A video press release is a company announcement presented to the press (via a news wire, digital targeting, or email) in a video format rather than a traditional written format. These videos can then stand alone as the entire press release or can be included in a traditional written press release as a multimedia component.
When Companies Should Use a Video Press Release
Video posts enjoy, on average, 1,200% more shares than text-only content. Therefore, a video press releases can, and should, be used whenever a company wants to increase its chances for engagement and earn coverage on a variety of media outlets. As an added benefit, this strategy can also generate a better performance track record with your target audience, which can, in turn, improve the likelihood that future press releases will be picked up.
Another reason companies use video press releases is that the format makes it easier to target media contacts that would benefit from a video to cover the story for their audiences. For example, a company wants to target a press release at a local TV news station. By including a video, the company is offering the news station content in a format that can be aired as-is in a broadcast segment, which saves the local station from creating it themselves.
Another company would like to target social media influencers on Twitter. The company’s PR agent or owner knows videos receive higher engagement than text-only tweets, and therefore may include a video of the company’s news story as a multimedia element of a written press release or as a stand-alone press release.
1. Choose a Type of Video Press Releases
Just as there are many types of written press releases, video press releases can take many forms. However, if you plan to include the video as part of a written press release instead of issuing it as stand-alone news, the format you choose should complement the information already covered in your text while not repeating that information.
Examples of the types of video press releases include:
This type of video depicts a company spokesperson answering questions for the benefit of the viewer. There are many types of press releases that need a personal touch from a key spokesperson in your company. Merger, acquisition, new partnership, or crisis communication press releases all involve situations that may leave some stakeholders feeling fear of the unknown.
An executive earnestly assuring customers that their information will never be stolen again due to new security measures the company is implementing will likely go further in calming fears with customers than a written statement that could be read with any tone the reader imposes on it. Likewise, a positively toned interview with executives from both merging companies laying out how jobs will and will not be affected by the merger removes the unknown factors that can often make a merger an anxiety-fest for the two merging companies’ staff.
Product Tours or Demos
A product tour poses a problem a business’ target reader is likely facing, then shows how the product can solve that problem. A product tour video release often accompanies a product update or product launch press release. It is a great option for complex products like marketing or accounting software that would be tedious to explain in written text alone. It can also be used to showcase the expertise of business employees and help the employee and the product appear more approachable via a positive, friendly, down-to-earth tone to the video presentation.
A customer testimonial features someone who has used a business product or service and an accounting of their experience with the company’s offerings. For a journalist looking to cover a story, a customer testimonial helps to round out their story with a new perspective (someone outside of the company). For potential customers, it offers a peek into what they would likely experience if they choose to purchase from the company. While companies could just offer a written statement from a customer, a video offers more information through body language, voice, and tone that adds further credibility to the testimonial.
Sneak peeks are behind-the-scenes videos that create buzz by, for example, showcasing a glimpse of a new product, upcoming event, or business launch. It offers an air of authenticity and excitement around the upcoming announcement. A great way to continue the buzz-building campaign is by including other interactive ways people can stay up-to-date on the developing story. You can do so by, for example, including a hashtag in your video that viewers can then follow to learn more.
A company profile video often replaces a press release boilerplate and includes the information traditionally provided in the boilerplate. This information includes the company’s mission statement, time in business, overview of products or services, and company awards won. It should also include a way people can learn more about the business, like a website URL. By showcasing a company’s CEO or C-suite employee talking about the business, the company can better showcase the passion and expertise behind the brand.
A cutting-edge option offered by some press release creation and distribution companies like Business Wire is the interactive video. This could take different formats. It could be a static image where readers are prompted to interact to open videos related to the content within the image. Likewise, videos can prompt similar interaction to learn more about content depicted within. These types of interactive content are ideal for product launches, product updates, event announcements, and business launches where readers can explore new concepts.
