Simple Steps to Make Your Videos Better

Videos are a great way to promote your company, share a new product or address customer concerns. Not only will they enrich your website, but they can save you time and hassle. Often customers have similar questions or concerns. Posting a video on the site with information about commonly asked questions can save you from having to respond via email or blog post.
Videos are wonderful tools for learning since they can show the process and work much better than still pictures with captions. Even if your video isn’t a tutorial, the visual aspect of the medium allows customers to get a real feel for your product or service. If you are new to making videos, the whole process may seem overwhelming. Here are a few simple steps to help you make quality videos that are sure to have an impact.

Check out the filming location

Take a look around the area where you will be filming. Think about how the location will be presented on screen. Choose what you want to be your backdrop, and take a few minutes to do the following:

  • Remove distractions. Look around the space. Is there anything that could be distracting and take viewer’s interest from where you want it? If you are filming in your office, take a few minutes to tidy up. See if there are any objects that will draw interest away from what’s important.
  • Think about audio. Listen to the environmental sounds in the area. Is the traffic noise too loud? Airplanes, televisions, and even ringing phones might distract viewers. Take a moment to listen and change locations if needed.
  • Don’t forget lighting. The light needs to be just right. Glare from the sun may ruin the shot. Whether the light is too dim or too bright can make a big difference. Do a trial run of the video first and see what the lighting looks like and make adjustments as needed.
  • Take a photo. Use a camera to take a still photo. Then look at how the background appears. Check for any distractions. An oddly placed background item might look like it is growing out of your head. A simple photo can let you see if anything is off and will save you time. It can also be used as a promotional image on your site or social media to promote the video.

Prepare the content

Plan out the content for your video. A good plan will help you make a quality video more quickly. Depending on your purpose you may or may not want to write out a full script, but at least create an outline and determine important points. It will help if you:

  • Use notes or a script. Depending on whether you video is a simple video blog post or something more polished, you may or may not want to write out a full script. Some people prefer to review notes before making the video, while some like to memorize a full script. It’s up to you, but either way, having a plan will make your video turn out better.
  • Use a teleprompter. A quick perusal of notes may work for some, but for others, it is a good idea to have your notes or script posted somewhere where you can quickly glance at it while filming. Make notecards, use a whiteboard or use a teleprompter tool on your smartphone or tablet. Whatever you choose, from high tech to simple notecards, having something to glance at while filming is a great way to overcome nerves and make filming easier.
  • Think about footage. You may choose to use just a straight shot of you talking to the camera for a video blog post. However, you may prefer to use A-roll and B-roll. A-roll is the main footage and B-roll is alternative footage. If you are discussing a new product, it might be nice to cut to a picture of the product while you talk about it. This type of ability is what makes video great. You can show images of what you are discussing and make it easier for viewers to understand. Take time to plan out what footage you need before you start taping.

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Record the video

Once the planning is done, it is time to start recording. Lots of people feel uncomfortable in front of the camera. Here are a few things you can do to make the actual recording go more smoothly:

  • Pretend the camera is a person. Acting like you are speaking to a person you know well and are comfortable with may make recording a little easier. Speaking to the camera may seem weird or stiff, but if you pretend to talk to your best friend, your words will come off with more confidence. Forget the camera and talk to a person instead.
  • Do multiple takes. Don’t feel like you have to get it right the first time. Do more than one take; that way you have more film to edit. Plus a little practice always helps to make the take better.
  • Mark your mistakes. If you mess up, use a little signal to mark the mistake on the film. Snap three times or clap or raise a finger. This will help you find the mistake during the editing process and remind you use the take that is better.
    Create a ritual. This can be a catchphrase or a simple routine that you always do during the intro or at the end of the video. Audience members like ritual and will look forward to it every time.

