In a 2016 study, networking giant Cisco predicted that online videos would account for “more than 80% of consumer internet traffic by 2020” and they weren’t very far off the mark. This explains the growing interest (and success) in using video as a marketing tool. There are a million and one different types of marketing videos you can create, but regardless of which type you use, it will help to have a basic understanding of video production and what goes into creating a successful video that will attract and engage your audience. In this post, we’ll take you through the process from start to finish so that you have all the tools you need to have a successful video production.
A successful video will need to be organized, interesting and of high quality and those things cannot be achieved without a solid foundation. A marketable video will rely heavily on using the correct equipment to get the job done well and a basic understanding of video composition. Let’s take a deeper look.
Getting the Right Equipment to Start With
The first piece of equipment you will need to create a quality video is a camera. Before you go rushing out to buy an expensive new model, consider that you may already have a viable option right at your fingertips…literally. The evolution of smartphones with built-in HD (high-definition) cameras and the capability to shoot videos in 4K (high resolution with a much crisper image) have made the process of getting usable footage exponentially easier. This is perfect if you are just starting out.
If you do decide to upgrade, look for a professional digital camera with the capability to shoot video. Most will come with easy to understand tutorials that will quickly be able to give you a better understanding of terms like “F-stop”, “ISO” and “aperture”. It may seem intimidating upfront, but it’s really not all that hard to learn with a little bit of time and effort.
Understanding the Basics of Video Composition
Knowing where objects should appear in the frame of your shot to make it the most visually appealing is another huge part of getting prepared to shoot a quality video. The “rule of thirds” is a concept that explains that by dividing a shot with two vertical and two horizontal lines in equal distance from one another, you create intersections where any of the key elements in the shot should exist. For example, a person speaking directly to the camera should have their eyes lined up with the top horizontal line and near either of the spaces where that line intersects with a vertical line.
When using the rule of thirds, leave enough space around the person speaking that they aren’t taking up the entire screen. If you are focusing on a scene with multiple things happening, make sure that your viewer’s eyes will go to the right places by keeping your most important visual elements at these crossroads.
Planning Your Video Production
So, you have the right equipment and you know how to place people and items in your shot. It’s now time to start planning your video production, for which you’ll need to gather some information.
Understanding the Purpose
First, you’ll need to decide what type of message you are trying to get across with your video and what its overall purpose is. Are you trying to boost brand awareness, get more sales, increase engagement, educate your audience, or something else? You will also want to know your target market so that you can decide how you will speak their language.
Choosing Your Location
Location is another big factor to consider when you are in the pre-planning stage of your video. This will be largely determined by the intention of the video. If you’re looking to build brand awareness for a new sports product, for example, you will likely be shooting outside or in some sort of an arena. If, on the other hand, your purpose is to educate new employees about the ins and outs of your brand, maybe it makes more sense to shoot a video in your office. Wherever you choose to shoot, make sure that it is quiet and empty enough that you won’t have a ton of outside interference to pull the attention away from your audience.
Choosing a Type of Video For Production
Based on your purpose, you will want to choose a particular type of video to shoot. You might build brand awareness through a behind the scenes video or an entertainment video that speaks to the general ‘vibe’ of your brand. If you’re looking to increase sales, you might do a product demo or live testimonial. The type of video you choose to create will also determine its length.
Setting a Budget For Video Production
Creating a quality video can run the gamut from absolutely free to incredibly expensive. More money, however, does not always equate to higher quality. If you choose to do a free or low-budget video on your own, it can still absolutely serve its purpose. You can also hire a professional videographer or company to work with you.
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Writing Your Script
While certain videos may benefit from off the cuff authenticity (like testimonials), it’s usually a good idea to have at least a general overview of what you would like to say. Writing a script (or even an outline) will help you to stay on topic and not miss any pertinent points that you want to have included in your video. Once your script is written, consider doing a table read with some members of your target market to see where you could improve your content.
Determine Any Additional Equipment Needed
Based on all of the information you have gathered, it’s time to decide if there are additional pieces of equipment that you will need to create the best video. This could include microphones, lights or rentable studio space, to name a few.
Video Production & Beyond
Now it’s time to bring your video to life! This can be an exciting part of the process, but may also feel a little uncomfortable.
Getting in the Right Mindset For Video Production
Being on camera doesn’t come naturally to us all. If you find yourself experiencing major anxiety over your screen-time, there are a few things you can do. First, you might consider asking another person who isn’t so camera-shy (and is still a great representation of your brand) to step in for you. If that’s not an option, think about using your computer to act as a teleprompter so you don’t forget your lines. Also remember that you don’t have to shoot your entire video in one sitting. Break it into smaller chunks that you can take on a little bit at a time.
Committing to the Editing Process
Whatever you do, do not post your marketing videos without going through the editing process. It may seem a little overwhelming, but with so much different editing software available today (both free and for purchase), you’re certain to find a platform that feels usable for you. If your budget allows for it, you may even choose to outsource this part of your project.
Saving Your Videos
Storing video files is going to eat up a lot of your computer’s internal hard drive. That’s why it’s so important to invest a little money into an external hard drive. Look for a drive that has at least one terabyte of storage available. You can always get a larger one later if you find that you need to. Remember to save your completed videos as MP4 files before moving on to the next step.
Sharing Your Video
Once your video production is complete, it’s time to share it with the world! But how and where?
Posting your videos up on your website or blog will keep your audience engaged. You can educate them about your brand and potentially help you to convert more visitors.
YouTube Video Production
Anybody looking into video marketing should know that YouTube is the biggest video hosting platform on the web. It ranks second only to Google in terms of search engines, but YouTube is owned by Google! This makes it a powerful platform to connect with and expand your audience.
Sharing your videos to social media platforms is another great way to expand your brand awareness and encourage engagement. With the ability to share, like, retweet and comment, this is the single most effective way to interact directly with your audience and encourage them to do some of your marketing for you!
Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to take the steps toward implementing video production into your marketing plan. It’s really not anything to worry about and can actually be quite fun, while also potentially helping to generate a great return for the efforts you put in. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be creating quality marketing videos before you know it!