as those attributes won’t fit every brand. Online, people gauge how reliable your brand is by the quality of your content. So, poorly animated, ineffective, or outright shabby content will harm your brand more than it helps it. Do not compromise on your piece’s quality – animation, voice-over, script, sound design – and you’ll likely end up with an awesome product video that helps you sell more! Product Videos – Different Types, One Goal Are all product videos the same? Of course not! There are different ways to present the benefits of a product, and different types perform better than others, depending on various factors. Let’s go through some of the most popular alternatives you have at your disposal, and make sure you are aware of the many avenues you have to increase your sales through these vids! Animated vs. Live-Action When it comes to product videos, it’s easy to think that live-action is automatically the best way to go, when in many cases animated videos can yield better results. Live-action is great when establishing a connection between specific members of your company would strengthen your sales proposition. Or when reactions or emotionality are core principles of your marketing approach. Think social media influencer Go-pro series. Animated videos, on the other hand, are second to none when it comes to powerful storytelling, or communicating complex messages in easy-to-follow ways. Think Red Bull. Most of the time, brands make use of both depending on the specifics of the campaigns, with the animated route of providing the freedom of creating a world that fits the message, without the constraints of real-world production. Brand’s Product Videos & User-generated Videos Both of them can play a significant role in digital marketing strategies, but they’re not interchangeable! User-generated videos fall under the “earn media” category, and as such can be extremely beneficial for any business. That said, you should never lose perspective of the fact that they are there to boost and compliment your brand’s original content, not replace it – a mistake many businesses make until they learn or experience potential drawbacks. As mentioned earlier, when your brand takes care of creating their product’s videos, you are in charge of the narrative, driving the attention where you want to, and making sure all the important information is delivered accurately. Treat user-generated videos as a boon, a useful channel to boost and complement your own video marketing efforts and take the pulse of your user base – Not as an excuse to neglect your own content output. Types of Product Videos When it comes to product videos, there are several different types that can do a lot for your marketing efforts. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones: Product demos A product demo is a classic representation of a product, probably the first thing that people think about when they hear the term “product video.” They are meant to give online shoppers an analogous feeling to the act of actually seeing a product in a shop and usually go into details about the product from different angles. Feature videos Here, instead of showing a general view of the whole product or service, feature videos choose one central aspect and make it the focus of the piece. The trick to them lies in selecting the right feature to showcase. The one that will draw the most attention or have the most impact on its intended audience. Showing this feature will help the potential customer to see the product in action —not only on display— hopefully prompting them to imagine themselves enjoying the product’s specific benefits. Tutorial videos Tutorial videos also show the features of the video, but do so in a broader and more interactive scope than feature-focused product videos. Tutorials do a great job of displaying a product’s features, yes, but their main draw is teaching its audience the ins-and-outs of how to use it. They come with an innate practical value that makes them attractive to people who have a degree of interest already in the product. Narrated videos This kind of product video shows the product in a narrative way, inserting the product and its benefits into an engaging scenario. They tend to be very imaginative and spark an emotional response from the viewers. The downside is that when a product video is way too scripted and narrated, it may come out as outright biased — However, there are ways of pulling them off while minimizing or outright avoiding that drawback. User-created Videos – Unboxing and reviews User-generated videos are a significant part of a content strategy. Customers trust other customers’ opinions when it comes to committing to a purchase, and having positive content out there – voluntarily made by actual users of your products – can be invaluable. The thing is that brands can’t (or at least, they shouldn’t) try to influence these types of customer content. But they can (and should!) use the content in their favor once it’s out there, implementing it to their marketing strategy. A simple way of doing this is by reposting on social networks or creating collections or folders with reviews (or video playlists, on YouTube, for example). This won’t replace a branded product video, of course, but it will definitely show a lot of confidence to your audience. A Roadmap to Fantastic Product Videos By now, you have a pretty solid grasp on the subject of product videos and what makes them effective. You know the types, the styles, and even some general considerations and conventions necessary to create amazing pieces that help you boost your sales! However, before you go, let’s highlight a few key aspects you should keep in mind during each critical stage in your product videos’ creation – Giving you better chances of making a quality piece that can actually impact your bottom line. Pre-production During the conceptual stages prior to the production process, you should start by asking yourself, “What are the doubts that are preventing your prospects from making a purchase?” And what is the primary value proposition my product delivers the audience I’m going for? Be strategic and let those answers inform the rest of the process. Pre-production revolves around nailing down your video’s main goals, and building a script around the assets you have to achieve them, and starting with those questions will most likely set you on the right path. Once the script is robust enough – in line with your interests, engaging, and tuned to your target audience – you can move on to tackle other tasks like start designing a storyboard. Production During the production phase, you’ll be animating or filming your fantastic product video, as your audiences will gauge the potential value of your product and service by the quality of your content Everyone can make a video. But not everyone can make a professional, high-quality video that helps you sell more. Post-production During the post-production phase of the video, it’s time to edit the footage and adjust the details so that the narrative is as perfect as it can be. If you have played your cards right, you’ll have people that can take care of this, so it can be useful to shift your focus to what comes next. Once your awesome video is about to be done, it can be useful to start putting together a strategy for getting the most out of it. Ask yourself how you plan to promote your video, the platforms you plan to upload it to, and start hammering down an SEO strategy to make sure people will find it. Conclusion On average, four times as many consumers would rather watch a video of a product than reading text about it. Product videos give you a perfect avenue to help your potential customers trust your brand and what you have to offer, promoting them to take action and make a purchase. By focusing on your product’s value proposition and showing in compelling ways how it can help users solve their pain points, you are overcoming several of the mayor drawbacks online businesses have to deal with. Now it’s time to take all you’ve learned and start planning your next product video! One that can make an impression on your target audience and help you bring those sales numbers up. Are you up for the challenge? Get creating then!