Perhaps you’re the independent type when it comes to a marketing plan and you choose to purchase a video camera and editing equipment to shoot your own videos for your websites. But can you succeed with marketing videos if you’ve never had any video training? Some might say yes, but there’s no doubt your video will see an increase in views if you learn a few do-it-yourself tips.
1. Have a plan. In the video production world, we call it storyboarding. It’s a plan of shots, sequences and directions for a film, and it can be done in a variety of ways and without too much work. Your plan will save you a lot of time by serving as a guide for what you’ll capture on video and how you will edit, or arrange, your video clips for the final version. If you’re new to creating a video plan, start simple. Jot down what you’d like to capture in each take of the video and write a script for anyone speaking on camera. Also, make sure you write down notes about each take so you’ll know which sequences to use in your final video and which to toss out.
2. Use a tripod or another tool to balance your camera. This might sound obvious, but some people also might think they have sturdy hands. Just keep in mind that no one wants to become dizzy after watching your self-made video. If you don’t have a tripod or funding for one, you can balance your camera on anything sturdy and level. For example, find a stack of books and place the camera on them at the height and distance where you want to film.
3. Minimize background noise. Background noise can be good for movies or sporting events, but it’s just distracting if it’s not a part of the scene you’re trying to convey. You can minimize ambient noise by using microphones if you have them or by using an editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Audacity (a free version) to edit some of the noise levels. See this About.com article for more information about styles of microphones and the benefits of each type to find one that’s perfect for your video.
4. Use a variety of shots. Unless your video is shorter than a few seconds, your viewers will become bored staring at the same image for any longer. Fix this by using a variety of shots, even if you’re only filming one subject. This is quite easy if you have more than one camera. You can set one camera at a medium-length distance of your subject and another camera at a closer angle showing a different side of the subject. Then, during your editing process, you can switch angles quite easily. Or, if you only have one camera, you can shoot multiple takes with different angles. Also, search for other elements to show in your video. For example, if you have someone talking on camera about a product, make sure to capture a few shots of the product to add variety to your video. Watch an example of how a beginner can use a variety of shots here.
5. Get creative! After you learn how to use a variety of shots, it’s time to make your viewers come back for more! Add new ideas, such as a virtual tour if you’re creating a commercial about a place or a how-to showing the process of making something you’re representing. Or, if you work for a large company, put the CEO or executive director on camera so customers can get to know the person behind the business. See more creative ideas here.
Do you have any other tips for beginners? Post them in the comments section below.