Videos have always driven online traffic. Each year, more people spend more time watching videos on their computers or mobile devices. As the demand for videos have increased, the ability to produce videos has become easier and easier.
Apps like Vine, Instagram and Directr are making video production more accessible for businesses to share their vision and brand. But how do you get the most out of your filming experience? These tips may give you an edge.
1) Plan Ahead - If you want to make a successful video and not go crazy while filming it, you need to plan for the message you want to share. That doesn’t mean you need a script or you can’t keep the video fun, it just means that you shouldn’t hit the record button without knowing what you want to film or what you want said while filming.
Answer these questions before you even pick up your camera:
- What’s the video about?
- What keywords do you want to use?
- How long do you want it to be?
By addressing these questions before you start filming, the process and the end result will be a more enjoyable experience.
2) Know Your App - Not every social media movie is the same. Vine is perfect for videos that you want to show on a loop. Instagram are for videos that are short (15 seconds) but aren’t meant to be seen on a loop. Facebook videos have no time limit, but will only be seen by people who follow your business. You don’t want to make put a lot of information into a Vine video and you don’t want a video that works best when continuously looped to be on Facebook. Each of these platforms have pros and cons to their video features, figure out which features work best for your message.
3) Keep It Brief - Generally, our attention span to watch videos (that we aren’t planning to watch) is about eight seconds. That’s why Vine videos are six seconds and Instagram videos can be 15 seconds long. These social media videos aren’t meant to tell a whole story, but are designed to intrigue people enough to visit your webpage or store. Six seconds isn’t a lot of time, but sometimes, it’s just enough to get someone interested in watching and learning more.
4) Know Your Tool’s Limits - A camera on your smartphone or tablet does not have the same settings as a normal camcorder. Don’t get me wrong, the video capabilities have come a long way since the early days of video messaging, but there isn’t a way to smoothly focus while filming. Also, there isn’t a directional microphone, the microphone is going to pick all the noise around you. So holding a “60 Minutes” style of interview with someone probably isn’t the best idea.
5) Make Sure People are Comfortable - You ask an employee, “Hey, Employee X! Want to be in this movie?” They say, “yes,” maybe because they think it’ll be fun or they feel obligated to do it. After a short while, it turns out that this particular employee is not comfortable in front of a camera. And that’s not a bad thing, it’s just not their strength.
You know your team the best, so don’t ask the first employee you see to be in the video. Find someone who is articulate, engaging and hopefully an extravert. Maybe Employee X is a better camera person or writer and can you help come up with a script or hold the camera.
6) Lights! - Poor or improper lighting can ruin a video. Pick a place in your business that is open and has a lot of light from above or from a window. You want to make sure the subject’s face or surface is facing that light source. If the sun, or another light source is behind your subject, your subject is going to be darkened and unrecognizable. You won’t be able to see faces or products, which are the two things you want to see in a promotional video.
7) Have Fun - Don’t take your video too seriously. This isn’t going to be submitted for an Oscar. It’s meant to be a fun distraction for consumers. To show that your company has products they want to purchase and a personality they want to do business with.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.