How to Shoot a Promo Video

There’s a lot that goes into shooting a promo video for your business, from organizing equipment and casting to coming up with creative ideas and storyboarding.

That said, the hard work will ultimately pay off. After all, including original content doesn’t just make your video stand out from the billions in the online space. It also adds a personal touch and promotes authenticity, which creates trust with your target audience.

And do you know what this trust leads to? Views, clicks, and conversions. Therefore you will need some great promo video ideas and an even better promo video maker.

Decide on Your Goals

Wondering how to shoot a promo video? Well, first things first, define the goals for your video marketing strategy by asking yourself the following questions.

  • What are you trying to achieve with your video? I.e. are you trying to create interest or start a conversation?
  • Which content type can help you to achieve your desired outcome? I.e. will it be a tutorial to develop awareness or a customer testimonial to encourage sales?
  • Where will you publish your video? I.e. will you post it on your website or on a specific social media channel?
  • How will you shoot it and what equipment do you need? I.e. will you shoot in portrait mode on a phone because you know your video will end up on Instagram Stories?
  • What are the key messages you want to communicate? And what do you need to show and say to get them across?

The next step is to plan out your promo video in detail to effectively prepare for the shoot.

Storyboard and Script Each Frame

A storyboard is a series of illustrations displayed in sequence to pre-visualize a short film. It helps you to work through your promo video frame by frame and realize what footage you need to bring your storyboard to life.

Storyboarding is also a great way to save time, money and energy during the shoot. For instance, you might only be able to reserve a location for a certain amount of time because of a strict budget or limited availability.

Next, create the script for each frame. Start by outlining the key points and then build a strong narrative from there. Be direct to attract attention. And always remember to offer value in a “quality over quantity” mindset.

Gather Your Resources

Once the difficult thinking is out of the way, proceed to organize your resources for the shoot in terms of:

  • People — You might need to hold a casting or source staff members
  • Equipment — Phones offer a raw, unedited perspective, professional cameras create a more polished feel, and wireless microphones capture the best sound
  • Location — You could film in your office, factory, or house or book out locations, keeping in mind that some public places might require a shooting permit
  • Lighting — Natural daylight is perfect for outdoor shoots, having the subject face a window (but not in direct sunlight) works well for rooms with natural light, and ring lights are a life-saver for dark rooms

Regardless, try to be authentic and relatable in everything that you shoot. Viewers emotionally connect with real people, locations, and scenarios. It is this emotion they will decide to act on, whether it’s through a like, comment, or purchase.

Go for It!

Now you can move onto production. Here are some of our top tips for a successful shoot.

  • Shoot More Than What You Need: It’s better to have too much material than too little. You can always edit too much material down in the post-production stage. Aim for each shot to be at least 10 seconds long and shoot a few variations of each.
  • Experiment With Different Shots: Depending on your video type, it might make sense to add movement through multiple angles, shots, and effects.
  • Take Some Test Shots: Test shots are ideal for checking the lighting in a certain scene and ensure the aesthetic reflects the picture you have in your mind.
  • Write Your Script on a Board: If you have a script, write it on a large poster board and have someone hold it up so that you can read it as you’re filming. Read it several times on camera for timing and clarity. You could even download a free teleprompter app on your iPad, such as iPrompt Pro, as another option.
  • Watch a Shot Once You’ve Filmed It: Don’t leave it until you’re in the editing room to review a specific shot. Watch it while you’re still on location so you can re-shoot it there and then if it’s not quite what you wanted.

Say you come to edit your video, you don’t have exactly what you wanted, and you can’t afford a re-shoot, consider using stock imagery to fill in the gaps.

By downloading a social media video creation app like Boosted by Lightricks, you gain exclusive access to their Getty Images stock library. This means that you’ll have professional, premium-quality images and videos available at the click of a button.

how to shoot a promo video
how to shoot a promo video

The Takeaway

Shooting a promo video that gains traction is a whole process. Creative thinking, planning and preparation are just as important as the shoot itself. 

Above all, have fun on set. The personality of your cast will only shine through on video if they’re comfortable and enjoying themselves. It’s essentially about making a positive impression with your target audience that they’ll remember and share.

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