If you are a startup founder, or very early in your journey chances are that your marketing budgets are minimal, if there is any.
What are your marketing options? Direct outreach, content marketing, or some kind of guerilla marketing technique, but even some of those cost some money.
More expensive techniques, for example, paid ads might be an option if you have some marketing budget but they require more than just setting up a Facebook AD, they require more assets — for example, copy, or photos, or videos and that’s where the problem arises — those things are expensive and that’s probably why you don’t do it.
What if i told you that you can create a promotional video for free?
Okay, so every video needs the starting point — the idea. In my case, all i know is that i want a 20–30-second video AD to show off my product on social media and i want to spend $0 on it.
There are a few different kinds of videos i can create:
- Motion graphics, meaning that the content of the videos will be digitally made and/or animated.
- Live-action, i can take my phone and actually record it.
- Blend of some sorts, so this can maybe be a screen recording of my product, with some cool graphics overlayed.
Let’s see what kind of a free promotional video can we make.
We can pick the low hanging fruit first.
A live-action ad
This one is actually very easy to produce, all you need is your phone and a script. In order to create a script for your free promotional video you need to know 3 things:
- Problem — What problem is your product solving?
- Solution — How is it solving that problem?
- Resolution — What are the results of that?
When you think about it, it’s actually fairly straightforward and simple. This is what’s called the three-act structure, and it’s been around for ages.
Let’s see this on a real-world example, and let’s create a script for our ad:
Hi! My name is Neb and i am the co-founder of Plainly. We are aware that most big eCom shops constantly create similar videos for different products.
That’s why we created Plainly — a simple video generator allowing you to connect After Effects templates with product data and automatically generate as many videos as you need.
We help our customers automate their video production workflow, and create more video ads.
Start generating more video ads then ever. Go to plainlyvideos.com and sign up for a free trial.
That’s it! You have a script ready, you can record it with your phone, and you are done.
You don’t need to edit this video, it’s enough if you cut the beginning and the end on your default phone video editor. Yes, you will need to get everything right in one go, there is no cutting in between but this is a short script and you will be able to do it.
A motion graphics ad
There is a ton of free resources out there, and using these you can create a simple motion graphics ad.
In this case, i want to use a few different techniques. I want to open up with a strong statement overlayed on top of a stock image or video, then move into a product description with some product shots maybe on a mockup and then end with a strong and simple text Call To Action. This is what i want, let’s see what can i actually make.
How will i edit all of these together?
A little program on Windows 10 called Photos — i kid you not.
I searched quite a lot for a free online video editor but nothing, they all offer a free video creation with watermark, but you need to actually pay to remove the watermark. Not good enough.
That’s why we need to resort to something offline if you are using Windows 10 use Photos, just type it in your search bar and you will find it. I am not sure what to use if you are on a Mac, but i know that there is a free video editor on there also!
Okay, now when we got the editing settled, let’s find our assets.
For the intro, i’ll download a free stock video of a website called Pexels. It’s an amazing free stock video library and you can find all sorts of stuff there. I love that website!
I’ve decided to go with something business-oriented, to address our target audience.
I’ll sort out the text overlay and everything else in my video editor. But i still need to find a better way to present my product, because just pure screenshots is not enough.
That’s where mockups come in!
I’ll use a website called SmartMockups for this, they offer some free mockups on the free plan and that’s all i need. I’ll place Plainly’s homepage on a few laptops, and on a few phones and then we can add some text overlay in the video editor after.
Mockups are a great way to show off your product, they are often visually pleasing and a much better way to present your product than a simple screenshot.
I’ll put these in the middle, explaining my product but we need the ending.
And for that, i want to circle back to stock footage and finish with that so i will download another video from Pexels.
When i got all of that, it’s time to start editing!
After i imported all of my assets into my money-making, i mean Photos it was a straightforward process of stitching videos and adding text.
I am honestly, pretty amazed by the video i created. I mean it’s not top class but it’s made for free and in 20 minutes — i can’t believe it.
You can check the created video here:
A colleague of mine showed me their campaign and they are actually using this type of video for it — it converts. For this one i will be using Loom to create a screen recording and show off my product.
Loom is an amazing software, it allows you to record your screen with your camera on, it automatically uploads your video onto the web and it’s free.
Create a similar script as for the live-action video, you need to showcase the problem, the solution, and the resolution, try it out a few times and start recording.
After you recorded your video, import it back into the video editing software and add some text and the intro/outro.
This should be perfectly fine and you will have a blend type of video on your hands.
If your product is good enough, a simple ad like this will surely make sales. This can be achieved by a similar free promotional video. You don’t need a fancy promotional video if you are solving a burning problem. Sure it’s nice to have them, and the big companies do it, but with some creativity and time, you can create something that can help you explain to people what is it that your product is doing.
There are a lot of paid tools, you could create even more amazing stuff with these ones and for a lot less time.
If you wish to automate your video production process, you should learn more about how Plainly works. It allows you to create as many videos as you need in a few clicks. Check out Plainly to learn more.