How to make video for your business

2018-05-30T17:48:52-07:00By |Marketing Tips|0 Comments

Making videos to promote products or services can definitely be a sales boost benefit but how easy is it? There will always be two answers depending on who you ask; easy or hard. Don’t believe either until you do due diligence researching and planning.

Content and delivery

At the core of any video is content and delivery. Great content delivered poorly or great delivery of poor content is a killer.  You’ll either bore your audience or leave them dissatisfied. In either case your audience will likely not return.  This is also the time to take a very realistic look at who is delivering on camera be it yourself or someone else.  Take off the rose colored glasses and don’t be the talent show singer who thinks they are the next big star but in reality sings like a bag of broken glass.

There’s always a plan

Content deserves a double mention as it is crucial. Start with a goal and a plan regardless if your video production will be highly structured or off the cuff.  Plan what you want to say.  Plan what you want your audience to walk away remembering.  Plan how to showcase a product or service.  Plan for extra footage to make your video more interesting or cover up mistakes.

There will always be two answers depending on who you ask; easy or hard. Don’t believe either until you do due diligence researching and planning.

Something for nothing

If you are telling your audience something that you could probably charge for or risk losing a sale over then that is an indicator of potentially good content. How can we say this?  Content has got to be something your audience can use.  That can be information, a tip, a shortcut or a solution.  It’s information beyond the specifications or benefits of a service but why risk losing a sale?  A dissatisfied customer not only tells their friends but they can also tell the entire Twitterverse.  To what extent depends on their level of dissatisfaction.  The goal is to keep your audience engaged to solutions you offer allowing them to make informed choices.  This builds trust and a satisfied and educated customer is more likely to come back and/or recommend you to others.

It’s more than you and a camera

You and a DSLR video camera or camcorder isn’t going to cut it. Your business should not be a family vacation video.  YouTube is full of videos of people sitting in their office or bedroom talking to a camera.  Their voices either sound muffled or thin and far away.  The video has an orange hue and it looks like they are in their bedroom or messy office.  The camera sees all.

At the bare minimum a camera should have an external mic input. Many camcorders and point and shoot cameras do have this option and fall into a sub $1000 range.  A DSLR with HD video (1080p at 30 frames per second recording) with external mic input may cost the same but the advantage to a DLSR is different lensing options such as wide angle lenses or the ability to more easily achieve the “soft and fuzzy” depth of field look.  Always use a tripod regardless of the camera choice.  The coffee-cam look is so annoyingly been there done that.

A good start to dramatically improving your videos is space, lighting, audio and a bit of post-production.

A quiet working space large enough to accommodate you, the camera and what the camera needs to see is very important.  Who cares if there is a pile of garbage just out of frame. What the camera doesn’t see the audience doesn’t see.

Lighting is one of the single most important steps to really upping the quality game. Professional location and studio lighting comes at a premium but there are surprisingly affordable alternatives.  It’s important to understand that cheaper can improve video quality but those lesser quality lights have limitations and can’t deliver what pro lighting can.  Search for studio lighting examples or 3-point lighting to get the basics.

Audio is also very important. Invest in a decent lavalier mic or shotgun mic or better yet both.  Sounding like you are talking through a hollow tube really diminishes quality.

Most don’t fully understand the time commitment necessary to any project until it’s underway but the ROI and rewards can be worth it.

Fix it in post

A bit of post-production can fix most mistakes providing you’ve planned how to be able to fix mistakes.  Most amateur productions don’t go to the planning extent that the pros do but the jump cut has saved many a YouTuber from letting their audience see mistakes, misfires, bloopers and thought derailments.  The inclusion of quick cutaways and jump cuts has helped boost the rapid fire delivery that keeps audiences, well, awake.  A bit of post-production can tweak colors, further condense delivery and help the say it, see it, show it advantage especially in product videos.

A tip to boost the overall authority of any video is to tack on a quality opening and closing. An opening is typically 3-4 seconds that IDs your business and it’s more than plain text.  The closing should always include business name, logo, website address and other pertinent contact info.  It may not be an advantage to include the date especially since viewers may think newer is better.  There are many sources on the internet that have very affordable customizable packages but read the terms of licenses carefully or ask their support for clarification.  Some licenses may be per end product and a single video counts as one end product.  A new video counts as another thus another license fee however inexpensive that may be.  Look at the plan for the long term.  How many videos do you plan to create and need licenses for compared to cost of engaging the services of a broadcast designer who will create a custom open and close for a one-time charge.

Another tip is to see what is behind you. If you are talking about a service or product then a clean background may be more appropriate and, quite frankly, look a lot more professional.  Seamless backgrounds come in a wide variety of textures and colors.  Savage and The BD Company  are just two manufacturers that may be carried locally to you.

It’s about time

Everyone doesn’t realize the time it takes to make a video that’s better than a single shot of 10 minutes of someone droning on to the camera. Whatever your involvement is double it, triple it, ten times it.  You can easily spend 20 minutes filming what will eventually be a 3 minute video.  “Fixing” and packaging the video in post-production can easily take 2 to 4 hours for the simple video.  More if you are adding graphics.

Most don’t fully understand the time commitment necessary to any project until it’s underway but the ROI and rewards can be worth it.

They’ll watch this

No they won’t if it’s too long. Know your audience and be brutal in the editing of your content.  Deliver what they need to know and how, where and why (or why not) to get it.  If the topic is too bulky then divide and conquer by making two or three videos instead of a single long one.  More content that is easier (shorter) to watch can be better.

Talk to the professionals

Our job is to offer solutions that fit your needs from complete concept to conclusion or you may have the talent, space and backdrop and we take care of filming and post-production. Our job is to help you achieve your goals.

About the Author:

Doug Kronlund
Doug Kronlund is a marketing and management professional with an extensive track record of strong leadership and project management skills leading multiple media and internet projects with overlapping timelines across separately managed accounts. Multidiscipline skill set includes writing for video and online content, directing, producing, editing, WordPress, communications, sales, creative concept development and execution and budget management within freelance, small and large business environments and corporate settings.

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