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How to Create a Product Video

October 13th, 2021 26 min read

You need product demo videos to share your vision of your product. You may think your new app is amazing and everyone will love playing it, but that won’t translate with a simple description in the AppStore. Customers need to be shown what’s in your head. That’s how you generate excitement, by sharing how you see your product. 

The statistics for viewer engagement are great, and today there are so many mediums to share your video like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok. 

There is so much for you to consider going into this form of advertising. Who will make this video? And what do you need to make it yourself? The best part of the process is learning there are options for every situation. Small business, low-budget, there are few obstacles in the modern age. Some of the cheapest, shortest videos can drive campaigns. 

Overview 

Before you get into specifics, make sure to check all prerequisites before video production. Poorly planned videos are a waste of your time, money, and won’t achieve your goals. 

Video Goals

Are you looking to spread awareness or make sales? Do you have a detailed marketing plan around this video and other advertising? Where are you hosting it and are you aware of the importance of choosing the right hosting?

Product videos have different goals depending on your industry, company size, and marketing plan. You may be shooting to simply raise awareness, or drive direct sales. Some videos are the centerpiece of your new marketing plan, others are small steps in a bigger PR plan. 

These decisions may not seem as important, but can vastly impact your success. The decision of self-hosting versus posting to a site like youtube makes a significant difference. By clearly defining these goals, you set yourself and your video up for the best possible success. All the editing and filming talent can’t give a bad video good direction (look at The Matrix 2).

Target Demographic

Before you make a video, you need demographic research. Identify what mediums this video will appear on because the file type needs to be compatible. Your target audience will tell you what social media platforms to use, what devices they use, and what language they respond to. An easy way to learn this is to learn from what has worked: the competition. 

Budget Constraints

You know your overall budget better than anyone, but every video need is unique. We will go over outsourcing costs and the costs if you choose to do it yourself. First, you should rethink how much you want to spend.

Outsourcing to Professional CompaniesFreelancer Software Equipment
$1000 -$5000Under $100 to $1000 or More$30-$80Over $1000 Altogether

What Makes A Successful Product Video?

A successful, professional video is well researched and so well crafted. It also looks extremely simple. They manage to answer all the questions about their product without overwhelming anyone. It has a call to action that the customer follows through with. It’s well marketed on social media. 

Some say less is more. In the video, quality shines through. A great low-budget video will destroy a poor technical whirlwind every day.

To do this you don’t get lost in big concepts or do anything outside of feasible means. If you have a small budget, you don’t go crazy over setup and fancy equipment. If you’re selling soda, maybe don’t connect the soda to a political issue. 

You have to be grounded. Sell the product, don’t make a short art film. More than anything, watchers can smell BS from a mile away. Stick to what you know, and convince them that your product is right for them. That’s it. 

The effort that goes into creating the perfect video is a lot, but if you’re organized and only buy and learn what you need, you can simplify the process.

When Should You Outsource Product Videos??

You should outsource if:

You only need one high-quality video. Or your marketing plan had a couple of videos and you’re not making new ones for several years. 

Those who don’t have any prior skills or experience with video editing software and production equipment can also benefit from outsourcing. The cost can be thousands of dollars when you factor in subscription, training, and equipment. 

For a professional video, you need lighting and sound tools, a backdrop, or an already made set. These costs are only worth it if you plan to invest in the skills or build your own team. 

Then after cost, there’s the time needed to practice and gain the skills you need to makes something appealing. Product videos have less of a learning curve with someone that has prior experience with graphic design or filming. 

It’s important to gain an intermediate level of expertise, so you can incorporate all the elements needed. 

Finally, outsourcing is for you if they can do it better or more efficiently than you, within reason. Time is money, and if you have more of the latter, save the former. Pay someone else to do it. 

When Should You Make Your Own Videos?

You should DIY it if:

You are building your own editing and production team, and will get use of it in the future. For example, your organization plans to make a series of videos to show off your product or software. Learning the software and buying the equipment is worth it in the long run.

But some situations just call for one super cheap video for a small market. You don’t need glamor and lights because your product is straightforward, and the competition isn’t high. You just want to show people how it works with a utility video. Or show it off from a few angles. 

It can also be worth it even if you don’t have a major reason. Some personally want the skills and equipment for the future because there’s value in the experience. You might be a freelancer building a portfolio, an entrepreneur who wants the ins and outs of everything. Either way, you’re ready to commit to the time, practice, and budget.

Outsourcing Product Videos: Pricing and Resources

Option 1: Find a Freelancer

If you really want to outsource but have a minuscule budget, you can hire a freelancer in graphic design. The cost can be under $100. The two most popular are Fiverr and Upwork. These allow you to view profiles and portfolios, as well as make an active listing. 

