The past few days, I’ve had people ask me how to get started in creating an effective video on their own. They want to know exactly what they need and the easiest steps to achieve the results they are after. Let’s take a look at the 2 examples below:
Scenario 1: You’ve got a special event coming up and you thought it would be great to document it and build awareness for future events. Almost straight away you think, “I need a video for this”. Let’s face it, you’re on a budget, you want to see how you can set it up yourself first. Unfortunately, the past few videos you’ve done resulted in poor lighting, bad audio and it just didn’t look professional.
Scenario 2: You’re ready to get in front of the camera and you’re pumped for others to listen and hear your unique, inspiring message. Trouble is you’ve done a few videos in the past that didn’t really look as great as you want them to be. After all, you want people to take you seriously, right, someone who’s a real expert? As you watch it back, you realise that the message just didn’t connect with the people you want to attract.
Ever been in these two situations? When it comes to both scenarios, it often starts with the following – You pause, look at your phone and realise, “well, I’ve got a HD camera at least”. Finally it gets so overwhelming you convince yourself that you don’t know where to start. Then you end up creating a video that doesn’t do you justice or you give up on the idea altogether.
So here are the basic fundamentals that you need to know:
Step 1: Clearly understand your message first. Before you even begin in creating an awesome video, you have to be sold on your story. If it doesn’t inspire you, if it’s not clear and compelling, chances are the video you end up creating will have the same effect on the people you are sharing it to. Unless you’re sold, people won’t be engaged or connected with your video.
This might require you to do a bit of planning and strategy. The first thing is to get clear on what your desired objective is for your video. Then, there are 3 things you want to address:
- INTRO: What is the point of attraction? In other words, how will you hook people in and get their attention? Is it an attractive thumbnail? Will you address their point-of-pain or frustration? Will you have some captions or text appear at the beginning? A sting perhaps with some interesting music?
- BODY: What value will you provide? How will you help the viewer transition towards the “Answer” that he or she is looking for? Will you keep their attention and get them engaged with your story?
- OUTRO: What is your call-to-action? See, people want to be directed. Make it simple and show them the next steps.
Step 2: Gather your tools.
Here are the main equipment you need to start with:
HD camera: Use the highest quality camera you can get your hands on. With today’s technology, there really is no excuse for not having one. Make sure you use the best camera on your phone, not the lower quality selfie side.
A lapel mic: You can easily purchase these at a hi-fi store. This will help ensure your audio is clear especially if you’re shooting outdoors that has a lot of background noise. If you’re walking around on stage here’s a tip: Position your camera as close as you can to you. Another neat trick is to use another smartphone with a lapel, put it in your pocket and record the audio separately. Then later, you can sync it to your video using an editing software.
A tripod: Not only will this help you frame and position your shot in the easiest way, but you don’t have to worry about holding your camera or finding a place to put it and you can keep it steady as well. Tip: To mount your smartphone, find a cheap selfie stick where you can unscrew the end and connect to your tripod. Otherwise, go to eBay or a local store to find a suitable smartphone holder.
Editing app or software: There are many of these out there and what you’re after is the one that allows you to do some or all of the following:
- Accept various video formats like AVI, MPEG, MPG, WM, WMV, MP4 – check the output video format on your camera.
- Add music, sound FX or other audio.
- Add text in the form of lower thirds, call-to-action, titles, etc.
- The ability to edit your video so you can remove the unwanted parts, add some cutaways, combine footages, etc.
For more examples, click HERE.
Step 3: Record and capture.
Now it’s time to set up your equipment and get ready to record. A few things to consider:
If you are shooting outdoors: Be mindful of your surroundings. Have sufficient lighting, avoid noisy and windy situations (the lapel will help a lot).
If you are shooting indoors: Find a suitable place to position your camera that captures your speaking, the audience, etc. It’s probably best to find someone to do it for you. Having 2 or 3 cameras would be great to record various angles as well.
For more specific tips, check out our recent blog HERE.
Step 4: Editing. Simply apply the things we’ve discussed above already! The technical aspect just comes with practice and there are a lot of free courses and tutorials on YouTube you can learn.
Step 5: Upload and share. So now you’ve worked on having some great content and you’re happy with how the video turned out. There’s various social media platforms plus your website/s to distribute the video to, get visibility and awareness for your brand/company.
What’s important is you have to understand the context or psychology of each social media platforms because video is consumed in different ways- how people consume video on Instagram is much different to say, YouTube. You might need to create different versions of your video! Think about your call-to-action and how it differs from how it appears on your website and on Facebook.
Our next blog will give you a great insight on the psychology of various social media platforms and where video fits in, so stay tuned for that!
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