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Apple’s software upgrades always introduce a number of tweaks and new features designed to improve upon its existing operating system. The release of iOS 14 represented a particularly significant change in these regards, however, and it remains one of the biggest interface and privacy updates to Apple’s mobile OS.

Let’s take a closer look at iOS 14, before getting to grips with the changes that it brought to the iPhone user experience and examining what it means for marketers looking to publish Facebook ads.

What is the iOS 14 update?

The iOS 14 update was released to the public in September 2020, and it included a number of design changes that enabled users to customise their devices and refined the overall iPhone user experience.

iOS 14 made it easier to add and remove widgets from the Home Screen, and it allowed users to organise their apps using the new App Library feature. Siri also received an eye-catching redesign, and a new app, Translate, was launched as a rival to Google Translate.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the iOS 14 update was its introduction of several privacy-oriented features, such as App Privacy Labels in iOS 14.3 and the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) feature in iOS 14.5. The latter update was rolled out in April 2021, and it required apps to ask users for their permission to share their data and track them across other apps and websites.

These changes were designed to give iPhone users greater control over the data they shared with advertisers and publishers, signalling an important shift in Apple’s data collection and sharing policies.

How does the iOS 14 update affect Facebook ads?

Whilst these changes helped put iPhone users’ minds at rest, they have caused quite a headache for ad publishers and digital marketers. As we shall see, iOS 14 has had a profound effect on ad targeting and reporting.

How has the iOS 14 update affected ad targeting?

The ATT privacy framework introduced by iOS 14.5 requires that apps ask users for their permission to access their Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) tags. IDFA is a unique code that is used by ad marketers to track users and build detailed user profiles that can then be utilised to send targeted ads.

The outlook is not an entirely bleak one for ad publishers in the post-iOS 14 era, however. According to data collected in March 2022, almost half (46%) of iOS users worldwide allow app tracking via the ATT prompt. Marketers may now have much less data about user behaviour, but more iPhone users are choosing to opt in than anticipated. What is more, targeting with Facebook’s user data, i.e. demographics, interests and behaviours, etc. is not impacted by iOS 14, as this is first-party data that Facebook collects on its own platform.

The iOS 14 update has made retargeting site visitors a little trickier, however, as most users are no longer being tracked when they click on Facebook ads that take them to websites and apps owned by other companies. Lookalike Audiences have also suffered because Facebook isn’t able to collect as much data about the people who are buying from different brands.

Users who i) visit your website via an iOS 14 device and ii) have opted out of being tracked cannot be included in retargeting and lookalike audiences. This affects campaigns with the following objectives:

Creating Custom Audiences composed of people who have expressed an interest in your business – whether that’s by watching your Facebook video ads or engaging with your Facebook Page – is one way in which you can continue to retarget users. We would also recommend broadening your existing Custom Audiences by, for example, tracking website visitors over the last 180 days, as opposed to the last 30 days. This will provide a larger source audience, and thus more raw data, for your Lookalike Audiences.

How has the iOS 14 update affected reporting?

Pixel-based conversion reporting has been another casualty of iOS 14, as fewer conversions are being tracked on mobile devices, and real-time reporting is no longer reported. This makes it harder for advertisers to optimise their Facebook ad performance, as they have reduced visibility over the actions that users are taking and thus how well their ad campaigns are performing.

Under Meta’s Aggregated Event Measurement protocol, which aims to help advertisers deal with these issues, advertisers can track up to eight-pixel events or conversions per domain. These eight events are assigned by Facebook, but advertisers can prioritise these events according to which events they regard as most significant.

In the event that a user who has opted out decides to click through to your site via a Facebook ad, Facebook will only report one event – and so it is important that you think carefully when prioritising these events!

Bear in mind that you will need to install a pixel on your website and verify your domain. Find out more about the steps that Meta recommends advertisers take in order to continue to measure web and app events.

Find out more about Facebook ads

We hope that this has helped explain the impact that iOS 14 has had on Facebook ads and that you now feel better placed to deliver personalised, relevant Facebook ads.

Find out more about how you can run successful Facebook video ad campaigns with our best practice guide.

Small Films is a video production company in London. Our team of videographers, editors and animators create all sorts of videos, including awesome product videos, testimonial videos, explainer videos and animations that can help bring your brand to life. Do get in touch; we’d love to hear from you!

Whilst we’ll admit to being a little biased here, we would honestly struggle to think of a better way to promote a product than via the medium of product videos. Making a product video is a highly effective, if not the most effective, way to inform your audience of your product’s merits and persuade them to invest in your brand.

But don’t just take our word for it. 88% of people say that they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video, according to research conducted by Wyzowl, and data collected by Think with Google indicates that online videos have helped more than half of shoppers to decide which brand or product to buy.

Before you start shooting your miniature masterpiece, however, you’ll need to produce a script that does your product justice. As Alfred Hitchcock famously observed, there are three things that are required in order to make a great film: the script, the script and the script. Putting together a high-quality product video script will enable you to highlight your product’s key selling points and present a strong case to your target market.

Prepare a video brief

Creating videos is often a fun and ultimately very rewarding experience. With that said, making a product video from scratch might sound a little intimidating.

Taking the time to write a video brief can help you to overcome some of the fears and creative blocks that you might have at the outset. It will also provide your project with the structure and guidance that it needs to get off the ground.

Begin with a good old-fashioned brainstorm. You’ll be able to start outlining the form that your video will take if you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your target market?
  • Where would you like your product video to be shown, e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, TV, etc.
  • What are your product’s main selling points?
  • What video style would be most appropriate for your product?
  • How do you want your audience to view your product at the end of the video?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is your deadline?

Setting out this information in a clear format will help your team to understand your creative vision, and there are a number of creative briefs that you can download for free to help you on your way. Ideally, you’ll be able to summarise your concept with a snappy logline, e.g.

A down-on-his-luck gardener realises that the only thing that can help him successfully deter hordes of evil slugs from eating his cabbages is copious amounts of copper wire.

Make things easier with script and storyboard templates

Once you have a video brief that you and your team are happy with, it’s time to start drafting your script.

You can choose from a wide range of product video script templates and other online tools that will make the scriptwriting process much easier. Using a script template can help you build upon your original concept and develop it into a story that can act as the foundation of your product video.

The process of scriptwriting is sometimes followed by storyboarding, which involves creating a visual representation of your video and breaking the action into individual panels. There is a wide range of storyboarding software tools that you can use to generate images, and a number of storyboard templates can also be downloaded free of charge, giving you the option to select a template that is best suited to your product video format.

Captivate your audience with a strong opening

We’ve all been there. After having settled down to watch a video on YouTube, you groan inwardly upon realising that you’ll have to sit through yet another set of ads before you can watch the content that you’re really interested in. The only saving grace is that you have the option of skipping them after just five seconds; you won’t have to endure a couple of unskippable 30-second ads.