Overall, the benefit of interactive video content includes more ways to track reader interactions and so gain insights into their preferences and interests for future campaign promotion and retargeting. In addition, greater engagement often means an increase in press release views: LinkedIn reports that interactive content can increase page views by as much as 400%.
2. Produce Your Press Release
Different avenues you can take to produce your video press release include making your own via a mobile device or a professional video production toolkit, or hiring a press release service to produce the video for you. If you want to create your own press release via a professional video production toolkit, you will need a microphone, high-quality video recorder, proper lighting, transitional or background music (optional), a backdrop, a tripod, and video editing tools.
Here is a deeper look at ways you can produce your video press release:
Option 1: Using In-house Professional Production Equipment
Professional production equipment can cost tens of thousands of dollars, more than most small businesses have to invest. However, there are intermediate production equipment kits that can keep costs within a range of about $2,000 and still produce quality videos. To create a high-quality video, you’ll need a high-quality DSLR video recorder, a lapel microphone (for individual speakers), a dangling microphone (for multiple speakers in one video shot), a lighting kit, a backdrop kit, a tripod, and editing software.
Here’s the basics of what you need to know about each:
- Video recorder: Opt for a DSLR video recorder. These offer higher-quality still images and recordings than your typical iPhone camera. You also get more control over lighting settings so your video doesn’t come out with weird tints or a dark viewing experience. Consider a video camera like the Canon EOS Rebel T7i.
- Microphone(s): Most recorders can record images and sound. However, they often capture background noise in disruptive ways. To cut out this background sound and focus on a clear, crisp sound for your speakers, you need to buy a separate microphone. There are two different types of microphones that are useful for production of a press release video. A lapel microphone and a dangling microphone. A lapel microphone is clipped on the collar of one speaker while a dangling microphone is useful when there is a group of people speaking in your video. An example of a good lapel microphone is the Rode RodeLink FM Wireless Microphone, while an example of a good dangling microphone is the Rode VideoMic Go.
- Lighting and backdrop: For best results, your video lighting has to be extremely consistent. The easiest way to do this is to refrain from mixing natural and artificial light and, if you use artificial light, using the same types of bulbs in all lighting. So, if you choose to use only natural light, make sure there is enough of it that you don’t have to supplement it with artificial light. Consistent artificial lighting can be accomplished with a lighting kit like the Neewer Lighting and Backdrop kit. This also comes with a backdrop, or a green screen, that allows you to input alternative backgrounds in the video editing process.
- Tripod: A tripod allows you to set the camera on a base from which to film, eliminating filming shakiness that can cause your video to look like a home video. An example of a popular quality tripod for your video filming is the Manfrotto Video Tripod.
- Background music (optional): Background music can be used for transitions in your video or for setting the right mood for your message. Be careful to always use music you either have the copyrights to or that is royalty-free or belongs to the public domain. Websites like Freestockmusic.com, AudioMicro.com, and RoyaltyFreeMusic.com offer a selection of royalty-free music you can use for your video.
- Editing software: Editing software can be anywhere from basic to very advanced. Advanced editing software can require quite a learning curve before being able to adequately edit your video. Editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro offers individual licenses starting at $250 per year. While advanced and so requiring a learning curve, it is not something you can’t learn using YouTube videos. However, if you want to be able to produce a video quickly without a somewhat lengthy learning curve for the editing process, you might go with an editing software like Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Camtasia, or ScreenFlow.
Option 2: Outsourcing With a Press Release Service
Some press release production and distribution services offer video production and editing services for targeted audiences, and then distribute your press release. You can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,800 for this type of service to produce and distribute your video press release for you.
For example, with plans starting at $1,275, 30 Second Video Marketing is a primarily video press release production and distribution company. They first produce a high-quality HD video (up to 1080 pixels) of between 30 and 90 seconds featuring your logo and message. The service then distributes your video press release to over 300,000 subscribing journalists by email and across targeted newspaper, TV, radio, and social media websites. If your video press release is merely a component of a written press release, they will also write your press release copy for a set fee.
