By John Eberhard

There has been an explosion of promotional videos over the last several years, but the videos on YouTube don’t always follow the fundamentals. So I thought it would be good to state them.

  1. Obviously a promotional video should be good quality in terms of the video and sound. You don’t have to spend $2,000 on a camera. But it should look good and sound good. The sound should be loud enough to hear easily. HD (high definition) video is best.
  2. Most promotional videos today should be two minutes or less in length. This is not a hard and fast rule but has become the widely accepted standard. Longer than that, it’s tougher to get people to watch it.
  3. A promotional video should have a call to action at the end. A call to action is defined as something at the end of your presentation that tells the person to do something. In this case, it should be a screen or two at the end of the video, at least 10-15 seconds long, where you tell the person to contact you, and give your phone number and web address. Leave it up there long enough for them to write it down.
  4. It’s a plus if your video includes some kind of special offer. This should be some kind of special price or discount, or buy one and get this item free, or something like that.
  5. The title of the video can include your business phone number in it, so that when your video comes up on a search, it shows your phone number right there.
  6. In most cases it is good to have a music track playing softly in the background throughout the video. This tends to keep the energy level of the video high. If you have a short intro frame at the beginning, the music can be louder then, and then you bring the volume of the music down when the voice comes in. There are several sites where you can buy music tracks, and I make them and have a selection you can buy affordably.
  7. I used to create 5-10 second intros for videos showing the company logo or an animation showing the logo. But today I think it’s better to get right into it, because people’s patience in waiting for you to get into it, is less than it used to be.
  8. The video should be on YouTube, regardless of where else you have it uploaded. I see some people that put their promotional videos only up on Vimeo.com or some other video sharing site, and not on YouTube. This is a mistake. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world according to traffic. Why wouldn’t you want that type of potential in terms of people finding it?
  9. Create a description for the video and enter that into the YouTube description field when you upload it. Include your website URL in the first line of the description, your phone number, and include relevant keywords in the description.
  10. Once you have uploaded your video to YouTube, post it on your web site, in your blog, link to it in your email newsletter, and share it on social media. If you have more than 1-2 videos, create a page on your site for all your videos. Create a YouTube playlist that includes all your videos and share that playlist as well.
  11. You can run ads on Google Ads where your video will appear as what they call a “pre-roll,” meaning your video appears before a video that someone went to see on YouTube. This works best if your video is under one minute long and has a good call to action at the end. Google Ads also allows you to put a “learn more” type button under the video.

These basics will help you get the most out of your videos.