Every once in a while, however, you’ll find yourself watching past the five-second mark – and perhaps even watch until the very end of the video. Why one might ask, would anyone in their right mind choose to watch somebody attempt to sell their products online?

The answer lies, quite simply, in the hook. Think of the video hook as a magical device that allows you to grab your audience’s attention – even to the point where they’ll happily delay watching whatever it is that they initially came to see for a precious half a minute or so.

Like most magical instruments, the hook can take a number of forms. It can take the form of a question (‘What if you never had to worry about deadlines again?’), an interesting fact, a joke or a direct address to your viewer. Your first task as a product video scriptwriter is to capture your audience’s attention in the first 3-5 seconds of your video – and that means finding a good hook.

The people in charge of marketing Dr. Squatch soap to men have really perfected the art of the hook over the years, as this video demonstrates:

[Dr. Squatch X The Batman™ Collection – Limited Edition] 

We’re still kicking ourselves for not having launched a product video that begins with the words ‘‘Gotham City is riddled with filth’, accompanied by wonderfully foreboding music. This short opening statement, uttered in a declarative tone, combines a pop-culture reference with a dollop of humour. And it works magnificently.

You’ll even find comments that attest to the effectiveness of this approach:

screenshot of comment

Come up with an opening statement that leaves the right impression on your audience, and your chances of capturing their attention to the point where they’ll choose not to hit the skip button will rise dramatically. Even if you have no interest in advertising on YouTube, the same principle should apply: you should aim to capture your audience’s attention within a matter of seconds.

Introduce your viewers to your product

Once you’ve decided upon a good opening, it’s time to introduce your audience to the product and your brand. You may even decide that you’d like to introduce yourself at this point, although we’d advise that you keep your bio short and snappy!

If you intend on making a relatively short video, i.e. a video in the 30-60 second range, a mention of the product itself and some accompanying close-up shots should be more than enough to acquaint your viewers with your offering. Ideally, your product will be introduced as offering a solution to a problem that your viewer might have or as having the potential to make their lives easier.

Observe how the difficulties involved in prospecting and selling are discussed at the beginning of this product demo video, before the ZoomInfo Engage sales tool is introduced as a solution.

[ZoomInfo Engage] 

 

If, however, you’re inclined to produce a longer-form piece (1-2 minutes), the intro can also serve as a great opportunity to introduce your audience to your brand as well.

In our product video for Everhot, we used the intro section to talk about Everhot’s brand story: namely, Osman Goring’s vision of an environmentally-friendly electric range cooker that could run off the water turbine that he’d installed at Coaley Mill, where Everhot continues to be based.

[Everhot Brand Film] 

 

Sell your product in the body of your video

The body of your video is where you need to convince your audience of the myriad benefits that your product has to offer. Put simply, it’s time to get selling!

Revisit the key selling points that you identified when working on your video brief. Is there a unique selling point (USP) that sets your product apart from the competition? If so, make this front and centre of your sales pitch, and aim to follow up with 2-3 extra benefits that your product could provide to your users.

The Dollar Shave Club launched its brand with this famous (some might say infamous) promotional video in March 2012, and it’s an absolute masterclass in how this is done.

[DollarShaveClub.com – Our Blades Are F***ing Great] 

 

Within a couple of days of this video going live, Dollar Shave Club had received more than 10,000 orders. And it’s not hard to see why.

There’s no getting away from the fact that Michael Dubin’s outrageous brand of humour is a huge part of this video’s appeal and perhaps even a selling point in its own right. But once you look past the offbeat tone and hilarious one-liners and instead focus on the substance of this video, it becomes apparent that the case for Dollar Shave Club’s products is presented in a compelling, logical fashion.

Dollar Shave Club’s USP, i.e. razors that are sold at a significantly lower price point than its better-established competitors, is referred to throughout the video, and the body of the video is divided into digestible, 15-second segments in which each of the various features, e.g. stainless steel blades and a pivot head, razors that are delivered to your doorstep, etc. are presented to the viewer. We followed a similar structure in our product videos for Aldi.

The body of your product video is your golden opportunity to go in for the kill and sell your heart out. Just remember that your pitch will be all the more effective if you focus on how the customer could benefit from your product, and address specific pain points that your target market might have. It’s all very well talking about the fabulous features that your product might offer, but you’ll make a much stronger case if you demonstrate how those features can make a real difference to their lives.

Including positive user reviews in the body of your script provides a degree of social proof, and it will help to reinforce the sense that your product is providing something of value.

Inspire action with a clear CTA

Having made your product utterly irresistible to your audience, you now need to translate engagement into action from your viewers!

Whilst this is a relatively straightforward step, it is easily one of the most important; without a clear prompt to take action, you risk confusing your viewers and sending them on an internet scavenger hunt.

Close the deal with a short, clear instruction to do whatever it is that you want them to do – whether that’s to sign up for a custom demo, start a free trial or click through to your website. If your aim is to drive traffic through to your product page, include an end screen call-to-action. A simple command, such as ‘Buy Now’, normally does the trick:

[Google Home: Celebrity] 

Strike the right tone

Once you’ve put together a draft script, it’s highly advised that you read it all aloud to yourself (after having taken a well-earned break, of course!).

Do a table-read in order to finetune the tone and remove the parts of your script that sound too formal or robotic. Don’t be afraid to include words or phrases (gonna, wanna, etc.) that give your video a natural, laid-back feel: a conversational approach is almost always the best approach when making product videos. Write the script according to how you would like the subject of your video to speak.

Finally, avoid marketing buzzwords and complicated jargon like the plague. Keep both your sentences and the words that you use short and sweet – this is a far better way to keep your audience engaged than blathering on about synergy and synchronicity. What you really want to do is infuse your video with the authentic personality of your brand.

Man Crates’ product videos are a good example of how brands can project a masculine voice in a humorous fashion to great effect:

[Wooden Crate Grand Opening] 

It’s time to get writing!

Creating persuasive product videos is a great way to breathe new life into your brand and lay the groundwork for a successful product launch. It also just so happens to be something that we genuinely enjoy doing at Small Films.

If you’re in need of further inspiration, check out the product videos that we have produced over the years, and head on over to our YouTube channel to see all of our latest work.

Small Films is a video production company in London. Our team of videographers, editors and animators create all sorts of videos, including awesome testimonial videos, explainer videos and animations that can help bring your brand to life. Do get in touch; we’d love to hear from you!

More and more businesses are commissioning E-learning video production companies to create their video-based courses – and rightly so. They’re cost-effective, on-demand, engaging, and highly effective at making information stick. But once you’ve created some good training videos, the most important part of how to set up a successful E-learning course is where you put your video content. 

Search on Google, and you’ll find a vast landscape of platforms to build your course on. Each has different features for different needs, ranging from value prices to built-in marketing strategies. Whether your goal is to sell courses as support for your existing business or to train employees – here’s the Small Films pick of five of the best platforms to get you started on finding the right home for your E-learning videos.

