As online browsing trends continue to change at an alarming pace, I find myself asking clients 1) do you have high quality photos to share on social, and 2) do you have a library of online videos readily available? As the internet shifts towards a more visual way of browsing (thanks Pinterest!), the pressure for brands and companies to produce high quality, eye catching images and videos is more important than ever! With 4 billion video views on YouTube each day, there’s no denying that video is hot… and I’ve seen its power!
So it should come as no surprise to hear me say… get on the video train! And get on it fast!
Video not only allows you to visually tell a story, it allows you to tell your story AND get your point across quicker (we have limited amounts of time to be mucking around on the internet these days!). One common misconception about online video is that it’s expensive. The truth is, it can be… but doesn’t have to be! If you dedicate the time, resources and energy, you can easily produce, shoot, and post your own online videos with minimal expense. I mean, I did this exact process last week when I shot a quick cooking video for a client… right from my own kitchen! (yes, that’s me crouched over a food processor!)
Follow these 10 easy steps, and you will have your very own videos up and running in no time.
1. Camera + Equipment // These days even your standard point and shoot cameras come with video recording capabilities, but I highly recommend something that can record in high definition (like a Canon Rebel). And almost important as the camera itself is the equipment: tripod, lighting, and reflectors. These three items alone can make or break a video. All these items can easily be rented or even borrowed… if your friends are really nice!
2. Topics + Style // Brainstorming time! Get together with your entire team and brainstorm 5-10 topics which are well suited to be represented using video. How-tos, tips, and product hacks are popular themes these days. Next, discuss your style. Will they be light and airy, dark and dramatic?
3. Write a Simple Script // Keep it short & sweet, stay on topic, and accomplish your purpose. Keep it light and informal if possible, you want people to feel comfortable while they watch. Studies show that short videos (around 1 minute) perform the best, so keep it simple. And don’t forget to end with a call to action; tell the viewer what they should do next. Yes, tell them!
4. Shoot It // Now it’s time to shoot this thing! Take a look at the scripts and allocate plenty of time for your shoot. You don’t want to be rushed. You don’t want to get sloppy. Take your time. Be thorough. Stay true to your brand. And for the love of everything holy, shoot more than one take! Your editing crew will thank you!
5. Video Editing Software // This is where patience and attention to detail come in handy! Most computers are equipped with some sort of basic editing software whereby you can splice together your clips, even adding transitions and other simple effects… fade in, fade out. Window’s Movie Maker is a great inexpensive resource or if you are looking for something a little more complex Adobe has an excellent suite of editing software.
6. Add The Goodies // Now’s your chance to get creative and have a little fun! If you want to spruce up your video you can do so by adding voice-overs, sound effects, background music, or stock photography. Just be careful not to use something that is copy-written, like music. There are plenty of resources out there to purchase inexpensive “goodies.” My go-to resources are VideoHive and AudioJungle.
7. Upload It // YouTube is the largest user-generated video platform in the world… and it’s free. Don’t forget to fill everything out; title, description, location, tags, and other settings. You can also upload to other services like Vimeo just to extend your reach and visibility. Now you are ready to share.
8 Share, Share, Share! // It’s your time to shine! Get your brand new video out there for the world to see! Embed it on your website, tweet the link, post it to your Facebook page, pin it, and blog about it! And don’t just do it once, you can continual drive traffic to this new and valuable resource!
9. Track It // Don’t forget about measurement. YouTube has built in tracking and analytics which allow you to see everything from the demographics of your viewers to view counts. This information will allow you to track the success of your videos against each other, and adjust your new videos based on what you have learned.
10. Do It Again! // You can never have too many videos, as long as they are unique, helpful, informative, and offer some way to help your customer, so keep shooting!
Have you ever shot your own online videos? Any tips or tricks you care to share?