Video grabs attention much faster than text does, so many companies are now promoting themselves online using video created by themselves or by hired professionals. Video can drive your marketing strategy and generate interest in your company far beyond anything a brochure could achieve.
However, it’s not always easy to produce good video content, especially if you have limited video production experience and a small budget.
What sort of things should you bear in mind when creating video for the web?
Online Video: Plan ahead
Think carefully about the goals for your online video. For example, are you hoping to increase the number of visitors to your website? Are you trying to establish a brand, or make sales? Your reasons for creating videos will provide you with your starting point for what to create.
Online Video: Tell a story
Don’t just start shooting and hope for the best. Create a storyboard that lays out what you want to get across. People are more likely to watch your video through to the end if it tells a story. Avoid boring lecture-style ‘infograms’ and get creative about ways you can engage your audience.
Online Video: Match your audience
Make sure your presenter dresses in a way that suits your core audience’s style: business attire for corporate audiences and a casual look if your audience is young and informal.
Online Video: Get the lighting right
Some simple lighting techniques can make the difference between producing professional-looking video content and amateurish content that portrays your company in, well, a bad light.
Whenever possible, shoot in a well-lit area. But also remember to limit the number of competing light sources. For example, if you’re shooting indoors with lots of light streaming in the windows and bright fluorescent lights overhead, you should either turn off the fluorescents and balance for the daylight, or pull down the window shades and adjust for overhead lighting. Ensure that your presenter is not standing with the sun or other bright light behind them.
Online Video: Sound off
Resist the urge to use the internal microphone that came with your camcorder. Either hire or buy an external microphone to capture the audio when you’re recording. In-built microphones are not only of poorer quality than external microphones, they also pick up noise from the camcorder’s inner drive mechanism, further deteriorating the sound quality.
Online Video: Edit carefully
If you don’t have the financial or technical resources to do a lot of editing on your video, use what is known as ‘in camera’ editing – this is when you edit as you film by pressing record and pause at just the right time. Good in camera editing can create an interesting flow and enable more creative story-telling. No matter how good your in camera editing is, though, you will probably have to edit out some unnecessary footage – any content that doesn’t add to the story reduces the overall impact of the video.
Keep file sizes down. Remember, there’s no point in creating great content if the file is too bulky for easy online streaming.
Online Video: Get professional help
Don’t be afraid to call in the professionals if you’re completely unsure of the best way to go about creating good video content. Most video production companies can offer a package to suit almost any budget.
Research different production companies and ask to see a showreel. This will give you an opportunity to examine other videos they have produced. Also ask if they can provide testimonials from previous clients.
Maeve Quill, Head of Development and Production at Nemeton Video for Business, shares the following ‘top tips’ for creating a successful web video:
- Have a clear message and structure to your script. Don’t ad lib.
- Keep the video short – anything over five minutes is too long.
- When adding tags to video clips, for example on YouTube, make sure you add relevant keywords that will help search engines find your footage.
- Ensure whoever is presenting is comfortable in front of a camera. If no one in your company is suitable, hire a professional presenter.
- If it’s a ‘talking head’ video, the presenter should connect with the audience and speak direct to camera.
- Make sure there is a clear call to action at the end of the video, for example ‘call us on this number’, ‘click here to join our mailing list’, ‘click here to shop’, ‘click here to book’.
- Link to sites like YouTube and Twitter that can show the video and promote you and your message.
- Have fun with it. Don’t be afraid to smile and inject a bit of humour.
Creating video content can be a daunting task, but by keeping these simple tips in mind, you can improve the quality of the clips you make. At the very least, asking yourself whether you could complete all the tasks outlined above competently will let you know whether you should think about hiring a professional company to do the work for you.
This article originally appeared in the eBusiness Live newsletter from Enterprise Ireland’s eMarketing Unit and was written by ENNclick.