The best way to introduce any new product or your start up is to use a small intro video that describes what the fuss is all about, I remember reading a study that stated that a video is worth 1.4Megabytes of words. Talking about the merits of such videos is redundant and superfluous, already companies of various sizes are making videos introducing their services and products be it a giant like Google or a tiny startup such as Vungle, everybody seems to be relying on these videos rather than text for product introduction. There are companies now that are specialized in making such videos, Having a product of my own that’s going to launch soon I had to make one of these videos, In this post I’m going to talk about my experience making my own product introduction video.
Design By Committee
Every product has a story to tell. The reason for its existence and the reason why people should be excited about it. Such a story can only be written and directed by the person most passionate about the product, As in all artistic things design by committee fails here, one or two people at most should be responsible for the video, Story telling is they key skill here.
Know Your Audience
Some people will hate the video you produce, that’s a fact that you need to keep in mind making your video. The videos that have no haters, have no character or an impact, they are ok, but since they are just ok they are forgotten as soon as they are watched. Making bold choices and giving your video an edge and a character is essential for your success however that would mean that some people would love it, others would hate it. The most important thing here is making sure that the people who may end up loving it are your potential customers (who most probably are the only people who are going to watch it). The video should be designed with the audience in mind.
Shorter is Better
Planning the video and no matter how many features your product has, the video should be under 60 seconds, any longer than that and the viewer looses interest. if you want to go over all the features, break the video down into several bits, with one video introducing the product and then several videos introducing your features, this way users attention would be maintained and the product features will get the coverage they deserve rather than just getting mentioned in a long and boring video.
A script should be written, this script should be snappy, fun and engaging. the viewer most probably has better things to do than watch some random obscure product ‘d introductory video. The only way to get and maintain his attention is to make it as fun and exciting as possible, repaying him in laughter for his attention, all while keeping it concise. From my experience you first write a first draft, then a second and you keep working on it until you have that perfect concise funny and engaging script. Timing your script is essential, to time it against your video you should get your script read it out loud slowly (slower than you would normally) and see how long it takes to read the entire thing. If there are many videos, try not to repeat yourself and find a hook that’d make the viewer watch all the videos (an interesting character or a gimmick).
Voice over talents are expensive, as a matter of fact when I heard about their rates I felt that i chose the wrong career. Introduction video must be done with voice over explaining what it is all about, think about it, would you read through a silent product introduction video? I don’t think I’d, and neither would 99.9% of your potential customers. Voice over is the way to go, there are many alternatives, http://www.voice123.com offers voice talents with various skill sets (and prices). If you are low on cash (as you should be at this stage in your project) I recommend searching among your friends. Just because all the product introduction videos are in English doesn’t mean that yours should be in English as well, actually it should be in the language your targeted customer is most comfortable with.
The animator is the key component in this recipe, finding the right one can be hard as well as expensive, of course there are ways to get one, craig’s list is one, but you can never entrust them with the video of that killer product you are going to release, search among your friends, consult your designer (who most probably would know one). Animation is an art rather than an industry, the only way to tell if a certain animator would work with your product is to check his portfolio and see if the style of his work matches the product. A face to face meeting is a must here, as you’ll need to explain whats you are all passionate about, what this project means to you and try to infect him with that. Animators usually provide a mock up of the concept they are going to use with the video, these mock ups are essential as they may not match what you have in mind, and fixing the product before it gets made is much better than waiting till its here and trying to fix it. a good exercise would be printing these mock-ups in color and trying to imagine them against your website, the back ground and color scheme, to make sure that it blends in properly.
Most videos out there use one of following three approaches, Listed by popularity they are.
1. Problem and solution:
<iframe src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/13862476?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0″ width=”400″ height=”225″ frameborder=”0″ webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/13862476″>Metaweb Epipheo</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/epipheo”>Epipheo Studios</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
- The current status. [problem statement hidden within]
- What the product/service does. [Promise]
- How we can help you. [Pitch]
2. Fantasy and Realization:
- A fantasy that starts with pulling the viewer to an alternative reality, usually starting with the world imagine. [Promise]
- Why the viewer isn’t living this fantasy. [Problem Statement]
- How we can realize it. [Pitch]
3. Story telling
- A story telling one of your use cases, using interesting character.