Option 3: Recording Yourself With a Mobile Device
Before giving tips on how to make this work, we want to be clear that this route isn’t a great idea, simply because journalists need professionally produced content for their stories (unless it is a home video, feel-good story they are running). You want to provide the quality of content journalists can use as-is in their pieces. This shows journalists your company is a professional company worth covering. A mobile device often doesn’t provide the polished look necessary to send this message.
However, if you are bent on using a mobile device like an iPhone, for example, here are some tips:
- First, always use a tripod to ensure your video is steady. A shaky video will give your release a home-made instead of professional feel.
- Second, film your video in horizontal mode so it will adjust to the screen size of viewers. Next, use natural lighting (and lots of it) to create a clear viewing experience. If you can’t use plenty of natural light, set up lots of lighting around the room where you are filming.
- Finally, use a microphone instead of your mobile device speakers alone to cut out any irrelevant noises.
3. Host Your Video Press Release
The top two video hosting platforms today are YouTube and Vimeo. Each has strengths and weaknesses as well as unique price points. When hosting via YouTube, you get a huge audience on the second-biggest search engine in the world. Vimeo, in contrast, offers a smaller audience but a more professional audience and viewer experience.
YouTube is a great option for hosting your press release video simply because it is the largest search engine after Google and is also the second-most visited site after Google. If you want exposure and searchability for your video, YouTube is a great platform. The best news here is hosting your video on YouTube is free. And, you can easily optimize your video to be easily found by your target audience.
Uploading a video to YouTube is as simple as creating an account with YouTube Studio, then clicking the “Create” button, and selecting your video. Here is a brief video by Google (YouTube’s parent company) showing the process:
To optimize your video for free during the uploading process, you can rename your video file to include a keyword your target audience is likely to use to find similar content, use your keyword in your video title (in a natural, not forced way), use keywords in your video description, tag your video with keywords your target audience is likely to use in search, and categorize your video based on topic. To learn more about how to do optimize your video to reach your target audience, read HubSpot’s guide on optimizing your video for YouTube.
Second to YouTube as the largest video hosting platform, Vimeo offers a cleaner, more professional video hosting experience than YouTube. Videos hosted there can be viewed by audiences with no interruptions from ads of any kind.
While you get a more professional audience and presentation via Vimeo, the downfall of this platform is that Vimeo’s audience is much smaller. While YouTube offers you an audience of 2 billion monthly visitors, Vimeo’s audience tops at 714 million views per month. Still, with higher-quality video viewing experiences, Vimeo’s audience is more professional than that of YouTube.
Creating or uploading a custom video is quite easy. In their plans starting at $50 dollars a month (they do have cheaper plans), you can create a custom video for your brand complete with your logo, message, and call to action. You can even run your video by their professional team for feedback on how to improve it. In addition to using their video editing tools and video templates to create a custom video, you can also simply upload your preproduced video by clicking “New Video,” then “Upload” from the top right-hand corner of their homepage.
4. Distribute Your Video Press Release
You can send your video press release manually via email, via an automated distribution service, or both. Manually emailing your press release allows you to hand-pick, then personalize, a pitch to a journalist. A press release service allows you to mass target journalists and influencers with your press release. Because each means of sending a press release offers its own strengths, we recommend using both.
Sending a Press Release Manually
Sending your press release manually means emailing journalists directly with your press release, including an explanation as to why your story will be valuable to your audience and information on how they can contact you with questions. Distributing your press release manually allows you to pitch specific journalists with whom you’ve already built a relationship and you know are highly likely to be interested in covering your story.
To learn how to distribute your press release via email, including how to pinpoint the right media personnel to pitch, how to find their contact information, and how to pitch them, read our guide on how to send a press release. If you choose to distribute your video release manually via email, instead of attaching a video to an email, publish your video on your own website and then send a link where email recipients can view it. This will keep your video from clogging up your recipient’s inbox with large files.
