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What is a sizzle reel? If you are a small business owner, you need to know the answer to this question. A sizzle reel just may be the most powerful branding tool that your business has ever had.
A sizzle reel is also known as a demo reel, a public relations video, and a promo, as well as about twenty other names. This is a short video, usually no more than five minutes in length, that is used to get a message across about your business’s brand.

These videos have a variety of uses. First, they can be used for business to business communication. This allows businesses to get an idea of what your business is about in a short amount of time. Second, they can be released to more public entities as part of a press kit or a plea for funding. Last, they are often used to draw in customers, especially when posted on YouTube or a social networking website.
Sizzle reels are definitely useful tools, but they must be topnotch in order to leave the impression you desire. Here are a few tips for getting the effective, attractive sizzle reels that your company needs.
  1. Plan ahead. Look at similar videos from your competitors and note how they are organized. This will give you an idea of the industry standard as well as a framework to start from when planning your own reel. You’ll need to plan each frame ahead of time to make sure that the lighting and timing are just right. This will make it easier to put together a professional video with minimal time from costly videographers and other consultants.
  2. Make the investment. Like logo design, this is one project that you won’t be able to complete without professional equipment and several years of education. So why waste your time? Leave the videography to the experts and you will end up with a product you can be proud of. Do it yourself, and you will likely end up with an unprofessional mess that you are ashamed to show in public.
  3. Choose content and music carefully. These will be used to create a mood, one that says more about your brand than you ever could. Your content should be arranged in short, catchy phrases that are memorable and flow nicely. The music sets the tone for the video, so choose a piece that matches your brand and walks the fine line between catchy and unprofessional. Avoid anything trendy or timely; you’ll want for this video to last for years. Similarly, avoid stock images and music; the only statement that they make is that your company is boring and too cheap for anything better.
  4. Create with your target audience in mind. If you are unsure about music or other aspects of your video, let your ideal customer make the decision. Keep this ideal customer in mind throughout the creative process. After all, they are the ones you are making the video for in the first place!

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