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.