Panopto

 

If your training videos are for an internal audience, Panopto is the hosting platform for you. Plenty of businesses are digitising employee training. E-learning videos are fast, they’re entertaining, and they eliminate expenses like professional trainers or venues. 

After creating your videos with a training video company and uploading them on Panopto, your employees can watch on-demand, at their own pace. Even after viewing, they can return to key parts whenever they need; Panopto’s “smart chapters” use speech and text recognition to organise content into bite-sized segments. It also enables you to add quizzes and interactive questions alongside your engaging training videos so that the material really sticks. 

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Organisation with Smart Chapters for content review
  • Gamification and interactivity features
  • Analytics and reports
  • Brand customisation

Cons: 

  • No free trial
  • Limited types of questions on the quiz feature

 

Udemy

 

You’ve probably heard the name before– with over 40 million users worldwide, Udemy is the most popular E-learning platform on the web. Because of its wide user base, it’s especially ideal if your goal is to monetise and market your course; on Udemy, your training videos will be exposed to the largest audience possible. With high-quality courses produced by a training video company, your video-based E-learning course will be sure to make sales. 

Instructors can add interactive features, track learners’ progress, extract data, and access insights. Hosting and uploading are free, but Udemy takes a hefty 50% of your revenue. 

Pros:

  • A wide user base provides the most reach
  • Interactive features
  • Track progress
  • Analytics and insights
  • Marketing promotion plan

Cons: 

  • Udemy takes 50% of your revenue
  • A lot of courses, a lot of competitors
  • No personal branding

Kajabi

 

Kajabi is a one-stop-shop for businesses whose main goal is to sell their E-learning courses to motivated learners. They take care of all things hosting and marketing: a customizable landing page, analytics, customer payment plans, sales pipelines, and more. 

Despite the buffet of tools, you don’t have to be exceptionally tech-savvy – Kajabi is user-friendly and intuitive, making it easy to set up a course and upload your training videos. It’s priced higher than other platforms, but that’s because of all the internal features you might find yourself having to patch together otherwise. 

Pros:

  • Customisable branding
  • In-depth analytics and reports
  • Advanced marketing and sales features
  • User-friendly

Cons: 

  • Price is higher than the industry average
  • Learners do not receive certificates
  • No phone support, only chat support

 

 

Thinkific

 

Thinkific is another e-learning platform with a toolkit for both hosting training videos and marketing them. Course building, like with Kajabi, is user-friendly and intuitive. Once you set up a landing page, you can customize it to match your business’ brand. 

The main difference lies in the marketing features: in comparison, Thinkific’s business and sales tools are limited. For the price, however, Thinkafic is a great alternative to Kajabi. It’s the only platform to offer a long-term free option – truly free for as long as you need, no transaction fees, no cut of your revenue. 

Pros:

  • User friendly
  • Customisable branding
  • Affordable price, free option offered
  • Phone support
  • Third-party integrations

Cons: 

  • No email marketing tool
  • 2 step checkout process
  • No course marketplace to market your course

 

 

SAP Litmos

 

With SAP Litmos, users get a combined learning ecosystem of your training videos and a robust library of courses from other experts. It’s designed to meet the needs of all shapes and sizes of companies and is perfect if you want to blend your custom E-learning videos with videos made by other experts. 

It offers gamification features like leaderboards, achievements, and badges that learners can earn based on retention. You can also customise your branding and use internal content creation tools. However, because of all of the advanced features, the interface may be difficult for first-time course-hosters – it may take some extra time to explore and learn how to maximise everything that SAP Litmos has to offer.

Pros: 

  • Combine your e-learning videos with external courses from other experts
  • Gamification and interactivity features
  • Customisable branding
  • Content creation tools
  • Free trial

Cons: 

  • Not the most user friendly
  • Steep price

Conclusion

If you’ve ever wondered how to make an E-learning course, we can tell you that one of the most essential decisions is what platform you choose to host on. The E-learning space has become an expansive environment with endless options for hosting training videos; the trick is finding one that suits your company’s needs. While the number of choices may be overwhelming, these five picks are some of the best on the web – a great start to picking the right platform, no matter what your goal is.

About Small Films

Small Films is a video production company in London specialising in e-learning videos. We have a team of expert videographers, animators and strategists who are experienced in ensuring your e-learning content hits the mark. If you’d like to speak to one of the team, then do drop us a line

E-learning courses have the potential to be incredibly interesting and effective, but if done wrong, they also have the potential to put your viewers to sleep. If you want to make the most of your training videos, there are many things you can do to make a course that’s as engaging as it is informative. Here are the Small Films team’s top 5 tips to help you create e-learning course content that sticks and won’t have your e-learners nodding off as they view from home. 

Tip #1: Keep your videos concise

The average attention span online is about 8 seconds, which means video duration should definitely be considered when making a training course that keeps learners hooked.

Bite-sized chunks are better for engagement and retention rather than lengthy segments that overload your students with information. 

So, instead of squeezing content into one 30-minute video, break it up into a few shorter ones. Along with being easily digestible, completing multiple short and snappy videos will give learners a better sense of their progress. 

This training series by Canity keeps videos short and to the point to teach viewers sales skills through customer service. 

Watch e-learning course series

List of elearning courses

Watch e-learning course video: How to Speak with Decision Makers. 

 

Here’s another option…

This training series by Andy Guitar on YouTube teaches beginner guitarists the basics of fingerpicking, using videos all under 5 minutes. 

Display of online course content

Watch e-learning course video: Fingerpicking for beginners 

 

Tip #2:  Tell a story and demonstrate the application

 

Telling a story to demonstrate how concepts should be applied will captivate viewers and make your e-learning course content much more memorable. 

Let’s say you’re creating a training video about customer service tactics: 

Imagine listening to a list of facts and instructions on how to handle a difficult customer. Now imagine watching those concepts in action in a scenario where a customer service representative de-escalates the situation. Which would you be more likely to remember? 

You can keep scenarios pretty simple: 2 to 3 characters played by team members or actors, a challenge to solve, and a solution is all you need to tell a meaningful story that will connect with your learners. 

 

Tip #3: Make it interactive

 

To encourage active learning, give viewers a chance to put what they’ve learned to the test. Incorporating interactive elements like short quizzes and questions allows them to engage with the content and make sure it sticks. 

You can even add some fun by including gamification features such as leaderboards, badges, and achievements, which are sure to encourage some friendly competition. Game-like elements make digital learning an exciting experience and are great at incentivising people to perform well.

 

Tip #4: Use a mix of visual media

 

When creating an E-learning course with a video production company, creative and exciting videos are the ones that will generate the most engagement. Remember, our online attention spans are about eight seconds. That means you should consider entwining high-quality footage with animations, graphics, charts, and graphs to vary what viewers see. 

You don’t want to overload these effects, but you do want to tastefully integrate some of them to make your course a visually interesting experience.

