Key Elements to Include in Your Promotional Video

By Thomas Hoebbel Photographer and Video Producer in Ithaca, NY

When creating a “corporate” video, whether it is for your fortune 500 company, a small business, or even a promotional piece for a not-for-profit organization, there are several key elements that are important to include.

There are many reasons to create a video for your company or organization, but they all distill down to the core concept of making an impression on your existing or prospective audience (clients) and influencing them to take a particular action. This sounds like a broad concept, because it is. I have created many marketing videos for businesses. They want to make a positive impression on their target market and influence them to buy their product. The concepts are the same when you are developing a piece for your not-for-profit, but in their case, you wish to convince the viewer to make a donation, become a member, or visit your museum.

No matter your reason for wishing to create a video for your organization there are certain elements that I would consider “must-haves” for your piece.


  1. Set Goals

Having clear goals regarding what you want your target audience to do is important, but how do you accomplish that goal? I have found that there are several elements that can and should be included in marketing videos which will help you achieve your desired outcomes.


  1. Utilize a Voice of Authority

In nearly every instance, it is important to have a “voice of authority” to take the viewer through the piece and guide them toward the outcomes you desire. This “voice” can be an actual voice-over relaying a well written script to the audience. Often, I will use the CEO of a company or the president of a non profit to be that voice of authority. An interview with the principal of the organization will guide the viewer through the important elements of the video.


  1. Include B-Roll

Now, we all know that watching two minutes (or even 30 seconds) of a talking head proclaiming how great their organization or product is can be painful. Another element that is a must have for your video is interesting ancillary imagery, what we call B-roll. Discover what the most visually interesting elements of your organization are and shoot footage of that. Nobody wants to see Mr. CEO talking nonstop for your entire piece. An effective video will cut away from the principal being interviewed to show aspects of the organization that compliment her script and show the viewer the more captivating imagery.


  1. Feature Testimonials

One of the most important elements in a corporate or promotional video is including the voice of your satisfied “clients”. If you are selling a product or service, you want to include authentic, glowing reviews and accolades from previous clients. If you are a non profit that offers classes to the elderly, summer camps for kids, or library services for an entire community, you want to include the voices of those positively impacted by what you do. Nobody can be a better ambassador for your organization than a satisfied customer!


  1. Include a Call to Action

You’ll remember the first element I suggested when planning your organization’s video. It was to set goals. Now, as you come to the end of your piece you need to include a “call to action” that will directly appeal to your audience to take the steps necessary to achieve your goals for the piece. If you want them to try your product, donate to your cause, or visit your local library, then say that directly and succinctly. Many organizations do wish to create videos to merely raise awareness about their organization or mission. That is fine, but there is still an action you can request of them after you have raised their awareness. “Visit our website.” or “Share this with a friend.” are both calls to action that will compliment your video’s goal of raising awareness.


There are many other elements that one could include in an effective corporate video, but I have found these five to have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the pieces I have created and I wouldn’t shoot a video without them.


Thomas Hoebbel is a photographer and video producer in the Ithaca, NY area. He creates marketing and promotional videos for small and large businesses, not-for-profits, and educational institutions in Ithaca and throughout New York.


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