MARKETING • CREATIVE • DIGITAL
8 Tips for Creating Quality Video Content with Your Phone
Video content is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. In fact, perusing almost any digital platform will prove that video is a tactic you should be adding to your marketing strategy.
So, how you can shoot a video that will help to optimize your organizational goals? And even more importantly, how can you create a quality video on a low budget without all that fancy equipment? Fortunately, there are answers. On March 8th, 2016, Visit Saint Paul guest speaker, Erica Hanna of Puke Rainbows presented, Maximizing Your Video Content: A Storytelling Crash Course.
1. Consider Your Audience
There are a number of factors to examine before setting up to shoot your video. First, you should consider your audience. Bear in mind the information you are going to portray – this is your chance to set the mood for your viewers. Unlike other forms of communication, video tone can better ensure that your message won’t be misconstrued. This is also the time to be mindful of the length of the production that you want present to your audience. According to Erica, you have approximately 7 seconds (yes, 7 seconds!) to get your audience hooked. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time making a video that your audience will never finish.
2. Scout Your Territory
Are you thinking of filming outside? In an office or at an event? Make sure you choose your location ahead of time and scout the territory. You’ll want to make sure you have permission before you whip out your camera – especially, if you’re on private property or at a busy location. While you choose the perfect spot to shoot, close your eyes and listen to any noises surrounding you. It is important to remember that the microphone can pick up everything from outside voices, to automobiles, to a light breeze.
3. Have a Plan for Audio
Having a great looking video with terrible sound won’t win over your viewers. That’s why you should always have a plan for the audio. There are a few ways to ensure that you get uninterrupted tracks that will help maximize your video content. If you’re in a noisy environment, make sure you close the proximity between you and the subject while filming. Or, you can use another device and recording application, set closer to your subject. The audio from the recording can be used in the editing stage and the sound quality will be far superior. Another option is to use an external microphone attachment like the Mikey Digital or Zoom iQ6. If you go this route, you’ll want to spend a little cash to get a quality product.
4. Pay Attention to the Basics
One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to have an unsteady or shaky video. To make sure the picture is stable, Erica suggests using a tripod like the Grip Tight GorillaPod Stand. To create an even more visually appealing piece, use the rule of thirds to frame your subject as you film. Having a shot list can help you capture moments from different angles so that you’ll have lots to choose from during the editing process. Also, remember to leave space for potential text if you are planning on adding this feature in the editing stage.
5. Don’t Forget About the Lighting
Erica believes that natural light is best and depending on the mood you want to set for the audience, you can use light from the window in front of the face to vamp up the energy, or from the side to add more drama. Be aware that you will never want to film with light from directly behind the subject! This results in a dark, shadowy figure bearing no facial expressions.
Bonus lighting tip: Erica says that the most flattering lighting happens during the “golden hours.” The golden hours include the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset.
6. Think About Your Focus Length
When you begin to think about the message you are portraying with the video, you’ll want to ensure that your focus length helps tell the story appropriately. For instance, if you’re filming a child, make sure to shoot at their level. Or if you’re capturing a special moment or a small detail, get closer. Most film is shot at a medium focus length but adding shots from multiple focuses and angles will add dimension to your project
7. Edit Smart
Editing your video will be an important step in solidifying the tone of your message. That’s why Erica implores you to skip the fancy transitions and keep in mind that simple stories are always the best stories. Tools like time-lapse and slow motion can help you add depth and character to your content. She also suggests spending time on the title to maximize SEO and encourages you to be creative and experimental in your video creations.
8. Ask Yourself, “Would I Watch It?”
Does your video content include “news you can use?” Is this something that you would want to watch if you saw it on a Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere? Erica stresses the importance of portraying a message that focuses on the viewer’s benefit and a video that always ends with a call to action. After all, isn’t the point of your video to inspire some kind of response from your target audience?
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