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Jul 05, 2019 14:09:32

Launch videos

by @hum | 628 words | 🐣 | 215💌

Sarah Hum

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Rewriting yesterday's post with a focus on launch videos.

Potential title: Making a launch video with no time and no budget

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Launching big features is exciting and worth celebrating. If you're not using video for your product launches, you're missing out! Using video is a great way to boost brand affinity while getting more people excited about your product.

Video will make you stand out and *wow* your audience. Videos have powerful storytelling abilities and can be a lot more engaging than other types of content.

A 2016 study showed that 79% of B2B businesses use video in their content marketing (and it's sure to have gone up since then).

One of the big things holding teams back from using video is the cost required to create it (effort as well as monetary). Compared to text and images in a blog post, it seems much higher.

Of course, I'm not talking about Hollywood production value with large crews and expensive equipment. I want to talk about videos that get a message across authentically and in an entertaining way.

Here are a few launch videos our team has made.

Canny for Intercom

Canny Changelog

We made these with no time and no budget. Here's how you can too.


Planning

This phase sets the stage for all your time and effort to come. Without proper planning, you'll find yourself second guessing and changing your mind down the road. Once you involve other people, changing your mind will be costly. So plan your video thoroughly from the start.

The Concept

Start by writing out a simple brief for yourself. What is the main message you want to convey in your video?

Here's a simple outline to get you started:

  • We're launching feature X
  • This is the problem it solves
  • Here's how to use it
  • Here's why it's awesome

Write down the key elements you want to cover. Then, we can start being creative.

Put together a quick moodboard to help kick-start those creative juices. Think about your launch in particular and its unique visual elements.

[Image of visual elements/mood board/word cloud]

Having a moodboard is great for our next step: storyboarding.

I know not everyone is an artist but if you can draw a stick person, you can put together a storyboard. Try to come up with at least three unique concepts and draw some basic thumbnails.

Launch videos should be short so you shouldn't need that many frames to convey your concept. Here are my storyboards from our most recent video:

[storyboard examples]

Then, finalize your concept. Think about which concepts are realistically achievable. The best ones are fun and engaging but also easy to execute.

For example, concept one included somehow getting footage or animating a rocketship blasting off. Not easy.

Concept three was the winner. It was fun and wouldn't cost us much to pull off.


Equipement

For the usual video, we need:

  1. A video recording device
  2. An audio recording device
  3. Light
  4. People
  5. Props
  6. Editing software

Video recording device

We usually use an iPhone. I'd say the quality is good enough.

For our future videos, we might look into borrowing a DSLR for that extra bump in quality.

Audio recording device

For our Intercom Integration video, we used the microphone on some wired Apple earpods. We probably won't do that again. If your cast wears it on them, it's easily picks up sounds you don't want like rubbing on clothing.

We ended up investing in the Samson Go Mic which is only $30 on Amazon. We think it sounds great! The voiceover in our Changelog video was done on that microphone.

Light

No need to invest in some fancy lighting equipment. Get up early and use natural light. Free! Or borrow from people you know if you're lucky.

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