What is it?
A Product Sizzle is a promotional video that serves a purpose similar to that of a movie trailer. Like a film trailer that teases exciting moments, the idea of a Product Sizzle is to present the greatest highlights of a product or service in a compelling and stylish manner so the audience wants to buy.
Product Sizzles are proven to be highly effective. Studies show people retain 95% of a message when they view it in a video. Research also shows a Product Sizzle video placed on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more. The key to holding attention -- in addition to delivering captivating content -- is to keep the running time to no longer than 3 minutes. This is more than enough time to tell the story, highlight the benefits and make the pitch. While it may be tempting to cram every possible bit of information about a product into a video -- especially a product that has been designed with great care and to exacting standards of excellence -- the simple reality is that viewership drops off dramatically after about 3 minutes. The story and benefits need to be told within that time frame and if it’s running longer we need to rethink our approach to the presentation.
Here’s a sample product sizzle by Digital Media Collab for a brand of smartphone.
Another product sizzle, for medical device maker Orthofix
This is an in-store promotional video we created for a brand of digital camera
When/Where to use.
Product Sizzles are a terrific way to highlight the launch of a new product or service. Startups will find sizzle videos to be an indispensable tool in their marketing efforts, for building brand awareness and persuading curious consumers to convert into paying customers.
Sizzle videos can be uploaded and optimized for strong search-engine results on free hosting sites including YouTube and Vimeo. Embedding the sizzle video in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter advertising is also a powerful way to distribute the message where it has the potential to go viral. And you want your Product Sizzle to go viral as people spread the word about your offering -- and you don’t need to devote any extra effort to the distribution.
We recommend doing keyword research using Google AdWords to identify the best word combinations to include in the text description of your Product Sizzle video when posting on platforms like YouTube. This helps your video appear more prominently in search results, which then increases the likelihood people will click on your video and watch it. If you need help with this, let us know.
By way of example, a company selling wireless consumer audio components for outdoor use would not include just the company’s brand name in the Product Sizzle video description, but highly specific keywords such as “bluetooth speakers,” “waterproof speakers,” “rugged outdoor speakers” and “portable speakers.”
Why use it.
A well-produced Product Sizzle gets your message across to consumers quickly in the format they are most accustomed to enjoying content -- via video. The goal is to trigger an emotional response that leads to action. That typically means persuading the audience to buy the promoted product or service.
Product Sizzles are highly effective (and arguably essential) for new offerings not only from established brands, but especially companies still in startup mode. The Product Sizzle video is an opportunity to promote the unique qualities of your offering while persuading your target audience that they won’t want to live without it. With startups, building brand awareness quickly and cost-effectively at product launch is critical to long-term prospects of success and profitability.
A well-executed Product Sizzle that engages and inspires will help you stand above and outside the competition where your message can be heard over all the online noise screaming for the attention of your audience.
How to use and Analyse/Measure
Landing pages for a new product launch often include a sizzle video, which delivers the message with visuals and music in a stylish manner that text alone cannot convey. Companies that maintain a dedicated YouTube channel will also post sizzle videos for new offerings to that platform, where subscribers can receive notification that new content is available to watch. You can even embed the sizzle video in an email for use at the top of a sales funnel.
Using analytical tools provided by Google and YouTube, you’ll be able to track click-thru rates on the video itself, average time spent viewing, and the click-thru rates to your landing page where customers can make a purchase. Measuring these conversions against the number of views your video receives will help you gauge the success of the sizzle video.
Stylish visuals typically edited at a brisk pace are the hallmark of an attention-grabbing Product Sizzle video. You don’t want the messaging to move along sluggishly, or people will get bored, lose interest and click on something else. The images should tell the story. Keep text to a minimum. If text is essential, bold title cards and short “factoid” slides presented as bullet points help viewers quickly absorb the information you want to get across.
A Product Sizzle video works best when the focus is on product benefits, which is to say, how the product helps customers solve problems, fulfill their needs and wants, and live happier lives. Features, which represent the various things the product can actually do, should be secondary in the sizzle presentation. The first thing a potential customer wants to know is, “What’s in it for me?” That’s where a crisp explanation of benefits comes into play.
If visual content is king, then music must be the queen. Carefully chosen music sets the mood for your Product Sizzle video and creates an emotional response. It’s like the experience of watching a good movie, where the music and sound effects contribute tremendously to the overall impact. Keep in mind the target audience, including age and other demographics, when considering the right music to include in your Product Sizzle video.
Adding 3D to your sizzle video delivers a lot of production value. Also, 3D models can be leveraged and used in other marketing such as website product images, print materials, quick tips videos, and more.
Editing the video to the beat of the music creates a groove or rhythm that resonates with the audience.
While it may be necessary to license some music recordings, especially if you want to use popular or classic songs, so-called library music and royalty-free music is also available to manage production costs.
FreeSound.org,as the name suggests, is a database of royalty-free music and sound effects that can be downloaded and added to the audio tracks for your sizzle video.
The main takeaway is that a sizzle video should be highly polished and professional in order to captivate and persuade. There is no shortage of amateur video on the Internet, and it won’t take long for you to find and be astonished by some hideous examples of what to avoid.
Because sites like YouTube enable users to vote on content with a thumb’s up or down, a bad video’s reputation is soon visible for anyone to see without bothering to click and watch. And because one-third of all online activity involves watching videos, today’s consumers are accustomed to a quality production -- and they will notice instantly if that quality is missing in any way. There are no second chances to make a great first impression.
