Video is taking the marketing world by storm. Now that it’s easy to create video, people are producing video right from their iPhones, publishing it directly to social media and using it on their website to drive engagement, leads and sales opportunities.
But there is a difference between good video and great video. Not all video content is ready for prime time, and while I think done is better than perfect in this case, it’s still important to make sure the video content you produce is high quality, educational and entertaining.
Shooting the video is usually where most people focus, but the production of the video is more important than you think. If it looks amateurish or if it’s distracting to the viewer, you won’t achieve your marketing goals.
Here are 12 video marketing production tips that you can use today to make sure your video content is top-notch in 2022 and beyond.
Like almost anything you do in marketing, you need a plan. Great pre-production leads to smooth production, which helps with easy and fast post-production. The more prepared you are before starting shooting, the easier the entire process will go.
Today, Square 2 turns client videos around in days, not weeks or months like the norm was just a few years ago.
This means having everything such as camera staging, scripts, shortlists, lighting setups and more planned out in as much detail as possible before you even consider hitting the record button.
But this also means having a solid idea about what video you want to produce. Is it a talking-head video with just a single person speaking in front of a background?
Is it a “60 Minutes”-style interview with two people talking?
Are you shooting video on the floor of a trade show, conference or factory? Is it outside or inside? How long is the video going to be? How many people do you want to feature?
The longer the video, the more shots. The more people, the more shots. The more complex the story, the more shots. Knowing what you’re trying to produce before you start is key to finishing with a final product that produces leads, sales opportunities and new customers.
There are so many types and styles of video marketing to be produced, and you should know going into it what you’re trying to accomplish.
For example, if you’re trying to help sales close more new customers, you might need client testimonial video.
If you’re trying to turn visitors into leads on your website, you might need more educational video content marketing.
If you’re trying to hire more people, video on your company culture or team members would be most appropriate.
Within each of these applications for video there are different stories to be told. Knowing your story before you start filming is critical.
If you’re doing thought leadership, make sure your video is disruptive and educational (maybe even a little provocative). Take a position that no one else is taking.
If you’re doing education, make sure that your video is informative, easy to understand and action-oriented so when someone is done watching they can use your information to take action and make progress. You might want to consider the entertainment factor. Even educational videos can be entertaining.
Make sure your video has a clear call-to-action (CTA), like click here, visit this page or call this number. Remember, the goal of the video is usually for the viewers to take action.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with equipment when it comes to video. But today it’s so simple that anyone can do it.
An iPhone, ring light, camera and microphone are all you need to get started.
You can create videos right from your computer with Zoom. Most laptops include a camera and a microphone, and if those internal tools are of decent quality, you might be good to go.
The equipment needed to add a video to your marketing, sales and customer service execution is a nonissue. Sales can quickly record a video on a laptop and send it to prospects. Customer service reps can share their screen and do a “show-and-tell” video for customers with questions.
Don’t think you need fancy video equipment to add video content to your company’s lead generation efforts. You can get started making videos today.
Proper sound can make or break a video. The only time viewers notice sound quality is when it’s bad. Eliminate this distraction by spending a couple of extra dollars on a decent microphone. Also, know which microphone to buy for your specific situation (shotgun, lavalier or condenser).
Make sure you don’t have any outside noises that the microphone might pick up. If you’re in your home, the heater, air conditioner or dog are all considerations. While you don’t need a soundproof room, eliminating any distracting outside noises will make the video better.
If you’re using an iPhone, consider a lavalier mic, especially if you’re going to be a few feet away from the phone during shooting.
Even if there are audio issues with your video, you can fix some in post-production. Just be aware that if people can’t hear your video or have to struggle to hear it, they’re not going to stick around and they’re not going to see your story or message.
A survey of U.S. consumers by Verizon Media and Publicis Media found that 69% of people view videos without sound when in public places. This means you must consider closed captions.
But you have to tread lightly with closed captions. Some platforms auto-generate closed captions, which is fine, as long as you’re OK with the “umms” and “yeas” from your video being shown in the closed captions area.
If you’re not, you can add closed captions in post-production and control the specifics of the captions applied.
With a little thought and planning, you can easily navigate this production tip and give your viewers a great video experience.
Not everyone is comfortable being in a video. It might seem straightforward, but we’ve found a number of people who just don’t want to do it. We’ve also worked with people who are excited to do the video but don’t have the personality to pull it off.
It’s great if your subject is excited about doing the video, but they have to show up and perform. They have to be excited, engaging and funny or entertaining in some way.
If you have a subject who needs some help, there are ways to support them. One tip that works wonders is asking them the same question three or four times. This allows you to edit together the best of the answers into what looks like a great answer to a tough question.
Using multiple takes also helps them get comfortable. The first time around they might be tense, but by the third or fourth time, they may have relaxed enough to seem natural and deliver the goods.
Sometimes getting people to just talk about something they know, like their family, their hobbies or their favorite foods, helps them settle down and appear comfortable on video.
These producer tips are going to be invaluable if you end up with someone who isn’t comfortable. Of course, when you get the person who was made for video, lean in and ask them to do as much as they can because those shoots are going to be quick and easy.
The rule of thirds involves splitting up your shot into thirds, horizontally and vertically, and framing your subject off-center. It creates movement and life in your shot the way a straight-on centered shot wouldn't.
Here’s an example – notice how the dog isn’t centered but rather is in the first third of the image.
By setting up your video like this, it looks more professional, it’s more engaging and it’s easier to watch.
Always shoot more than you think you need, like extra takes of the same line, extra b-roll you may not have planned or anything that wasn't on your shot list if you have the time.
The more you shoot, the more options you have when you’re editing the footage in post-production. Without footage, you have limited options. With the footage, you might even have an extra video buried in there. Getting two videos from one shoot – that’s content at scale.
If you want to get fancy, you can consider fixing color in post-production. This helps especially if you may have made mistakes with lighting during production. Raising the highlights or shadows of an image can help deepen the complexity of an image and give it a more professional look. Adding a little bit of saturation can also bring a bit more life into an otherwise dull image.
Even simple, soft lighting on a subject can really take video to the next level. Fill lights that eliminate shadows around the face or behind the subject (cast by your key lights) can also make a dramatic difference in quality.
Today you can fill in shadows with ring lights, lights from the iPhone and even small lighting devices that help give your shoot a professional look.
This is incredibly difficult even for the most experienced video producers, but great music makes a world of difference. Music sets the mood and tells you what to expect. If you have bad music or misaligned music, your viewers will be able to tell.
Avoid stock websites that offer royalty-free music. Instead, pay for a service that offers a large library of music from musical artists. You might find that the service comes with an FX/sound effects library as well, which could make your videos a little more interesting if appropriate.
Did you know that if you’re watching an Instagram video and you have mute on, the platform will create closed captions? You need to know this because if you add closed captions, you’ll have competing captions.
YouTube doesn’t count views for your video until someone watches it for 30 seconds or more, so make sure your first 30 seconds are interesting and engaging to tease out the rest of the video.
Typically, we recommend people create videos for specific platforms. The content might be exactly the same, but the timing, sizing and production details may be slightly different depending on where you’re planning on posting your video. LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Instagram should have specs that you’re matching in post-production.
Alternatively, consider sticking with one platform at a time. That might be more efficient and allow you to test your videos with a single audience on a single platform.
Today, video is the secret to content at scale. One hour-long video can be a video on YouTube, a podcast on every podcast platform, content on your website, content for email campaigns, social posts and more. In just a single hour, you can create up to five pieces of content.
You might need a few takes to get your feet under you but start now. The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see leads, sales opportunities and new customers flowing in from your video work.