The freelancers are often art students or amateurs building their portfolios, but there are also professionals as well. There is a huge array of talent on these sites, and taking the time to choose carefully is important. Their fees are reasonable, but try not to undercut them (and whatever you do, do not offer to pay in “exposure”).

These options are best if you have a clear idea of what you want, and give examples. Do not expect them to be mind readers or you will have problems. 

Option 2: Professional Companies

Professional video creation companies are much, much more expensive. The prices range from $1000 to $5000. You should expect extra fees as well. Webdew provides a detailed list of such companies.

Best of Both Worlds: Your Content, Professionally Produced

Video Builders

If doing it yourself and outsourcing isn’t what fits your need, there are video builders that use video templates to create your product video. Some are free, some are paid, but the important part is fancy equipment and software are no longer needed. Talking to companies and freelancers for weeks? Goodbye.

The only con is if you envisioned a very original or creative video. Templates won’t break the internet with their generic style. You can still work with what they give you for a video with real value. It just means you need to work more to be extraordinary with ordinary elements.

You can use a site like Animoto, which is a drag and drop video maker with a free plan. The videos are unlimited, but the video itself will say Animoto branding. Animoto paid plans are $96/yr. And you can use paid sites as well. Shopify is an eCommerce juggernaut that provides merchants with the space to sell online and the POS software to sell in person. They offer a video maker service with their Basic Shopify plan for $29/monthly. 

How to Create a Product Video

You’ve done your research and soul searching. You know exactly what you want and you planned for it. You’re going to make a product video. There are 3 integral parts. The writing part, the filming/screen grabbing/animating part, and then what next part.

Part 1: The Video Script

A script plans the transitions, flow, music, the angles along with the actual talking parts. This will be far more than what you literally say. As you write, keep in mind some important questions your video should answer:

The Questions Your Product Should Answer

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the product for?
  • Where and how can they use it?
  • Why is it worth using/buying? 

As you answer the questions you need to actually write the script. You need to envision what you want the demo to be and communicate that with consistent formatting. 

Your script will plan everything in the video, from gestures to camera angles.

The easiest template is to separate the audio and the visuals. You can put dialogue in italics or quotes, whatever reads better. You can put narration in brackets or braces. Just make sure to format every new element differently, and stay consistent. 

In this example, the Visual describes what happens on screen. The Audio includes narration, speakers, and dialogue. You need to separate everything with formatting. The style of formatting is your choice. 

Visual: We see a computer screen and someone logging into a website with blue accents.

Audio: [Narrator:] When you need a recommendation on a therapist, do you spend hours on Google? After all your work did you end up at 2 or 3 appointments that wasted your time?

Visual: Woman in front of a blue background, smiling.

Audio: [Woman:] “I have been through so many bad therapists I wanted to give up, then I found SyReview and I got real recommendations from real people.”

Super important note, your script is your storyboard for the video, so take your time and think about everything. How will you highlight your product’s features? What do other commercials focus on? How will you talk about pain points respectfully? 

This can’t be emphasized enough, but don’t exploit your pain points. You should gloss over the negative because modern audiences are far more aware when you’re twisting their insecurities. Also, you want them to associate your product with good feelings not bad.

Professional Product Video Do’sProfessional Product Video Don’ts
Stay Positive
Use Active Voice
Use Verbs and Imperatives
Emphasize How The Products Improve Your Life or Entertain 
Focus On-Brand Colors
Insert Your Logo 3+ Times
Say The Products Name 3+ Times
Show Positive Expressions
Focus on The Negatives
Over Explain
Use Wordy or Flowery Language
Talk Down
Use Off-Brand Colors
Use Weird Accents
Have Fancy Flashy Scenes 
Use Music Unpopular with Demographic
Use Bright or Strobe Lighting **strobe lighting is linked to inducing seizures**

Call to Action

As much fun as you had making this video now comes the part where you drive your results. This can be sales, traffic, or something else. The results will determine whether you have a celebratory dinner or a pensive look out the window. It’s time to call to action. 

 “If this applies to you, then go to my website to order.

“Click here to learn more”

Think of it as an If/Then format. A CTA can be a link, action, response to whatever you need them to do to get your product. 

These are the “hard ask” from sales, the “can I count on your vote” from political organizing. Remember this when making them, and take inspiration from what has worked on you. 

Other Tricks for Your Script

There are still ways to make the process less painful. For some tips on writing a successful video script, check out the video below.

You can also talk to yourself and figure out your dialogue as you speak. By doing that you avoid using flowery language that isn’t how anyone sounds. Even better, record a conversation about the product with someone else and replicate the natural way you talk. 

