Have you heard the hype lately about video marketing and how it’s going to be the next big tool to help grow businesses and brands? Let me tell you; it is all entirely true! Video is the way forward with some of the biggest brands on the globe, taking to YouTube and posting content. Our attention spans are now at such a point that if we can’t watch it and learn everything we need to know about it in 10 minutes or less, then we probably aren’t going to buy it. Scary right? Well, not if you are up for a challenge. We are going to help you to produce a conversion-boosting product video that will showcase your wares, attract a massive amount of engagement, and help turn those views into sales! Don’t get left behind, harness the enormity that is video marketing now so that your business can benefit too!
Before We Start
Before you head off to grab your camera, there are a few things that you need to think about before you begin to plan your video.
⦁ Know Your Audience
To create an engaging video that is going to grab the attention of people and get them to buy or use your services, you are going to need to know who your target audience is. Who requires your services? Who wants to learn more about your products? Who will benefit from hearing about your story? Having a clear idea of your audience will allow you to plan and drive a story that will keep them hooked rather than make them switch off.
⦁ Hone Your Brand and Voice
Video marketing is a great tool to have at your disposal, but as with all marketing, you need to make sure that you are getting the right message out there. What is your brand all about? How will it benefit people’s lives? Do you have core values, standards, or an ethos that people will relate to? Making sure that your video accurately reflects your brands and your voice will mean that people will trust you and are more likely to buy from you. If they sense a “sales pitch” or a video that feels fake, then you lose their trust.
⦁ Find Your Baselines (starting point of engagement, traffic, etc.)
I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who love making videos and enjoy all elements of the process, but the main reason YOU should make a video is to improve conversions. To clearly understand how the video is performing, and if indeed it is improving conversions, you need measurable data. Find your starting points for visitor engagements, conversions of visitors to sales, and any other data you want to track BEFORE you create the video. Then, once your video is out in the big wide world, you will be able to start monitoring its success and seeing if it’s worth doing again in the future. Consider A/B testing landing pages with and without videos, track the bounce rates, time on page, and add to cart statistics when using video within the page.
Okey. Are you ready? Let’s get started!
7 steps to producing a product video to boost engagement and conversions
Perfect Your Product
It may seem like the most obvious point to start, but honestly, you would be amazed at the number of people who are desperate to market their product and, in that haste, end up showcasing a less than perfect product. If your product isn’t ready for the spotlight or you don’t know it inside out, then this is going to be your first step before you even consider making a video.
Ensure your product or service is perfect
We know that you are eager for the world to see your product or service, but is it ready to be marketed? You need to make sure your item is of the best quality and has been thoroughly tested so you can iron out any problems that might arise. You also need to ensure that there are no faults, issues, or technical obstacles that are going to put new traffic off from coming to your site.
Know your product or service inside out
You need to know ALL about your service or product. Understanding exactly how the process works, the materials of your item or the path you wish viewers to go on will all help you to build a well-structured video. It will also help you to see where to accentuate its plus points and where you need to focus, placing a more “positive spin” on the more challenging aspects.
Feel confident with your product or service
Your confidence will translate throughout the video, and by knowing all you can about your perfect product, you will be able to structure a well-balanced video that touches firmly on all the major selling points of your product or service.
Get Your Gear
Knowing which equipment to use for filming a video can be a minefield. You could spend thousands on getting different lenses, high spec microphones, and self-stabilizing tripods. Or, you could just use your smartphone. You might not even need to do any filming and use stock images and footage instead, in which case all you need is a computer and some editing software. If you are going to be filming yourself, then here are a few things you might need.
To take photos or shoot video you are going to need a camera. If you already have a high-quality one, then great! If not, try looking for a DSLR camera that can record in 4k or at least 1080p. While 4K is not a considerable necessity, it is excellent for safe proofing your footage for when 4K becomes the norm. It goes without saying that the more you spend on a camera, the more features it is likely to have. Just be mindful that at some point, it will be cheaper to utilize the services of a video marketing company rather than paying $1000s for equipment (especially if you don’t know how to use them!). If you decide to use a video camera for your recording, then we recommend renting one as it is a much cheaper option than purchasing it, and the rental house may even give you a quick demo on how to use it correctly.
