7 tips to creating better product videos

It’s no secret that product videos can increase sales conversions on your website. If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are equivalent to a full textbook or novel. The great thing about videos is not only can they demonstrate your product — you can use them for other online marketing to drive traffic to your site.

It’s no secret that product videos can increase sales conversions on your website. If a picture is worth a thousand words, videos are equivalent to a full textbook or novel. The great thing about videos is not only can they demonstrate your product — you can use them for other online marketing to drive traffic to your site.

Videos also allow you to dramatically increase links to your site. By posting product videos on other content websites like YouTube, Vimeo and MetaCafe — you can effectively increase your back-links ten fold since those video feeds are also syndicated and picked up by other video feed sites. These links also build search engine confidence in your website since the links build organically over time on other trusted websites and in most cases the links are permanent.

Like most small business — you’re probably on a very tight budget right now. You don’t have to spend a whole lot to do a series of videos for your products though. With a budget of under $500.00, you can quickly create a series of professional videos for all your products.

All it takes is a good High Definition Digital Camera ($150.00), a tripod ($25.00 used) some clean backdrop options (a couple of white sheets to hang from the ceiling ($25.00 - or no cost at all if you have a well lit area and white wall to use as a backdrop in your office), a good video editing program ($50.00 to $100.00 if you do some research - they are lots of really easy to use solutions out there with the features you need), and a bit of imagination (Priceless). If you wanted to go a bit further, you can also invest in a good PC studio quality microphone for recording voice-overs to keep your audio commentary on products consistent and professional ($100.00).

Here are 7 tips for creating good quality product videos:
1. Plan out your video first. It’s a good idea to write a script of the most important features and benefits for your product video. Read it aloud and time yourself. Most well drafted scripts for products should be written to keep your final video under 1 minute (45 seconds to 60 seconds is recommended). A good product video shows a zoomed out still of a product, then small parts, details, or features, then ends in the zoomed out still shot again to wrap it up. Your written script should follow this basic timeline.

2. Keep it consistent across all videos - Hence, the backdrop and lighting. If demonstrating products, use a table with a white sheet over it and ensure your area is well lit. Just like “branding” your business — keeping a consistent look and feel across all your videos is important, even when demonstrating or talking about different product brands.

3. Use a tripod for recording at all times — this includes recording a person talking or demonstrating products. It helps eliminate camera shakes and other distracting movements which can be hard to edit out or mask with filters and effects.

4. “Static Zoom-in” on products to show their details - keep each shot static and tight into each detail or product feature you want to show. IE: Don’t zoom in or out during the recording process. If you need to show different angles or shots while demonstrating, stop reposition the camera/tripod, zoom in to a tight shot of the product detail, then record again. You can blend the product sequence shots in the video editing later on. Don’t be afraid to record from several angles since you can use them all in editing to blend a better product video together.

5. Practice to see what works best and what doesn’t work — Don’t be afraid to experiment until you have some experience. Once you get into shooting your first couple of videos, editing them, and finalizing - you can refine your work both during shooting and in editing. For the first couple of videos, you may even scrap them and develop a better version once you get a handle on your own do’s and don’ts. It’s a good idea to have someone you trust view the final videos and make suggestions. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn from a bit of constructive feedback.

6. Create different file folders for each digital video set/product you are demonstrating. This helps during editing and organization. Create sub-folders for source videos, sounds, audio, and final video to keep it organized. It also helps you add-in other content such as audio, background music, etc. as you need to during the editing process if it’s organized on an individual project basis.

7. Editing — Don’t be afraid to condense, scrap shots or shoot again. What you’re trying to do is take the best of your video recordings and blend them together to tell a good product story. If you shot 20 minutes of video - most of that can be time-cropped down if you’ve chosen the right video editing program. You can also use some of the “effects” in your editing software to hide some of the issues that crop up when shooting low budget videos — don’t overdo it though when using filters and effects. This can also help to ensure your videos are consistent in look and feel across all product videos you shoot. Consider buying some royalty free background music (to avoid copyright use issues) and edit in a second professional voice-over recorded in good quality with no background noise (hence the good microphone mentioned earlier). You can then overlay the voiceover in the final video production copy in your editing software and tweak the timeline to fit.

Bonus Tip — Check out other product videos on YouTube or on your competitor websites first to see what works best for you and your products. This will help you plan out your video recording approach before you begin.

A good product sample video using the above starting strategies is located here (Link to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEfg79TyB9E ). Important: You will notice this ShopFactory user has also included a product description and link to their website on the YouTube page.

It’s also a good idea to do some further research on creating product videos and don’t be afraid to experiment!