Here are a few examples of training videos with memorable uses of visual features to get you started: 

 

Watch e-learning video: Unconscious bias test
Watch e-learning video: Back pain educational video
Watch e-learning video: Chuckleheads 

 

Tip #5: Use high-quality audio

 

Video-based E-learning has the ability to support not only captivating visuals but enriching audio as well. Using audio means that your videos will engage multiple senses at once. 

If your e-learning course doesn’t already include people speaking on camera, you can use a voiceover to narrate your content– auditory learners will thank you.

Elements like background music and sound effects, while not a necessity, certainly enhance the overall tone and make your video more fun to watch– as long as they fit your content. Background music should be light and instrumental; a “pop” or a “whoosh” sound effect every once and a while should spice things up without distracting from your content. 

 

Conclusion

 

The goal of any digital instructor is to share E-learning courses that immerse viewers in the experience and encourage them to actively learn. Training videos are the best way to do just that– the stats say it all. 

Viewers remember 95% of a message when they watch it in a video and only 10% when they read it in text. So if you’re choosing video as the medium for your E-learning course, you’ve already made it halfway to more effective training. But if you want to take full advantage of all of the features you can include for engagement and retention, these 5 tips will make the learning process on your video-based E-learning course simple, effortless, and fun. 

 

About Small Films

Small Films is a video production company in London that specialises in creating e-learning videos. If you’re looking to create an e-learning course and want to ensure your video content hits the right notes, then give us a bell

It’s no secret that a promotional video is a fantastic way for companies to promote their products and services. As well as helping businesses showcase what they have to offer, promo films are also highly effective at enhancing brand awareness: they’re a great way to introduce viewers to your brand and pique their interest in what you have to offer.

Before we dive into the business of how to create a promotional video that inspires your audience to take action – whether that’s to buy your product, or learn more about your company as a whole – let’s take a look at what the term ‘promotional video’ encompasses.


What is a promotional video
?


The term ‘
promotional video’, or ‘promo video’, refers to video content marketing that encourages prospective customers to interact with a brand by buying its products and/or services. Promo videos are often used to advertise events, sales periods and marketing initiatives.

 

And it’s not hard to see why. According to the State of Video Marketing Survey 2022, 86% of video marketers say video has been effective for generating leads, up 2% from 2021.

 

Here’s how to make a promotional video that inspires action

 

There’s no question, then, that video marketing is a highly effective medium – and it’s also true to say that video promos are often very fun to produce. A classic win-win.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how to create a promotional video that can help you achieve your goals.

 

1. Identify your main objective

red nike top

Before you start devising storyboards and drafting scripts, it is imperative that you take the time to identify your core marketing objective. Are you seeking to maximise sales of one of your best-selling products during a busy sales period, drive traffic to your website, or enhance the profile of an event that you plan on hosting in a few months’ time?

 

Being able to articulate a clear, singular objective will provide your video with focus and direction. It will also enable you to zero in on your target market and tailor your messaging accordingly.

 

2. Find a winning concept

 

This is arguably the hardest, and often the most frustrating, part of the process. The good news is that finding an idea that works is more than half of the battle: with a golden idea and a fair amount of persistence, things will start to fall right into place.

 

If inspiration is in short supply, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does your product/service do?
  • Who tends to use your product/service, and why do they buy it?
  • If you’re organising an event, who would be interested in attending, and why? 

Asking these questions will help you address the most important question of them all: what is the best way to appeal to these people?

 

3. Appeal to your target market

 


It is at this point that you can start devising scenarios and looking at the sort of imagery that would resonate with your target market. 

If, as in the case of GoPro, your target market happens to be athletes, travellers and photographers in the 18–35 age demographic, a one-minute teaser clip that presents the art of speed flying in all its exhilarating glory will push all of the right buttons.

 

 

 

[GoPro: Epic Lines: Speedflying with Jamie Lee ] 

Generally speaking, you can’t go far wrong if you can come up with a fun, reasonably straightforward way to highlight what your product is capable of doing.

Undertaking this exercise will leave you with a much better idea of which of the different promo video formats would be most effective. Would a teaser-style clip work best, or would you rather opt for a testimonial video, a product demo video or an explainer video

The choice is yours – but think carefully before making it!

 

4. Decide upon your time parameters

 

It makes sense to have a rough idea of the length of your promo before you start scripting. Otherwise, you run the risk of producing a video that is overlong and lacking in focus – and having to condense your content into a shorter format is best avoided.

Whilst there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that we can offer up here, it is true to say that shorter videos are often more effective than longer videos. In an age of declining attention spans, you should aim to provide digestible chunks of information that leave viewers wanting to know more. You’d be surprised by how much you can communicate in just 15 seconds!

 

[Ember 15 second commercial] 

Take into account your main objective, which we discussed earlier: are you looking to promote a sales period or evoke a strong emotional response? A 15- or 30-second ad should suffice for the former, but a longer-form piece of media might be more appropriate if you wish to achieve the latter. 

Be mindful of where your videos are to be placed. Facebook advises that you aim for a video length of 15 seconds or less, on the grounds that people are more likely to watch such content on their mobile devices until the end, whilst Twitter recommends videos between 6-15 seconds in length. We would recommend opting for longer content, i.e. videos between 30 seconds and two minutes, on YouTube, where people are already in the mindset of watching video content. This is supported by research which has shown that 30-second ads enjoy the highest view-through rate (VTR) on the platform.

Finally, be honest with yourself about what you can produce with the budget at your disposal. A tight budget will necessarily impose constraints on the length of the videos that you can make.

 

5. Bring your concept to life with a script and storyboard

 

Once you have a concept and video duration that you and your team are happy with, it’s time to get writing!

Scripting and storyboarding are a critical part of pre-production, as they enable you to map out your video’s vision whilst enabling your crew to better understand how you’d like each scene to appear.

We advise that you use storyboards if your promo aims to tell a story that comprises a number of sections. There is much less need for extensive scripting and storyboarding where raw footage of speedflying, for example, forms the core of your promo.

Once your script is ready, consider using a storyboard to establish a timeline and sketch out your key scenes. If you won’t be directly involved with the filming of your promo, be sure to add directional notes for those producing the video. Don’t feel intimidated if your skills as an illustrator are limited. A great deal of information can be communicated with a combination of basic drawings and written notes, as this tutorial demonstrates.

If, however, this still feels like a lot of work, hiring a video production company might just be your best option.

 

 

6. Capture your audience’s attention

 

It is often said that a book’s opening sentence is its most important. A similar principle applies to promo videos.

A good rule of thumb is that you should aim to hook your audience within the first 5-10 seconds. Look no further than 3M’s promo video for its Command Picture Hanging Strips, which enable customers to hang their art using an easy-to-remove adhesive:

[3M Command Strips – MC Hammer Commercial] 

A great hook is what is required to capture your audience’s attention in a world saturated with video promos of all shapes and sizes – and we can think of few better hooks than the sudden appearance of MC Hammer, followed by him urging a surprised woman to stop hammer time!

The presence of an iconic rapper and dancer turned tech investor is, of course, a big part of the appeal of this promo – but you don’t need a huge budget and a star-studded cast to capture your audience’s attention and leave them wanting to know more.

You can adopt the kinds of techniques used in these big-budget promos to great effect: consider including an element of surprise in your video (it doesn’t necessarily need to take the form of a musician’s head appearing in a toolbox), opening with a joke or using a contrarian approach (perhaps an adapted form of ‘Please, stop hammer time!’) to arouse the curiosity of your viewers. Asking rhetorical questions is another good way to engage your audience and start building a persuasive case.

 

 

7. Inspire your viewers to take action

 

Once your hooks are well and truly into your viewers, it’s time to inspire action.

There are a number of ways in which this can be done, but it can be succinctly described in the following manner: show your audience how their lives could be made easier, happier and/or more interesting if only they were to buy whatever it is that you are selling.

Let’s take one of our promotional videos as an example of how it’s done.

[Moulsford Prep School | Promotional School Video] 

In this video, we opted for a series of action shots in order to do justice to the wide range of activities offered by Moulsford Preparatory School. Footage of children enjoying sporting activities, participating in art classes and playing in an orchestra was used to convey a feeling of energy and enthusiasm, which is reinforced by the uplifting music that plays throughout.

The messaging here is clear: students at Moulsford Prep are happy and keen to learn. Whilst we did not conclude with an explicit call-to-action (CTA), the use of the school’s logo at the very end is there to encourage parents to find out more about what the school has to offer them and their children.

Interested in learning more about creating promotional videos for schools? Read our promo video guide for schools today.

 

 

8. Optimise your promotional video for search

 

Once you’ve gone through all of the hard work involved in storyboarding, shooting and editing, it’s well worth taking the time to optimise your promotional video for search engines with the following pointers:

  • Transcribe your video. This will enable search engines to process everything that is said in your promo, increasing the chances of your video ranking for relevant keywords.

 

  • Assign your video a title that accurately describes the content of your promo whilst also appealing to your target market. This title should include appropriate keywords, as this will enhance the video’s discoverability.

 

  • Rather than using a randomly selected freeze-frame image, choose a visually captivating thumbnail for your video, and ensure that any text that is used on it is clear and easy to read on smartphone devices

 

  • Promote your video via social channels, paid ads, email marketing and your website or company blog

 

Small Films is a video production company in London. Our team of videographers, editors and animators create all sorts of amazing promo videos, including awesome product videos, testimonial videos, explainer videos and animations that can help bring your brand to life. Do get in touch; we’d love to hear from you!

Not only do Facebook video ads offer a more immersive experience to audiences than text and image-based content, but they’re also, on average, 10% cheaper to run. With that in mind, we’ve put together this guide with everything you need to know about Facebook video ads and how they can turbocharge your brand’s social media output.

What are Facebook video ads?

Facebook video ads are the same as regular Facebook ads; only they use video instead of text and images. You will need to develop the right concept and create a video in-house or by working with a professional video team before placing the ad on one of the several predetermined locations on the user’s Facebook screen.

Different types of Facebook video ads

Facebook feed


The most common type of Facebook ad appears on feeds when the user scrolls down the page. These ads can be a single image, carousel, collection or video. Feed ads look like regular organic posts but come with a ‘sponsored content’ tag.

In-stream video ads

 

Video consumption is on the rise, especially on Facebook. An increasing number of users watch video content on the social media network, and in-stream video ads appear just before the selected video starts. They’re similar to YouTube ads in how they work.

Stories

 

Facebook Stories are the same as Instagram Stories, with viewers seeing the advert between a video story posted by users. These types of ads are popular because they don’t feel intrusive and fit seamlessly between organic content.

Marketplace video ads

Facebook Marketplace continues to grow in popularity, and brands posting sponsored content are taking note. As users scroll through the marketplace, branded listings appear with organic items. Marketplace video ads are particularly helpful for eCommerce brands.

Why should I use Facebook video ads?

Before we look at video’s benefits, let’s focus on Facebook’s strengths. It’s one of the best platforms to advertise on because it allows you to target users with an accuracy not found on other social media websites. Therefore, you can feel more confident that the right people will see your video ads.

And when it comes to video, its consumption is up across the internet, and businesses are turning to video to engage with audiences. But if you’re yet to be convinced by Facebook video ads, you only need to look at the numbers.

Facebook video posts have an average engagement rate of 6%, and ones with a call to action placed in the middle of the video have a conversion rate of 12%. Brands focusing on mobile-optimised video ads see even better results: brand awareness increases by 67%.

How can I run Facebook video ads?

Running a Facebook video ad is a relatively straightforward process. But instead of giving you a detailed breakdown of how to run Facebook video ads, we think it’s better to direct you straight to the official page. You can find a detailed overview of getting started and creating a Facebook video ad for your brand.

How to maximise your Facebook video ads

Mobile leads the way

More people are using Facebook on their smartphones; for some, it’s the only method for getting onto the social network. When creating video ads, you should ensure they look just as good on a smartphone as they do on a desktop by using vertical or square videos and designing them to be watched with the sound off (more on that shortly).

Make the intro count

On average, marketers only have 2.7 seconds to hit the sweet spot with audiences. You need to catch their attention immediately, which means a strong opening is required. A catchy intro sets the tone for the rest of the ad and is more likely to keep viewers engaged.

Activate retargeting campaigns

While an ad aims to get people to convert on the first viewing, most viewers will need to see the video a few times before taking action. This is where retargeting campaigns come into effect, as you can get an ad in front of people who previously watched or interacted with the video the first time around.

Think about sound

It might seem like sound is one of the most important aspects of a successful video. Yet, 85% of video content is viewed using the mute button. Adding captions is helpful, as you have high-quality video content that can be viewed with the sound on or in silence.

Facebook video ads

When it comes to striking a chord with your audience and converting website visitors into customers, video content is one of the best options available. With the sheer variety of video types available, Facebook offers one of the best platforms for generating more views and winning customers for your brand.

Small Films is a video production company in London. We create video content that drives big results for brands. If you’re looking to create impactful videos for your Facebook ads, do get in touch with the team.

Are you considering creating a customer testimonial or employee testimonial video and are stumped about what to ask them? The questions you ask are key to helping you paint the right picture of your product or service, so it’s important to map out the questions prior to filming. We also suggest sharing the testimonial questions first with your customer or employee so they can better prepare their answers before filming. If you’d like support with your customer testimonial video, then the Small Films team are well-versed in shooting excellent videos that help you convert leads. Just drop us a line to discuss.  

Customer Testimonial Questions

 

1. What do you do in your role, and how does that fit with (insert company name)

A great way to find out a little bit more about your customer’s job role and how it fits within your company structure

2. Who do you currently work with in our company?

Highlight the great work done by one of your colleagues and have your customer call out who they work with in your team. 

