Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools available, with developments in technology, it’s becoming more and more accessible. But don’t assume that all video is good video. Unprofessional content can do a lot of damage to the image of your company.
Avoid making these rookie errors to ensure you get the most out of your video marketing tools. The quality of your video should reflect the values of your company – professional and high quality, with great attention to detail.
Sound can very often be an afterthought while creating video content, but this is a dangerous trap to fall into. Clear, high-quality sound is the most important thing to capture. Even if your video of the speaker looks terrible, you can still make great content by layering the sound over some relevant stock footage or photos. However, if the sound isn’t captured properly then there’s not much you can do with a silent video of someone speaking!
Get the best quality sound by shooting somewhere quiet, with as little background noise as possible. Don’t choose a space that echoes, has a loud ceiling fan, or is right next to a main road. An external microphone is essential for good quality sound. A small clip-on mic is a good option for interviews. Whilst a larger mic can pick up sound from a room full of people. If sound isn’t too important, then the built-in microphone of a camera may be adequate, but not ideal. Always do a test record ahead of time if possible, and leave time to correct any problems.
Poor lighting is one of the easiest ways to make a video look unprofessional. While a room might look perfectly lit while you’re in it, things can be very different through the camera lens. Videos that look like they were shot in the dark corner of an office don’t paint a good picture. Equally, bright, glaring lights in the shot can take attention away from the main focus.
If you’re planning to make a lot of videos then it could be worth investing in a professional light or two. These can be set up behind the camera and adjusted in brightness to get the perfect lighting. If you don’t want to purchase lights, then there are some simpler fixes available. Try to shoot during daylight hours, and allow your subject to be lit by large windows where possible. Look out for harsh shadows and experiment by moving the camera around until you find the shot with the most consistent lighting.
Subjects that are too close, too far away, or oddly placed in the frame will make your video look slightly off, regardless of how well everything else is done. Luckily, there are a few simple framing tricks that you can utilise for the best effect. You want your viewers to be focused on the content of your video, not what looks wrong with it. For interviews, your subject should be positioned in the left or right hand side of the frame, facing slightly towards the empty frame space. Aim for the head and shoulders to be in frame, and be sure that the top of the person’s head isn’t cut off.
For shots that aren’t of people, use the rule of thirds. Imagine the frame divided into three vertically and horizontally, and try to place objects of interest on the lines – people naturally look towards these areas. Pay attention to everything that’s in the frame, and make sure that there’s nothing in the background that will detract from the message of your video.
Tripod or Stabilisation
A tripod is absolutely essential for any video production, no matter how big or small. Wobbly footage is unpleasant to watch and guarantees that viewers will switch off almost immediately. A cheap tripod is a worthwhile investment that perfectly solves this issue. Fancier models aren’t necessary for simple, indoor shoots. If you’re planning to be on rough ground or outdoors a lot then a sturdier model with more refined balance controls is worth looking at.
Video is an extremely useful marketing tool, but used wrongly it can harm your reputation. Avoid the simple mistakes above to make great, high-quality videos that will effectively support your campaigns.