Video is the content medium of choice for today’s discerning brands. And while there are a variety of video formats, promo videos are frequently used to make an announcement, reveal a new product, or draw attention to a development. Knowing how to create a compelling promo video will help you maximize your spending and see more of a long-term return on investment. Understanding the Purpose of a Promo Video In case you’re late to the party and haven’t quite latched onto video yet, let this article serve as a wakeup call. Video is no longer an optional marketing medium – it’s a necessity. Clearly there’s value in video content. The question is, are you leveraging video in the appropriate formats? More specifically, do you understand the value and purpose of promo videos and the boost they can provide your business? At its core, a promo video, or promotional video, is used to tell viewers something about your products and services. The release of a promo video typically coincides with the launch of a product, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it’s simply a way for a brand to garner some media attention and generate new leads. In the past, promo videos were generally longer videos – somewhere in the 5- to 15-minute range – and were shown exclusively on cables channels, or distributed in VHS and DVD format. Thanks to the rise of online video services like YouTube and Vimeo, today’s promo videos are largely published and shared online. They’ve also become much shorter to account for dwindling attention spans. The average video falls somewhere in the range of 1 to 5 minutes today. 5 Tips to Create a Promo Video That Converts Promo videos have evolved over time, but they’ve always remained effective. If you want to create promo videos that generate leads, drive conversions, and grow your brand, you’ll have to do it right. Here are a few suggestions and principles to operate by: #1. Quality is Everything Data from Jupiter Research shows that viewers are 60 percent less likely to return to a site if the video is low-quality. So it’s safe to say few things matter as much to a promo video as its quality. But what sets quality videos apart from average ones? For starters, you need to ensure technical quality. This means shooting with a quality camera, uploading in the right format, and using a good video editing tool to create seamless overlays and transitions. But quality goes beyond resolution and effects. You also need to think about the storyline and inject humor and personality that connects with the audience. #2. Nail the Intro In an age where internet users are used to scrolling through Instagram and quickly glancing at a video before moving on to something else, you only have a few seconds to grab attention. This means the intro must be good. If your introduction – meaning the first 5-15 seconds of the video – isn’t compelling, you’re going to see a huge drop-off in viewers. The famous Dollar Shave Club promo (more than 25 million views) is a great example of how to get off on the right foot. #3. Set Yourself Apart Let’s say you run an ecommerce website that sells shoes. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of other sites that do the same thing. For your promo video to work, you have to do something to set your brand apart. There are plenty of ways to differentiate. Some companies choose humor. Others utilize the shock factor. Some make a really compelling offer. You need to come up with something unique and build your promo video around this idea. #4. Ensure Legality One of the stickier issues you’ll have to navigate in the production of your video is legality. While you can find a lot of graphics, images, music, sound effects, and video clips online, availability doesn’t always ensure legality. Take a promo video’s background music as an example. While it seems like a small element, it’s the little details that make a huge difference in terms of how the video is processed by viewers. While you can rip some music off another video, or even legally download it from a library like iTunes, you don’t have legal consent to use it to promote your video. You actually need to work with a music licensing company to get this squared away. It’s easy to feel like you’re a “little guy” that nobody would waste time coming after, but think again. Music producers, artists, and creative professionals take their work very seriously and don’t want people ripping them off. #5. Develop a Sharing and Distribution Strategy Creating your video is only half the battle. To generate the sort of return you want to see, you must also come up with a sharing and distribution strategy. YouTube is always a great place to start, but very few videos reach their potential without actively being promoted on other social networking platforms. Facebook is a great place to share the full video, while Instagram is a good place to tease your video and push traffic to YouTube or your website. Try to involve as many different traffic sources as possible without overlooking the importance of engaging viewers on each individual platform. Learn From Your Experiences The chances that your first promo video will be a massive success are slim. It happens, but it’s rare. More than likely, you’ll launch a promo video and see what you did right and what went wrong. By treating your first couple of promo videos as learning experiences, you can refine your approach and hone your craft. Before long, you’ll understand your audience, what they’re looking for, and how to properly execute in a cost-effective, high-returning fashion.