We mentioned in last week’s Funny Business Podcast that we recently shot 29 interview videos in a day. With help from our friends at VidBetter, we help about a half-dozen clients with regular video projects, and we’re adding two more clients to that list this Fall.
With the proliferation of affordable, available, high-speed Internet, video has taken over our phones, our tablets, our television, and our computers, and it is here to stay. Alongside this accessibility has come a decreased cost in production of your own videos for social media, content marketing, even television and YouTube pre-roll commercials. Video has the potential to help you reach more people, more effectively.
That said, please use caution when producing your own videos. Yes, you can do them for a fraction of what production cost even five years ago, but also yes, they can easily look and sound worse than even five years ago.
Poor quality video (or any marketing for that matter) hurts your credibility, and we—as an audience—are judging you by your technical proficiency whether consciously or not.
The Internet (particularly YouTube) is filled with wonderful resources to not only tell but show you how to make better videos, but in the meantime, here are the heavy seven:
1: Poor stability
You can purchase a small tripod at the nearest convenience store. Do so and lock down your phone or camera. If you’re shooting external or internal motion, purchase a gimbal for your phone that contains gyroscopes to keep its pans and tilts smooth and steady. Yes! Your phone is fine.
2: Letting someone talk you into believing you need an expensive camera
Sure, it’d be nice to shoot in 360-degree, 8k resolution, BUT YOU HAVE NO REASON (YET) TO DO SO TO TELL YOUR STORY. Most cell phones now allow you to shoot as high as 4k resolution, but as I type this, 1080p resolution will serve you well.
3: Poor lighting
People are shocked when we show up to record video using our phone, but that’s not all we show up with… we show up with a three-point lighting kit to make sure our subject is well lit. With a little bit of online research, you’ll have no trouble finding inexpensive, helpful lighting.
4: Poor sound
You must, must, MUST purchase an external microphone to capture the authentic warmth of the human voice.
5: Poor (or lack of) editing
Even phones, iPads, and your personal laptop have simple video/audio editing programs to clean up, trim, tighten, and lighten your videos. Once you have our interest, keep it by keeping us on our toes.
6: Using only one long, static shot
Switching shots – please consider during your planning for your videos to insert or include recordings from your computer, still shots, b-roll, stock video, titles, intros, lower-thirds, and a clear call-to-action at the end.
7: Not having a plan before you press record
Huh? What were all those things you just said? Well, when you plan to incorporate video into your media strategy, you should plan to learn each of these concepts and their rules for substance and style usage.
Please, don’t just wing it. You fall flat.
How do you learn more about shooting video? That part’s simple (if not easy). I’ll teach you tomorrow how to do solid, simple research.