Throughout my career, I’ve seen some really good product videos – like this one by the Dollar Shave Club (DSC) – and I’ve seen some absolute shockers. So what’s the reason why some of these videos succeed in communicating their message while others fail? It comes down to planning and preparation. Proper planning and preparation – or lack thereof – will make or break your product video.
Based on our experience of working with hundreds of clients on successful product videos, I’ve put together five questions you need to ask yourself before you begin.
Every product video needs a purpose. Why are you producing a video?
The main idea is the main reason why you are spending money and time producing the video. It might be because you want something visual to show prospective customers or you might have a hard time explaining your product verbally and see video as a way to communicate your message more clearly. Or maybe you want a promotional video that you can use for video advertising and run at trade shows, inside your retail stores or on your website.
In all of these practical examples, there’s a purpose behind the video. Make sure you are clear on the purpose, as this will frame how you produce the video.
Let’s look at the DSC video. The purpose of this video is pretty clear: to create a viral, funny video that showed how their product was better than the traditional shaving products on the market. Through the use of humour and clear messaging, the video successfully captured the attention of viewers and went viral.
Who are your targeting with this product video? To effectively communicate your message, you need to know who you’re talking to, what challenges they are facing and what they like. Once armed with this information, you have a resemblance of a customer profile. You’ll need this data when you begin formulating the storyline of the video.
Understanding what motivates your audience to buy is essential so you can appeal to their needs and desires. This question goes hand in hand with the previous one because it is tightly linked to your audience’s challenges. Most of the time, your audience wants to buy something to solve a particular challenge or problem in their life.
For example, DSC knew their audience hated shopping for razors and despised paying $15 dollars a pop. They used this information in their product video to show that their product offering – monthly razors delivered to your door for $1 – was more convenient and cost effective.
Knowing your audience’s objections will help you tailor your product video to alleviate their concerns. This is important because someone in your audience is always going to have objections before they buy from you. Your job should be to eliminate these objections by clearly addressing them and providing answers in your product video.
DSC took a proactive approach to some objections they perceived their audience had about their product and addressed them in the video. For example, quality was a big concern. After all, for $1, how good could the razors be? Mike, from DSC, addressed this objection buy demonstrating the quality of the razors and added, “Our blades are f**king great!”
There are four main types of product videos you can use: demonstration videos, screen capture videos, animation and cartoon videos, and 3D videos. Each type of video has its own set of unique benefits depending on your specific needs, goals and audience.
This question links closely to your video’s main idea and target audience. Think about why you are doing the video and what type of video would work well for your audience.
For example, DSC wanted to send their video viral. To do that, a screen capture video probably wouldn’t have cut it. They needed to use a demonstration video that integrated humour, visually showing how their product was different in a funny way.
Marketing isn’t always successful, but I’m sure you’d agree that a new initiative stands a better chance of succeeding when it is well-planned rather than a last minute effort. The same applies to producing product videos.
Before you jump in and set the camera in action, you need to understand the purpose of the video and your audience. If you spend the time answering the questions I listed here, you’ll give yourself the best chance for a successful video.
If the planning side gets a bit overwhelming, come talk to us and we can brainstorm together.