Making a video commercial is often the preferred way for larger brands to increase brand awareness and generate sales. But did you know every company--regardless of its size or budget--can make its own video commercial easily and without even needing to hire an agency?
No need to be the next Spielberg or Tarantino, plenty of creative and cost-efficient options are available these days.
Read on to learn how to make your own video commercial in 6 simple steps and get ready to impress!
Why you should make your own video commercial
Before we teach you everything you need to know about making a video commercial without hiring an agency, let’s take a moment to show you why this project is an excellent opportunity to promote your business.
First of all, you should know that internet users are addicted to video content. A Hubspot study has shown that 54% of consumers would like to watch video content from brands they support.
This means that video commercials are the way to go when it comes to sharing your ideas and convincing your audience to start following your brand.
Institutional videos are an engaging format that does a much better job than text-based content when it comes to getting a message across within just seconds and in a straightforward way.
Lastly, know that commercials can directly impact sales:
- According to this study by Wyzowl, 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
- Amazon & eBay have both claimed that including video ads on a product page increases the chances of a shopper buying that item by up to 35%.
Now that we’ve made you eager to give promotional videos a try, let’s move on to making it happen--all without hiring an agency or an expert.
6 steps to making your own video commercial
Here are all our precious tips that will help you take a confident leap into commercial video production.
Step 1: Defining your objective
Before you even think of how you’ll be making your own video commercial, be sure to take a step back. Planning your commercial is actually just as, if not more important than actually making it. Planning ahead is essential as you will most likely end up wasting time if you don’t.
There are 3 main objectives when it comes to communication:
- Cognitive: This means your commercial will aim to make your brand known. In that case, your commercial should catch the audience’s interest by introducing the products or services you offer. Your next product launch comes fore sure soon, so also get your next product launch video ready.
- Emotional: Your commercial should trigger positive emotions from its audience and its goal to make people who already know your brand love it.
- Behavioral: Here, your goal is to provoke a specific action, such as a purchase.
Once your objective has been defined, it is time to maximize the potential of your content by identifying its target audience, which takes us to…
Step 2: Targeting a specific audience
A professional commercial video has to share a message that is targeted towards a specific audience. This is why your video should make it easy for your target audience to identify with your message.
In this video, for example, Uniqlo is clearly trying to address a younger audience by featuring singer Billie Eilish, who is herself popular among young generations:
Identifying your target audience can be made easier by following the buyer persona method. HubSpot defines buyer personas as “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”
As buyer personas are based on customer data, make sure you do have access to enough information about your current customer base. Take advantage of virtual assistant software, chatbox data and other customer support resources. You can get to learn them better through:
- Online surveys, for example with Google Forms or JotForm Survey Maker
- Customer service insights
- Online forums or Facebook groups linked to your industry--these will help you understand how your ideal customers express themselves.
Addressing your customers the right way is essential here as you need to speak their language.
Step 3: Telling your story using a script
Now that you’ve identified your communication objective and target audience, it’s time to move on to crafting your video commercial’s message.
To do so successfully, your next move should be working on your video script. This handy document is a written outline of the content you will be producing. It should describe it in as much detail as possible.
Here are our tips for an efficient script:
- Avoid using jargon and remember you need to speak your audience’s language.
- Tell a captivating story that will generate emotions among your audience, all while being sure it reflects your brand’s values and personality. Storytelling is the keyword here.
- Include a call to action at the end of the video. You could ask viewers to share your video on social media, visit your website, or contact you for more information. This depends on your objective.
- Keep it short and simple.
💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick
Feeling stuck? Why not watch commercials by your competitors or other players from your industry? This should help you find inspiration.
Once your script is ready, we recommend reading it out loud a few times as written and spoken English are different. You can then make edits if needed. Remember to time yourself too.
Step 4: Visualizing your story with a storyboard
Once your script is ready, the next step is preparing a storyboard, which is nothing more than a visual version of a video’s script. It should describe each spot of the video in chronological order.
Having a solid storyboard will save you time when shooting and is especially useful if collaborating with a freelancer or external team.
No need to be an artist though, simple sketches will do the trick!
You could use the following tools to prepare your storyboard:
- Dedicated software such as Storyboarder, which is free and open-source
- A presentation program like PowerPoint or Keynote
- … Or just the good old pen and paper combo! Just make sure you don’t lose your masterpiece!
Step 5: Giving your best on shooting day
Congrats--It’s finally time to start shooting and all the work you’ve been doing ahead is about to pay off.
There are just a few things to keep in mind before you get started:
- Test your equipment before arriving on set. You could be using a DSLR camera or just a smartphone here. Remember to use a microphone if you need to capture sound. Good lighting is also important and investing in a decent light does make sense.
- Make sure sound and image are synchronized.
- Remember framing is essential. While sound can be edited in post-production, bad framing can’t be fixed later.
- Share your message in an impactful way.
- Pay attention to the pace of your video to keep things interesting.
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Making a professional-looking video commercial requires using professional equipment and techniques. Consider renting a good camera or microphone if you don’t own one and make use of motion design to animate your graphic elements.
A good smartphone can be sufficient for an online commercial. Just add a clip-on microphone and a decent light for a more professional feel.
Step 6: Editing your video commercial
Hold on tight, you’re almost there! There’s just one last step to complete because you can finally release your video commercial: editing your video.
This means using the best parts of your footage and combining it with music or sound to deliver your campaign’s message in an impactful way. Keep everything we’ve covered so far in mind here as these principles will guide you throughout the process.
Start with a catchy intro. Since the average attention span is just 8 seconds, you need to catch your audience’s interest right away. A good way to do so, is using data and statics to proof why your topic is particularly relevant. Check out the article about infographic videos to learn more.
Check out Volkswagen’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial for inspiration:
Remember to add a call to action to your outro and keep your video as short as possible. While there are no set rules in terms of ideal length, we think 1 minute max. will help you make sure your audience watches the video until the end.
In fact, a shorter video also means it won’t be as expensive to make, which is a pretty good perk!
Here are our final tips for the editing stage:
- Include text-based transitions and subtitles--your video should be watchable without sound.
- Think spontaneity and authenticity. Adding real-life elements will help you connect with your audience.
- Pay attention to the background music you are using--you should either get free-to-use sounds or pay for licensing.
- Add voiceover if relevant.
💡 PlayPlay Pro Trick
The editing process will be smoother if your software is easy to use. The video creation platform PlayPlay allows you to make your own video commercial in just a few minutes, without wasting any time learning how to use Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro. Additionally, PlayPlay lets you make vertical, horizontal, or square versions of your video with just one click, which will make sharing it on social media easier.
But much more than that! Whether you're planning on producing customer testimonial videos and instructional videos, or more industry-specific, real estate videos, with PlayPlay you can get your inspiration out of 300+ templates to save you time!
Now that you know all about making your own commercial video without hiring an agency, time to get to work. Remember to show us your masterpiece once you’re done and help it go viral by sharing it on YouTube or as a Facebook or LinkedIn video ad!