Plan Your Promo Video

By Thomas Hoebbel
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‐pro
its and educational institutions in Ithaca and throughout New York.
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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‐pro

it 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 in

luencing 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 in

luence them to buy their product.

The concepts are the same when you are developing a piece for your not‐for‐pro
it, 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.
2. 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 pro

it 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.
3. 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.
4. Feature Testimonials
One of the most important elements in a corporate or promotional video is including the
voice of your satis

ied “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 pro
it 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 satis

ied customer!

5. Include a Call to Action
You’ll remember the

irst 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

ine, 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

ive to have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the pieces I have

created and I wouldn’t shoot a video without them