Using an Automated Distribution Service
Sending your press release automatically via a distribution service means uploading your release to a distribution software, choosing your targeting options, and paying the software to distribute your press release to your target audience across hundreds or thousands of outlets instantly. While you can’t hand-pick receiving journalists using a distribution service, you can ensure your release quickly reaches large lists of journalists interested in covering stories related to your news topic.
However, before using a distribution service, you must choose the right one for you. There are many, many different press release services from which you can choose. For help choosing a press release service that is suitable for your small business needs and budget, read our 2020 buyer’s guide for press release distribution services.
As you look through your choices, here are some added tips to keep in mind specifically when choosing and using an automated service to distribute a video-only or video-included press release:
- Video attachment and embedding options: Some distribution services allow you to either attach or embed your video. However, if you want to distribute your press release across broadcast, you can simply attach your video to be sent to newsrooms as broadcasters can then play your video without needing it to be embedded in your written press release.
- Added costs: Some press release distribution services only offer free video attachments or embedding in their most expensive plans. And, still others charge a separate fee for video embedding or attachments (up to $300 per asset) regardless of the plan you choose.
- Video performance tracking availability: Make sure the press release distribution service you choose offers in-depth reporting that includes metrics related to video consumption and engagement. Such metrics could include video downloads, plays, views, and view times.
Pro tip: Most press release distribution services offer sample press release performance tracking reports to help you assess their video performance reporting options. While many offer these samples on their websites, you can also simply contact a representative and ask for one directly.
5 Video Press Release Best Practices
For best results when producing a video press release, stick to a newsworthy, not advertorial angle. Tell the story using words that resonate with your target audience and film several takes of each scene in your video press release so you can edit your video for greatest quality and clarity.
Here are five more best video press release practices:
1. Produce an Ad-free Feel to Your Video
The aim of a press release should not be to sell but to provide a valuable, newsworthy story for journalists to cover. To do so, it should address the concerns of your audience and answer the question “why should I care?” from your target audience’s perspective.
Once you’ve pinpointed why your audience should care, the release should elaborate on that angle. A video press release should be used to add further detail to your answer to this question. If your video is a part of a written press release, it should elaborate on a detail of that angle without repeating what has already been presented in the rest of your press release. For example, you may have more than one answer to “why should my audience care?” Your video may offer one answer to that question in further detail than your written press release did.
2. Tell a Story of Your Target Audience
Your video press release should be used to tell a story to and of your target audience. The story should focus on what your news story means in the lives of target audience members. It should not be merely a statement to your target audience.
This means incorporating visuals and information that pertains to and are of your target audience. If you are presenting statistics to back up your claims, include a graphic of the statistics that are about or directly impact your target audience. If you are showing someone using (and so benefiting from) business offerings within the community, depict someone who belongs to your target audience.
For example, if you are announcing the opening of a new real estate agent office within a new community, showcase statistics of the housing market within your community. Use those statistics to tell the story of how your company solves a problem your local target audience is currently facing. To make it newsworthy, showcase how your agency will offer a new service in the area by filling a gap in the market that negatively impacts your target audience members.
Then, tell the story of how you solved that problem for a family or individual within your target market. You could film a quality house tour with a family that belongs to your target market—including people with the same demographics and interests of your target market—and showcase their journey from looking for a new home to purchase to living in their new dream home.
You could finish your video with images of other target audience members you have served. In this way, you tell the story of your target market’s problem and your solution to it and, in doing so, you make target audience viewers feel like they belong with your company.
3. Include a Variety of Visual & Interactive Assets for Journalists
Make it easy for journalists of all types to run with your story. To do so, include a variety of visual and interactive assets from which they can choose when exploring and presenting your story for their readers, viewers, or listeners.
For example, a journalist interested in publishing your story on a news site and on social media might benefit from a short video, a still image of how your business is impacting your target audience, a graph of the statistics surrounding your story, hashtags people can use to follow the story, and the handles of industry influencers who are involved in your video. They can pick and choose among these elements to present an engaging story on either platform for their readers.