One of the most common rookie mistakes people make when they are creating their video content is not using a tripod. It is so vital to ensure that your camera is steady and set to the perfect height for the duration of filming. There’s a large variety of tripods available that you can buy consider one with a fluid ball head as these produce the so desired cinematic pans and tilts.
Lighting is key—no two ways about it. Good lighting will make or break your video. So when filming, you need to make sure that you have enough light. Pro tip: even when shooting with a cheap camera, a well-lit scene will enhance the image and improve the details picked up by the camera sensor. So if the camera you are using is on the low-end side, lift your lighting game. Where possible, buy photography style lighting setups with specific color temperature (e.g., 3200k) as this makes setting your cameras white balance much easier. Having your camera and lighting work in unison will produce a polished final video.
A word of caution NEVER utilize the camera’s internal mic to record anything you plan to distribute professionally. It will sound terrible. The pre-amps on a camera simply can’t record consistently good audio. The audio tracks they produce are riddled with room tone, peaking distortion, and muffled dialogues. It’s usually hard to understand the conversations recorded with the camera’s internal microphone. The only real use for the camera’s audio track is to facilitate the sync with the external microphone then the cameras scratch audio is discarded. Ideally, audio should be recorded on a field mixer, which allows you to monitor and adjust the gain level. To recap, be conscious of your audio nothing screams amateur like lousy audio, the moment a viewer has difficulty understanding what your saying, they’re leaving you video.
Decide on Your Style
There are several different types of video that might suit your product or service. Deciding on your style of video will help you to plan and execute your video more effectively and will enable you to do a great job. First, begin by thinking about your audience. If you are targeting a younger audience, then think about fast-paced, short, sharp, attention-grabbing videos. If you are targeting an audience that you know will engage with opinions and facts, then look to produce a review style video. Here are some styles that might suit you.
Images stitched together
This style of video might sound simple, but it can be a handy tool to help get both information out there and to promote your product as well. Combining photos with creative slides (for a great image creator try Canva.com) and stitching them together with a voice-over or a soundtrack will create an informative video that people will engage with. But be warned, too long, and these videos can become dull so short and sweet is always best. This type of video is also the simplest to create, so if you are limited on tech skills, then this is for you!
Scrolling screen capture
Using a simple piece of software, you can record the activity on your computer, laptop, or tablet screen. Using clips of scrolling screen capture is an excellent way to provide a “virtual tour” of your website and how to use it. Many people use scrolling screen captures to produce “step by step” videos, which will help users to engage with your platform or website and give them the confidence to visit the site. Where possible, try to script the voice-over so that it sounds more professional, and you don’t stumble on your words.
As the name would suggest, the demonstration style video is simply someone demonstrating how a product, service, or platform works. People like to see HOW a product is used and will often look at the demonstration videos before and after they have purchased a product. Try to avoid the shopping channel style of demonstrating how a product works, consider optimizing a grouping of videos for specific parts of your sales funnel. For example, a short promo video focused on the customer pain points your product solves would be great for the awareness stage when prospects are not really in the market for your specific product but can feel identified by the video. On the consideration stage, a longer-form video such as FAQ video can drive conversions by answering specific questions. Lastly, on the decision stage, produce a video that includes all the information a prospect would need to make a purchase decision, for example, a case study video that highlights how your product has helped real-world businesses. If you want to go the extra mile, consider an onboarding video for the delight stage here, you produce a video specifically designed to educate customers on using your product or service after they have purchased it.
Depending on your target audience and if done correctly, review videos will boost your viewers to sales tenfold! Review videos help people to understand how the product works as well as hearing the opinions of other people. When the videos appear unbiased, it encourages trust and allows people to engage genuinely with the video.
Plan or Storyboard Your Video
So you’ve got your perfect product, you know who you are going to target, and you have decided on the style of video you want to shoot. Now what? Now it’s time to start planning! Planning or storyboarding your video is a simple way to make sure your video has a good structure and uses your time well.
Think about the journey
While your style of video might dictate this somewhat, you still need to consider the journey you want to take your customer on. Do you want to fill them with information, starting with the basics and ending with FAQ’s? Do you want to entice them in and build tension until you reveal your item at the end? Maybe you want to put a real story behind it to help people understand the origins of your products or services. The customer journey is essential, so take some time to map it out and see where this leads.