Edit in finishing touches

Simple editing can make a big difference in video quality. Take the time to go through the video and add some finishing touches to make it really pop. Remember to:

  • Use editing software. You can use a variety of available free editing software or purchase editing software. Free software may be able to do everything you require, or if you choose to add a bit more sophisticated techniques, you can purchase something that will do what you need. Editing software makes it easy to edit and manipulate your video and turn it into a finished product.
  • Audio tracks. Most editing software will allow you to add audio tracks, so you can add voice overs or music. Just remember to follow copyright laws for any music you use.
    Animating intros and outros. Many editing software programs allow you to be creative by animating intros and other parts of the video. Take a minute to play around and discover what is available for your use.
  • Motion graphics. You may want to add motion graphics, regular graphics, still photos or whatever else you can think of. Video is a great medium that can be used in a variety of ways to really get your viewpoint or product across.

Sometimes it’s the little touches that can make the most difference. Follow these simple steps to make your next video a success.

Video Editing On-the-Go

When something unexpected occurs, it doesn’t mean your video project has to be delayed. With just a few modifications and a bag filled with the right equipment, video editing can be done anywhere. If you find you need to head out of town for the weekend, just grab your on-the-go bag and take your work with you. Never miss a deadline again just because you have to travel. These days, the tools for video editing are more portable than ever.

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On-the-Go Bag

While you will have to forgo using more than one large monitor, and perhaps leave behind some of your favorite toys, you can still get your work done with just the equipment that can fit in your on-the-go bag. By taking just the essentials, you can fit everything you need in one convenient bag. Just grab your bag and you will be ready to work on your video editing no matter where you need to be. Items needed to create an on-the-go bag include:

Bag. It can’t be an on-the-go bag without the bag. The bag you choose will be a matter of personal preference, but there are a few elements that you will want to look for in order to choose the perfect on-the-go bag. Look for a bag with a padded laptop compartment, a large main storage compartment, and several customizable compartments. Make sure to choose a bag made of quality material that is built to last. Choosing the right bag the first time will save you time and money in the long run.

Laptop. Since desktop computers don’t travel well, a laptop is a must for on-the-go editing. Luckily laptops have come a long way and there are many that work great for video editing. In order to use the laptop for editing your will want one with a great processor (CPU), plenty of memory (RAM) and lots of storage. Look for something with at least 500GB of storage, 8GB of RAM and an Intel i5 processor. Your budget will impact what you can get, but try to get the best laptop in your price range. A faster processor and more storage will only make your job easier.

Media Drive. Depending on your needs, you may want to carry a full sized 4 bay RAID, a smaller, portable RAID, or even smaller, more rugged drives. The full sized RAID is more difficult to travel with, but if you are traveling by car, it would be safe enough to package it and set it in the car without damaging the equipment. If you want to go this route, make sure to keep the original packaging so that you can bundle it up for travel. Sometimes you may want to sacrifice storage space for portability and use a smaller, portable RAID. If you can get by without the extra space of a full sized one, this may be a better option for you. Some even smaller drives come with rugged carrying cases that make them easy to transport.

iPad. The iPad is a convenient second monitor for on-the-go editing. Carrying around monitors is impractical, but an iPad allows you to have another screen that is easily transported. It can also be used as a trackpad or a controller. There are several great Apps available on the iPad that allow it to be used to turn the iPad into a trackpad or controller.

USB 3 Hub. When you need to plug in a keyboard, mouse, thumb drives, iPads and other peripherals, you’ll find you may need a USB 3 hub in order to get everything hooked up. Don’t bother with a USB 2; that will be too slow.

Extra USB. Always travel with extras.
Extra Cables. Extra cables will save you from a scramble if something goes missing or isn’t working right. Throw in a few extras just to be safe.

Adapter for Wall Warts. You don’t know what type of power outlets will be available, and you will want to make sure that you have the space to plug in all the equipment you’ve brought. An adapter will make it so you can plug in wall warts (large plugs that take up lots of space) no matter where you are.

Power Strip. A power strip is important for making sure you have the space to plug in all your editing tools. It does little good to travel with your laptop if you don’t have a sufficient place to get everything powered and ready to go.

Extension Cord. The outlet available may be difficult to reach or too far for your cords. Save frustration by bringing an extension cord, and you will be prepared for any type of power situation.

Headphones. Headphones will allow you to work in any type of environment without bothering anyone around you. It will keep your sound down for others, and also allow you to hear better as well.

Portable Speaker. For when you don’t need to keep the sound down, it is important to have a speaker that will allow you to hear what you are working on.

