Creating Great Video Content
Creating great video content is an effective way to connect with potential customers and leave a lasting impression. But, not just any video will cut it. Your video content needs to look it’s best and leave a positive image of your brand. With creating great video content, you don’t necessarily need huge marketing budgets. Instead, you just need to know a few tips and best practices to best utilize the video tools you already have! In this article we’ll talk about the top 5 areas that add value to a video. Looking for ways to help with creating great video content? OneCom Media & Marketing is here to help.
Great audio is one of the easiest ways to take your content’s quality up a notch.
Voice: The microphone that is built into your camera just won’t cut it. Built-in microphones capture too much background noise and are too far away from the subject to sound professional. Instead, a lapel microphone that can be clipped onto a shirt or tie and bring you TV quality sound when a subject is talking. It allows you to bring the microphone close to the subject’s mouth, limit background noise, and get crisp voice recording. You can even plug one directly into most cameras and audio recorders!
Music: Background music is a great way to add interest and professionalism to a video. However, when using any sound in a business video, it needs to be commercially licensed or royalty free in order to be legal. The last thing you need is a lawsuit over a simple song.
As a general best practice, try to stay away from combining music with lyrics or distracting elements with someone who is talking or a voiceover. Also, it typically helps to decrease the audio level of any background music after import to ensure that is stays in the background. This is to keep the focus on the speaker, rather than the music.
Environmental Noises: The scene will need to be quiet while recording video and audio. This means that recording in a busy office or dining room will lead to disastrous results. Pay attention to fans, air conditioners, or equipment that may be making small noises. You may be used to them in your office and no longer notice their presence, but your viewers will!
Post production is just as important as filming! Using editing techniques properly can take an “good” video to a “great” video.
B-Roll: Nothing is worse than watching a talking-head style video! Play short, cinematic clips of what your subject is discussing while they are talking. Then, cut back to your subject here and there. Overall, you should strive for about 1/2 to 2/3 of your video to be b-roll or non-talking head content. This gives added interest and will make a consumer with a short attention span more likely to finish your video.
Style: Fast-paced editing is what is currently “in.” Generally, keep each b-roll clip to only a few seconds in length.
Graphics: A great way to add brand awareness and a pro touch is to use branded graphics. Stick a small logo in one of the corners of the screen. When introducing a speaker, utilize a lower-third title with their name and position. Outro graphics with a call to action, contact information, and your logo are a fantastic way to conclude your video. Motion graphics look great as outros.
Intros are no longer recommended for videos designed for social media or under 1 minute. This is because you only have a few seconds to grab the attention of the viewer before they scroll away, and an intro sequence screams “advertisement” and takes away from this precious time to hook your viewer.
Transitions: Heavy use of transitions often times looks extremely unprofessional. Keep it classy and minimize use of transitions to as few as possible. Jump-cuts from clip to clip generally look best. However, when shifting from graphics to video, it can look nice to use a short transition. Sparingly use dissolve or fade transitions if you need to use any.
One of the best keys for creating great video content is to keep the video as short as possible. Attention spans are short – the most concise way to convey your message is usually best. A promotional, highlight video should be 30-60 seconds. Videos like this are best to showcase on the homepage of your website or on social media. Longer, more informative videos should be saved for pages on your website where your customer is hunting for additional information on your company or product.
Stabilization: Nothing looks unprofessional like a shaky camera. Gimbal stabilizers, sliders, and tripods can each be used to stabilize your footage. Each results in a different effect and final look. Ideally, your video will consist of a combination of shots filmed using all three of these stabilization methods. However, a great place to start is a tripod. They are relatively inexpensive and the result of switching from handheld video to a tripod stabilized video will be astronomical.
Framing: Use rule of thirds to make sure that your shots are framed properly. To do this, turn on the grid on your camera. You’ll use these grid lines to line up your subject. For most shots, eyes should be along the top third’s line. You can either center your subject or put them off to the right or left third of the image. When framing a subject on one of the side thirds, have them facing towards the area of the screen where they are not. As in, if they are framed in the left third, then should be slightly turned and looking towards the empty, right third of the screen.
B-roll: As mentioned above, B-roll breaks up the footage and makes it more engaging, rather than just a talking head. Take the extra time to record cinematic footage of what is being discussed by your speaker. Additionally, having a library of B-roll gives the ability to remix the footage and use individual clips on social media.
Additional Filming Techniques
White balance: White balance is how the colors appear in your footage. It needs to be matched to your lighting conditions in order for your camera to record colors as they appear in real life. When using professional lighting and camera equipment, you are able to match the camera white balance setting to exactly that of the lighting conditions you are in using the kelvin rating of your lights or a white balance card.
Lenses: To get the most cinematic shots as possible, use a lens with a large aperture. This will give you the freedom to blur out the background, while keeping the subject in focus. This effect looks really nice when filming an interview or subject speaking. Typically, a lens with an aperture of f2.8 or larger is ideal for achieving this.
Preparation: Good preparation always pays off! Develop a script of what your subject(s) will be saying. If available, this script can even be played on a teleprompter and eliminate the need for it to be memorized.
Strategize a goal for your video before it is filmed. Don’t film for the sake of filming.
Finally, create a shot list of a minimum of what will need to be shot to have a successful video. On shoot day, things can be hectic, and you’ll want a list to be able to cross of to ensure that no important shots get forgotten.
Ensuring that the subject is well lit, with any facial shadows filled in is essential to achieving professional quality. Lighting can also be used to add additional depth and interest to a scene.
Using 2-3 lights for an interview or talking-head style shoot is ideal. One of these lights will be the brightest—the “key light”. It will be the main source of the light on your subject. The second light will be not as bright and placed on the other side of the subject to fill in any shadowy areas caused by the key light. This is called the “fill light.”
If using a third light, it can be placed above the subject and be dimmed to light up the hair/top of the subject’s head. The third light can also be placed behind the subject as a backlight. Using a backlight will light up a rim around the subject, giving a nice effect and glow.
When it comes to creating great video content, these tips will help with great videos. If you want to increase your video content as a part of your digital marketing programs, OneCom Media & Marketing is here to help. Contact us today to get started.