Last time, we talked about marketing with video on the web and the different ways to use video. This time we’ll look at what it takes to craft a good video.
The first few seconds of your web video are probably the most crucial of all. A recent marketing study found that 20 percent of viewers clicked away from a video within the first ten seconds, and 45 percent had clicked away before they reached the one-minute mark.
So, how exactly can you grab your audience in the first ten seconds of your video? Get to the point right away. Immediately begin to show the viewer what you’re about, and why they should stick around to learn more. Don’t try to dazzle your audience with tricks, stand-up comedy, or waste time beating around the bush. Consumers are just like you – their time is precious. Jump right in and show the audience exactly what it is they’ve come to see – your product and how it will make their life better.
You don’t have to be the next Steven Spielberg to produce great web videos. Neither do you have to spend a fortune on equipment for your video making projects. With just a few basic pieces of equipment, you can make stellar videos that will help you stand out from the crowd.
The Three Pieces of Equipment You Must Have
First, you’ll need to purchase a good high-definition (HD) video camera. The HD part is important and not to be overlooked – it’s your guarantee that your video images will be sharp. Cell phone video recorders and computer webcams will not give you quality video.
There are numerous options out there, but there’s no need to get overwhelmed. You just need a basic HD video camera. The more expensive cameras have bells and whistles you’ll never even use. The only “extra” you may want to consider is a remote control for your camera. This may come in handy when filming if you don’t have the luxury of a camera assistant.
While you don’t need the best camera, you will need good sound equipment. First-time videographers often make the mistake of using only the built-in microphone that comes with their camera. These built-ins typically do not have enough power and will leave your voice sounding extremely quiet and muffled. A lapel microphone is a better option. They are small and give great sound. Just clip it on, attach it to your camera, and you are ready to go. If you’d rather not fool with cords between you and the camera, a wireless microphone may be your best bet.
A tripod is also a must-have. If the images are shaky, your video will look poorly done. A tripod with a leveling bubble will help you keep the camera as straight and steady as possible. If you have to shoot without a tripod, avoid using the zoom on your camera. As you zoom in, it is easy to see even the most subtle camera movement.
While editing software isn’t required, it will make your videos look more professional. Editing software allows you to take what you’ve captured and use only the very best parts. There are many editing software packages on the market, and the best one for you will depend on what your editing goals are, and how much money you want to spend. Windows Movie Maker for PCs and iMovie for Macs are the two most popular options. They provide many editing features at a low cost and are quite user-friendly.
Now that you’ve got the right equipment, you’re ready to start filming. Here are a few tips to help you create great looking web videos:
1. Pay attention to your lighting. This is one of the easiest factors within your control, and it can really make a difference in how your videos look. Don’t shoot near a window, because the outside light streaming in is not flattering. Make sure you have plenty of direct light overhead, so that faces do not look dark or muddled.
2. Focus on the products. In most cases the focus of the video is the product, not the people. You’re only there to help sell it. Be real. Don’t try to be funny if that’s not your normal personality. Remember, people can spot a fake very quickly.
3. End your video with a call to action. Your primary purpose is to sell your product or service, right? Prompting your audience to order the product “right now” is the perfect ending to your video.
4. Upload your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites. You’ll want to use your video on your company website, of course, but don’t stop there. After you’ve created them, your videos can be easily uploaded to video sharing websites for added exposure. Millions of people watch and share videos on YouTube every day.
With a little bit of practice, you’ll be creating professional web videos in no time at all. Your web videos will become a hallmark feature of your website, setting you apart from the competition.