Mouse. Laptop trackpads are notoriously small and can cramp fingers when used for extended periods. A mouse will make work much easier and save you from discomfort.

Full Size Extendable Keyboard. This does take up a lot of space, but the ease and comfort of a full size keyboard is probably worth the space it takes. For any amount of editing work, a full size keyboard is a must.

Organization

Having the necessary equipment and a bag for travel, is only part of being ready to edit on-the-go. Even if you have a laptop and the other suggested on-the-go components, it will do little good if you aren’t organized. Successful video editing always requires organization, but if you want to be able to take your work with you no matter where you need to be, organization is essential. You need to have all your media elements in order so that you can easily move your work space. It does little good to get where you are going and realize you don’t have the video clips or the right music. Keep your work organized so it is easy to bring all the components with you for on-the-go editing. Don’t forget to bring:

  • Video Clips
  • Supporting Footage (B-roll)
  • Still Pictures
  • Graphics
  • Music
  • Sound Effects

Portable Editing

At one time, portable editing wasn’t feasible. Now that laptops, iPads, RAIDs are lightweight, powerful and easy to move, video production editing can be done anywhere in a pinch. Obviously, there is something to be said for using a permanent set up with all available bells and whistles for regular editing work. However, when something unavoidable comes up or if you want to take an extended vacation, but still have to meet a deadline, then it makes sense to have a way to get your work done with a portable set up. With an on-the-go bag and proper organization, you can conveniently do some video editing from anywhere you need.

Video Production Makes Business Boom

People love watching videos. Since its inception, YouTube has become the second largest search engine. According to YouTube, they have over a billion users that spend millions of hours watching videos every day, generating over a billion views. Not only do people watch the videos, but they also share them on social media, making their reach that much further. Companies that understand the impact videos can make, use video production to get their brand noticed.

Why Use Video Production as a Marketing Tool?

It’s smart business to take advantage and use videos as a marketing tool, especially if your audience is between the age of 18 and 49. YouTube boasts that they reach this age group more than any cable network. Videos have an audience, that is for certain. Yet, there are even more great reasons to use video production as a marketing tool.

  • Easy to Use. Videos are user friendly. It’s as simple as pressing play, and the viewers have the information provided quickly and succinctly. There isn’t any need to read through pages of text for instructions or information. With the click of a button the information is presented in an enjoyable format.
  • Establish Image. Videos have a way of presenting information and establishing image way better than text. Their visual nature makes it easy for your company to express your image and share it with the world.
  • Create Buzz. Videos can build excitement about a product and get people talking. When people are excited about a video they’ve seen on the internet, they talk about it.
  • Engagement. People find videos engaging, and it will keep them on your website longer. Studies show that people spend more time on websites with videos.
  • Relevant. It’s an easy way to share relevant information and get people to watch. Let people know the important information about your products.
  • Creativity. Graphics and images in your video are interesting, and the creative aspect of videos is what gets people watching them.
  • Sharing. Videos are easy and fun to share through social media. This simple act of sharing increases your reach and allows that many more people to hear about your company.
  • Enhance Website. Videos add interest to your website. Add some videos and give people the tools to learn more about your product.
  • Exposure. You don’t have to wait for someone to share your video, post it on your website and link it to social media. Put it up on YouTube and increase its potential for viewing. The more you put it out there, the bigger the potential audience.
  • Affordable. It isn’t as expensive as you think. With easy to use programs, you might be able to create something yourself. More and more, professional production is affordable and gives you a quality product that you will be proud to share.
  • Versatile. Video is an incredibly versatile medium. You can use it to do an instructional video, share information, provide product demonstrations, or share testimonials—the options are as endless as your creativity.
    Reach. If you want to reach the 18-49 year old crowd, you need a video. More and more, this age group is turning to the internet for information, and they like watching videos. Know where your audience is and how they are getting information. Using videos will help you reach a larger and more interested audience.

Technology is becoming increasingly important. The internet is the place where people go to learn about products, socialize and share their interests. Tapping into this growing marketing opportunity will help your company reach a larger audience and hopefully get the word out about how great your product is.