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A little video design can go a long way. Just ask bakery owner Matt Lewis, who used DIY design to sell a record number of Thanksgiving pies at his Brooklyn shop Baked.

Before Lewis started designing video ads, Baked’s Facebook page was “largely comprised of static photos of swirly cake tops and colorfully iced cookies.” After, the page featured playful, colorful videos like the one below.

Baked’s product videos produced much better results than the static images. That Thanksgiving, Baked saw a 40% increase in pie sales from the year before. They also saw a 70% increase in email signups. More people started walking into their stores, saying they had seen the videos on Facebook.

Baked didn’t have to hire an expensive design agency to get results out of their video marketing—all they did was add a few simple DIY design elements.

Simple DIY video design helped Baked, and it can help you:

  • lower your customer acquisition costs
  • improve customer engagement
  • and become a better storyteller

And most importantly, you can achieve these design goals without spending a ton on outside help, with simple templates and tactics.

Acquire more customers with fewer costs

Beautiful videos attract new customers. But many beautiful videos cost a fortune.

The following video by Nest was made with the help of not one but two agencies—one a full-service creative studio, and another, a graphic design agency.

The video introduced Nest’s Learning Thermostat. It shows the different members of a household adjusting the thermostat for various situations, like leaving the house, going to bed, and coming back from school. In each instance, the thermostat automatically adjusts to fit each person’s needs.

You don’t need to be a venture-backed, $3.2 billion dollar company to make a video of similar quality. You can show off the versatility and usefulness of your product, with very low production costs.

Simply film a few well-lit scenes of people using your product in everyday situations. Then input your action shots in a template with a few title cards to explain key features. This sequence can help introduce your product to people who are seeing it for the first time.

The Attention theme on Shakr allows you to design a product video featuring 9 different frames and one title card at the end.

Like the Nest video, the Attention template creates several separate scenes where you can present problems that your product solves. The example used is a smart food scale that helps with portion control. The video starts with the value proposition that “Everyone can succeed on a diet,” and the action follows from there, showing different meals, snacks, and baking experiments where the scale helps the user measure proper portions.

In the Attention template, each frame is an opportunity to demonstrate value. The design makes the product the star of the show.

Even the smallest design tweaks can make a big impact on conversion rates. Brooklyn’s Baked saw the boost in holiday pie sales, but they also saw an overall increase in lead generation. To design Baked’s videos, Matt Lewis turned to the Facebook Creative Studio and downloaded several free mobile apps that allowed him to edit videos more professionally.

The apps enabled Lewis to add dynamic text and graphics and employ techniques such as stop-motion and slow-mo. He also created a DIY lighting setup with cardboard, fabric, and clamp lamps.

In this video, the bakers pair original footage of a slow-mo coffee pour with dynamic lettering that transitions slowly to match. It’s a sweet little clip where product and design work together to solve a simple problem. How do you fix a bad case of the Mondays? With a latte from Baked.

These short clips are easy enough to shoot, edit, and publish on a daily or weekly basis.

Once they started publishing videos regularly in 2016, Baked saw a 70% increase in capturing email addresses from the ads, and lowered the cost of customer contact information acquisition by about 32%. Starting with Facebook ads, they were able to build a substantial word of mouth following that led to increased foot traffic in their three locations.

Though not all small business success can be credited to great design, video design can help raise your profile at a fraction of the cost of other marketing investments.

Boost engagement

Good video design doesn’t just bring in more customers, it keeps them around longer. A video that’s engaging from start to finish with beautiful colors, dynamic visuals and well-timed transitions will make viewers remember your product and convert.

According to data from Vidyard, the average video retains 37% of viewers till the end; while the top 5% of videos retain an average of 77% of viewers to the last second. This is especially important when you place a CTA, signup form, or website info at the end of a video.

Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney seeks to position the brand as a less-competitive successor to Nike. Their minimalist ads are designed to celebrate movement for the sake of movement, rather than winning. Their strategy seems to be working on social, with over 190K followers on Instagram and 80K followers on Facebook.

In the 5-second video below, two models run in and out of screen towards an unknown destination. The video starts and ends “in media res,” creating a sense of suspense enhanced by the high-energy music. The music is the instantly recognizable William Tell Overture, which crescendoes as the runners cross each other and the brand name appears. The setting is a blank desert or beach that creates an open-ended canvas for viewers to project motivations or emotions onto the action.

This combination of negative space and white lettering creates a powerful video that sparks curiosity and directs all your attention to the brand name at the end.

The caption copy lets you know that the cliffhanger is intentional:

The copy reveals the mysterious destination, and it’s the Outdoor Voices website. The video’s whole purpose is to create hype and excitement about shopping the new fall collection.

The video design works on two levels: for acquisition and awareness. It entices the viewer to find the caption, click on the link, and buy some leggings. If the viewer doesn’t convert, they will at least remember the brand name and recognize the design when they see other ads in the future.

You, too, can build this kind of intrigue that keeps people watching and wanting more with a Shakr template. All you need is one great action shot and a brand name.

The Modern Dynamic template allows you to make a 5-second video with a high-energy soundtrack that ends in bold banner text. It’s easy to sub in footage of people running, dancing, or even frosting cupcakes, to get people motivated and excited to learn more about your product. By starting in the middle of the action, it doesn’t allow any room for viewers to get bored and skip over. The text at the end makes your message instantly more memorable.

A short, action-packed video can impact people who don’t have a lot of time and may not be familiar with your brand. The kind of “wow!” factor that keeps people engaged doesn’t have to be over-the-top. Sometimes, you can impress potential customers by what you don’t show. This balance can be achieved through savvy design choices and the right templates.

Tell your story more effectively

Good marketing always tells a story—whether it’s an origin story, a how-to story, or a purely entertaining story. Design helps you communicate your story in a clear and compelling way.

Gadgetflow creates product teaser videos that are individually tailored to fit each product’s story.

For instance, the video featuring Shapa Health’s smart scale utilizes Shakr’s Sunday Cafe template to create an upbeat narrative about health and happiness that comes from a better weight management system.

Sunday Cafe’s 5-slide format makes it easy to get the scale’s message across. Each slide highlights a different key feature with text and photo. From the second slide, you see why this scale is “smarter” than the rest – it has no display and it’s color-coded! The uptempo piano soundtrack communicates positivity and inspiration. From this design, it’s easy for a Gadgetflow follower to get a sense of how the scale works, why it might be a more appealing option than a traditional scale, and how it will improve quality of life.

There are many ways to design a story, and one straightforward format is the listicle. When you create a video in the format of a countdown (or count up), the content automatically has a direction and trajectory that makes it easy to follow along.

Here’s a preview of the Stories: Top 5 List template for listicles:

This template allows you to turn bits and pieces of footage into a cohesive narrative with a beginning, middle, and end. Each item builds on the previous one to lead to a CTA that is much stronger because of the content that comes before it.

Good video design makes sure that storytelling is complete in a way that simple words and images cannot. It connects the dots between various elements. When you only have a few seconds or minutes to captivate someone, storytelling design can make all the difference in convincing people to value what they’re watching.

Out-designing the competition

Good design puts your videos a cut above everyone else’s. When you’re a small business with beautiful videos, you can capture the attention of potential customers who are drawn to your storytelling. This way, you can start to build a brand that competes with much larger firms.

When you choose the right templates, you can put out beautifully designed content on a regular basis. Your customers will start to know you through your design, and you can consistently deliver high-quality content.

There are thousands of designs out there to suit every mood, product, and personality. Start exploring the possibilities today!

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Anton Eliasson

Head of growth at Shakr.