3. What service does our company provide to you?

Your company might provide a range of services. By honing in on the solution you provide for this particular customer, you can help viewers to understand better how you might be able to help them. 

4. How long have you been working with (insert company name)?

Has your client been working with you for six months or ten years? Paint a picture of how your relationship might have evolved across the years.  

5. Can you give us an example of a great experience you had with (insert company name)

This is the perfect time for your customer to sing your praises about one of their top experiences with your service/product. 

6. When did you first discover our business?

Has your customer been working with you for years, or are they a new addition to your client roster? This will help paint the picture for viewers of the history of your relationship.   

7. How did you discover (insert company name)?

Was your business recommended to your customer by another customer? Did they find you through Google? Or did they follow you on social media? 

8. Why did you choose our product/service over others?

What sets your product/service apart from other competitors? Were there particular elements of your product that shone above other choices? 

9. What do you feel makes our business unique?

Do you offer exceptional service above your competitors? Is your company second to none? Do you go above and beyond every time? 

10. Describe how we currently work with you and your business?

Is it a close partnership where you are an extension of your customer’s team? Have your customer explain the structure of how they work with your business. 

11. How would you describe the quality of the work our team has performed for you?

Does your team always produce top-quality work that goes above and beyond? This is a great chance for your customer to describe your company’s performance since working with you.

12. Are there any examples of where we have exceeded your expectations?

Hopefully throughout your partnership there will have been times when your customer feels that you exceeded their expectations. This question really helps to demonstrate where you have gone above and beyond. 

13. What was your #1 problem when you came to us for help?

What was your customer’s challenge when they sourced your solution? Really delve deep into how they struggled prior to finding you. This will help prospects watching to understand better if you can help them solve their challenges too. 

14. What specific feature of our product/service do you find the most valuable?

Do your video production services enable your customer to convert more leads? Do your 3D renders as an architecture firm help clients visualise the end goal? Have your customer call out the specifics of your service that is most valuable to them.  

15. How was your experience working with our time during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The pandemic was a huge challenge for all companies, whether dealing with overwhelming amounts of business or orders drying up. Have your customer explain how your company was able to service them throughout the pandemic to help demonstrate what your business is like under pressure.  

16. What would you tell someone who wants to use our services?

A loyal customer can be your greatest salesman. Have your customer explain what it is about your business that means they continue to use your services. 

17. Describe in detail how your business has benefited from using our product/service?

This is a great opportunity for your customer to go into much greater depth about the benefits of working with your company.  

18. How different is our product/service from others?

Do you offer a unique service? Are your products second to none? Have your customer detail how your product/service stands out compared to your competitors. 

19. How did you find the onboarding process?

Future customers might love what you do, but the thought of moving over to another company from their current supplier feels too much of a hassle. By drawing on the ease of onboarding with you, this will remove any barriers the customer has to signing up. 

20. How is our company aligned with the values of your business?

A company’s values are increasingly more important in how a prospect might choose a supplier. Is sustainability front and centre in your business? Do you have a strong focus on D&I? Is company culture a big focus element?  

21. What are the significant challenges you face as a business?

By having your customer describe the pain points they have as a business, they can help better position your company as solving that pain point. Do they struggle to find talent and your recruitment services solve this?  

22. What is the best thing about working with (insert company name)

Hopefully, your customer may have a variety of great reasons why they enjoy working with you, but if they can pick just one of their favourites, it will help sell your services to the audience. 

23. What makes you continue to choose (insert company name)?

Over the years, have you built an excellent relationship? So much so that your customer can’t imagine going anywhere else? Is your product offering the best on the market? This is a great question for your customer to explain why your business is better than your competitors?

24. What makes you happiest about working with our company?

Does your customer always have great meetings at your office? Do they have excellent trust in your team? Do they love coming to events you run? There’s likely an array of elements that your company does that make your customers happy to work with you. 

25. Talk us through any great achievements since working with our company

Has your customer received marketing services that have had their products fly off the shelves? Does the IT support from your company allow them to have seamless processes? Or 

26. If you only had one word to describe our business, what would it be?

Whilst this might put your customer on the spot, it’s a brilliant way to impactfully get across in one word the best thing about your business.

27. Have there been any unexpected benefits of working with (insert company name)?

Did your customer come to you expecting great service but then also received time-saving benefits? Or did they build a great partnership where either party brings new business to the other?

28. Has our product/service saved you any time or money?

If the answer is yes, then this is a HUGE selling point for your company. Most customers are looking to save time or money (or most likely both), so if you can explain this to your audience, this could be a great way to push a future customer to convert. 

 

Employee testimonial questions

 

work colleagues looking at laptop

 

1. How long have you been employed by (insert company name)?

Is your employee new to the company, or have they been there for twenty years? This will help to build a background picture of their familiarity with your brand.

2. How did you discover our company?

Were they head-hunted? Did they avidly watch your company until an opening came up, or did a fellow colleague recommend them?

3. Why did you choose to go into this industry?

Is your brand in a particular industry that everyone wants to work in? Is it known as an industry that works hard and plays hard? Or is it a hugely well-respected industry that involves significant academic qualifications? Paint the picture of the selling points of your company’s industry. 

4. Which department are you in?

IT? HR? Sales? Again, build that picture of how your employee sits within the business. 

5. Where is your job located?

Do you have a Head Office in Manchester, or are you based in Berlin? Is it hybrid, virtual or only office-based?  

6. Describe your job role at (insert company name)

This is a great question to go deeper into what your employee does day-to-day. This will really help viewers visualise what they might do if they were in a similar position. Try to have your employee give as much detail as possible with this question. 

7. How many days a week do you work at (insert company name)

Does your employee work part-time or full-time? Does your company now offer a four day work week? This question will give an insight into the flexibility of your business. 

8. Do you work remotely or in the office or a bit of both?

In today’s environment, flexible working is a big sell for future employees. If your employee works from home and in the office, this can be a great selling point for talent coming into the business. 

9. Can you describe what you do on a typical day?

A day in the life at your company. Are there creative workshops? Coffee breaks? Meetings with suppliers? Learning breaks? A description of a typical day is a brilliant way for a future employee to understand what life is like working at your company. 

10. What do you most look forward to when you come to work?

It’s so important to get across how happy your employees are to come to work. They might have formed excellent friendships with colleagues or have great job satisfaction. They might be in roles where they feel that they’re always learning? 

11. Has your job role changed since you’ve been with us?

Are job promotions far and few between, or is there excellent career growth throughout the company? 

12. Could you tell us about a recent project that you worked on

Projects and campaigns will vary from company to company, so this will help future employees understand the types of projects they might work on if they were working for your company. 

13. How would you describe us if you had three words to describe (insert company name)?

This question is short and sweet but likely to have an impactful answer. 

14. Why is it important to you to work where you do?

Your company might have fantastic brand awareness or be well known for charitable initiatives. Perhaps employees resonate with the company because there is a fantastic CEO in place. 

15. Are there any benefits of working here that not many people know about?

Are there any hidden benefits that aren’t spoken about often? Cycle to work schemes? Birthday bunk-offs? Beer on a Friday? Benefits are increasingly outweighing salaries when it comes to enticing talent to start with a company.  

16. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned whilst doing your job?

A great selling point for new talent is how much they might learn if they work with your company. By an employee explaining in the testimonial everything they’ve learnt in their role, they’ll help inspire viewers to work with your company. 

17. Describe the people that work at (insert company)

Is the company full of creatives? Are they a bunch of foodies? Maybe the team is big into cycling? By describing what the team is like, future employees can identify whether their interests might align with the team.  

18. How would you describe the company culture at (insert company)?

Company culture is one of the most important elements when choosing whether you want to take a job role. Some might prefer a creative culture, whilst others prefer a work-hard, play-hard environment. 

19. Outside of your job role, what do you enjoy at (insert company name)?

Does the company have a netball team, or do they have a great social committee? Let viewers know what goes on at your company beyond the day-to-day role. 

20. How would you describe the career progression at (insert company name)?

Career progression is such an important part of a job role that you want to make sure that it’s clear that this is the company’s focus. Have your employee explain in what role they started, where they are now and how long it’s taken them to get there. 

21. Do you envisage working for (insert company name) for many more years?

Hopefully, the answer is a yes. Suppose viewers feel that an employee gets everything they need from an employer, including flexibility, career growth and company culture, that they wouldn’t want to move on. In that case, this is a huge selling point for future talent.  

22. Is it easy to make friends at (insert company name)?

A huge part of working at a company is the friendships you might make along the way. At your company, are there social committees or after-work drinks that help colleagues form friendships? 

Small Films is a video production company in London. We regularly create customer testimonial videos and know exactly what makes your client stand out on video. If you want to chat through your project, then do get in touch with our team. 

Video is now an essential asset when creating content for social media. Once text and image-led, social media platforms have evolved to allow brands to share video content with their audiences through reels, live feeds, stories and more. And with over 85% of social media users preferring video to other types of content, it’s vital to have a solid strategy for video, especially when it comes to ads. With that in mind, we’ve put this guide together featuring tips for how businesses can use video for social media ads. 


Why should video ads form part of your marketing strategy?

 

screen with social media icons

Video ads have always proved to be one of the most valuable pieces of marketing. Only now, instead of spending hefty amounts of money on TV advertising, brands can create video content at a fraction of the cost and for a variety of platforms. 

Social media offers the perfect opportunity for brands to make high-quality video ads that resonate with their target audience. Its reach is far higher than any other form of advertising, and demand is high. Around 85% of social media users want more videos from brands.

>> Read our blog – eCommerce video ads: what are they?


How to use video for social media ads


1) Layout the concept

Deciding to create a video can lead to plenty of excitement within your brand, especially if you don’t usually make this type of content. And it can be easy to get lost in the eagerness to make a video, so much so that you forget the principal reasons you’re creating the content. 

Just like any other form of marketing, there needs to be a plan and a clear goal for the video. Before hitting the record button, think about what your audience cares about, the problems they face, how your product or service solves their issue and why your brand’s position is a unique one worth investing time in. 


2) Decide on a format

There are many ways to display videos for social media ads, and you can use the same one across several platforms. But it’s still worth understanding the available options and which platform supports different types of video.

 

Ad type Facebook   Instagram   Twitter   Snapchat   YouTube   Pinterest  
In-feed 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍 👍
Story ads 👍 👍 👎 👍 👍 👎
Collection ads 👍 👍 👎 👍 👎 👎
Interactive 👍 👍 👎 👍 👎 👎
Carousel 👍 👍 👎 👎 👎 👎
Other Messenger IGTV 👎 👎 👎 👎

 

3) Tell a story

neon sign whats your story

Don’t start your video with the hard sell. Instead, tell a story and build a relationship with the viewer. Create something they can relate to, whether offering social proof with a video testimonial or making a product video and showcasing its features. 

Understand where your audience is in the buyer journey, as this will help form the narrative of your video. With this approach, you can guide them to the next step and film a piece of content designed to meet them at the exact spot of their buyer journey. 


4) Write a script

Scripts can take video ads to the next level, offering a layer of professionalism that increases buyer confidence. Always make the buyer the primary character in your script, highlighting their status as the hero.

Talk about the problem and solution and relate to their needs. Put the viewer at the front and centre so they can imagine themselves in a similar position. The best video ads relate to the customer, express the emotional aspect, offer the reveal for the problem and give the viewer release by providing a solution. 


5) Film your video

Once the script is in place, it’s time to film your video. There are two primary ways to do this, either in-house or by using a specialist video production company with experience shooting social media ads and writing scripts. 

If you have people in-house capable of filming the video, you can work with them to get the perfect ad. But if you don’t have access to a video team, it’s worth hiring specialists rather than doing it yourself. You want to tell meaningful stories that connect with the customer. Sometimes that’s only achievable with a qualified video team who knows all the right tricks to create compelling video content. 


6) Post your video

tiktok on phone screen

Once the video is finished, it’s time to post it across different social media platforms. If it’s a sponsored video, you may want to settle on one or two platforms so you don’t exceed budgets. Using sponsored content can increase reach and get your video in front of more people. 

Once it’s live, it’s also worth creating content around the video, such as blog posts. Essentially, you want to give your video ad the best chance of succeeding. By posting it organically, using sponsored ads and creating content around it, you can enhance its standing and use the video across several platforms to promote your products or services. 


Video forward

Video tends to be the most creative ad type for social media, and all brands should engage in this type of content. They’re more captivating than other forms of advertising, which means they can hold their attention for longer. A well-shot video that hits the right tone can help you drive more sales and increase brand awareness.

Small Films is a video production company in London. We create social media video ads for a wide range of leading brands from Upbeat drinks to Mackie’s ice cream.  If you’d like to get in touch with the team for our support with video production, then do drop us a line

It’s easy to understand the immense popularity of a product demo video. When we cast our minds back to the days of having to rely on unlovable instruction manuals, the case for simple, straightforward videos that explain how to get the most out of a product is unanswerable.

It goes without saying that product demo videos aren’t just about showing existing customers how to use a product. They’re also a fantastic way to explain the use and value of a product to potential new customers, and they can play an important role in supporting your wider business marketing strategy.

According to research undertaken by retail experience agency Stellar, just shy of 60% of those surveyed said that they would not spend more than £250 on an item without seeing it and understanding how it works first-hand. In an era where heading to a department store for a real-life demo has recently proven rather tricky, it makes sense to invest the time and money in putting together well-made product demonstration videos. This is something that product manufacturers the world over understand, and it is reflected in the fact that YouTube is now awash with how-to videos for products of every stripe.

