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How to create a successful promotional video

Provided you’re over the age of 20, this image will probably mean something to you:

Remember This Is Your Life? Michael Aspel (or Eamonn Andrews before him) would ambush someone with a big red book, before walking them through their highs and lows to date? Well, that’s very much how I feel marketers should approach promotional videos.

Hmmm. Perhaps I need to elaborate… 

The objective of a promotional video should be simple: give prospects a reason to do business with you. Yet, I see so many finished products that feel as if they’re trying their best to do the opposite! Why? Narcissism. Just because a video is about you, it doesn’t mean it’s all about you. In fact, it’s not really about you at all.

Most companies exist because of a need in the market. They solve a problem or improve a process, which ultimately makes life easier for their customers. A video is a fantastic way to explain this, elevator-pitch style, in order to grow your customer base. They’re a valuable weapon in the B2B content marketing arsenal.

So why don’t more people talk about what the customer need is in the first place? Sell their story back to them – are you tired of doing this? Wouldn’t it be better if X didn’t waste all your time? The ‘This is Your Life’ approach to video marketing.

By putting yourself in their shoes and weaving your product or solution into the prospect’s narrative, the video is immediately creating empathy and adding value. The prospect feels you understand them – more importantly, that your problems matter to them – and this makes them more likely to invest. In fact, rather than talk about this, why don’t I show you. This is a recent video we created for Vodat International:

Sure, there’s a strong commercial message, but it’s very much intertwined in the customer challenge. And that’s what’s going to secure buy-in from a prospect base.

Plus, this approach tends to boil what a company does down to one or two key messages – which is no bad thing in my eyes. Too many businesses try to get complex right away; remember, a video is the professional equivalent of a first date. Give them something to get to know!

I’ll leave you with my top tips on how to create a successful promotional video:

  • Start with the challenge your company solves for clients and work backwards
  • Make sure the story is all about the customer – you should be using the word you, not we
  • Keep it simple. Videos should convey 1-2 key company messages and no more
  • Be creative with the way you tell these messages; middle of the road content is forgotten about within seconds
  • Make sure you’re evergreen. Tying your video into a topical event or your latest marketing campaign might work initially, but this type of content needs to stand the test of time
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