We’ve all seen viral videos and great commercials for brands that people love to share. When it comes to making a promotional video for your company, it doesn’t need to be boring or expensive. Pretty easily, and cheaply, you can make a great video that people want to share. What do you need? A message that’s either funny enough or powerful enough that people will love. And when they love it, they share it.
Recently Ciplex decided to create our very own promo video. And it cost us under $100.
Check it out and then read below on how we did it:
1. Choose a ‘genre.’ Comedy is a great tool. And online it’s invaluable. (Why do you think so many of those cat’s wearing birthday hat videos are popular?) For our video we opted to go with an exaggerated type comedy. Meaning, we took unnecessary, over-the-top actions and matched them up with our script to get our point across.
2. Set the script. It really is all in the script. Our 30 second commercial has very few lines. (Under 10 to be exact.) We checked out what resources we had around the office and our homes, from props to costumes, to staff, then set our script around what we had. You don’t need to go crazy with rentals and costumes. Keep it simple and build it around what you have easy access to.
Before you ever shoot though you need to perfect the script. Read through the script and share it with friends and colleagues. If funny is the genre you’re shooting for, and they read through and aren’t laughing, it’s not going to be funny on camera. Rewrite until it’s solid. You have nothing if you don’t have a solid script. Put as much time into this part as needed – as this is by far the most important step.
3. Locate equipment. By locate I mean actually look around at what you have and work with it. We didn’t use any lighting besides natural office light. For our audio, the microphone was built into the camera. To actually record, locate someone that has a decent camera like a Canon 7D. This camera is great with natural light, and the built in mic serves its purpose.
4. Avoid editing. The easiest way to edit your promo is to not. The beauty of video and doing it yourself is you can shoot, and reshoot, as much as you need. In our video we had two main takes. All we had to do was clip them together. Granted, we didn’t get it perfect the first time through, but we rerecorded the takes until we wouldn’t have to edit them. (Around 10 tries for each of the clips.)
We did use some basic editing software to put our logo at the end, but that was it. WeVideo even has a free video plan that allows you to edit right from your browser with Google Chrome. Avoid using any crazy transitions. Sharp cuts is all you need.
5. Add some music. Music is catchy and a little adds a lot to a video. We used a short clip at the end of our video that we purchased (for under $20) from a stock music site like www.istockmusic.com.
6. Set your cast. You don’t need real actors. I personally have never acted a day in my life, yet I stood in as the lead member of the cast. When you’re doing a short promo you don’t have a lot lines that need to be memorized, and going back to avoiding editing, you can do as many takes as you need. Get all your employees and friends together and just get them to be great support people for your video.
7. Mistakes are OK. When making this type of video, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It needs to be funny, or intriguing. If it has a powerful message or is very funny, the production quality won’t be noticed. All of those cat videos or ‘real’ world home videos are done with a basic camera phone. The message that is coming across on camera is what it’s all about.
8. Director is a plus. Having a great director that has experience in organizing a shoot like this is a great value add. They will take care of getting people prepped for each shot and let you know when you have a good take. A director in a small production like this will also play the role of a camera man, and producer.