Think like a journalist and provide the elements a journalist would use to present your video or the information within on a variety of platforms. You can also check out our guide to social media press releases for more information about how to further boost your video press release’s engagement potential on social media.
4. Film Several Takes of Each Scene in Your Video
To make a quality video, you need to ensure that every scene is professional quality and offers the audience the detail or overview they need to fully comprehend the content. As you are filming, take a shot of each scene several times.
For example, film each shot in close-up and standing back some. That way, as you are editing your video, if you sense your viewers need a close-up shot of your product for better detail when describing a complex concept, you can use your close-up shot. These choices can make the difference between an engaging, consumable video and one that is clicked off of after a few seconds of viewing.
5. Embed Your Video in a Published Press Release, if Possible
If you publish a press release to a news wire or on your website, if you can, embed your video into your press release using the video embed code. Doing so means journalists, influencers, and other readers do not have to click off your press release to view the video.
This means a greater chance they will stick around to consume your whole message—your whole answer regarding why your target audience (and journalists’ target audiences) should care about your news story. Because they stay to hear your entire argument, this added time reading and interacting with your press release could mean the difference between press coverage and no press coverage.
Video Press Release Examples
Garmin’s press release includes two videos. Journalists can download both videos for uploading on their coverage platform of choice. The first video clearly depicts the story of Garmin’s target audience members (young, athletic individuals) using their new product to solve a problem in their lives, namely the problem of their watch running out of battery power in the middle of their outdoor adventures. It showcases how their new solar energy watch allows athletes to stay outside and disconnected longer.
The second video provided in this release is an interview with multiple stakeholders within the company who were responsible for developing the new watch and its technology. In the interview, Garmin product managers and marketing managers tell the story of how the watch’s revolutionary, solar-powered technology was created and tested.
In doing so, Garmin employees answer questions like what is new about the new version of the Garmin watch, why it is special, who it serves, and why it’s revolutionary. All of these answers are newsworthy angles journalists can explore, then pull quotes from the video to present well-rounded coverage for their readers. When a new stakeholder speaks on the video, their name and title is overlaid so journalists can properly attribute quotes.
These two videos don’t repeat information but instead complement each other. They do so by offering a view of the watch from two perspectives: the people who created the technology behind the new watch and the target audience members who are to benefit from the product launch. By being complementary and not repetitive, the two videos help journalists create a well-rounded story with multiple perspectives for their readers.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s press release offers a clearly newsworthy angle when it states that “a system to communicate using quantum mechanics represents one of the most important technological frontiers of the 21st century.” The video provided features the Deputy Director of Research at Firmilab and Senior Scientist at Chicago Quantum Exchange breaking down a hugely complex concept into layman’s terms so as to describe what this new technology would mean for the everyday consumer.
This is a great example of a press release that, instead of tediously providing a lengthy explanation of a complex concept in writing, easily shows the reader via explanation and images how a complex concept could affect them. By showing instead of just telling, readers more easily grasp the magnitude and wonder of this extremely complex technology and how it could revolutionize their lives, creating buy-in from readers and a desire to continue following the story and learning more.
Then, the U.S. Department of Energy offers journalists every type of media imaginable to tell the story in a way their audiences will embrace. A folder is provided with audio recordings, more videos, an image gallery, a Q&A (interview), brochures, and a full report of the developments. There is even an opportunity to watch the live stream of the event that launched the blueprint. In the end, each media asset contributes to a whole story of how this technology is being developed and where it is heading. In addition, the variety of media assets provided gives journalists all the tools they need to cover the story on any platform—from print and broadcast to digital outlets.
