by Víctor Blasco, founder and CEO of Yum Yum Videos
Short of outright having a live conversation with a potential customer, it’s hard to try and find a better way to deliver your marketing message than using a video.
It is precisely why – now that technology has caught up with the need – most effective marketing strategies out there right now include content like animated explainer videos, social live broadcasts, testimonials, and the like.
Most marketers know that even a single piece of video, the right video, can dramatically increase the effectiveness of any marketing campaign and have a significant impact on your bottom line. And among the slew of powerful formats, product videos remain atop the most used due to their versatility and usefulness.
The thing is that no two product videos are the same. And how effective they turn out to be in the end is directly tied to a handful of elements that need to be considered and applied throughout their production.
Things like branding, storytelling, and demographic insights can make all the difference in the world, and turn generic, expository videos into powerful marketing tools, capable of furthering your brand’s goals long after you initially released them.
To that end, I wanted to take a brief look into three of these essential elements of product videos, and hopefully give you a general sense of the marks you should strive to hit whenever you decide to put a product video together.
Format – All product videos are the same, right?
Wrong, but don’t feel bad if you assumed they were. It’s a pretty common misconception.
Generally speaking, any video looking to showcase a product or service – whether directly or indirectly – can be considered a product video. The most common of these follows the traditional approach: A person (or narrator) merely going over a product’s functionality, key features, and positive attributes they want to bring attention to.
This recipe forms the quintessential product video. However, thinking the traditional approach is the only one (or worse, the most effective for your goals) is a mistake. Depending on your goals, a type of product video might fit better than another with your particular audience, and while the ones I’m about to mention aren’t the only ones, chances are any of these can be a great addition to almost any marketing strategy.
Unboxing Videos: A traditional product video with a twist. Putting a friendly and excited face interacting with your product’s package and discussing its features as they unbox it can elicit powerful emotional cues and prompt action from potential buyers.
How-to and Tutorials: A slightly more indirect approach than the traditional product video, How-to and tutorials let you portray the usefulness and appeal of your product or service while avoiding an overt sales pitch. Something ideal at the early stages of the buyer’s journey.
Versus: Most often seen in the tech niche, versus product videos simply compare two competing products to each other, and analyze their respective attributes and performance relative to one another. The implied rivalry makes these videos more entertaining and exciting than the most straightforward kind.
Hybrids: These product videos combine features and approaches from other popular marketing video formats to different extents to bring an alternative way to put your product on your potential buyer’s radar. For example, a short-animated explainer video describing one of your product’s key features can sometimes work better to generate initial buzz and attention from your target audience than an extended features review type of video.
And that’s just to name a few. Now that you are aware of different types of product videos, you are more likely to consider a different format to match your product video’s intent.
Content – Understand your product’s information, and how to convey it.
A good fundamental principle to keep in mind when considering the content of your product video is that more doesn’t necessarily mean better.
As you plan and produce your video, it can be hard to resist the temptation to cram as much information in there as possible. After all, the more attributes you manage to list, the better chances you have that one will appeal to your potential customer, right? Nope.
It sounds good on paper, in practice though this approach overlooks other vital considerations.
When it comes to content online, providing value is the gold standard, as you are always competing for someone’s attention. It is one of the main reasons why short videos that are also funny or interesting tend to perform better than their counterparts.
More often than not, if you try to convey as much information about your product in a single video as you possibly can, you will steer it away from these attributes.
Take some time to figure out your exact goals for your product video, then match the information you are going to include only when they further that goal without sacrificing brevity and appeal. Let me give you an example.
If your goal is to educate your existing client base about your product’s functionality or a particularly confusing feature, long, detailed explanation videos will do marvelously. On the other hand, if what you are after is to create a product video that entices new buyers and promotes your brand, focusing a short video on one of the product’s key functions will most likely serve that goal better.
Use this goal-oriented approach to figure out the right amount of content to include, and more importantly, to leave out, using just the information that suits your objectives best.
Once you have a sense of the formats you can utilize and the content you definitely have to include, you can turn your eyes on the third element we are going to go over: the script.
Script – Using the right words, in the right way.
Once you have your approach (format) and the key information you are going to include, you need to make it all fall into place and synergize, and that happens on the script.
A rambly, unfocused script that makes no use of positive and effective communication and copywriting can make the most fantastic product in the world sound like a complicated, dull, uninteresting, or even ineffective item.
To prevent your product videos from suffering this flaw, you can start by trying to hit these few marks when working on your script:
- Avoid unnecessary or distracting information.
- Focus on your product’s most relevant features, as related to your buyers’ pain points.
- Make your script exciting or entertaining in some way. Information alone is not enough.
Whatever the product is that you are trying to feature in your video, if you manage to work a script that conveys its functions (and how they alleviate a buyer’s pain point), while being interesting or entertaining in some manner, you’ll end up with a powerful marketing tool in your hands.
When it’s all said and done, product videos remain as one of the best types of video content you can include in your marketing strategy, especially if you are targeting social networks. However, knowing how to do it well is essential, as a poorly planned and executed video can end up hurting your efforts rather than aiding them.
As you start conceptualizing and working on your next product video, consider these elements, and you’ll be well on your way to making the right product video your campaign is looking for.
Víctor Blasco is the founder and CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. He is also an audiovisual designer and video marketing expert.