This is a lot to consider, but once you do, it will make the next part so much easier. You don’t want to skip a step and have a confused, incoherent product demo video. Not to mention, if you don’t do the script how do you know what to buy?

Part 2: The Actual Video

This is the part that changes depending on your product. If your product is not tangible this got a little easier. 

What If Your Product Isn’t Tangible?

If you have an app, a website, or software, all you need to do is get the software to show it. If you really want, you can buy equipment and show visuals of people on a laptop, with a voiceover. You could use all the fancy lighting and show someone playing the game on their phone. 

But, if you can use a free screen recording software, then take that recording, put it in a video editor, or an animation software for special effects, then do that. If you can’t record the mobile app you can film yourself with another camera. You don’t have to go all out on lighting, especially if you take the time to play around with filters and editing. 

Before buying equipment, consider if you can create a digital mock-up of your product. If you can do this in say Adobe Photoshop you can then manipulate the image and show it in Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe Final Cut, or Abobe After Effects. An think hard about this, would an animated commercial be better for your new pop socket? Or industrial socks? Reeses even used an animated commercial for candy. Only buy what you need. 

With that said, what software should you use? The software used by professionals includes Adobe products because they are a monster in the graphic design market. Adobe Premiere Pro is used for video editing and is around $31.49/monthly and $239.88/yr upfront. Adobe always fluctuates pricing with deals and discounts, currently Premiere Pro is 20% off, but that’s only for the first year if you sign up right now.

If you hate Adobe and its wonderful subscriptions, you can use alternatives like Camtasia and Corel VideoStudio Pro. Camtasia is a top-rated software with a trScore of 9.0/10, and is one time buy for business at 249.99 (only supporting one user). They also have a built-in screen recorder. Corel also has a built-in screen recording and a trScore of 9.0/10. The software is a one-time fee of $79.99.

Free options include Lightworks and iMovie. Lightworks is compatible with Windows, and Mac, and had a trScore of 9.7/10. iMovie is an 8.6/10, and also compatible with Windows and Mac. Although there are far more bells and whistles with the paid products, it’s still worth it to try out the free ones. Our Best Free Video Editing Software article offers a more in-depth comparison of free editing software.

For most video editing programs you need at least 16GB of RAM and for the best performance 32GB of RAM. The expenses for computers like these go into the thousands, but it’s worth it to shop around.

Today learning new software is possible for anyone, not just the tech-savvy. There are tours within the software and online YouTube tutorials. All you need is patience. 

Regular Filming

Here’s the most expensive part, figuring out the equipment you need. If you want to know all the standard equipment needed, that is a long list. Instead of just buying a checklist, let’s consider what you actually need then buy that.

You need a camera if you have a physical product. Do you need the most expensive, powerful camera? Well, if you’re not recording something fast, no. Company’s place simple product videos on Facebook and TikTok, and some are recorded by the model or influencers’ phone. No, you only need a good phone, good lighting, and careful setup. 

Lighting is terrible at night on almost any phone. So if you choose a personal phone, you need to film in the morning and afternoon. If you buy artificial lights, then you can record anytime. Especially if you buy a shadow box. A shadow box or photo box is a special plastic box that controls the lighting of your product. You do not need any expensive lighting equipment if your product is small enough to fit in one. 

Setup is key for your product and you should decide it when you write your script. Is it a simple backdrop? Do you need a green screen? Are you using your living room or kitchen? It will be easier if you use a plain background, or buy a backdrop, and use natural or artificial lighting. 

These are the only required parts. If you want to film actors it will take longer versus using a narrator. Also, not everyone connects with a face. If you want dialogue you could add subtitles and text right on the screen when editing. 

What Next?

Next, you need to optimize the video for SEO and choose hosting. That in itself is its own guide so make sure to read SEO for Video Content.

Reminders at this point are to make transcription from your script because it’s helpful for accessibility. The transcript can be useful to those with hearing and vision impairments. It can be translated as well so you can reach international markets. And, of course, the transcript can be used for SEO.

More Product Video Resources

As you can see, a successful product video requires planning and smart decisions. You can’t skip steps, or ignore important details. You actually do need to take your time instead of pulling a last-minute all-nighter before the due date. Whatever route you take, it’s integral to utilize your time for the ultimate result. 

If you need to get your mind around how to do this, there are great videos you can use as guides. You can check out this video for how to use your phone with lighting equipment. You may need to know the process for when you buy all the equipment and then use the software, so the video below is key.

If you want to know more low-budget ways to create a video, this guide is for creating a still image video.

Visit our category page for more editing software while on your search. 

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