A sizzle reel in industry circles is a kind of video that is usually within 5 minutes long and is primarily a business-to-business way to promote a product or service. Unlike explainer videos or promo videos, sizzle reels are not normally meant to be seen by the general public. It is a communication tool that is designed to convey the message across to business partners and at times control groups and in closed environments. Gone are the days when a simple powerpoint would suffice in this situations. Sizzle reels, as the name suggest, is fast paced, packed with easy to understand information and gives an overview without getting into too much details.
You cannot or do not want to use the same presentation that you would use to promote the product to the general public with business partners. A well-placed, produced and executed sizzle can place your product in the perfect setting that will attract the right kind of people for your product. A poorly made one can turn people off to the very concept, so it has to be done right. Here are seven ways to create the perfect sizzle reel for your service or product.
Go full HD
It goes without saying that fancy graphics and colorful slides will not make a good video. If you have crappy footage, bad writing, and poor sound, no amount of computer guided wizardry can make it suddenly better. So write it out like you would a presentation, get professional help in shooting, setting up sound and then go in for a shoot. Hire a videographer to do it for you. You can go about learning the basics of film making, everything from lighting to framing and sound recording has to be done in crisp high-definition. The idea is to go to the best possible quality when you record, every bit of editing is going to reduce the overall quality of the film, so start at the highest possible resolution, always.
Content is everything
Your video is going to replace the slideshow, so it should be a video, not a moving slideshow. Make sure your video has very little text, if you must, make sure your text is in the form of kinetic typography. It is a lot more appealing that tons of text simply scrolling along the screen. Even there, use it sparingly and only for bringing out a punchline or something that will be a lot more impactful when read as opposed to spoken.
Bring out visuals and animations as much as possible. Remember that while all of these fancy tricks are important, it is the underlying content that will hold the video up. Like paint over a house, it should make the building's presentation aesthetic, not cover up for bad architecture. Music is as important as the visuals, so make sure to get music that doesn't sound like elevator music or obvious stock music, match the visuals with sound that makes sense in that context.
Don't spend too much on it
Sizzle reels need not have the same budget as, say an explainer video or a campaign video. It is going to be shown to a much smaller audience, so you can cut corners and it need not be as good looking as a your other videos. It should in no way be shoddy as well, so learn the tricks of the trade. There are several ways to get free, or nearly free video editing software, video clips, animation and sound bits.
Hunt for these sources online and make the best use of them. It is possible to get near professional level quality in such places with minimal investment. Don't overdo the free bits though, you still need a high quality product. Spend where you have to, just don't go overboard. Your sizzle should be either top notch, or should not even exist, there can be no in-betweens. Melty Cone is a sizzle reel production company in NYC.
Work to your audience
Your sizzle is going to be a professional communication device and it has a specific audience. Here, the traditional tools like humor, punchlines, salesy talk, exaggerations, and claims with promises and other things like that might not work. Not only that, it may be unnecessary. Data, statistics, figures, and hard evidence is what you need to go for here. Fill it in with snippets, product overviews and other things that work toward bringing your company out along with your brand and product.
Know your audience, you may not have to project this video to the world, only to a closed group of people, so you may even want to get rid of unnecessary flair. Or you may want to keep all of it in. It is all speaking to an audience and projecting your product.
Keep it concise
Remember that a sizzle is known for its brevity. It's a sizzle, so it shouldn't last too long, don't let it simmer. Tell your story, bring your brand out and introduce the service or product, all within 3 to 5 minutes. Remember that a presentation that goes on for 15 minutes can be finished within 5 in video form. The sizzle will only introduce the product, not give a complete textbook on it. It is to get people interested, you can even have an open mic conversation for further clarity after the session.
Are you ready to get started on your own sizzle reel? How would you do it? Use the above suggestions as a base to build your idea on and create the perfect sizzle.
What is Melty Cone? Melty Cone is a full-service video production company in NYC. We make videos from start to finish; from creative idea conception to final video delivery.