Promo Review - The Best Way To Make Marketing Videos?

I love videos.

I'm a real sucker for those on LinkedIn. You know....the ones that describe some exotic yet highly questionable product like this ludicrous BMW car or this wrist watch with 1366 moving components.

Not in a million years, would I dream about reading a blog post about these products. I have zero interest in buying either.

And yet, when the video starts playing, slow motion hits and the cool text overlays start unfurling before my eyes, I can't look away.

I'm not alone.

According to Hubspot, most of us prefer consuming video content.

For most Marketers this is bad news.

Video content is MUCH harder to produce than written or even audio content.

Until recently it involved expensive cameras, mics, lighting and sometimes even actors. Then you need to hire someone to edit the raw footage and then maybe...maybe you'll have something that your audience might actually want to consume.

The alternative is buying expensive stock video footage from Shutterstock (often costing $50 for 15 seconds of film) and painfully trying to add a sleek call to action in Adobe Premier.

Not fun and not quick.

Promo promises to be the opposite.

What is Promo?

Promo is a Video marketing tool that gives you access to stock video footage, music and easy editing tools for a fixed monthly fee.

You can then create short promotional videos optimized for desktop or mobile devices.

Simply enter your keyword into the search bar, pick your favourite videos and add captions in the editing tool.

Then click publish and you're done.

Here is a brief screen recording, illustrating the process.

(Reduce volume. Music starts playing around the two minute mark)

What does Promo do well?

The first thing you notice is the massive range of videos.

Promo offers more than 3,700 videos communicating any emotion you can think off, and fitting any event.

Once you've chosen your preferred videos, editing them and adding text overlays couldn't be easier.

Simply drag and drop to move sequences around, and pick your customization from the drop down menu.

When your video is ready, you can easily add music from their library. If you can't find a tune you like, upload an MP3 file of silence. Most people will watch your video on mute anyway.

Once you're happy with the video, publishing is really easy.

Out of the box, you receive three different formats: wide (desktop), square (tablet) and vertical (mobile). Counter-intuitively, I've found that Instagram requires the square rather than the vertical format, so keep that in mind when launching a campaign.

You might have to do a little adjusting for each device but Promo does the bulk of the work.

For added efficiency you can connect your Social Media accounts and publish straight to Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

Lastly, I've had several excellent experiences with their customer support. They offer live-chat through Intercom and they've been incredibly quick and helpful.

Five stars for their customer support.

As you can tell Promo does a lot of things REALLY well.

Where does Promo fall short?

The first negative thing you notice is that many videos are labeled as "Premium".

Promo's pricing plan is built around the "Premium" clips, and the price can quickly rise to $100 or $359 a month.

That being said, many inferior services charge much more than this, and raw footage on sites like Shutterstock is vastly more expensive.

The price doesn't bother me.

What does bother me however, is the inability to search for instrumentals. Instead you need to filter for specific moods, bpms and genres.

If you're smart you'll "favourite" the tunes that you like. If you're dumb like me, and forget to do that, you have to turn to customer support to find that song you really like.

While we're on instrumentals, I really wish the user received more control over how the sound is laid over the video.

In my experience, you can't control the volume, add multiple tracks or skip to a section of the song that you like. Instead, Promo adds your chosen song to your video, giving you no control over how that is done.

Another, more important weakness however, is the relative lack of text and outro templates.

As of July 2019, Promo offers 23 different text styles, which sounds like a lot more than it is.

When making videos, I quickly found myself returning to the same 2-3 text styles. This isn't a nightmare of course but it does make the videos repetitive.

Not ideal.

Additionally, video creators only have 11 different Outros to choose from.

This may sound like plenty, but you'll be surprised by how quickly you find yourself wishing for more.

Promo Review - Conclusion

I've been very impressed with Promo.

It's by far the easiest way to make high-quality Marketing videos that I've encountered.

The stock footage is interesting and communicates emotion well.

Yes, the instrumentals aren't as good as the ones you find on dedicated platforms like Artlist, but they do the job.

Overall, it's the speed that is really impressive.

Making your first video will take around a 40 minutes, but once you've got the hang of it you can be in and out in 10 minutes.

Just to test that hypothesis, I made a quick Promo video to wish you a happy 4th of July.

(Reduce your volume)

It actually took around 5 minutes 😅

Have a great day everyone.

Thanks for reading.