What is a promo video and how can your small business use them?

For small businesses navigating the world of web-based video marketing can be a daunting task.  From Corporate Video to Video Marketing, Promo Video, or Explainer Video so many terms are tossed around they can sometimes get a bit hazy.  What’s most important, no matter the terms you use is that you get the video that matches your vision and your brand.  That’s why one of the key services we offer here at 2 East 8th Productions is consultation.

We want to take a look at one of the most popular terms and try to bring some clarity to what we in video production mean when we say Promo Video. Then try to clarify how you can use them for your small business needs. 

Promo video meaning

A promo video, or promotional video, could simply be defined as any video that is promoting your business.  What we think of specifically are videos that promote a particular service, offer, or event without trying to overtly sell anything.  

In this video for the Autopsy Talks conference we give just enough info to spark interest and then encourage learning more without screaming “COME TO THE CONFERENCE NOW!”

Event promo videos like this can highlight a special sale you have going on or the opening of a new location as well as any service or product you want your customers to be more aware you provide. Other video types like a Product Video or Brand Video look to directly sell viewers on an item or your brand.  We instead look at Promo Videos like teasers where the goal is to draw the viewer in to get more information.  In essence, every kind of business video you’re going to make has a sales aspect to it, but with a Promotional Video, we like to be more subtle about that fact.

How can promotional videos for business help my company?

So if we’re not explicitly trying to sell something with our video, what exactly is its strategic purpose in a digital marketing plan?  Promo videos for events and services are intended to draw web traffic first and foremost.  Like we laid out in our post on Digital Video Marketing Statistics a whopping 68% of people stated they’d prefer to learn about a product or service via video over any other medium.  

A promotional video is also a great way to engage both new and prospective customers as well as re-engage current and returning customers.  Having a single video or any piece of content that can serve both of these purposes while driving traffic is an incredible boost to any digital marketing plan.  

How Long Should A Promotional Video Be?

Promotional video length is a topic with a good deal of debate around it.  This is likely because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.  Looking at the platforms you plan to share your video on can help give you an answer though.

Would you post the same length video to YouTube that you would on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram?  Most likely not.  The folks over at Hubspot found that for the top 3 social media platforms the idea lengths were all 1 minute or less.  YouTube however was double that. Ideally, we like to aim to be at or under two minutes for the main video and then have versions of shorter lengths edited for other social media platforms. 

What Makes a Good Promotional Video?

Before you start all of the preproduction items like screenwriting and storyboarding we feel you get the best result when you can answer a few key questions about your video. These questions apply to any business video you intend to create.  

  • What is your measure of success?

Knowing is half the battle.  Before you get in the weeds with a script and concepts it’s a good idea to establish what you want the video to drive.  To borrow a marketing term what are your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? Will it be page visits?  Form submissions? Physical traffic? Having a call to action in your video will be a vital way to help drive the type of traffic you want. It’s possible to increase multiple KPIs with a good promo video but it may be best to focus on one or two for each video.

  • What elements do you want in your video?

There are a lot of different ways to go about making a promo video for business.  Do you want to have b-roll of people and locations or voice-overs with motion graphics?  Having a plan for these elements will inform you as to what resources you will need to make your video happen.  Do you need to hire on-camera talent?  Do you have a location?  What kind of b-roll will you need? Or in the case of motion graphics what kind of assets like color scheme, photos, and footage can you provide?  Getting these questions answered will provide a much clearer picture of the scope and scale of your project for you and anyone you may look to hire to assist with your video.

  • What platforms will it be on?

This is all about knowing your audience and where to most effectively reach them.  Each of the various platforms has their own styles of video and lengths that will perform well.  Know where your audience is and how to best serve up your video.  Since it’s unlikely you’ll be on just one social media platform it’s often a good idea to have unique edits for each platform you plan to post to.  

  • How will you promote your video?

If you’re going to put time, effort, and money into the creation of your video it’s good to have a solid plan in place to promote your promo.  Make sure to fully utilize all your social media accounts and email.  Have a spot ready for one of your edits on your website and don’t forget about your Google My Business page.  Aside from adding photos to your profile, you can add videos that are one minute or less in length as we did with a specialized demo reel.  Not sure how to get started?  Check out this great post on putting your video on Google My Business.

What is a Promo Video:  Step by step

Now that you’ve defined some of the key aspects of what your promo video will be it’s time to put one together.  Promo videos are not unlike many other types of videos you make for your small business.  They all tend to follow similar steps that we here at 2 East 8th can either support your efforts or take on entirely depending on your needs.

  • Pre-production

This is going to include all of your creative planning such as writing and storyboarding.  Not comfortable or familiar with those types of things?  That’s OK we offer those as a stand-alone service along with consulting.

  • Production

This could vary depending on whether you choose to film a video with live talent or one that uses existing footage with motion graphics and/or animation.  Both will require film equipment and operators to get your footage.  You’ll want to have your location nailed down whether it’s your business or studio space.  Also, will you or your employees be featured or do you want professional actors?

  • Post Production/Editing

This is where all that hard work, storyboarding, and shooting come together.  Editing is where we take those wonderful ideas and fantastic shots and mold them into one or several cohesive stories for all your different formats.  This is where the titles, motion graphics, music, and voice-overs are added.  Simply put, skilled editing is what makes all your pre-production and planning worth it.  Have footage you don’t know what to do with?  We offer video editing all by itself to help complete your projects when you need that extra bit of skill to bring it all home.

Know your strengths

Some small business owners will try to wear a haberdashery’s worth of hats to accomplish all the goals for their business.  The key to doing this effectively is knowing when hiring a professional.  It’s possible to write, shoot, and edit your own video on a shoestring.  

What you have to weigh is how much time it will take you and what quality the end product will be.  We wouldn’t ever tell a person they couldn’t make a good video on their own, but we small business owners have to know our limits.  For example, you won’t find creatives like us doing our own accounting and we’re sure the IRS agrees with our decision.  Looking for advice on how to hire a video production company? Check out our video production company hiring guide.

We hope we’ve been able to answer, what is a promo video? Now the next question for you to answer is when can I start making my promo video!

No matter what step of the process you’re in, we’re here to help! If you’re in Chicago, San Diego, Grand Rapids, or anywhere in the United States – contact us and let us bring your promo video to life.

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