If Content is King, Video is the Emperor.
Chances are, you are making the same mistake most of our clients are making. What is that mistake?
You're not creating enough video. Or any at all. That's why we created this DIY Video Guide for our clients.
- There are a million things you can put on video but sometimes it's hard to pick that perfect one. It's important to remember that perfect is the enemy of progress. So just pick one and go.
- If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, try asking yourself these questions to get the ideas flowing:
- What’s one question you answer almost every day about your business, service or product?
- What’s a common point of confusion about your business, product or service?
- What’s one friction point for your customers or users?
- At IMA, we like our clients to stack their content with video on top. This is a common digital marketing strategy, possibly best described by Gary Vaynerchuk and his Content Pyramid model.
- Use this model to make a video that expands on an existing or upcoming blog post, lead magnet, LinkedIn post or article. For instance, if you make a video related to an upcoming blog post in your content calendar, than that blog post can have the video embedded, increasing the effectiveness of the blog post and capturing users attention and time who might not be inclined to read but will happily watch a video.
Cameras and Technique
- Use your iPhone (or Galaxy or what have you).
- The video capabilities on modern smartphones are considerably better than $50,000 professional video cameras from ten years ago.
- Always use a tripod. It doesn't have to be fancy. Joby makes a ton of great, affordable options. Grab one.
- Don't zoom. Ever. Just move the tripod closer. Nothing says amateur like zooming.
- Use the Exposure Lock on iPhones. This will keep the camera from adjusting the exposure and focus during your video. It's easy to do and will make your video look great. Here's how to use exposure lock.
- Rule #1 - Don't use the microphone on your phone.
- Rule #1A - If you have to use your iPhone microphone, then grab a second iPhone and use that to record the sound. Why? Because that way you can place the 2nd phone close to the subject speaking and the sound will be better. And you can just use the Voice Memos app.
- There are lots of good and affordable microphones to use with your iPhone. Some plug in to the phone and others record externally.
- At IMA, we recommend the following:
- To plug straight into your iPhone (with an adaptor) we recommend the Rode VideoMic Me Compact TRRS Cardioid Mini-Shotgun Microphone for Smartphones
- To plug into a DSLR camera we recommend the Rode VideoMic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone
- To record audio separately from your camera, we recommend the Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track Portable Recorder. We love this one because it has built in stereo mics and inputs to plug in professional mics. Very jack of all trades.
- Pro Tip: If you are not recording sound directly into the phone or camera, meaning you are using a second phone or separate audio recorder, be sure to clap once at the beginning of each take to create a reference point for syncing the sound when you edit it all together into a masterpiece.
- If you're shooting outside during the day then no lights are necessary. The natural light will look great. Just be sure to be aware of any hot spots or glares on your subject.
- If you're shooting indoors, you're going to need some lights unless you're next to a window with lots of natural light.
- You can get these great portable and handheld lights from Westcott for under $500. If that is more than you want to spend, Wistia has a great guide on how to build a lighting kit for under $100. You can read that here.
- If you're comfortable using a teleprompter or feel like it might be fun to give it a go, there are some affordable options out there. This is a solid option right here Glide Gear TMP100 Adjustable iPad/ Tablet/ Smartphone Teleprompter
- That said, reading from a teleprompter is not easy. At all. So be sure to keep that receipt. There is a reason that local news anchors get paid the big bucks.
- By script we mean one digital or paper page with bullet points. You don't need to memorize pages and pages.
- The best thing to do is pick your topic and then write down your thoughts. Just go free form. Dump out all of your thoughts without editing or second guessing anything.
- Then take that brain dump and organize it into some kind of order. We recommend organizing into a structure like this:
- Introduction and point of view - Why this video? Why you? Why this topic? What's your take on this topic that is unique or interesting?
- Hook (this comes at the end of the intro and generates some genuine curiosity. This will help keep the viewer from clicking away). The hook should promise something that's coming at the end of the video
- Supporting bullets that one by one explain your unique or interesting take on this topic
- Reveal the hook
- Conclusion - wrap it up with a quick and concise recap of what you covered
- When you're done, break this page into one or two sentence sections. If you want to memorize these sections that's great. If you do not, then you can riff on the section. This means it doesn't have to be word for word but it should closely mirror the words in the script.
How to Record
- Decide where you are going to record
- Make sure that there are not any distracting elements in the foreground or background
- Set up your tripod, camera, mic and lighting (if you're using lights)
- If you're filming yourself, have someone stand where you're going to stand
- If you're filming someone else, place them in the frame.
- Follow the rule of thirds so the subject isn't smack dab in the middle of the frame and set up your shot
- Test your audio
- Test your audio again
- Turn everything on
- Take a break - Seriously. Getting everything set up can be stressful. The lights are heating up. You just tested your sound twice to make sure it's working. The camera has been balanced on the tripod just so and you've got some adrenaline pumping. That's ok. Just walk around a bit. Get a glass of water. Maybe do some stretches. The key is to get your heart rate back below 65. If you're into Heart Rate Variability Training, now's the time.
- Ok, feeling good? Good.
- Press record.
- Once you're done with the talking head footage, we recommend getting some "b-roll" to help tell the story when you edit.
- Grab your iPhone or camera and record a handful of short clips that help illustrate what you’re saying. This could be close ups of your product, the equipment you use or interesting close ups of related items (like close ups of name tags on your employees or their smiling faces). If you can't think of anything to film, film your dog. Seriously, it works.
- Editing is the hardest part. Given how many pictures we take with our phones these days it's pretty easy for anyone to record video. Editing is a different story.
- If you're inclined to edit yourself, start with iMovie or a simple online video editor like Motionbox
- If you need support, Apple has iMovie tutorials and YouTube has a million videos to help out.
- If that doesn't sound enticing, hire an editor. A good place to start looking is Upwork or Fiverr
Good luck, have fun and welcome to the world of video!