Consider video pacing
If you want to make a 3-minute video but you have 30 minutes of content to cram in, the pace of your video is likely to be so fast that no one will absorb any of that information. Similarly, if you labor on one point for 3 minutes, then the chances are people will turn off somewhere around 30 seconds. You need o to consider the pace of your video so that you keep people engaged for the entire time without overwhelming them.
Don’t forget your key information
Have you ever received an invitation in the mail to a fantastic event only to see that they forgot to put the venue on it? Quite often, the most straightforward information is easily missed! Make sure that within the video, you put your brand, your logo, contact details, and website address. Remember to mention this often in the voice over too!
Shoot Your Content
We’re finally getting to the good stuff! Now is the time to whip out your camera (or smartphone or whatever you decide to film on) and get filming! Well, almost. There are a few things to consider before you start recording.
Equipment and audio
Is all of your equipment up to date, working well and charged up? Do you have your camera on the right settings? Have you cleaned up all of the lenses and checked for focus? Doing a test run before actually hitting record will help you catch any significant issues rather than getting back to your computer and realizing you shot the whole thing out of focus. If recording dialogue, make sure you have correctly set up your field recorder, microphone, and that they are adequately charged.
Good quality lighting is absolutely crucial when you are filming or taking photos, especially if you are trying to show off your product to the best of its ability. You will probably have to invest in some additional lights, but selecting a white or bright background is useful in that they bounce a considerable amount of light. Ideal when lacking lighting gear. Also, check for shadows; there is nothing more off-putting than a rogue shadow casting over someone’s face while they are trying to review a product. While it might sound silly, it will really put viewers off and they will simply turn over.
Vertical vs Horizontal
If you are using a smartphone then where possible, try to film horizontally. Filming vertically will mean that the picture will look distorted and have blank black space on either side of the footage whereas horizontal will fill the full screen. Don’t forget there are plenty of tools you can use within editing software that will help you to crop the sides of a video if you need to.
Record or Source Your Audio
Depending on your plan or storyboard, you are going to need some sort of audio tracks. No one wants to listen to 5 minutes of silence! In fact, foley and SFX can spice up a video considerably. There are three ways that you add audio to your video.
A backing track is an excellent way to create an ambiance via music and can help to set the tone of your whole video. An upbeat track will give your story a very different vibe than if you were to use the funeral march! Think about whether you want an upbeat tone to your work or whether you want something more soothing. There are several places you can purchase these backing tracks such as Shutterstock.com or you can source some free ones from the likes of bensound.com. DO NOT be tempted to put a music track from a famous artist on your video as this will infringe on copyright laws and get you into all sorts of hot water.
Tip: If you have a free youtube account, you can download copyright free music tracks and sound effects. From within your YouTube studios tab, click on the audio library.
On-location Audio Recording
If you have recorded your audio on location, then you will need to ensure that it is at the right volume and pitch. Being able to edit and equalize this audio or how we say in the industry sweeten it makes a world of difference. An excellent audio post-production workflow will diminish, room tone, reverberation, distortion, frequency problems, and get you closer to the all elusive warm and full-bodied radio personality voice.
If you are using a style such as images spliced together, then you might want to have some narration explaining or supplementing what we see in the video. You can include a music track as long as you set your levels accordingly so that the music does not compete or rob importance from the voice-over. Try, where possible, to hire a professional voice over artist and make sure that your script is correctly written.
Edit Your Content
Your content is looking pretty swish, and you now have a stunning product or service to show off to the world! Now it’s time to edit it all into a perfectly clipped and trimmed video. But how do you do that? Here are a few editing apps and tools you can use.
If you have shot your footage on your iPhone, then iMovie is the easiest way to edit it and turn it into a great video. You can crop, stitch, add slides, and overlay audio as well. Once you get the hang of it, you can quickly produce a decent video.
Adobe Spark is part of the Adobe suite and is, therefore, great for creating polished looking content. It’s free (although a premium service is available for additional functions) and does have a bit of a learning curve. You can find lots of tutorials on YouTube that will help you to add little extras onto your video to make it look much better.
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