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Telling a story is fundamental in our DNA.  This doesn’t change if we are talking to family at a reunion or learning in elementary school, our interest in stories about others whether it is a person, company or product it comes down to being able to relate to it. The best possible way to do this with promotional video content is to tell a story, that being said here are a few more factors to think of while producing a promo video.

  • Explain what the video is about – they still do need to know what the video IS.
  • Make sure they know we’re active on social media talking about the show – viewers want to interact with the video and the cast & crew creating that content.
  • Be sure to display the URL of website or hashtag you are creating – Also important to include BTS, interviews, photo galleries, etc to show what went into the creation of it.
  • Make sure it feels different or unique – there are a lot of promo videos about a “Cardiac Monitors”, so how is THIS one different?
  • Make sure it looks visually memorable – it’s a brand hallmark, and needs to look high quality.
  • Make sure visuals and color palate are on brand – allowing viewers to know exactly who you are early is important .
  • Make sure it’s worthy of your audience’s time – you want to stand out and make sure you aren’t just creating a video to create a video, why is this video worth their time?
  • Make sure it emotionally connects – people want to feel emotionally connected, it’s what will make them remember you and think about you in the future.
  • Make sure it tells a story.

And you need to do all of that in just thirty seconds. I say thirty seconds, but if you can do this in thirty seconds and you want it to be more like 90 seconds we have just allowed us to improve upon the story and character building with sixty more seconds.  But that’s the reality of promo storytelling – it’s got to be a balance of story and message, if the message isn’t clear, the story won’t help.  It’s got to be easy on the viewer meaning that they shouldn’t have to work too hard to understand what we want.

It’s also key that we understand the parameters of how a promo is structured. Every word counts and every beat matters.  It’s not a formula, as some promos shift things around – or we find ways within this structure to keep the viewer intrigued, to push them out of their own comfort zone a bit to take more notice. But this is the basic outline:

:00-:03 – At this point we want this to introduce branding to a degree. It’s not unlike movie trailers when you see that studio logo.

:04-:08 The Setup – time to get their attention! This is where you get them excited and draw them in.

:09-:23 Excitement – it’s time to deliver on the setup and give them some drama, laughs, or excitement.

:24-:27 The Reveal – at this point, we need to be making sure we show the product, the service, the connection between the story and your company.

:28-:30 Your Logo – this tells them who is responsible for this content, call to action and contact information. You don’t want them to get confused with one of your competitors!

As you can see there is a lot that goes into the developing of a promo video.  You need to start at the 60,000 foot level and understand the big picture as this may be not clearly stated when you first go into the pre-production meetings because being on point and on message will be how you are remembered when it is all said and done.