how to create useful product videos for your customers

by | Aug 23, 2021

in the world of fast-paced and eye-catching content: product videos are one of the few surefire ways to boost conversion. visitors who watch a product video are 73% more likely to make a purchase than shoppers who did not see the video. now that you know how massive of an impact a video can make on your ecomm business: your job is to create an engaging. dynamic. and clear product video to use on your social media feeds and website!

don’t skip the planning phase!

soona fast pass. store your stuff. create anytime.

step 1: choose your product and which type of video you’ll be shooting 

similar to a shotlist for still photography — you’ll need to consider which products will be featured in the video.  what the setting of the video will be.  what order you might need to film in.  and if you’ll be including any models or props.  getting these ideas organized before you begin capturing any video will save you so much time — and will give you a more comprehensive video at the end.  this stage is about more than just aesthetics!  you’ll need to decide who will see the video — what platforms it might end up on — what it’s purpose is — and how it will communicate your brand identity to your potential customers.

think about purpose and target audience 

  • is this video for people who are unfamiliar with your product?  or is it for loyal customers to see the drop of a new collection?  is it for people who have a problem that your product solves?  or is it for a certain lifestyle? having a clear answer to these questions will channel your vision into a cohesive end-result.
  • if your video is for demonstration purposes: you’ll need to have a very clear understanding of how you’ll shoot it to be clear and easy to understand.  depending on how complicated the assembly or use of your product is — you may want to experiment with different angles. techniques. or voiceovers. 
  • some product videos are for the hype.  for example: a sneak peak of an album release.  a secret hint about a new collaboration with an artist and a sneaker brand.  sometimes all you need for a great product video is a loyal customer-base and some clever marketing.  additionally: some product videos are “coming soon” hype.  the product isn’t even ready to be purchased for but you’re already generating engagement and interest!
  • lifestyle product videos are another excellent way to get customers engaged without doing the infomercial-type advertising.  lifestyle product videos allow your customers to see your product fitting into their lives.  it gives you the opportunity to show potential customers your brand identity. values. and culture.

know your platforms!

will your product video be a lifestyle video shared on to your Instagram feed?  will it be a demonstration video to use under your hero image on your website?  the format you’ll need for a YouTube video vs. a TikTok — for example — would be very different.  having a clear idea of what platform you’ll be using will help you take the right shots. save time in the editing phase. and result in a higher-quality video.  video is quickly taking off as the preferred medium for social media — even Instagram recently announced a push for more Reels rather than still images.  brands will need to product consistent video content to stay relevant on today’s most visited social media apps!

step 2: get inspired (and challenge your competition!)

form a list of examples videos you find notable 

when a product video catches your eye — note what elements make it so alluring to you.  do you stop scrolling when you see bright colors?  a cool background?  what makes you stick around to watch the end of the video?  better yet: what makes you finish the video and then click through to the website?  take note of these things to use for your own product video.

get creative with theme and cinematography

product videos can take any aesthetic approach you can dream up!  want a bohemian vibe?  go for natural lighting. soft earth tones. some lens flares.  want it to look modern and clean?  go with a stark white background and pops of color.  take a tip from soona on how to prep for a photoshoot — and adapt those principles to your video shoot.  

💡 pro tip: a mood board made of images. colors. and themes that you’re inspired by will help direct your vision for your video through the whole process.  having a visual guide to refer to may save you tons of time in the editing process.

understand what you dislike

while you don’t need to spend as much time dwelling on what you don’t like as what you do — it may still be useful to understand what elements of product videos you dislike so you and anyone else creating with you can avoid them.  aside from the obvious: bad quality. confusing. boring.  you may want to hone in on things like: you don’t want your hand model to have painted nails.  you don’t like harsh shadows.  you want to avoid too much clutter in your shots.

step 3: start sketching out your video plan

depending on how many creative collaborators you have on your video project — you may want your video plan to be very well-planned.  you can try anything from a list of shots to a storyboard with scene-by-scene sketches.  this all depends on you and your vision!  take your time in this phase and look it over with any collaborators to iron out kinks and questions before the shoot starts.

step 4: equipment. props. products!

now it’s time to have everything set up!  whether you’re shooting outdoors at a certain time to catch the right light or you’re shooting indoors with studio lighting and backgrounds — you’ll need to give yourself time to get your equipment in order before you begin.  being thorough before your shoot will save you time and stress when the action starts!

