Video is perhaps the greatest and most engaging ways to reach out to your clients. For a lot of people, myself included, watching moving stuff is proper exciting. Online marketers should take advantage of this medium; unfortunately many just do it the wrong way.
Even the most engaging medium in online marketing can be not engaging as well. If videos are not crafted well, it ends up boring the audience. And that completely defeats the purpose of video altogether.
There are proper ways to do video. It’s quite functionally different from articles and infographics, so you must have very different strategies for creating video. Here are 8 tips to get you started.
Captivate within the first 10 seconds
Online video is already quite a crowded space. Mark Robertson of Tubular Insights reports that there are about 500 hours worth of video uploaded to youtube every minute. All of these videos compete for audience attention. And because of this huge selection of videos available, watchers can click away into another one the second they feel that a video isn’t worth watching.
For this reason, your videos should captivate the audience from the very beginning. The first ten seconds are crucial: If people find themselves drifting off during those seconds, it’s more likely that they’ll click away. Thus, you have to get them hooked within those first ten seconds.
Make them excited about what you have to offer. Tell them about the problems you want to solve. Tell them about the benefits of using your product. Tell them the best thing about it. Also, you could give it some “eye-candy” like playful animations, kinetic typography, and the like. These would definitely attract viewers’ attention, but it isn’t a requirement. The content is still much more important.
Talk to your audience
Nothing feels more personal to a viewer than seeing an actual person talking to him or her. When making your videos, you could film yourself talking to the camera, as if you were talking to a live audience. Of course, treat it as you would treat a normal public speaking engagement. Speak loudly and clearly, use hand gestures, and add an exciting mood to your voice, among others.
One thing to always keep in mind here is this: look at the lens every time. Don’t look at the camera screen or at anything else. Keep your eyes on the lens, so that when people watch your video, it would seem that you’re looking at them. Eye contact is as important in video as it is in public speaking.
And last but not the least, dress smart! You want to make a good impression on your audience, and a big part of that is how you look. Dress as if you were to give a proper presentation to a public audience.
Have good audio
Talking to your audience would be near-useless if your video does not have good audio. Here’s the thing. Your video may have a stunning 4K resolution, but if the sound is barely understandable, you have just defeated the purpose of talking to your audience.
Good audio is as important – sometimes even more important – than having great picture quality. In fact, audiences would choose videos with good sound quality even if the resolution or frame rate is low. What matters more is what you say to them; it doesn’t matter much how you look.
To capture good audio, the best thing is to have an external microphone hooked into your camera, like below.
But not all cameras can be hooked into external microphones. If that’s the case, you may use a lavalier microphone connected to a smartphone, and record the audio separately. Then, just synchronise the audio to the video properly during editing.
Use good lighting
Light is another integral part of the video-making process. Of course your audience would like to see your face clearly. An unevenly-lit face isn’t good to watch; it even looks a bit nefarious, especially with strong shadows in some places.
To avoid that “evil genius face”, make sure that lots of light hits your face. Not too much to make you squint, of course. Sunlight is best, so shoot outdoors if you can, or in a spot with lots of windows. If natural lighting is not available, you may use lamps with white bulbs. The only rule is: aim for lighting that will give no shadows in your face.
Film in landscape
This should be a rule of thumb whenever anyone films a video, especially on a smartphone: always shoot in landscape. We watch videos in widescreens; thus it only makes sense to film in a way that would fit a widescreen.
Take a look at a video filmed in portrait mode.
Look at that black space on each side (aka letterboxing). The video fills barely half the space on screen. That’s a big waste of screen real estate. There’s so much more that you should be able to see, but you can’t, just because it wasn’t filmed the right way around.
Always, always film videos in landscape. That’s about the simplest rule in creating videos.
Shaky videos are proper nauseating. It makes people’s heads hurt. You can’t expect to get your message across if your audience can’t even focus their eyes on one spot in your video. Even slight shakes can be quite distracting.
To keep your videos stable, use a tripod when filming. If you want to film while moving, walk carefully. Keep your upper body and arms stationary; only your legs should move about. Also, if your camera features OIS (optical image stabilisation), make sure it’s enabled. OIS is a big help, more so if you just can’t keep your hands steady.
Overlaying some text in your video is good for emphasising key points. It makes people remember those things better. However, don’t overdo it. This is a video, not a set of notes. Don’t put a wall of text into it. Just highlight a few important keywords, and flash them into the video as it’s spoken. Then, after a few seconds, make it disappear. Keeping it there will only distract the audience from your next points.
Keep it short but sweet
Viewers have very short attention spans these days. If your video is too long, they’ll get bored and click away. It’s very important to get your message across as quickly as possible. One minute is great; if you really must have more time, three minutes should be the maximum.
Unnecessarily long videos just cannot compete with the vast array of short-but-sweet ones. In the world of video marketing, your message should make it within a minute (intro and outro not included, though).
Here, you learned a few ways to create better videos. How about learning a few ways to write better articles? Watch this video to find out how.
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