Video content is at the top of today’s marketing landscape. With the right strategy, a high-quality video can be a powerful way to engage your audience and up your SEO game now and in the long run. It’s a critical part of your marketing plan. Despite the benefits, getting started with in-house video production can be overwhelming.
But according to Faith Dey, owner of Live Well Video, it doesn’t have to be. Faith joined AMA Madison’s Craft Marketing event on May 31st to break down the entire in-house video production process from start to finish. In her presentation, Faith shared the simple steps and tips to create your own pro-quality videos, whether for your internal company communications or for serving current and potential customers.
Read on for Faith’s step-by-step guide, complete with expert tips, to produce videos in-house:
The 3 Stages of Creating High-Quality Video Content In-House
1. Prepare with Pre-Production
Faith shared vital elements to focus on during your early preparation stages.
There are many video types, and some may be unique to your industry. Some popular examples include testimonials, instructional videos, FAQs, how-to videos, and more. First, ask yourself which type best aligns with your marketing plan? Then, consider which best supports the kind of content your audience is most interested in. Ideally, you want to produce a video that has multiple uses across your marketing channels, as this makes it an even more valuable asset in the long run.
Whether you choose an interview format, direct to camera, or a blend of both, Faith recommends pursuing whatever feels most natural to you. In an interview format, the speaker speaks to the camera operator offscreen instead of speaking directly to the camera. On the flip side, the direct to camera format requires you to talk to the camera lens, which can call for extra practice to make it efficient. You may also opt for a scenario involving a direct conversation between two speakers, as it can be more natural for some. She explained that sometimes, you won’t know which format you prefer until you start filming. If this is the case, there’s no shame in switching it up at the last minute. If they struggle to speak naturally, try having them talk directly to you. For some beginner speakers, starting with voiceover work over b-roll visuals can be the best first step, too, and they can get on camera later.
Script or Bullet Points
According to Faith, using a script through a teleprompter is a stellar choice for video newcomers. However, some speakers may feel more natural creating bullet points ahead of time to follow more loosely. Both methods require a lot of practice, Faith explained, because it takes practice to find a cadence in your natural speaking ability.
Look for a location for excellent noise, light, and space. If you plan to film in your office building, determine which room offers the ideal combination of low noise and plenty of lighting and space. Faith recommends physically scouting out your best option, whether you’re going for an in-office location or off-premises. This way, you can be sure you’ve made the right pick and know if you need to bring any extra equipment, like additional lighting, on filming day. It will also allow you to notice subtle details, like if there’s an air conditioning system blowing in the background. Location features like this can be easy to overlook but appear very noticeable on a filmed video and very difficult to edit.
Planning with SEO
When choosing a topic, prioritize search engine optimization (SEO). Optimizing your content will ensure that it reaches your ideal audience and can provide long-term value. Beyond the subject, SEO is a crucial consideration for the video title and the script or bulleted list you’re writing.
“It’s not the gear. It’s how you use it,” Faith advised attendees. She explained that while a digital camera is ideal and a quality starter can cost you as little as $1,000, it takes time to master them. However, you’re still in good hands if you’re limited to a phone. An up-to-date smartphone can pull off fantastic videos, too, Faith explained. She also recommends purchasing a sturdy tripod, as hand-held filming leads to annoyingly shaky videos.
Because people are more likely to forgive lousy video than bad audio, never cut corners in the audio equipment department. According to Faith, purchasing quality microphones, whether wireless or connected to the camera, makes all the difference in your video’s quality. She also recommends getting a headset to plug into the camera to give you a more accurate idea of the audio you’re picking up.
If your video speaker wants to use a teleprompter, good news: They are reasonably priced at around $100 and highly user-friendly for you and your speaker.
Worried about spending too much all at once? Faith recommends starting smaller with less expensive equipment and graduating as you become confident in your video production skills and see increasing value in your content. After all, the script and strategy matter far more than the equipment.
Positioning & Visuals
Even with diligent planning, you will need some visual fine-tuning when you reach your filming location. Faith suggested the following tips and ideas to get started:
- Use the rule of thirds when positioning the speaker, with their eyes in the top third of the screen, allowing for headroom. If there’s not enough distance between the top of the frame and the top of their head, they can look like they’ve been cut off.
- Aim for visual balance in the background. You want the objects in your video’s background to reflect your brand without causing distractions.
- In interviews, face the speaker slightly to the side with more space on one side.
- If you’re featuring a single speaker and want to create a sense of authority, have the speaker speak directly to the camera.
- With enough space, you can create a blurred background effect. Plan to have a distanced background and allow 3 feet between the camera and speaker.
- If your speaker is wearing glasses, ensure that there aren’t any reflections or glares on camera.
- Encourage movement. Your speaker might not even know it, but they may be standing completely still while talking. Hand, body, and head movements are vital to creating a comfortable, natural-feeling video.
- Avoid hard stops. While it can be tempting for a speaker to end a segment by making a reactionary face or looking to the producer for feedback, keeping the speaker’s gaze in the camera for a few seconds after they’re finished speaking makes editing far more manageable.
- Allow ample time for setbacks. For a video as short as 2 minutes, Faith recommends leaving at least an hour to make sure the speaker can get the message precisely the way they want it.
Regarding editing tools, it doesn’t matter whether you favor PCs or Apple products – Faith says that Adobe Premiere and iMovie both do a great job!
To add long-term value to your investment, store your video on YouTube. Doing so offers powerful SEO benefits and can help get your content seen by more people. Plus, optimizing videos for SEO within the YouTube platform is easy, with options for adding chapters, tags, on-screen cards that link to your other videos, and more.
Add Some Polish
As Faith put it, the magic and the time’s in the editing. You can remove the “ummms” and “likes” for seamless audio delivery. Lay over some relevant photos as b-roll to illustrate your point and add extra engagement to the video.
Show It Off to the World
Now that your video’s ready to be seen, make sure as many people see it as you can. In addition to housing it on YouTube, you can:
- Embed it to your website
- Include it in your next newsletter
- Link it in the company-wide email signature template
- Trim it for social posts, and schedule it to re-post periodically to get extra mileage
- Link to it in blog posts
- Incorporate it into a sales or marketing campaign as a call to action
With enough creativity, the possibilities are endless. Through it all, find ways to link back to your site whenever possible. What’s next? Begin planning for your next video, of course, as practice will only make your content stronger.
See You at Capital Brewery for June’s Craft Marketing
Craft Marketing invites you to its next live in-person event at Capital Brewery in Middleton at 5:30 PM on June 28th, 2022, where Martha Carrigan, CEO of Big Shoes Network (BSN), will explain how recent events have impacted the current state and future of Recruitment Marketing, plus how you can support your company’s recruitment efforts and overall brand.
About the Venue
Capital Brewery was founded in 1984, and brewed their first batch of beer, a pilsner, in the spring of 1986 and was founded to brew traditional German style lager beer in America. Capital has won over 240 awards at domestic and international competitions. The venue is located at 7734 Terrace Ave. in Middleton, WI.
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