The Journal of Extension -

June 2014 // Volume 52 // Number 3 // Tools of the Trade // v52-3tt7

Developing a Promotional Video

There is a need for Extension professionals to show clientele the benefits of their program. This article shares how promotional videos are one way of reaching audiences online. An example is given on how a promotional video has been used and developed using iMovie software. Tips are offered for how professionals can create a promotional video and share it with audiences.

Hannah K. Epley
Extension Educator
Ohio State University Extension


With the advance of new technologies and the challenges that come with scheduling events around individuals' hectic schedules, it is crucial for professionals to be able to reach audiences on a new level. If professionals consider these items, they will be able to alleviate headaches in both clientele and Extension staff. In addition, larger numbers of people can view an online video instead of scheduling face-to-face meetings (Kinsey & Henneman, 2011). Not only can clientele access information at their leisure, but professionals are able to create the videos at their pace and are not required to have additional meetings to share their information.

Extension professionals can show clientele or potential clientele the benefits of their program. A clear, concise film showcasing what you have to offer will engage individuals by presenting your information instantly. This saves them the time of navigating and reading through pages of text. In addition, it allows for people to hear, see, and even have a sense of feeling for what the topic is like by simply viewing a video. Communication of programs and events can increase even though the costs do not.

This communication can occur through websites, video sharing sites, and social networking sites. By having promotional pieces accessible on the Web, clientele can be targeted or may even stumble upon the information when searching for a particular topic.

4-H Promotional Video

In Ohio, it is more challenging to visit schools to present information and the benefits for students to join the 4-H program. Classroom time is precious, and teachers and administrators are not willing to give up this time for "extra" education that does not teach to the test. However, schools often have inside recess when bad weather strikes, and teachers are at a loss for ideas to engage students. To meet the needs of promoting the 4-H program and using classroom time wisely, a 4-H promotional video was created using iMovie software. Teachers are able to check out the videos and share with the students, along with brochures and information for students to take home to parents. In addition, the video is posted on a YouTube channel as another avenue to view the content.

The iMovie software is included with a Macintosh computer and allows for the user to insert still pictures, videos, audio, songs, clips, transitions, maps, backgrounds, etc. In addition, the user can take pictures using the computer Web camera or can use the voiceover feature with the microphone. The items can be rearranged or shortened to allow for pieces to be adjusted or inserted into the piece if something is missing. You can even adjust the sound to make voices louder and background music softer. In addition, if a promotional piece needs to be updated in the future, it is easy to change or alter a particular clip of the video to update the picture, video, or information.

Before you begin creating your video, there are some tricks and tips to use to ensure the final product will be user friendly. Case and Hino (2010) recommend using a "hook" to pull the viewer in, which will lead to them wanting more information on a topic. In addition, other tips can be considered when developing a successful promotional video.

Tips for Creating Promotional Videos

  1. Select the program to promote.
  2. Make sure you have appropriate tools. This includes video camcorders, cameras, and software to create the video. Microphones may also be required, if there are not internal microphones on the computer being used.
  3. Take or acquire pictures and video of the program you wish to promote. For instance, if you are promoting a 4-H camp, it is a good idea to get pictures from the particular campsite.
  4. Use local pictures and footage of the program. If individuals can relate to the setting or a person, they are more likely to picture themselves at the program or event.
  5. Set up an outline for how the video will flow. This will help ease transitions in the video and allow for viewers to follow information.
  6. Keep it simple. It is important that the audience is not overwhelmed with the information provided. Make sure that fourth graders would be able to understand the message being conveyed.
  7. Use multiple media. Include videos, still pictures, graphics, and music. Make sure you have permission to use them. And most important, use your logo at the beginning and end of the video.
  8. Include contact information. When individuals want more information on the topic, links, email addresses, and phone numbers should be included to allow for follow up communication.
  9. Share. Make sure to post the video on places where it will be accessible. These may include websites and social media (Facebook, YouTube, etc.). Also share the information with colleagues who would have clientele who are also interested in the program.
  10. Record results. You can view the number of hits and comments on YouTube and other social networking sites. This will help you know how to improve programs and advertising in the future.

Sharing the information online is one way to promote your program. You can also burn the video to a DVD and share with others if you have a target audience, or if they do not have accessibility to high-speed Internet.


Using promotional videos may help the professional meet the need of audiences from diverse geographic, social, and economic environments. Information is able to be accessed and shared at any time during the day, and professionals are able to meet the needs of online learners.


Case, P., & Hino, J. (2010). A powerful teaching tool: Self-produced videos. Journal of Extension [On-Line], 48(1) Article 1TOT3. Available at: 

Kinsey, J., & Henneman, A. C. (2011). Making your online video viral. Journal of Extension [On-Line], 49(4) Article 4TOT3. Available at: