If you want to see results from your video marketing, you need to create high-quality video content. It might seem like a piece of cake, but there’s a certain amount of planning and preparation that comes before hitting record. Here are six things you need to do before hitting record.
Before recording a video, the first thing you need to do is to research a topic. You need to know what your video will be about and, more importantly, what you will be discussing.
Coming up with a good idea for your next video is a hurdle we’ve all had to jump at some point. There are several helpful tools that can help you brainstorm topics that your audience wants to know more about.
Once you’ve decided on the video topic, you need to figure out what you need to say; this is where a script comes in.
I would always recommend writing a script for your videos to help you stay focused and on point. When I say a script, I don’t necessarily mean writing pages and pages of detailed dialogue.
Create a bullet point list of your talking points to reference while recording. Bullet points will ensure you cover key points but still allow you to become more natural and authentic on camera.
The next thing to consider is your location. Whether you’re filming in your office, at home or outside, there are several things you need to consider when choosing the right location for your video.
Make sure to choose a quiet location. If you’re in an office, make sure you can’t hear your colleagues in the background, or the office phone won’t suddenly start ringing mid recording.
If you’re recording outside, try and stay away from busy pedestrian areas or noisy roads. Not only can a noisy location be distracting for you while recording, but it can also compromise the video.
Try and pick a location with a bit of visual interest. I often see people making the common mistake of recording their videos in front of a white wall.
Adding props into your backgrounds, such as plants, your desk, a lamp or a poster, creates points of interest in your video and is another opportunity for you to showcase your brand personality.
Film in a location where you can control the light. Make sure not to stand in front of windows as your camera will struggle to pick up the subject.
Filming outside is often trickier as you can’t control the weather, so do your best to film on days when there is a slight overcast.
Lighting is a big part of any video and needs to be set up correctly. It’s often a balancing act as too much or too little lighting will be a struggle for your camera sensor to expose and pick up details on your face.
The key to good lighting is making sure the person talking is well lit to stand out from the background.
If you can, film in a room with lots of natural light or ideally set up lighting directed at the person talking.
Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive either; you can pick up a good softbox light stand for under £50 on Amazon.
Once your lighting is in place, you need to make sure your camera is correctly exposed. Too dark, and you’ll blend into the shadows, too bright, and your video will be washed out and white.
Exposing your camera is consistent from camera to camera. There are three things you need to tweak on your camera to get the perfect shot every time, this includes:
Shutter Speed - the speed at which the shutter of the camera closes. A fast shutter speed creates a shorter exposure, the amount of light the camera takes in, while a slow shutter speed gives a more prolonged exposure.
Aperture - Aperture refers to the opening of a lens’s diaphragm through which light passes.
ISO - ISO increases or decreases the image's brightness but also affects both grain/noise levels and dynamic range.
Audio is an essential part of your video to get right. You might read that and think, "surely it’s the video quality that’s the most important part?"
Although the visual aspect is important, audio is what engages your audience. It helps convey information, emphasises what’s on-screen, suggests the overall mood, evokes emotion, and dramatically improves the production value.
Never use the built-in microphones within your smartphone or cameras. I would always recommend buying a dedicated microphone instead.
You can nearly always get better quality audio from dedicated microphones than you could from using the built-in ones.
Different types of microphones will work best for certain types of videos. For example, lapel microphones are ideal for capturing a person walking and talking as they are pinned to their shirts.
Once you know the type of video you will be creating; you will better understand the type of microphone you need for the job.
Before you hit record, there are a few last-minute things you need to do.
Make sure that all your devices are in aeroplane mode. There’s nothing worse than notifications popping up on your screen mid recording of the sound of emails binging into your inbox.
Once you have your frame set up, check for any unwanted reflections or objects. It’s always worth double-checking your frame one last time, as it can save you a lot of trouble later on.
You don’t want to come to editing only to realise there’s a used tissue or plastic bottle sitting on the desk behind you!
Always make sure your SD card is in the camera, have a glass of water to clear your throat, and finally, you’re ready to start shooting.