Process to create
An experienced team at a video production company will ask lots of questions to plan your Product Sizzle for maximum success. Planning is cheap compared to production, so mapping out a clear and comprehensive strategy is essential before the cameras roll. You want a solid plan in place at least a month before you actually need to release your sizzle video.
- Who is the target audience? Average age? Income? Education level?
- What are the top features about the product you wish to highlight? You may not be able to cover every detail about a product or service within the optimal 3-minute running time, so focus on your greatest hits.
- What emotions or feelings do you want to convey? It’s helpful to think of some adjectives that describe your product.
- What is the objective impression you need to get across? This is distinctly different from your own subjective impression about your products and services. You already know how good they are, but what does your audience need to know in order to share your point of view?
- What about interviews? Do you want the CEO on the video? How about happy customers who can provide testimonials?
- Will you need any special visuals, such as graphics or custom animations to illustrate more complex ideas and make them easier to understand?
- Where do you want to show the Product Sizzle? On YouTube? Your home page? A landing page linked to the product promoted in the video?
- Does your concept require live-action coverage (B-Roll) of customers using your product, perhaps your corporate headquarters, maybe footage of employees assembling the product?
There are 5 production stages for Product Sizzles: Discovery, Pre Production, Production, Post Production, and Delivery. Let’s walk through them.
Digital Media Collab can help with all stages, OR we can partner with you in the phases you need help with.
- Discovery – As your video production company we need to understand the project.. We’ll meet to discuss your vision, goals, and your budget and any other consideration you might have for the project. With Discovery, our mission is to understand your needs and propose a solution that fulfills them.
- Pre-Production – During this planning phase, we’ll begin work on the script for your explainer video project unless you have an in-house writer handling that task. Location scouting, hiring acting talent an AV Script and animatic, style frames. are some of the key aspects of pre-production. A/V Scripts outline each shot in the video and how they all fit together. Think of the storyboards as a blueprint or plan for creating your video.
- Production – At this stage we create we are capturing, 3D modeling and designing all the assets for each scene in your project.your project. This includes capturing video (live production), designing storyboards, getting VO (voice overs), choosing music video and audio to be used in the final explainer video.
- Post Production – Editing, Animating, sound mixing,are some of the steps involved in post production as your project approaches completion. There will be opportunities to review the work in progress and make revisions as necessary. Note: this is true for each phase. We generally do 2 rounds of reasonable revisions.
- Delivery – At this final stage, we provide a digital file of the explainer video to you. We will also, at your request, upload the video to popular viewing platforms where the target audience can find and enjoy your explainer video. Additional services can include tracking and reporting on the success of your project, editing long and short versions, adding different logos to the beginning and end, as well as other needs you may require.
Production costs for a Product Sizzle video depend on many choices, which are entirely yours to decide. Product Sizzle Videos usually start at a minimum $5,000. Here are some of the factors that affect production costs when preparing a Product Sizzle:
- Complexity of Design
- Complexity of animation
- 2D vs 3D vs video production
- Scouting and securing locations (this won’t be a factor if the entire shoot occurs on your company property or exclusively involves close-up and medium shots of a product, which can be captured in a studio).
- Hiring professional acting talent.
- Wardrobe, props and any other items needed to sell the Product Sizzle story.
- Creating extensive computer graphics and animations
- Multi-day shoots
- Licensing music
From concept to completed Product Sizzle video, the time it takes to prepare your project depends on many factors. Six weeks is the average production time. More elaborate efforts might take up to 12 weeks, depending on your vision.
The important point to remember is a Product Sizzle is only effective if it grabs and holds the audience in rapt attention, then persuades them to take action. There’s no margin of error, no room for mistakes. Audiences are sharp. They will notice flaws. And as the saying goes, you only have one opportunity to make that first impression. When it comes to introducing a new product or service, that first encounter is critical. So allow enough time to produce a Product Sizzle that you can be proud of and your target audience will never forget.
A Product Sizzle video draws traffic and keeps visitors on your website longer. The longer they stay, the better chance you have of scoring a conversion. You can set a mood, appeal to emotion, present your offering in a dazzling manner and create a personal experience for your audience. People respond to the enthusiasm of other people, which is why you see the actors in a Product Sizzle having such a good time. A great Product Sizzle is enticing. It’s inspirational. Viewers want to be a part of what you’re all about.
People live, work and play online. Digital video is a powerful way to take your message directly to the people and share your Product Sizzle with the right audience, the crowd most likely to embrace and buy what you offer.
Other key benefits:
- Give the ideal presentation of products and features at the customer’s decision point.
- State with clarity the level of detail, quality and care you put into everything you do.
- Give your customers the information they must know to hit the buy button.
- Leverage the brand identity and style established across all product videos.
- Share a lot of information in a brief amount of time.
“Reliability and delivery. Best creative service around. Not a lot of companies out there that I trust like I do them.”
-- Mike Crow, Orthofix
"Excellent to work with. Very creative and talented. Easy to work with. Creative solutions. Delivered in a timely manner."
-- Brian Czock, SonLight Productions
"One of the best, most creative, most on-point creative groups you can find. On top of that they are on-time & on-budget! With great communication along the way they make the production process enjoyable and exciting!"
-- Everett Bowes, WeTalkSocial