This is a guest post from Evan Polivy, Polivision Productions.
Note from yours truly: I love, love, love answering questions that I get asked regularly by readers on this blog, but in this case, I simply couldn’t answer the question sufficiently. I’ve played around with videos on my site a bit, but I certainly would not consider marketing videos to be my bread ‘n buttah! I reached out to a friend of mine based in Brooklyn, who is also someone I work very closely with on a regular basis, and I asked him to answer the “how the heck do I make videos for my biz without spending thousands of dollars?” question. Evan Polivy graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is the boss man at his own media production company, Polivision Productions. He is certainly one of the most artistic and creative entrepreneurs I’ve come across, which is great for me because I am lacking skillz in the art and design department! – Jessie
How to Make A Quality Promo Video Without Breaking the Bank
Video is a great way to market a product or service online because it’s engaging and can get across a lot of information in a short amount of time. Video is also easy to spread across multiple platforms such as websites, blogs, and social media. Over 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, but making a great video that stands out from the pack requires some expertise. Rather than going to film school yourself, I suggest collaborating with current film students as the most inexpensive way to create high quality, professional videos to advertise your products or services.
Film students will be looking to build their professional portfolio before graduating, and they will have training in (and free access to) professional equipment and editing software. I got my start by doing free promotional videos for small businesses while I was a film student at Rhode Island School of Design. These pro bono gigs grew to paying clients by the time I graduated, and allowed me to land on my feet with a solid client base. If you can motivate talented film students to work with you by showing them the great potential of your business, you will end up with very useful videos.
You can start by contacting the film program at a nearby college. Most film departments have a secretary who sends out regular emails and posts flyers about job opportunities for students. This is whom you want to contact. Ask to see examples of students’ work to make sure their aesthetic and quality is in keeping with your mission and brand. If a student does not have an easy way to share his or her work through something like a portfolio website, this student is probably not yet prepared for the professional world and may not be organized enough to execute your project efficiently.
What I have learned through hiring film students as interns is that the students with organized portfolios and good communication skills deliver the best results. Good videos often require several crewmembers to focus on different areas of the production. The film student you work with should be able to round up a few of his or her friends to help execute the video.
There are infinite ways to make a video.
The content of your video and approach you take depends entirely on what your business is all about and the message you would like the video to convey. When collaborating with a filmmaker in conceptualizing your video, remember that you know your product and brand best, so you will need to clearly communicate what you are looking for. The filmmaker will know how to make your ideas come across effectively and creatively on screen. It’s important to make sure the first ten seconds and the last ten seconds are the best parts of the video, and you should make sure the video is as concise as possible in between. [Tweet it]!
In my early work, my clients and I often grew attached to certain footage. This resulted in long, boring videos. You want your video to be anything BUT long and boring. The best kind of promotional video is one that people want to share. [Tweet it]! If your video is clever, funny, beautiful, or shocking, then existing and potential clients, as well as the general public, will help you advertise for free by sharing your video and, of course, your product or service.
Here is an example of a great advertisement by Sony. I understand you may not have the resources to close off the streets of San Francisco or to buy thousands of bouncy balls, but you do have the ability to be creative and to bring together a talented, knowledgeable team. This is all you need to make a great video that adds life to your business and inspires your customers.
About the author: Evan Polivy • CEO • Polivision Productions
Polivision is a full-service production company specializing in web-based media including music videos, promotional pieces, documentaries, and unique web interfaces for experiencing video. [This is the company behind the killer Manhattan Sideways videos, and if you haven’t seen them, watch a few here! Check out Polivision on Facebook and Twitter, too!]