  • prepare the products that will feature in the shoot.  make sure there are no imperfections or smudges that you don’t want to appear in your video.  use a microfiber cloth or gloves to handle the product once it’s been prepped to make sure you don’t have to continue cleaning fingerprints or marks.  be sure to account for any multiples you’ll need.  

  • if you’ll be using props: set them up and take a few test shots to make sure you like the placement.  if there is movement in your shots — use tape to mark angles or points you want to remember during your shoot.  ensure your props don’t have any distracting flaws or stains and check to make sure tags and stickers are taken off so you don’t have to spend time editing those small things later.

  • your equipment may include turntables. continuous lighting. tripods. or it may just be you with your camera!  whatever it is — be sure your equipment is ready for action!

time to shoot your shot

video equipment recommendations

  • a DSLR camera with video capabilities and lots of storage space is your best bet for accessible high-quality video.
  • a sturdy tripod for stabilizing your shots is a must!  no one wants to get a headache trying to follow a shaky video. 
  • continuous lighting (different from lighting used for still images) may be needed for an indoor shoot.  this will prevent the final result from having a flickering effect. 
  • a solid and smooth backdrop can elevate your shoot from amateur to professional.  nice backdrops can be found easily and affordably online!
  • we cover more equipment in our blog on 360 photos!

step 5: the editing and formatting process

now it’s time to make sure your video is compatible with the platform you want to post it on.  many platforms will format the video for you but you may want to consider making specific files and videos for different platforms to preserve the best quality.  for example: you can upload a very high-quality video directly to YouTube.  but Instagram and TikTok may lower your video quality in the upload process.  for uploading to e-commerce sites like Shopify: there may be size limits! saving files specifically for those platforms in the right orientation and size might save you confusion later.

our favorite video editing software

    • Adobe Suite is the go-to in the photo and video editing world.  with paid and free versions of most of their programs — they have a familiar interface and the trust of thousands of professionals.  Adobe Premiere Rush is a great option for everyday users and is available as an app. (FYI: soona photographers use Adobe Premiere Pro).
    • Apple’s iMovie is another classic and user-friendly video editing software that allows you to export into different formats for easy sharing.
    • Final Cut is a more expensive option but does offer a step up from iMovie in editing capabilities.

step 6: time to post

 we all know you don’t just toss something on social media and walk away.  you’ll want to consider your caption.  your approach.  what time you post.  the algorithms on social media can help OR hurt your business.  doing some light research on your page’s engagement. best times to post. and trending hashtags in your category will encourage more views.  and more views translate to higher conversion!

likewise — if you’re posting your video directly to an e-commerce website: you want to consider visibility.  if it’s a lifestyle video: maybe it belongs on the front page/landing page.  if it’s a demonstration video: maybe it belongs on the product’s specific page.  the placement of your video can make or break the flow of your site.

pro tips from our experts

here are a few great points from our brilliant studio creatives on how to pull off your own DIY video shoot.

  • for the tight budget: use natural light if possible.  if not: turn on and use as many lights as you can find and adjust accordingly to your preference.
  • consumers can forgive bad video more than they will forgive bad audio so make sure to create a quiet environment!
  • don’t improvise! you’ll save a lot more time by having an outline at the very least

let soona create the content of your dreams

if you’re ready to collab with studio creatives on fresh content: head to soona.co to get inspired and book a shoot!  with seasonal props and themes. virtual shoots. and videos starting at $93: soona creatives are ready to deliver fast casual content for your website refresh.

if you’re looking to ramp up your content game but still feel unsure where to start – check out these resources:

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