Benefits of a Video Press Release
Whether added to a text-based press release or as a stand-alone press release, video press releases can earn brands a higher engagement rate, increased touchpoints to earn conversions, deeper performance tracking, the ability to earn coverage on a variety of outlets, and more engagement across devices. Here’s how:
We now know that video offers higher engagement rates than other types of media. Consider these statistics:
- 60% of people will stop watching a video after two minutes, while only 5% will stop watching a video after one minute. In comparison, the average reader spends just 37 seconds reading a text-based post. Longer engagement times mean more knowledge of your brand message.
- While just 20% of people will read text on a webpage, 80% will watch a video on the same page.
- Websites that incorporate video content are 50 times more likely to earn traffic from organic search. This means that journalists who include your video when publishing their coverage of your story are more likely to earn traffic to your story.
These statistics show that stories that include video garner more traffic, have lower bounce rates, earn more view time, and enjoy more social media shares than those without. This means that, if you want your story to better reach your target audience, get consumed by its members, and be shared among more of your target market, video is a great tool to help you reach those goals.
Increased Touchpoints & Conversions
It takes an average of seven touchpoints with your brand for leads to become customers. When you create a press release with more touchpoints (by adding video to text, for example), you speed up your lead to conversion time as readers don’t have to wait to encounter your brand elsewhere to enjoy a second touchpoint.
But, there’s more: Not only does video offer another touchpoint to inch readers closer to converting, but it is one of the most effective media formats for doing so. According to 70% of marketers, video increases conversions better than other media formats. They also found that, when they replaced images with video, their conversion rates increased by 12.62% on average. On the consumer end, 50% of online consumers actively search for a product video prior to purchasing.
Better Performance Tracking
Adding a video to your press release allows you more ways to track reader interactions with and interest in your press release story. While a text-based press release can offer you insights into click rates, bounce rates, and even time-on-page, a video can add metrics like download rates, play rates, and the content people are viewing when they continue viewing your video versus when they stop viewing.
These added trackable metrics add a deeper dimension to your understanding of your reader. For example, learning when people stop viewing your video content versus when they continue viewing can give you insights into which parts of your news story were most interesting to your readers. Most likely, if your readers stop watching your video at certain times, the content has ceased to interest them. Clearly, more metrics to track give you more ways of understanding your press release reader and their preferences. These insights can then be used to better create retargeting and press release promotion campaigns.
Earned Coverage on a Variety of Outlets
While written content is easily used on websites and even on social media, some outlets just need more. And even on those outlets that are suitable for sharing text-based press releases, video-based stories are more eagerly embraced than text-based stories alone.
For example, local news outlets need visual content to share on a visual medium. Providing a video helps news broadcasters put together a well-rounded story they can show, not just reiterate. We’ve already discussed why video is a better fit than text for mobile outlets like news apps. On social media, video is more popular: four out of six of the top video consumption channels are social media platforms. Even in email, the mention of the word “video” in a subject line increases open rates by 19%. Clearly, video is versatile, making your story more accessible on a variety of outlets.
Better Accessibility Across Devices
Mobile video consumption rises, on average, 100% every year. In addition, consumers are 1.5 times more likely to watch a video on a mobile device than on desktop, and 68% of consumers say they prefer to learn about a new product or service launch via video. Finally, 92% of consumers who watch a mobile video will share it with someone they know.
These statistics show that consumers are embracing video to learn about business offerings, and that they are doing so on mobile more than on any other device. Moreover, they are sharing branded mobile videos with like-minded contacts. This means a video press release is likely to attract a mobile audience and that mobile audience is likely to help you reach more of your target audience via more shares.
Companies that issue video press releases often enjoy higher news story engagement, a coverage across a variety of outlet types, faster lead-to-conversion times, and the ability to deeply track viewer engagement. This makes them an increasingly popular tool for increasing brand awareness.
If you are a small business looking to distribute a video press release on a small business budget, consider PRWeb. Starting at $289 per release, you can enjoy free video embedding in your written press release, editorial proofreading and feedback so you can distribute with confidence, press release placement on PRWeb’s news wire, the ability to target your press release by industry, and press release syndication to over 1,200 websites. Click here to learn more about PRWeb.