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Tips for Filming A Product Video

Your product is market-ready and you’re ready to share it with the world by creating a product video. Executive producer, Mike Wunsch (Outpost Worldwide), has filmed Make48’s PBS docuseries since Season 1. Mike has worked on commercial and sales related videos for decades and I asked him what he thinks makes a great product video?

Before picking up a camera, the best place to begin is to create a short vision for the video. A well thought-out game plan for the video shoot and a shot list lining out all the shots that you anticipate for the video should be the first steps. “I think it is important that videos need to be clear, informative and engaging. It shouldn’t steal the show from the product. It should enhance and clearly define what the product does,” Mike began.

It is essential that you provide a written description of the general direction and vision for the video. The best place to start long before storyboards or ever turning on a camera is a short creative brief or treatment. A storyboard can be handy but not always needed. “A well-thought out creative game plan and a shortlist lining out all the shots anticipated can often provide more creative information than storyboards, unless you are creating very detailed boards. High quality storyboards are great but also add cost to engage an artist. Actually making a video first, to share with a professional company to show them what you want can be very useful and far more descriptive than a storyboard.”

The quality of a product video is the most important issue. The video should be clear, informative, engaging and clearly define what the product does. It’s essentially a sales pitch for your product that hits a worldwide audience. “If the quality of the video looks homegrown or unprofessional, that could impact people’s perception of the product.”

It’s tempting to use your iPhone or other device to film your product video, and it really depends on your personal creative and production skills. However, the quality or look of the video could impact the perception of the video. The decision to hire a professional filmographer or do it yourself depends on who your audience is. For most videos, a cost between $2000-$4000 is pretty standard, but filming on your own is perfectly acceptable if your budget is limited. If that is the way to go for your product, there are many tips and tricks on how to film a quality video.

If your audience is for investors or retailers your best bet is to go with a professional. Our producer Mike believes making your own video is kind of like saying, “I will make my own clothes, or I will build my own house!” One reason to do a professional video is that they’ll be able to convey the message of your product. The last thing any entrepreneur wants to do is convey the wrong message. Production companies have the background, history and technical knowledge when it comes to filming. In many cases, it’s best to spend more and hire professionals to do what they do best.

Who Is Your Target Audience

Product launches using social media tactics and email marketing have been one of the most popular tactics to reach an audience today. Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and media outlets such as Interesting Engineering can reach up to thousands, if not millions, of viewers. Viral videos are a great connector and an exciting way to announce to the world about your product. Entrepreneurs can now target their potential customers on these platforms. Just make sure you've done some research and really figured out who your target audience needs to be first. Knowing who your demographic is one of the most important targets for your product.

We’ve looked at tips on what to do but what should someone NOT do in product videos? The first thing is not to be so “cute.” Don’t try to get so creative, to the point that the video is about the video and not the product! Mike suggests that, “Clear, concise storytelling is almost always best!” when filming.

In the end, what is the most important is who is your target audience and what is your purpose. Be straight to the point and have a plan. Have multiple people review your finished product and give their honest opinion. Because if it doesn't convey your purpose, you'll be sending the wrong impression to your potential customers and wasting your marketing dollars to get views of your video.

Outpost Worldwide is a full-service production company located in the heart of Kansas City, with over 17 years of experience and a portfolio that includes: online marketing videos, television and radio commercials, broadcast content and multi-camera event production.

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