Ten top tips for creating your business video
With the advent of cheaper and cheaper video cameras many business owners are wondering if it is worth filming their own promotional video.
If that's you, then it's important to realise that despite what the cheaper cameras advertise. filming a video for your businesss is not just about pointing and shooting.
From the importance of telling a story, through understanding some of the technical challenges, to making sure your business video is eyeballed in all the right places, there is plenty to think about.
However, with careful thought, planning and taking time, the results can be very much worth the effort.
To help you to give it a try we've put together these ten top tips for planning and making your business video.
1. Start with the End
Decide on what you want your video to achieve. What is the message? It's not about you but about your audience, but who is your audience? Your message needs to answer the question(s) your target market, essentially your customers are asking. If your video is promotional focus on benefits not on features.
2. Become a Story Teller
Your video needs to have a start, middle and end that flows one into the other, engaging your audience, retaining their interest and provoking a response. The start of your video sets the scene and should quickly engage your viewers attention. Don't blow your whole story at the start though. Creating intrigue is a great attention grabber. The middle develops the story and unfolds the how, what and why. The end is not the place to tail off. Think about what you want your customer to do next. Make sure your video ends with a clear call to action.
3. Think about your Location
Make sure that where you film your video fits your story and authenticates your message. For example, if you are filming a testimonial video of one of your happy customers, don't just film them against a wall. Think about context - what other visuals will support the great review they are giving about your business, e.g. using the product they have bought from you. Remember, you are telling a story, so make the story more interesting and compelling.
4. What you hear is as important as what you see
Do not neglect the sound element of your video. The quality of your sound is as important and in some ways more important than the visual quality of your video. A well-made video is a blend of visual and audible images. Make sure your audience can clearly hear what is spoken. If they cannot their attention will quickly be distracted from what they see and they will become tired of watching it. Use a good quality external microphone. Consider where you are filming - is it noisy? Is it echoey? Is it windy? All of those factors can have a negative effect on the quality of your sound.
5. Get a good tripod and use it where needed
Whilst people today are more sympathetic to different video styles, shaky video shots - where not intended and unnecessary - will disturb your audience and lose their attention to your message. Keep the camera still. Pan and zoom only where needed and not all the time.
6. Can the camera see what you see?
Make sure you have good lighting. Your eyes and brain can compensate for light, but a camera finds it much more difficult. Avoid backlighting from windows or even white walls, as well as heavy contrast (unless intentional) and make sure your subject is well lit. Natural light works well, but if needed consider buying some lights. They needn't break the bank, but they can make a big difference to how your video will look.
7. Think about composition
Remember that your video is watched in a frame, typically a rectangle. Like any good painting or photograph you need to think about how it will look in the frame. Everything in your frame is important, not just the subject so look at what you are going to film before pressing the record button. When filming people speaking to the camera or someone interviewing them off camera, avoid having lots of space above their head and align their eyes approximately one-third from the top - see the Rule of Thirds. Composition matters and affects people's attention. Done well, it helps to engage your viewer's attention - so give attention to it.
8. Don't overdose on transitions
When editing your video, avoid using lots of different transitions between shots. Straight cuts or crossfades should be used most of the time. Elaborate transitions can look fancy but distract your audience and lose their attention so if using them may sure they add value to the message.
9. Practice makes Perfect!
Don't be overawed. As with anything practice makes perfect, so when you've made your video take time to review it yourself and get feedback from others. What worked well? What could you have done better? If necessary, wash and repeat!
10. Promote your Video - in the right places...
Your video is made to be watched, so you need to make sure your customers can find it. YouTube is a search engine for videos, so you should publish it there for sure and think about what you call it and how you describe and tag it to match what people will likely be searching for. If possible, include it on your website too. In doing that make sure it's used in the right context, on the page on your site that best suits what the video is about. A video story that's out of context is just noisy and disturbing, but when used correctly to back up and reinforce your message, it can be incredibly powerful!