Make That Pitch Sizzle!
Here’s How to Max Out Those Short, Fast-Paced Promotional Videos for Your Invention or Product by April Mitchell
THIS SUMMER, my team did a video shoot on the beach for a new outdoor/yard game. I wanted to create a sizzle video to present to companies in hopes of licensing my game.
A sizzle video is short, fast-paced and compilation style, showcasing the benefits of your product or business. Usually 2-3 minutes long, it often features mixed media that includes live-action, b-roll footage, short video clips, testimonials, reviews, etc.
When you’re pitching new products to companies, these videos can be very helpful to showcase your product—and can give more detail than a sell sheet. I find videos to be of extra importance in the toy and game industry. This is because “showing” the fun is a lot easier in a video.
Making these videos for new products has become a norm in our house. The first sizzle video I made by myself was for my product, the Right Height Adjustable over-the-door hook. There was a learning curve. I watched a lot of YouTube videos to learn how to use an editing program, but I got it done and it helped me land a licensing deal. Although it was not a fancy video, it got the point across by showing the problem as well as the solution my product provided.
Now I like to add extra fun to the videos when I can! See the YouTube link at the end of this column to view my 57-second sizzle video. Sizzle videos can make the difference in landing that licensing deal you are so badly seeking. I am convinced that I landed my licensing deals due to my sizzle videos. I’d like to share some information and tips about these videos here in hopes that you will consider making and presenting a sizzle video the next time you want to submit or pitch a new product to a company.
Storyboard it up
First, decide what it is that you want to tell and show about your product. No matter what your product is, it is important to lay out what views of photos or videos you want to show and their order, along with the voiceover script that aligns with what your video will say. Thinking about these things and laying them out beforehand will help you focus on the video shots to make your video. Once you have the planned shots aligned with what will be said in the video, type up the voiceover script separate and record it—or hire a professional to read it in the tone of voice you would like. Note: During the video shoot, do not have someone say or read the voiceover. That is to be done separately.
Getting the shots
If your product solves a problem, be sure to start with the problem—and then showcase your product and how it is the solution to that problem. If you are presenting a toy or game, showcase how to play with it and how fun it is. The video should be exciting and high energy. Whatever the product may be, get different views or angles. Think about the uses of the product, too. Take short videos of the shots you need, then combine them to make your sizzle video. You can’t record a 30-minute video of your game being played and expect people to watch it!
Shoot videos of the product where the consumer actually would use it once it is bought from the store. If it is a kitchen product, shoot the video there; if it is an outdoors product, same thing. If you need to go somewhere out of your home, I suggest going early in the morning before the area gets too busy. In my recent case of shooting at the beach, we went early so there weren’t too many people so we had a lot of space and not a lot of eyes watching what we were doing. I have also shot a video at a local bar. Match the video with the product you are presenting.
Choose a video editor site that will work best for YOU; do not pick something so complicated it will take months to figure out. I recently made the switch from iMovie to Movavi and am so happy I did. There are a lot of great “extra” features I’m learning how to use now. iMovie was a great introduction video editor for me, and now I am needing and wanting a bit more. There are a lot of great video editors— including inShot and CyberLink PowerDirector 365. Look and find one that looks user-friendly to you and can fit your budget.
Choosing actors or play testers to video using your product seems like a no-brainer, but it makes a huge difference who you choose to be in your video. Yes, I usually have my family or friends help, but be sure to ask or pick people who are going to smile and look like they are enjoying the new product. You may even want to choose people who can “act” a little or get into things easily and have fun with great expressions on
their faces. Remember to enjoy the journey! It may take time getting the hang of making sizzle videos, but I think it’s worth it and shows you are willing to go the extra mile for the product.