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Product Video 101: Why, When and How to Use Video to Market Products (with costs and examples too!)

product video, demo video and kickstarter video production in san francisco bay area and silicon valley

Video is the perfect format for products. Products are real: you can see them, touch them and video is a visual format, allowing  you to ‘show and tell’ just about anything anyone needs to know about your product.

The advantages of product videos….

Short of an in-person demo, video is the next best thing, and when online,  is far more widely reaching. Your other options to show off your product are photos, text, maybe even audio tutorials but video includes and multiplies the advantages of all other formats and has added benefits as well:

  • Video can have much of the human touch of an in-person demo, without the costs of a sales team or travel expenses.
  • The message in your video can be crafted, refined and even tested and perfected to communicate at maximum effectiveness.
  • You can use the power of story to engage your audience. Human beings love a story, it hooks and holds our attention.
  • When done right, video can elicit positive emotions, brand associations and build trust.
  • Product videos are a preferred content format, especially for mobile and tablets.
  • Google says that having video on your website provides an average 20% boost in traffic.
  • Video accelerates information absorbtion. In seconds customers can learn everything they need to know.
  • Product demos increase conversion rates (Zappos sees up to 30% conversion boost with products that have videos).
  • If you make compelling/share-worthy content, you can earn distribution in social media on the relevant online communities for free. Make them care.
  • Video content is ranked higher by search engines and appears toward the top of search results.
  • Videos can act as a virtual sales force, educating your customers 24/7 and globally, with a one-time production cost.

When is the right time to produce your product video?

  • It might make sense to do an early demo when looking for investors, such as a Kickstarter video
  • It could make sense to have a video for a trade show, industry event or press announcement
  • As your product becomes available for purchase,
  • Video can be used as part of an email marketing or PPC campaign.
  • Reach the right viewers in the right place with Google AdWords for Video
  • Place product videos in the product pages in your online store to drive big boosts in sales conversions, like Zappos!

* The 3 phase-process of putting together product videos*

PHASE ONE – Pre-Production

  • Determine goals: It’s helpful to consider what stage of the sales cycle you are addressing: Is it, awareness, interest, education or conversion?
  • Define audience: Where will the video live (You Tube, your website, social media). Also,  who are you trying to reach, when and how?
  • Develop the concept for what you want to create: For example: Is it a person showing off a cool shoe or an emotionally engaging customer testimonial story of how a flashlight saved their life?
  • Refine your concept to make sure it will realisticly have a chance of acheiving your goals. If you want to boost excitement, are you putting enough resources to cut through the online clutter and really excite your audience?
  • Once you have a sense of what you want to create, you can determine what it would take to produce.
  • By refining the concept to fit the realities of your budget, timeline and other resources, you can make the best plan with what you’re got.
  • This is typically when scripts, interview questions, schedules and travel plans get made.
  • This phase frequently is the most important step. It’s where you have the chance to get the right strategy, message and content to achieve your goals.

*PHASE TWO – Production *

  • One your plan has been made, it’s time to execute. This is the phase when the video shoot or the creation of graphics, storyboards, etc. happens.
  • Because every project is so different, there isn’t a clear path that applies to all productions so it’s not too helpful to get into a lot of detail here.
  • It’s important to work with a production partner who can help you select the right gear, process and techniques to get the most out of your production.

*PHASE THREE – Post-Production

  • Some projects require lots of post production (editing) of available video footage captured in production.
  • Depending on the plan, you may be just using photos and music. Either way, this is the phase when all the assets are gathered and video is put together.
  • Depending on your goals, project plan, timeline and budget, there may be lots or little to no editing & animation.
  • It’s common to have major revisions to the plan along the way. You’ll frequently find that the assets that you got are different than what you planned, for better or worse.
  • Through the magic of editing, projects take on a life of their own and can come out better than expected. Even seasoned pros can’t anticipate all the possibilities until you’re in the thick of it and squeezing all you can out of what really is an artistic collaboration. Good ideas just come as you work with the material.
  • Once you have a final version of the video, it’s time to shine it up a bit. It’s typical to refine the color, add effects, level and mix audio.
  • This is also the stage where you export the final video deliverable and host in online, share it in social media or whatever your distribution plan calls for.

The Costs

As you might expect, the costs vary widely depending on what your pre-production plan calls for.  You might shoot video from your phone or tablet for free or you might spend 10’s of thousands, it all depends. As a reference point, most of the videos on our portfolio page are in the 5-30K range. It’s important to note that video isn’t a commodity , it’s a service that frequently touches on many disciplines ranging from creative, writing, lighting, camera operation, music selection, editing, animation as well as customer service, support and trust. Just make sure you find a partner you click well with that has a versatile skill set and you’ll have a good shot at extending value.

CASE STUDY: Product Announcement Video
* Client: AMD/SeaMicro*

Product: The SM15000 Server


Seamicro needed a new video to provide a holistic view of the server marketplace as they announced their newest server product, the SM15000. The video would first be shown at a press conference, then released to media outlets as well as shared on their website and in social media.

The Process

We worked with them to make it all happen on a very short timeline.
The client arranged the shoot dates and interview questions with their clients
We provided a 4 person crew for a one day shoot at 2 client locations as well as the and Seamicro offices in Silicon Valley.
We also shot an additional interview on a second “pick-up” day  with an industry expert and for B-roll.
Everything was gathered, sorted and edited in two days.

The results

The video was ready to go at the press conference and helped them make the announcement impression they wanted:

“Digital Accomplice helped me with a major product launch video on short notice, and it got rave reviews both internally and externally. – Young-Sae S., AMD Seamicro.

Here’s the final video:

Want to learn more about using video for marketing products? Download our free Online Video Marketing Guide: Learn How to Promote your Business with Video (Free Download)

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions and I’ll do my best to help answer them.

Good luck!

Dane Frederiksen
Digital Accomplice

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