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There’s no doubt that videos are everywhere these days. Even the most seemingly uninteresting subject has a video.  With today’s technology, creating professional video is actually easier than you think.

If you are an Apple disciple like I am you can easily do it all on your Apple device.  The newest versions of the MacBook, iPad, and iPhone have a built in movie making app called iMovie where you can film 1080p, HD-quality videos and edit them.

I also use my DSLR cameras to film videos with both my Nikkon D5100 and my Cannon EOS Rebel.

There is nothing more distracting than a shaky video so before you start filming make sure you have a method of holding your iPhone, iPad, camera, or other smart phone steady.

I use a standard tripod that can be used with both of my cameras and if filming on my iPad I use a Makayama’s tripod mount.  You can also purchase tripod ready attachments for your iPhone or other smart phone.

Next your video needs great audio.  Viewers will watch a video even if the production isn’t great, as long as the video is interesting and they can hear the audio clearly. 

Don’t rely on the built in microphones on your devices, especially when filming outside or in noisy locations.  Living here in South Dakota the wind seems to blow constantly and can be very distracting on video.

Invest in a high-quality microphone that you can plug into your computer, phone, or iPad.  There are many options out there and your best bet is to do as much research as possible.  I use a lapel mic that I wish I would have done more research on and I also use my Sony digital recorder that I also use for magazine interviews.  I have also used another iPhone directly above my subject’s head and created a simple voice memo.

If you are filming indoors, create a space that will give you control over the lighting and noise to prevent creating a distracting film.  

Set up a dark solid colored backdrop with seamless paper from a photography supply store or with fabric.  Light colors can lead to nasty glare and reflections.

Filming with overhead lights can create nasty shadows on your subject’s face. You don’t need anything fancy.  I use the heat lamps we also use to keep newborn farm animals warm in the spring with a soft white 60 watt bulb or a flood light if I need more intensity.  I have also used our shop work lamps, but they tend to be very intense and often have to be pointed to a wall to let the light bounce off of.  Both of these can be purchased at your local hardware store.  Caution, they both can also get very hot.

The same principle applies to filming outside avoid filming at noon when the sun is directly overhead.  Early morning or evening is usually the best times, two to three hours after sunrise or before sunset.  A cloudy day is also good because the light is diffused as it comes through the clouds.

When filming inside control the sound by shooting in a room that has furniture in it to avoid your film sounding like you shot it in a tin can.  You can also deaden the room by hanging blankets on the wall.  Also, make sure you turn off the ventilation system in the room your filming in.

Now it’s time to create your video.  This is assuming you have developed a plan for your film, including - a purpose, a theme, and a target audience.  Otherwise, you risk wasting time and effort into something that could have been a successful online venture.  

It is well worth your time to do a little investigating. Thousands of videos are uploaded every day – and that’s only on YouTube. You want to stand out above the noise. So the first thing you need to do is research. What videos are your followers interested in? What have they watched recently? What kinds of videos are your competitors making? Spend a bit of time to get inspiration from what’s already working well.

Most videos that make it big contain real elements taken from everyday life. Tiny struggles, funny moments, valuable glimpses – these make content easy to relate to. The most effective way to make videos go viral is to add a human touch.  Make it entertaining, witty, emotional, informative, or insightful.  The trick is to create a video that can stand alone, but also hooks your viewer, investing them in your larger story.

Write out a script, which will keep your film production process organized and your message clear and concise.  Keep your focus narrow, covering too much information can be overwhelming for both you and the viewer.  Make sure you read your script out loud and rephrase anything that sounds awkward or doesn’t flow nicely.  Make sure to end your videos with a call-to-action and an opportunity to create conversation.

While shooting your footage, remember that we live in a widescreen world.  Don’t shoot vertical video with your phone or iPad, the film will look bad on your website, television, computer and your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Also, avoid using the iPhone’s built in camera zoom.  Your phone doesn’t zoom optically it only enlarges the picture digitally and will pixelate your video.  Your phone will automatically focus and expose your shot, which is great for photos but can complicate video quality and creating jittery footage.  To prevent this, use your phones exposure focus lock.

When filming with your phone or iPad remember that you are filming with a fixed lens.  In order to get a wider shot indoors or in a small space you will need to purchase a clip-on lens adapter.  There are several models available in a wide variety of price ranges.  Again, I would suggest you do your research.

