Ever since the dawn of television, the moving image has always been pervasive. Now, with the proliferation of cheaper technology and the development of online distribution platforms, a promotional video has become even more affordable, with more companies providing video services and many businesses big and small having access to these services. That’s why you suddenly have so many options; that’s why it all suddenly seems so complicated, especially when you are not a marketing/video production/PR guru.
The aim of this series of blogs is to highlight some of the most common video products out there and how you can best utilise them to promote your business. I’ll start with some of the more fundamental formats and then move to more complex types of video products.
A few caveats before starting:
- There is no technical discussion in this series of blogs, and this is not a how to produce a video guide. My aim is to define some fundamental video products and how to use them in your marketing strategy.
- These categories are not set in stone. You will find that on the web (and this only adds to the confusion) different video production companies define their products differently. I want to simplify the options available by creating a more cohesive framework from which to define the different options available. This will give you the foundation to start utilising video in a way that works for your business.
- These series of blogs are aimed at business owners with only a basic to no knowledge of video production, who are also exploring options for utilising video for promoting their business.
- We are not a PR/Marketing company, we are a video production house, and these blogs are not a how to promote your business but a how to use video to promote your business. Therefore I do assume that you have some form of marketing strategy in place. There are some terrific articles out there that look at the grander picture of PR and marketing, of which video is a crucial component. I urge you all to seek these out.
Okay, now I begin with a warning…
Beware of the terms: Promotional Videos and Brand Videos.
‘Promotional video’ is a broad term that encapsulates a whole suite of different styles of videos. When you ask someone to make you a promotional video it’s like asking an engineer to design you a vehicle, without more details you might get a sedan when what you really need is a four wheel drive.
Beware of the term ‘brand videos’ because videos do not create brands, videos can only ever hope to reflect the brand. Your brand should be the heart and soul of your business; it’s your brand that dictates how and when you use video and whether it will be of benefit.
Ideally, all videos that a business produces should ultimately serve, in one way or another, to promote the business and reflect the brand. Some videos will promote your product/service directly, others just develop the brand by spreading the name. An interview for example might not refer to your product directly but with you producing that interview and releasing it on your website, you associate yourself with that marketplace.
Promotional videos can be educational and instructional, they can incorporate animation and interviews, in the form of testimonials and vox pops, they can be short docos, they can even be short movies (such as the famous BMW short films THE HIRE featuring Clive Owen), the possibilities are limited only by your imagination, and schedule and budget.
By the end of this series of blogs you’ll think beyond the vague term ‘Promotional Video’, and think more closely about what type of promotional video content best serves your brand. When is it best to use the interview, and in what format: vox pop, talking heads or testimonials?
Next blog we start by looking at interviews. What’s the difference between a vox pop and a testimonial? Why and when do you use an interview? It will be posted on the 10th of April and then each new blog posted every Monday after that. In future we’ll be exploring Animation, Training, Instructional and Explainer Videos, Profile and Event videos.
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