If you’ve decided to add video production to your marketing mix and taken time to plan out the content you want to create, the next step is to get your production tools together.
Here’s an overview of different options to consider as you get things started.
You probably already have a great camera in your pocket. The video feature on any smartphone made within the past year will be just fine to get started. A GoPro is an inexpensive camera option as well. All of the driving scenes in Jerry Seinfeld’s new web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee are shot with GoPro cameras. Do you have a fancy DSLR camera? Check if it does video. A lot of video content is made with Canon Rebel or EOS series cameras.
Sound is the key for successful video. Viewers will forgive video that’s less than perfect when it has good sound compared to HD video with lousy audio. External microphones are available for smartphones and GoPro cameras. You can spend a ton of money on a microphone, but anything between $50 and $150 should do the trick.
There are two basic styles of microphones to choose from: a shotgun or a lavaliere. Shotguns are designed to pick up sound directly in front of the microphone. These are a good choice if you’re in an office as they will do a good job of reducing peripheral sound from the room. A lavaliere microphone is the classic item you see clipped to the lapel of someone giving a speech. These work great for videos that have a stationary speaker addressing the camera.
Consider your background. A green screen gives you the flexibility to do different backgrounds electronically, but this will take some post-production work in your computer. You can skip the green screen and use a neutral-colored drape or another simple location in your office like a bookcase.
Lighting is easier than you think. If you have a large window in your office, this could work well in place of a lighting kit. You’ll want your subject to face the window when you shoot to get even light. If you have the room to set up a basic studio, three lights are all you need. You’ll want a main or a “key” light, a fill light, and a back light. The fill light should be half as intense as the key light, so set this light farther back than your key light or just click it down to half power. The back light fills in the background, making your speaker stand out in the frame.
Use editing software to add some pizazz. Investing in an editing program gives you options that will make your work appear more professional. From being able to record sound separately from video and sync things later to just cutting out a mistake, learning the basics of video editing and “post-production” is the way to elevate your video content above the rest. Nearly all basic editing packages also allow you to add titles, simple graphics, and other finishing touches.
Adobe Premiere Pro is what we use at Marathon. Premiere Pro is part of the advanced subscription package from Adobe. The inexpensive version of Adobe’s program is Premiere Elements. If you have a Mac, you’ve likely already got iMovie, Apple’s basic editing software on your machine.
Upload your work to YouTube. Now you need to get a YouTube account for your business. There are a number of other video platforms (Vimeo, Wistia, etc.) but anything you’ve designed for marketing to prospects needs to be on YouTube. More than 1 billion users visit YouTube each month and you want to add your work to that mix of content. If you’re going to invest some serious time and money in your video production, Vimeo and some of the other sites offer better playback and other features that may be right for you.
We got our video production started at Marathon with this short rundown on how to choose a strong password. Good luck and let us know how things turn out.