Many small businesses believe that producing and getting air time on television is far too expensive to fit their marketing budget, so they don't even explore that possibility. That can be a huge mistake, as creating commercials isn't actually out of reach for many small businesses, and they can serve as an efficient way to establish credibility and build trust in your brand.
High-quality commercials can draw people in, potentially increasing your sales figures by large volumes in a short amount of time. Poor commercials can do the exact opposite. Learn handy tips for creating successful TV commercials below!
Decide on a Subject and Call-to-Action
Plenty of business owners believe that the first thing they should do when planning a commercial is to spend hours, days, or weeks coming up with a snappy concept and creative plot that will catch viewers' attention and generate buzz. While you certainly should put some thought into what you want your commercial to be like, the first thing you should decide is what you want your commercial to accomplish.
It could increase brand awareness, get more foot traffic in physical stores, or generate more online sales. No matter what the goal of your commercial is, you must clearly define it before making any other decisions about your commercial. From there, you will have to design a call to action that will guide your audience to take the action you want them to. So, if your goal is to generate more online sales, your call to action should be along the lines of "visit our website for great deals."
Failing to define your goal and the subsequent call-to-action can make your commercial seem nonsensical to viewers, and it can do more harm to your brand than good. For this reason, deciding on a subject and call-to-action is perhaps one of the most essential tips for successful TV commercials.
Write Your Script
Writing a script can take plenty of time and thought, but it's imperative for the success of your commercial. Not only does it help you feel more organized, but it also helps you verify that the commercial you are pitching can help your business reach its goal. Commercial scripts look different than TV, movie, or play scripts, mainly because they are far shorter- usually somewhere between 15 seconds to one minute.
Commercial scripts often have two columns: one for the visual content and one for the audio. The visual column, of course, conveys what shows onscreen, while the audio lists any dialogue, voice-over, or sound effects.
Pick Actors for Your Commercial
If your commercial involves a storyline surrounding real people, you must decide who you want to feature in the commercial. Do you want to hire professional actors, or would you rather showcase your employees? For some types of commercials, actors are the better choice. For other projects, prospective customers may appreciate seeing real employees or the owner in the commercial.
Business owners have far more options than the above choices, as they can rely on animations or base them entirely around a company mascot. Some businesses have made commercials that only feature animals too!
Create a Shot List
Once your script is complete, the next step is to create a shot list. Shot lists are even more detailed than scripts, as they consist of sketches of each frame along with the script. This is where you note locations, desired graphics, and B-roll. Clear and well-made shot lists are valuable in that they help you cut down on costs by getting everyone on the same page from the beginning. Plus, they make the process of shooting and editing your commercial much easier and faster.
Conduct the Shoot
Perhaps the most exciting part of the process is conducting the shoot. You can do this on your own successfully, though most small businesses hire professional production teams to handle this part to ensure the commercial looks cohesive and professional. Before hiring a contractor, however, you must consider and calculate the size of the production team you will need for the shoot to run smoothly and how long you predict the process will take.
The professional production staff you are considering may also help you with these calculations, and they can also suggest which pieces of equipment and props you may need on set on shoot days.
Finalize with Post-Production
Post-production consists of video and sound editing, adding graphics, and performing other tasks that make your commercial polished and ready to air. Poor post-production can make your commercial look cheap and unprofessional, and most of us have seen commercials of this caliber before. On the other hand, quality post-production can make your commercial look well put together, which alludes to the professionalism and quality of your brand as a whole.
Need Help with Your Commercial? Get in Touch with a Media Partner!
Creating commercials can be a taxing and overwhelming endeavor, but the process can be made far easier by working with a qualified media partner. Media partners have the experience and know-how to create compelling commercials quickly and efficiently while staying within budget.