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What you Should Know About Infomercial Production
By Peter Koeppel

Infomercials are 28 minutes and 30 seconds in length. A successful infomercial production starts with a great product. Mass appeal products that are highly demonstrable tend to work best in infomercials. An infomercial typically consists of 3-5 segments with a call to action (CTA) separating each segment. Infomercial production generally takes several months to complete, but the production time frame can vary depending upon the complexity of the infomercial production. The cost of infomercial production can also vary. Beauty and fitness infomercials tend to have higher production values and generally cost more than infomercials for nutraceutical type products that are shot on a set that looks like a TV news show. Infomercial production costs start at around $75,000 and go up to $500,000+. The average infomercial production cost falls into the $150,000 to $250,000 range.
The Infomercial Production Process
The first step in the infomercial production process involves development of a budget. The budget for the infomercial will determine the type of infomercial production and talent you will be able to afford in developing your infomercial. The next step in the infomercial production process involves developing a creative brief that outlines the key selling points for the product, addresses what problem the infomercial product solves, strategic advantages and disadvantages versus the competition, the offer and pricing, among other relevant information regarding the infomercial product. The infomercial production company utilizes the creative brief in developing ideas for the scripting and shooting of the infomercial.
Infomercial Talent Selection and Testimonials
Selecting the right talent for an infomercial is an important aspect of producing a successful show. Some companies such as Guthy-Renker always use celebrities in their infomercials and this formula has worked extremely well for them. However, there are many examples of profitable infomercial campaigns that utilized an unknown talent or the inventor of a product. If you use a celebrity talent in your infomercial don't make the talent the product expert. Position the celebrity talent as a satisfied customer of the infomercial product. Try to include authoritative product experts in your infomercial production. This lends credibility to the infomercial. Testimonials can be an important component of an infomercial production. Make sure the testimonials are believable and come from people that are reflective of the target audience you are trying to appeal to with your infomercial production. The testimonials need to be authentic and exciting. Dull testimonials can be a turn off to viewers watching your infomercial.
Selling and Entertaining the Infomercial Prospect
A key to successful infomercial production involves having the right balance of entertainment and selling. An entertaining infomercial production can be instrumental in gaining the consumer's attention and getting them to stop and watch your show. However, infomercial marketers need to make sure their infomercial production isn't too entertaining and doesn't do a good job of selling your product. A call-to-action (CTA) is the key-selling segment of an infomercial, during which the product benefits, offer and price are revealed to the consumer. Some infomercials do not reveal the price during the CTA and this type of offer relies on the telemarketing firm to reveal the price and sell the product. This is referred to as a soft offer. Recent research has shown that by including more CTA's in an infomercial production an infomercial marketer can generate a better level of consumer response. Since consumers have so many media options to choose from, they are likely watching infomercials for shorter periods of time, so that's why it's important to provide them with the ordering information contained in the CTA more often throughout the infomercial production.
Before and After Photos, Product Demonstrations and Continuity Programs
Make sure before and after photos and infomercial product demonstrations are believable and represent what the product can actually help you achieve. Today's consumer is more sophisticated than ever and can detect deceptive product representations. In addition, make sure you work with an experienced FTC lawyer to insure that your infomercial production complies with all FTC rules and regulations. Many successful infomercials include a continuity program, where the consumer authorizes the infomercial marketer to ship a product to them on a regular basis. This can provide the infomercial marketer with an ongoing stream of income. Work with your telemarketer in establishing a continuity program that complies with all FTC rules.
Infomercial Test
An infomercial test will provide you with a great deal of information about how the consumer is responding to your infomercial production. Infomercial marketers can listen to the consumer phone calls to see how they are reacting to the offer, price point, whether there are certain aspects of the infomercial production they did not understand, which infomercial media buys are performing best, what are the most frequently asked questions and how they need to be addressed, etc. A successful infomercial production is typically tweaked several times before the infomercial campaign is rolled out. The tweaks to the infomercial might involve changing the offer, price point, telemarketing script; media buys, before and after photos, testimonials, and product demonstrations, among other elements of the infomercial production.
Work with an Experienced Infomercial Production Company
Infomercial production can initially seem quite complicated to a new infomercial marketer. That's why it's important to work with an experienced infomercial production company that has a track record of success marketing products similar to the one you will be selling. By keeping these points in mind during the planning and development of your infomercial production you will increase the chances of your infomercial production becoming a success.
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