It is highly likely, then, that putting out a good product demo video may well be what shifts the needle when it comes to winning over prospective customers. So let’s take a look at how to make the perfect product demo. Think of this article as a how-to guide for how-to videos. (Whilst this is rather ‘meta’, it’s not quite on the same level as a how-to video explaining how to make how-to videos… watch this space).


How to make a product demo video that works

Making a good product demonstration video involves explaining to your target market the following:

  1. How your product works
  2. How people can use it

Understanding the ultimate objective is nice and straightforward; the difficult part lies in the execution. Adhering to the following guidelines should, however, help you to nail the basics and present your product in the best possible light.


1. Identify your audience and their pain points

audience text

Good product demo videos identify a problem, or pain point, that resonate with the product’s potential users – and in order to identify those problems, you will need to gain a good understanding of who those potential users are.

Before you start the process of drafting a script, or devising scenarios that show your product being used to perform certain tasks, it’s worth taking the time to reflect on these questions. Doing so will help you to identify the product features that will be most appealing to your audience and determine the best way to demonstrate the benefits that your product has to offer.


2. Tell a story that evokes the right response

neon sign in window


If you want to make a winning product video, you first need to make your audience care about what it is that you are selling. This can be something of a tall order in an age of non-skippable YouTube ads and advertising fatigue.

It is here that the power of storytelling comes in. Incorporating basic storytelling elements into your product demo can enable you to engage with your audience on an emotional level, which can make all the difference when it comes to helping your viewers understand how they might benefit from being able to use your product in their daily lives.

As humans, we’re much less rational in our decision-making process than we might like to think, and we’re far more likely to respond positively to a product demo if it evokes the right emotional response. A good example of this in action is Sony’s Noise Cancelling Headphones demo video, which does an excellent job of conveying how customers feel when using the noise-cancelling function – in this instance, an exhilarating sensation of escaping a crowded tube train and being transported to another world:

 

[Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones WH-1000XM4 Official Product Video] 

You can’t go too far wrong if you employ a simple narrative arc with a beginning, middle and an end, in which you start by introducing the problem, or specific pain-point, that a customer might experience, before introducing a solution, with all of the benefits that it can provide, and ending with a strong call-to-action (CTA).


3. Use questions and answers to present everyday scenarios

question mark

Having characters in your videos ask basic questions is a great way to present scenarios in which your product’s uses and benefits come to the fore. This approach tends to work best with products that are primarily designed for use in a work environment, and it is a great way to tell a story and keep your viewers engaged. 

A great example of this in action is Salesforce’s product demonstration of their billing software.

[Salesforce CPQ & Billing Demo | Salesforce] 

In this demo, a customer asks the sales rep for a quote, providing the cue for Salesforce to showcase their Guided Selling tool. The impressed response from the customer is then humorously contrasted with the stressful, disorganised state of affairs before Salesforce’s CPQ software was introduced to the office. A similar device is used when the customer explains that their needs have changed, and that their contract needs updating – setting up a cue for Salesforce to ride to the rescue again.

What is interesting about this product demo is that it upends the traditional problem-solution narrative that you find in most product demo videos: we are told from the outset that the sales and finance employees in an office are happy, and that this is because of Salesforce. Rather than being presented with a pain point, we are given the solution at the outset, which instils a certain amount of curiosity in the viewer as to the nature of the product that is being promoted and why it is so helpful.

Salesforce’s demo effectively communicates how their software could be put to use in an everyday office environment by presenting a couple of basic customer queries. Setting up cues in this way can provide your demo with structure and convey the various ways in which your product could help your prospects.


4. Keep it short and simple

Whilst you may have a comprehensive understanding of your product’s features, you should never lose sight of the fact that your audience will not. It is imperative, therefore, that you proceed slowly and clearly when demonstrating how to use your product and avoid using technical language: your ultimate goal here is to convince your audience that your product is easy to use, and so you should avoid bamboozling them with jargon.

This need for clarity of presentation should be balanced, however, with the need for brevity. In an age of ever-declining attention spans (a recent study from Microsoft concluded that humans have an attention span of just eight seconds), you would be well-advised to think of your product demo as an elevator pitch. Deliver 2-3 key features that your product has to offer, and do so in as concise a fashion as possible. This Zoom Meeting demo is an excellent example of how Zoom’s main selling points, i.e. the capacity for video conferencing, good audio quality, ease of use, etc. can be communicated in just 45 seconds.


5. Consider making an animated product demo video

If you are struggling to see how you might convey certain concepts and features to your audience, you may find that animation may serve as the best medium for your product demonstration video. Animation is particularly popular among B2B companies, as it makes it easier for them to portray their products and services in a fun, dynamic light.

For this case study, we thought we’d pick one of our own videos to demonstrate how it should be done. We combined video footage, photographs and graphics to capture what Dabbl, a new smartphone app that allows users to take a picture of a logo and then search for the company’s information, has to offer.


If you’re keen to explore the rest of our portfolio, check out our other
case study videos.

If you struggle to bring your product’s finer points to life, consider incorporating animations into your product demo or opting for a fully animated short. It is often much easier to communicate abstract concepts via animation, and animation also has the advantage of being a cost-effective medium. For further information, read our guide to animated explainer video best practices and learn all about the different types of animated videos.


6. Find an appropriate soundtrack

casette tape


Including music in your
product demonstration video is a great way to sustain the interest of your viewers. The generic ukulele music that is so beloved of Google and other tech giants may have worn rather thin over the years, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding something suitably cheerful and inviting to accompany your video.

For a good example of this in action, check out the use of mellow, chilled-out music in this Nespresso product demo video. The retro soundtrack used in this video puts the viewer at ease and associates the use of the product with a relaxed, stress-free experience.

Just bear in mind, however, that many viewers (especially those using a mobile device) will watch videos without the sound. Which takes us neatly to the next point on our list…


7. Include subtitles in your product demo

Including subtitles helps underline your product’s main selling points, and it will enable those who are listening without sound to get a clearer picture of how your product works.

As we never tire of pointing out, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, and 80% of viewers say that they react negatively to videos ads that play with sound. Whilst YouTube does tend to be the platform of choice for product demos, there is a strong case for producing content that is well-optimised for all channels – or for simply producing subtitled versions of your original content. Find out more about repurposing your business video content.


8. Optimise your video for search

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And now to the more data-driven side. Optimising your video so that it ranks well in Google search results and in YouTube listings is a must if you wish to maximise your viewership.

Incorporate relevant keywords with high search volume to drive traffic to your demo, and include a description that accurately represents the content of your video. Finally, choose a custom thumbnail that helps your users know at a glance what your video is about in order to enhance your video’s click-through-rate (CTR).

Small Films is a video production company in London. Our team of videographers, editors and animators create all sorts of videos, including awesome product videos, testimonial videos, explainer videos and animations that can help bring your brand to life. Do get in touch; we’d love to hear from you!