It’s never been easier to create online videos of your products, people and other assets.
With so many low-cost internet providers these days, you no longer have to worry about bandwidth or upload/download speeds. And, with free video editing software such as Movie Maker (Windows) and iMovie (Mac) already hardwired into your operating system, enhancing customer engagement with your business through videos is simpler than ever before.
While this type of entry-level software won't see you emerge as the next Spielberg or Scorcese, if you follow a few basic rules you'll easily be able to produce a raft of professional, interesting looking clips.
Professional video producer Israel Hyman says one of the limitations of web video is the “tiny frame” you have to work with, meaning medium distance and wide shots are a definite thing to avoid.
“One of the big advantages of video is being able to make a personal connection with someone to where you can see their expression,” he says. “You can see their authenticity. You can see their sincerity. All of these types of emotions and the nonverbal cues, that kind of stuff is all very important. (But) if you can't even see their face, then that's a big problem.”
According to Hyman lighting is also critical, especially if you're shooting indoors. He says a common mistake is when people think “okay you know what I need good light, so I am going to go stand under a light.”
“So they literally stand under a light and it creates shadows on their eye sockets that are so dark you can't even see their eyes; and if you can't see somebody's eyes then you don't trust them,” he says.
A fast and cheap solution to this, says Hyman, is to place the subject in front of a sunlit window, covered with some kind of thin fabric to diffuse the light.
An article by Gary Tan on the Video Boot Camp website, 10 Tips For Shooting Better Digital Videos, also recommends several basic yet essential techniques, including: use a tripod (for both stability and consistency); minimise the use of pan and zoom (and when doing it, do it slowly and steadily); and keep it short (audiences don't usually like to watch more than 5 to 8 minutes of video for a particular scene).
The article also places special emphasis on sound.
“Many newbie videographers forget that audio is an important part of a video,” says Tan. “No use having an excellent video of an interview when you can't hear your interviewee.”
According to Mr Tan, you should look at investing in a clip-on microphone if you're planning on conducting video interviews, and if you're shooting longer, more complicated pieces, a zoom or shotgun microphone is also useful for isolating audio from your subjects.
These will help to reduce ambient noise and maintain the flow and quality of your final clip.