How to Make Product Videos That Sell (The Biggest Mistake I See Filmmakers Make!)
You know all those sick YouTube product videos you see everywhere that are commercials for brands? These look super sweet, but are they working? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Probably not.
There is some amazing stuff out there, it looks gorgeous. There's just one tweak I would love to see in a lot of these videos to be able to get them to a point where they're actually going to move the needle for brands.
I've worked with so many businesses. I've run a million dollar video marketing agency. I've done this so many times; these brands come to you and they want this video, that video. But the thing you have to keep in mind is that at the end of the day, if you want that testimonial, if you want more business out of this, It can't JUST be beautiful. It also needs to yield results.
What Do You Want This Video To Do?
The first question that you need to ask when you're talking to a client in a sales process is what do you want this video to do? However, they answer that question, at the end of the day, it's going to be "how is this video going to make me money?" Then you ask them, where's it going to live? Because this video is going to be an ad. Is it going to be a website video? Is it going to live on the about us page? Is it like a brand story? What is this video? So we talk a lot about product videos here.
I have the Peak Video Creators program where we actually train people to build product video businesses because there's a huge opportunity there. A lot of what we talk about in this program is making great marketing videos, not just great videos that look amazing. But how are they actually taking a customer from cold to sold?
How are they taking a customer from, "I don't know anything about this product or service" to "I am now going to buy this product or service." How are they doing that? That is a super fun thing to think about. We have a whole process that we go over in the program called The Heroic System. This system helps you turn all of your awesome B-Roll videos into awesome marketing videos. Once you give these videos to clients they're going to ask you to take their money!
The HEROIC System
Let's dive into this HEROIC stuff. I actually developed this. I have a book called Producing Empathy that incorporates the HERO System which I developed for organic social media. So that's how to get your stuff shared to go viral.
The HEROIC System is a playoff that. It's a new methodology to get videos to a more sales oriented place. We want to sell these people into whatever it is. A lot of these people are going to see this and they don't know anything about the brand. This is where the marketing comes in. This needs to take people from the awareness stage to the consideration stage through to the actual purchasing phase.
So important. So here's how we do this...
H Stands For Hook
So when I'm talking about hook, I'm talking about pulling people in. Now, videographers know that we can design killer shots right here off the bat. When you're coming up with this process and planning your shots, it's important to know that you have to pull people in. So I would really plan for something cool. There is where you get a different angle. Pattern interrupt is really important because people are need to be interrupted. They're on Facebook, Instagram, wherever they may be, they're scrolling through and they need to be interrupted right in their stream.
If you really can't come up with amazing footage, we just use a headline. I have a system called The SEED System; specificity, empathy, emotion, and deliver. The SEED System helps create great social media optimized headlines for this type of video. You can actually frame this as an innovation. It's completely new. It's completely different. Think of a Buzzfeed headline. That's a really good way to think of what this headline would be.
E Stands For Empathy
What we're doing here in empathy is talking about the problem.
Remember, at the end of the day, businesses exist to solve problems. The solution is the product. So we need to first identify the problem and make the person watching it feel that problem. We can't just go directly into "oh, beautiful product" because then people don't feel the pain associated with that.
Sometimes there are ways, visually, that you can take people through. If you only have something like a 6-10 second bumper, it's a little bit different, right? But you can wrap this whole story into there if you're smart about it. But for these purposes, we're going to show the pain. You don't even have to necessarily show a person. I like interjecting texts within these videos, because again, it's social media. When we interject texts, we can put the headline there and then we start to build that pain, we're pushing empathy forward.
These are the reasons why anyone clicks or watches anything online. They'll click it because they identify with it. They feel that pain, it's agitated through the video content and then they'll move on.
R Stands For Response
Response is where you position your solution. You're positioning your product as the solution to that pain, which you empathized with.
Once again, you do this visually, this is the artifact. This is why this is such creative work, making it product videos, because we've got this cool box to work inside of The HEROIC System. We know we need to take people through these stages and actually sell this product to other people. Since we have this box to work inside of, we can be hyper creative within it. We can do this visually. We can do this with text .We could do this with sound emotion, whatever it takes. You have a full design there to be able to take people through that process. It's super cool.
O Stands For Overdeliver
This is your chance to really shine. And we go over a lot of this in my program because we talk about how you can add little things, sound, design, little movements, etc. you get in posts that you don't necessarily get when you're actually shooting. These little things help go that extra mile to create a video that really demonstrates value.
And that's one of the biggest pieces to this puzzle is constraining value. There's a lot of garbage and junk out there that people are trying to sell. Whatever product video you're making, you want to make sure that it doesn't appear to be another piece of junk out there.
I Stands for Initiation
Initiation is all about educating people on your product, educating people about the solution. People don't necessarily get sold just by you telling them, "feel the problem. Oh, I have a solution for that." You have to build trust. You have to get people to a certain level of certainty, logically and emotionally to get them to convert, which is the ultimate goal of the video. You're making these videos for your clients so that those videos will convert.
The big you want to do here is educate people on why this solution is unique. So you have to really dig into what the unique selling point (USP) is. Especially if you're in a competitive market. You can't just state what the USP is...What makes this product unique from other solutions to solve this problem?
Then you want to dig into the actual education, you may actually do a little bit of teaching. Just a few seconds, but you can animate something really quickly or you can use a voiceover or whatever it may be. You want to do a little bit of, I usually call it like science proof, but it doesn't necessarily have to be like science it just needs to be logical reasons to buy this product that make it clear this is the obvious solution.
C Stands For Call To Action
There's too much of this stuff that doesn't give you a clear call to action.
Even if it's just unscreened, we have to be very clear. You want to shop? Click the link. Whatever it is, we need to be really super clear what action we want people to take after they watch this video.
And that's the main problem that I see with product videos out there, especially with people that are experimenting or making little stuff for clients on spec, you have to be able to demonstrate how that will make them money. That's their core reason that they're coming to you. So if you're able to make a video that you can prove has a structure to actually take people from cold to sold and has that marketing built into it, which is a simple bunch of research, then you're in super good shape.
Like I said, I work on this with Peak Video Creators all the time.
This is what we do. We help people learn this formula, implement it, and we help people turn it into a highly profitable business.
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