There’s no need to worry when it comes to editing, there are plenty of free resources online.  If you are not using Apple devices you can edit your videos online on YouTube, WeVideo, Loopster, Magisto, PowToon, Wideo, Weavly, Kaltura, Mixmoov, Shotdip, or Video Toolbox.

Editing is what makes a video look professional. Standard streaming capabilities are such now that video for social can have exceptional production value. 

There are many apps available to edit video on your iPhone, but editing it on your computer will give you more professional results.

If you are using iMovie, plug your phone or iPad into your computer and drop your footage into iMovie.  You can easily add music or other special effects.

It can get tedious for viewers to watch the same static shot of you or someone else standing in front of the camera and talking. You can add stock video or images to help break up the monotony of the video, illustrate a point or create a memorable scene. Websites like Video Blocks and Shutterstock can help you create those types of effects.  Pricing can get expensive, so make sure you shop around multiple stock video sites for the best rates and options.

I also personally use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit videos which is also very user friendly.  

The product suggestions in this article are based on my personal experience. I’m not affiliated with any of these brands or products, and I’m not officially endorsing or suggesting you should purchase them over something else.

Your video length is incredibly important. When focusing on social media, “long” means anything over 15 seconds.  Videos longer than that can’t make it onto Instagram, Vine or Snapchat in their entirety. Don’t get carried away, however. Remember, the definition of long in this case is “greater than 15 seconds.” Best practices still dictate to keep video content as short as possible. 

Use YouTube or Vimeo for longer videos including short films, documentaries, and tutorials. On average, videos spanning three to ten minutes are best because they can be comfortably viewed on mobile or desktop devices.

Social media networks including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest require shorter videos.  Keep videos somewhere between six seconds to two minutes for maximum effectiveness (do take note of the different time limits for these social media platforms).

In my opinion making shorter videos are, in fact, more challenging thanks to time constraints. This is where creativity and resourcefulness play a huge role.

Don’t forget that on social media, sharing is everything.  Professional, strategic, on-brand content is only as good as its reach.  Your video is only valuable if people see it and share it. Make your video content shareable by adding links to post your content to viewers’ networks. More importantly, craft content that is innately shareable.

Anticipate questions that your users/followers will have, and create content that answers them. Identify trending topics relevant to your industry, and publish content that puts your voice in charge of the conversation. Encourage your viewers to interact with your content and even participate in the creative process.

What do you think?  Have you used video to humanize and market yourself or your business?  Are there other video related tools, tips, or tricks not mentioned here that you can’t live without?  If so, please share in the comments!

Next week we will discuss how to create and implement a video social media strategy.

 


Comments

05/05/2016 3:57am

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Agri-Marketing Solutions
06/07/2016 3:44pm

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09/02/2016 2:45am

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Videos are now the best way to promote any business. It used to be word of mouth. Nowadays word of mouth is accompanied by a phone with a cool video shown to friends. Information can easily spread that way and almost everyone has access to it. For the same reason we have to be really careful with the things we say. It can make or break us.

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05/11/2016 6:15am

There’s no doubt that videos are everywhere these days. Even the most seemingly uninteresting subject has a video. With today’s technology, creating professional video is actually easier than you think.

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Agri-Marketing Solutions
06/07/2016 3:45pm

Yes, it is easy! How are you using video in your business?

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06/01/2016 3:33am

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Agri-Marketing Solutions
06/07/2016 3:46pm

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06/16/2016 1:14pm

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I am searching for some good information about iPad. In this blog, you have mentioned in the second paragraph that iPhone and iPad have a built in movie creation application/software which is called "iMovie" where users can make a clip 1080p, HD-quality which is a very useful thing.

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07/19/2016 6:17am

found it useful!

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10/09/2016 6:31pm

A video can really help promote your business, whatever it may be, especially online. Why? Because it can explain to the viewers of your Facebook page, Twitter account, etc., what your business really is all about. It has to be entertaining and factual. It must also have the business' core message so that it can really connect to the consumers. Thank you for this informative post and have a nice day.

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Yeah, it's also a useful strategy to marketing your business, no doubt there are lot's of ways of marketing your business, but i think it's most powerful source of marketing your business.

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    Author Jennifer Archibald

    Reflections of life and lessons learned in the fields of marketing and agriculture.  A place to shout from the roof tops our clients success and keep you up to date on industry trends.

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