Creating content that continuously resonates with your audience is the key to an engagement-worthy content marketing strategy. It boosts reliability and trust in your ability to educate and inform them on topics and insights they’re looking for, to aid them in their research journey about your brand and customer experience.
To boost resonance, video marketing is one of the most powerful forms of digital marketing and education that supports this type of brand awareness, especially when you’re able to launch new video experiences ‘on the fly,’ in real-time, to take advantage of current trends and events. According to HubSpot:
- 87% of B2B marketers agree that video marketing provides them with positive ROI.
- 84% of consumers reported having purchased a product or service after watching a branded video.
- 54% of viewers claim they wish to see more videos from brands and businesses they support.
Marketing teams feel challenged most of the time to jump into video marketing campaigns due to the high-cost nature of using an external resource such as an agency or expert freelancer. So, we’re coming to you with 15 quick and easy tips to take your in-house videos from amateur hour to slick, polished, and professional WITHOUT telling you to invest in costly equipment or spend hours that your team doesn’t have. Some of the best content you can create is ‘in the moment’ while doing team brainstorms, sales calls, and in-house SME interviews.
Ready to dive in? Lights, camera, action!
1. Stick to a script
Have a script and follow it. You might be tempted to “just wing it,” but that can lead to rambling, veering off-topic, or talking too much about one point. It might seem like an extra task, but trust us, you’ll thank us later.
If you’re worried about remembering your words, you could invest in a teleprompter like this one made for your laptop, camera, and mobile phone or download the teleprompter app on your phone. You’ll be able to read from your script as you record and still keep eye contact with the recording device.
2. Keep eye contact
There’s nothing like eye contact to create a connection with your audience. Look at the camera when speaking or, if using a video chat app like Zoom, position the app’s frame directly under the webcam of your computer so it’ll look like you’re looking at the camera/audience. Brighton West also has a pretty cool setup you can create for your video needs to ensure you’re positioned well for filming on Zoom and other screen recording apps.
3. Speak slower than you would in person
Have you ever thought you were talking at a regular speed, and in reality, you’re running through sentences faster than Usain Bolt sprinting the 100m at the Olympics?
Slowing down stops you from getting tongue-tied, will help your audience follow along, and stop you from having to make harsh cut-offs in the editing process.
4. Don’t forget to pause
There’s nothing worse than listening to a video with abrupt ends that make it more obvious you’ve removed a mistake.
If you fumble your words and have to start over, leave a short pause before continuing. That way, the audio will be seamless when cutting and pasting sections together. You also want to pause before answering questions for seamless transitions.
5. Camera positioning
There are two things you want to consider here:
- keep the camera at eye level
- give enough space above and below your head
Doing this will ensure your video is well balanced and renders clear for easy viewing. Also, if you’re getting fancy with you’re editing, this gives you some room to play.
6. Use a non-distracting background
A distracting background is just that, distracting! You don’t want anything to take away from what you’re saying/doing as the main focus. You can opt for a virtual background or your filming location but try to seek out natural light, wide walls and if possible, backgrounds with artwork, plants, and other visually-pleasing props to add to the overall tone of the final production.
7. Know where your light is
Harsh shadows are a distraction, and too much light can wash you out. Instead, position the light in front of you rather than behind you.
Natural light from a window works well, and you could purchase studio lights if this isn’t an option. Ring lights and softs boxes are good options that won’t break the bank and give your video a more professional quality.
8. External microphones are your best friend
There’s nothing worse than spending 5 hours filming videos and finding out when you go to edit that your sound quality is bad with a capital B! (Facepalm!)
Lavaliers like this one and external mics like Blue Yeti’s USB microphone are well worth it to give you crisp audio and save you from some tear-your-hear-out moments.
9. Reduce background noise
While ASMR videos with gentle rain, crashing waves, and whirring fans are all the rage on YouTube, it’s essential to keep the background sounds to a minimum so they don’t distract from your main audio.
Noises to look out for are phone/computer notifications, ceiling fans, a/c units, kitchen appliance hums, other people, kids, pets, outside traffic, construction, etc. Record a short test clip and listen back to identify any sounds you don’t want to include in the final cut. If you’re recording on Zoom on desktop, click your profile picture, then click Settings. tab. Under the Suppress background noise section, select the level of suppression you wish to use: Auto: This is the default setting, and will apply moderate background noise reduction when needed.
10. Using your mobile phone
If you’re using your phone, record in landscape orientation so you don’t get the black bars on either side of your video when viewing on a widescreen device (laptops, TVs, etc.). Record a few tests to make sure everything is in focus and frame.
11. Avoid the dreaded echo
All surfaces reflect sound waves but hard and smooth surfaces, such as walls and floors, do it best. Try not to record in an empty room because you’ll likely pick up an echo.
If you know the room you’re recording in will be empty and you’re in a pinch, you can lay out rugs, blankets, or towels to absorb some of that unwanted noise.
12. Choose your clothing wisely
Wear plain, non-patterned clothing that creates contrast with your background, so you remain the focus. Don’t wear the same color as your background.
If you’re not sure where you’re filming or how it will look, have a few different clothing options on hand so you can test them on camera before recording the final video.
13. Wear minimal jewelry
This sound can easily be picked up on video and is a pain to get rid of when editing. Avoid jewelry that has a lot of movement (or sound) to it.
14. Virtual backgrounds
Virtual backgrounds can be great for meetings to enhance brand presence, but it’s better to stick to real-life backgrounds for videos.
While it’s funny to see a co-worker’s face completely disappear when their virtual background adjusts, it’s not what you want for your final cut. Branding your videos with logs and on-brand colors will also eliminate the need for these backgrounds.
15. Pretend you’re on camera even if you’re not
This is important if you’re using apps such as Zoom. The camera switches to whoever is speaking (when using active speaker mode) so it can cut back to you when you don’t expect it. Muting yourself is good practice, but you need to remember to unmute yourself when you’re ready to speak. (Otherwise, you’ll get the classic “you’re on mute!”)
The thought of creating promotional videos in-house can be daunting at first but the only way to know is to go all-in and try producing your first one. After continuing to test, learn, and iterate, you’ll soon reap the rewards of one of the most powerful formats of content marketing, by giving your prospects and customers a more ‘human’ narration of information they need to know, on-demand.