Technical Tips to Make Your Video Top Notch!
There’s a real focus on video at the moment, both with businesses maybe having a bit more time and with platforms like TikTok going from strength to strength. Even old-timers like Youtube are growing and developing, and is also the second most used search engine in the world, according to Brandwatch. There are lots of ways to achieve a technical finish for videos without having a lot of knowledge or ability. There is nothing worse than having technical problems that spoil your brand message, and it really turns your audience away.
We know that getting good video content can be tricky. How do you use the lighting? Is the sound clear? Is Facebook blocking your video for using copyrighted music?
So we know there are lots and lots of things to think about! You don’t have to be really technical either. Follow our advice to get top-notch video content and let your business shine! You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money either!
For a good video, good lighting is crucial. If it isn’t well-lit you risk giving your audience a headache, whether it’s too dark or too bright. Here are our tips for making the most of what you have available!
- Match the time you record your video to the time you post your video. Don’t use the evening light for a video released at midday.
- Use natural light as much as possible. It’s much softer and more flattering.
- Set up a light source (you can use the torch on your phone) to hit the back of your head. This helps to lift you out of the background and make you more 3D.
- If you have to use artificial lighting, try not to use coloured bulbs.
- Don’t dismiss a cloudy day. Just because it isn’t obviously sunny doesn’t mean there’s not enough light.
- If you’re shooting outside, use the light to create depth and interest between the trees or reflecting off glass etc.
- if you’re lighting a flat lay avoid shadows at all costs. The light should come from as near directly above as possible to make sure its uniform.
You can get things like ring lights and reflective boards quite cheaply now, but with a bit of planning, you can probably avoid this outlay too! Or use a DIY version- a white pillow works well as a reflective board.
Sound is the single biggest bugbear of mine. There is really nothing worse than sound which isn’t synced up to the speaker’s lips. Or sound that fades in and out. Then there’s always the question of do I need sound? Only 12% of users watch a video with sound on Instagram according to Instapage.
- Always add subtitles for your video, this helps if your audience just doesn’t bother with sound, but also if your sound isn’t quite right it can be ignored.
- Use a microphone external your phone or camera. It can be the one in your ear phones but I promise it will record your voice better. You can get wireless microphones if you don’t want the wires in the video.
- Make sure you either use copyright compliant sound (there are lots of royalty-free sites) or that you have the correct permissions to use it.
- The background noise that you don’t notice usually might be really noticeable, so try to reduce this as much as possible.
Now that you know how you’re going to light your video, it’s time to think about the setting. This should take into account the decisions you make about the lighting and sound because your bedroom might be the place with the best light, but it’s next to the neighbours who blast rock music at all hours…
- Try to pick a place with the least ambient sound. If you’re in an office with air-con, try to avoid recording at a time when it might get turned on or off! It’s not noticeable in real life but seems really obvious on a video!
- Pick a place with something happening in the background. It’s much better than just a solid block of colour. It can be your bookshelf (see, Zoom meetings are good for something!), or patterned wallpaper, but it adds so much depth to your video.
- Lighting. Have plenty of access to good natural light or a neutral coloured light bulb in a convenient spot!
- Is there room for a tripod or do you or your cameraman have a rock-steady hand?!
- Match your setting with your background. If you’re talking about adventure holidays, an office block isn’t a good setting!
- Make sure it’s somewhere you can work undisturbed. If you’re recording in a public place, make sure you’ve got someone to help people manage!
- Risk assess your setting. It sounds boring, but if you break your neck trying to get just the right camera angle for your video, who is going to run your business?!
- Make sure you have permission to film where you’d like to.
Depending on what sort of video your creating- if you’re pre-recording something versus going live on social media, depends on how much editing you’ll want to think about. A well-produced video might not need loads of technical stuff and editing, but it can definitely put the polish onto an already sparkly diamond!
- Do you have titles or lower-thirds to identify your brand and who is talking (and about what)?
- Do you want to cut together bits of a video? Show people what you’re talking about?
- Do you have neat beginnings and endings? Or are you reaching to turn the camera on/off? A top and tail can do wonders for a video!
- Are you adding music or subtitles? There are free programmes that will do this for you, but watch the subtitles- they’re quite often inaccurate!
- Did you lose track of what you were saying right at the end and don’t want to re-record the whole thing? A quick edit can be done to tidy things up a little bit.
- Are you cutting the video down to length? Some platforms have time limits… Instagram can only be 60 seconds long, or 59 through some scheduling software. Maybe you want to make a teaser video before you release the whole thing?
Video used well can be an incredible marketing force for your business- have a read of what Ethan had to say about creating video in lockdown, or have a look at our packages if you’d like some help with creating the best video content!
Thanks for reading!