Promo Videos: What Really Matters (with Examples)

Planning to create a promo video to increase conversions? Good idea.

What’s the most important part? Your video has to be damn good. Like interesting to watch. Compelling.

Quality = Attention span

Your promo video only does you good if people actually watch it. And like it.

As Seinfeld said, “There is no such thing as an attention span. There is only the quality of what you are viewing.” This captures the essence of a great promotional video.

For example, I had a fitness product that I sold (passively). I made a promo video for it. A pure sales pitch. These were the audience retention stats for that video (via YouTube):

video engagement statistics from promo video on youtube.

As you can see, the audience drop-off is pretty quick and consistent. Why? Nobody likes being pitched to. Your promo video has to be way more than just a sales pitch.

A few days ago, I sent out a promo offering the 20 fastest people a chance to get conversion-optimized wireframes for their website. The landing page had a prominent video (duration 1 minute and 35 seconds).

Stats: Some 25% percent of the traffic watched the video. (Average demo videos on a website get ~10% views or less.) Of those, 57% made it until the end. Much better than the video mentioned above, but it could be better.

Of course, there are some promo videos that are just amazing. Here are some examples of great promo videos:

1. Dollar Shave Club

This video was uploaded to YouTube on March 6, 2012. Within 45 days, it had 4.3 million views; by 2019, it had 26 million. Talk about a successful video.

It’s a promo video. Still, people love it, share it, talk about it. It’s proof that quality is everything.

The credibility they built from that initial video lingers: They have more than 35,000 YouTube subscribers and multiple videos with hundreds of thousands of views.

Their 2018 video “Get Ready” has earned more than 3 million:

The video is more of a brand spot than a straight-up promo video, but the bottom line is that their first video secured viewer interest in what they publish—even seven years down the road.

2. 4-Hour Body

Amazingly well done. Sets the tone for the book, makes attractive promises and captures your imagination.

Nearly 1.2 million views later, it continues to earn comments that show the emotional impact it has on viewers:

  • “Every time i need inspiration to get my day starting, i come to see this video.”
  • “it touched my soul!”

Plenty of comments were about the music, too (e.g., “WHATA SONG… WHO KNOWS TO HELP ME FIND THIS BAND ?”). Keep that in mind when you choose a song for your spot. It can have an outsized influence on the emotional impact of your promo video.

At the same time, there are plenty of skeptical voices in the comments. A promo video is a way to generate attention for your product. It’s not a start-to-finish marketing campaign or a cure-all for a sub-par offering.

3. Double Fine Adventure

This video played a major role in raising over $3.3 million dollars for a game that was only an idea at the time.

While not nearly as slick as the preceding two examples, it came off as authentic. You get interested in the game because you know and like the creators behind it.

Need more promo video examples?

If you want to see a ton of examples of promo videos, check out:

  1. What are some good examples of startup product demo videos, and who made them? (Quora post)
  2. Startup Videos.

And for some ideas on how to make good promo videos:


Using video is a great idea, and video quality is everything.

I mean quality in the wider sense, although technical is very important, too. Jupiter Research found that 60% of users are less likely to return to a site if the video is low quality—and that was over a decade ago. (Imagine expectations now.)

So what makes the above promo videos so good? Three main things:

  1. Really good quality. Professional production. (Not cheap.)
  2. Tell a story. Give a promise of the future.
  3. Humor.

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Promo Videos: What Really Matters (with Examples)