Find the story.
Human beings are always looking for a story, and we’re always more engaged when we find it. “Don’t just say what a product is or what a service does,” Kavanaugh says. Filmmaker Mike Leonard says the story should dictate the video’s runtime. “Longer-form videos do well if the storytelling elements are there to support them. Try not to be repetitive, and go in with a clear understanding of the messaging,” Leonard says.
Think about the audience.
To engage your viewers, it’s important to know who they are. “Research them, get to know them, so you understand how they think about the world,” Kavanaugh says. Then be authentic in how you relate to that audience. Consumers respond better to an appeal to their values and beliefs than to a hard sell. “The line between turning the consumer off and getting them excited is razor thin, and that’s where the craft and skill of honing a good promo video really exists,” says Kavanaugh.
Find inspiration in other videos.
Explore the video content that’s out there. See what other brands have done, and note what works and what doesn’t. “Take inspiration from the videos that really stand out, but then extrapolate on them to create art: a cinematic, surprising, authentic story around the nucleus of the service or product,” Kavanaugh says.
Know where this content will live.
Before you start shooting, make sure you know the client’s requirements for format, video length, and resolution. “Ask as early as possible what platforms they’re going to show the video on, because that can tell you frame size, orientation, the specs you may need to meet, and the time parameters that exist on social or web platforms,” says Kavanaugh. All these specifications can affect how you shoot the whole video, so it’s important to know ahead of time and plan for different formats.