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January 7, 2020·7 min read

How to Use Promo Videos to Build Hype

The best promo videos are like movie trailers, they build excitement without giving away too much information. Read on to learn how to make better hype videos for your business.

When given the choice between text and video, most people would rather watch a video to learn about a new product.

People love to watch, and that makes promo videos the bread and butter of top-of-funnel marketing campaigns. A well-scripted promo video can be effective with even the scrappiest of budgets, so get creative and get started.

What is a Promo Video?

Like a movie trailer, a promo video is a mini commercial with the goal of pushing viewers to check out a product, service, event, or content asset. Also known as hype videos and teaser videos, the main purpose of a promo video is to entice people to learn more.

  1. Contents
  2. What Are the Benefits of Promo Videos?
  3. Where to Use Promo Videos
  4. Types of Promo Videos
  5. How to Make a Promo Video
  6. Promo Video Best Practices
  7. 4 of the Best Promo Videos

What Are the Benefits of Promo Videos?

Promo videos drive traffic. They’re like big flashing signs pointing viewers to your website or landing pages. Naturally, brand awareness goes hand in hand with these videos that live at the top of your marketing funnel.

Great promo videos are highly shareable and quickly summarize a product or service while creating buzz and generating leads.

Watch and Learn

Video Producer, Mat King, breaks down all you need to know to make great promo videos. What are they and why would you want to make one? It’s all about building hype and making your audience want to learn more. Vidyard’s Creative Director, Blake Smith, joins Mat to break down an existing promo video and explain what makes it effective.

Where to Use Promo Videos

Use promo videos for top-of-funnel marketing efforts. They should be one of the first impressions prospects have of your product.

Consider featuring promo videos in places like:

  • Website and Landing Pages: Wherever your product, event, or asset lives.
  • Email: Send promos directly to prospects or contacts—videos get more emails opened
  • Social Media: Where the eyeballs are!
  • Digital Ads and Paid Social: Spend some money to reach a wider audience
  • Webinars: Before they start or in between segments

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Types of Promo Videos

Social Ads

Promo videos are ideal content for paid ads on social media. Whether you’re targeting YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, promo videos should be short and sweet (30 seconds is ideal).

You’ve probably clicked skip on a million YouTube video ads by now, but once in a while, you see one that is genuinely attention-grabbing. The key is to make good content that front-loads the important information to get the point across in the shortest amount of time.

Keep it Quick  Here’s an example of a social ad we made to promote Vidyard to a sales audience. We went for 15 seconds to avoid being interruptive and made sure to include on-screen text, since many people scroll social with the sound off.Vidyard video thumbnail - click to play

Event Invitations

If you’re concerned about headcount, consider an event promo video to invite guests and encourage RSVPs to your next event. Video will help you communicate the feel of your event along with pertinent information in a quick and digestible way.

Create a short, informational, and attention-grabbing video to include in your event invitation email. You can also post the video on your event landing page to pique interest for potential attendees browsing your website.

You can do a scripted commercial, include footage from past events, or record a personal invite from the event host or a special guest. You can take event invitations a step further by using personalization to really hit the message home.

Unignorable Invites Check out the personalized invite we sent out via email to invite people to our Fast Forward Virtual Summit. Including the viewers’ name on the thumbnail of the video paired with a catchy email subject line was a magical combination for engagement. Vidyard video thumbnail - click to play

Content Asset Promos

Much like an event invitation, a video can be a helpful tool to encourage your audience to download or access a bigger piece of content like an annual report, comprehensive guide, or hero asset. The promo can include excerpts or key takeaways from the asset that will convince the viewer to view the full piece.

If your content asset is text-based (like an eBook or a whitepaper), motion graphics, animation, and text can help illustrate value with an exciting tone. When choosing quotes or stats to highlight, select pieces that spark interest without giving too much away. If promoting a video-based asset, consider a quicker cut pulling in key takeaways or highlights.

Video For Other Forms of Content We used cuts from the video content that is part of our Video Selling Master Class to give viewers a quick hit of the content before accessing the full training kit. Vidyard video thumbnail - click to play

Product Hype Videos

The goal of a hype video isn’t to describe your product in great detail, but rather to provide an overview and build excitement. Think of it as a friendly introduction (or dramatic stage entrance) for your product.

Slick product shots, on-screen text, and a great song choice go a long way to building hype. Just like a movie trailer, product hype videos are only a tease, you don’t have to tell the whole story. Instead, focus on making viewers come away from this video thinking, “Tell me more!”

Pump Up the Crowd

This promo video for the free version of our product relies on quick cuts and upbeat music to create excitement. It says just enough to encourage viewers to try it out for themselves.

