Using Multiple Layers to Get Stunning Visual Effects


I continue to be impressed by Camtasia by TechSmith, a video editor, and creation tool.  At $249 it’s not the least expensive solution on the market, but it does make up for that with its capabilities.  That’s not to say there are not more capable toolsets out there, but those tools can be much more difficult to use and cost over a thousand dollars.

Since this blog can be seen as a review as much as it can be seen as a tutorial lets preface it with, I don’t take consideration for reviews of products I mention in this blog.  Specifically, if I am reviewing or using a product I’ve purchased it with my own money and I am giving my unbiased opinion.  For more information on the policies of this blog consult my Disclosure page.

Using the Camtasia tool I built the video above in only a few minutes.  The effect was achieved by utilizing three separate tracks for each visual element.  What makes it all possible is Camtasia’s ability to layer the tracks and control the opacity of each track.  The topmost layer is the product logo.  The second and third layers are video clips downloaded from Storyblocks Video.  For a monthly subscription fee, Storyblocks Video provides a large selection of royalty-free video clips that can be downloaded in various formats.

Layer two is a clip of a lightning storm and the bottom layer is of a computer screen showing binary code scrolling.  By layering the lightning storm over the computer screen and setting its opacity to 50% it appears the lightning is coming from under the logo the topmost layer.

That’s all that’s to it.  Pretty impressive for only a few minutes work.

Rules for Creating Video That Sells

When we create videos for the purposes of marketing the ultimate goal is sales.  All other measurements are secondary.  This blog will focus on the steps on how to create video content that produces tangible sales.

  1.  Keep it Simple
    People don’t have a lot of time or attention to spend on view ads.  Whether they’re on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube.  Essentially for most folks, they’re viewed as a nuisance.  Your job is to grab their attention.  Tell them a short story that’s relevant to them, and get them to take action.

    Decide on one key message you’re trying to convey.  Your product, service, or organization may have many great features, values, and benefits, but a sales video ad is not the place to extoll all of them.  The simpler the message or concept you’re trying to communicate the better.  If you want to communicate multiple messages make multiple videos.

  2. Keep it Short
    Experts differ here slightly.  Some will say you’re aiming for no more than 15 seconds, others will say limit it to 30 seconds of run time max.  In any case, you don’t have a lot of time to accomplish your goal.  And you’ve got a lot to say.  Keep is short an on point.  Don’t clutter your message with unnecessary information.
  3. You’re Writing Ad Copy, Break the Rules
    We were all trained by academia to write full sentences.  But when writing marketing and sales copy we have to break the rules.  Short and broken sentences often will have the impact and punch to get the message across.  Whereas lengthy and overly complicated sentences will lose the viewers attention.   It’s Ok to use phrases or sentence fragments that will grab the viewers and keep them watching.
  4. Be Conversational, Tell a Story
    Your audience is human.  They want to be told a story by someone who is entertaining and engaging.  This is not a tutorial, documentary or lecture.  This a short story that has to be interesting and have an emotional impact.  Enough impact to get the view to take action.  Tell a story like you would to your friends or family.  Make it interesting.
  5. The Pain Point and the Solution
    No matter if you’re trying to sell a product, service, or solicit a donation for your organization, if you present a problem, you must offer the solution.  Products, services, and organizations exist to solve some problem.

    Your video should present a problem or pain point in the first few seconds.  The viewer is forming their decision if they’ll continuing watching from the first second they see your video.  Show them something that’s going to grab them.  Something that’s going to compel them to keep watching.  Something that’s going to make them want to know what the solution you’re offering is.

  6. Call to Action!
    This is obviously the most important part of the video.  It doesn’t matter how great a job you did selling them to this point if they don’t take action you lost.

    This can be the least comfortable part of the video to create.  You have to squeeze your viewer.  Create a sense of urgency that’s going to force them to act.  Unless your videos only goal is brand recognition if they move on you’ve failed.  This is why you see so many videos that end with statements like take action now or forever lose this opportunity.  You don’t have to be this crude, but you must let the viewer know the time to act is now.

If you stick to these few key points you’ll make successful sales videos that convert.