Vidyard video thumbnail - click to play

How to Make a Promo Video

1. Set a Goal

What do you hope to achieve with this video: Click-throughs? Conversions? Brand awareness? This will affect all of your other decisions. If your goal is conversions, your focus should be on highlighting a strong call to action, something that viewers cannot walk away from. If the goal is click-throughs, build as much curiosity as possible. And if it’s brand awareness, focus on a memorable creative vision or talk trigger that will stick with viewers long after the video ends.

2. Choose a Style

Based on the goal you set, decide on an appropriate video style. A live-action sketch could work well for a social ad. Motion graphics can be highly effective at visually conveying details that would be hard to grasp otherwise. You might choose this route to promote a new report. Text set to music can elicit emotion while holding back enough details to encourage clicks.

3. Script It and Storyboard It

This step is especially important for a promo video in order to meet the challenge of being short, descriptive, and attention-grabbing at the same time. Every second counts, so you’ll want to make sure you have a solid plan to make the most of your viewers’ limited attention span. Because of their emphasis on emotion, promo videos allow a ton of creative freedom, compared to other types of videos. Focus on grabbing attention within the first five seconds of the video and front-load important information (like date and time, if promoting an event). Make use of visuals to convey information instantly.

See our production guide for more details on the pre-production planning process.

Pro Tip: Use our free video script timer tool to find out how long your video will be based on your script.

4. Produce It

No matter what your budget or experience level, set aside time and get a crew together to make the thing. Be sure to export the final version for your video for each channel you plan to use. (e.g. Videos need to be formatted differently for each social channel, and another format is necessary for a website or email.)

Hot Tip

Use Vidyard’s Chrome extension to record a simple talking head promo video in one click. Add a personal touch by speaking to contacts directly, and tell them everything they need to know about your new product, asset, or event. Send via email, or embed wherever your prospects will be sure to watch.

Promo Video Best Practices

  • Keep it brief. Remember, a promo is like a movie trailer. No one will buy tickets to the movie if you’ve already spoiled the plot. Instead, make viewers curious enough to want to know more.
  • Focus on the feels.Explainer videos are for details, promos are for emotion.
  • Script it. If you focus on a good script, production value can range from scrappy to high-level and still be effective.
  • Set it to music. Nothing conveys emotion as immediately as music. The right tune will set the tone for your promo video and get customers feeling curious and excited.
  • Spread the love. Use promo videos across multiple channels, wherever your prospects are likely to be.
  • Get creative. With so many promo videos on the internet, you neither want to blend in as boring nor stand out as an ad. If you get creative, people will want to watch your video despite it being an ad.
  • Include a compelling CTA. The end of your promo video isn’t the end of the road. Keep viewers engaged with a strong call to action.
  • Spread the love. Use promo videos across multiple channels, wherever your prospects are likely to be.
checklist graphic
Get the Promo Videos Checklist checklist graphic Ready to make a promo video? This list covers all the things you need to know to get it right. Get the List

4 of the Best Promo Videos

Promo videos are some of the most entertaining and creative content we marketers get to create. Here are just a handful of our favorite promo video examples.

1. Apple: The New Product Launch

This Apple Airpods commercial is a great example of a promo video that introduces a product by conveying an emotion. No words are necessary to describe the product. Music combined with impressive choreography and visual effects present the audience with a sense of freedom, (the proposed benefit of wireless airpods).

2. HubSpot: The Event Invitation

Software company HubSpot created a video to promote their INBOUND 2019 conference using footage from the 2018 event. Exciting music mixed with selected clips and testimonial voice over help convey anticipation for the event. It’s like a window into the conference that leaves viewers wanting more.

3. Airbnb: The Social Ad

Airbnb and Barbie snatched attention on social media with eye-catching ads featuring stunning aerial views of a real-life Barbie Malibu dream house. The instantly recognizable Barbie brand prompts viewers to click to learn more.

 4. Vidyard: The Asset Promotion

Sometimes valuable (but less flashy) material like reports and whitepapers get released without the attention they deserve. We worked with a local production company to create this upbeat video that gives people an overview of what they’ll find inside our Heinz Report. It gets right to the point, entices people to click download, and it’s a lot more fun than reading a summary.

checklist graphic
Get the Promo Videos Checklist checklist graphic Ready to make a promo video? This list covers all the things you need to know to get it right. Get the List

Rebecca Whitaker

Rebecca Whitaker

Rebecca started her career in film and media where she honed her skills in storytelling and video production. Now, she uses her creative perspective to bring Sales Feed to life as Editor in Chief!