92 percent of marketers claim that video marketing is an integral part of their holistic campaign. The most effective way that people consume information has changed, so businesses have decided to adapt to this shift and implement video marketing best practices. The harsh reality is, if you’re not using video within your efforts, you’re likely being left behind by the rest of the competition.
So, you need to shoot a video for your business and help spread the word about your amazing brand. However, hiring a professional videographer or sourcing third-party help can incur costs that aren’t justifiable. With the current circumstances, sourcing professional help is completely off the table thanks to government restrictions.
For some businesses, these restrictions will be enough to put them off delving into video marketing - but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve outlined some key tips and tricks to help you become a regular Roger Deakins in the comfort of your own home. And for a fraction of the cost - using your smartphone only!
- What are the goals and objectives of the video?
- What equipment do you need?
- How to prepare your shots
- How to edit your video like a pro
- Additional tips to perfect your videography
Why are you shooting a video?
Like with anything, before you start, you need to have clear goals and objectives in mind. Otherwise, your video will have no structure and won’t be as successful as you hope. Not only do you need to bear in mind the goals for the video itself, but you should consider your overall marketing approach too. Different facets should harmonise with each other towards one end goal, not all pull in different directions.
Before you start shooting, you need to discover which buyer persona you’re targeting your efforts towards and what message you want to portray to them. For maximum success and effectiveness, it’s important to target the right people with the right message.
Once you’ve identified your ideal audience and how you’re going to engage with them, you can then move onto planning your shoot.
What equipment do you need?
A lot of people are of the common misconception that you need a top of the range camera to produce quality results. Of course, it would help but it’s most definitely not a necessity. Most modern smartphones can shoot beautiful video and often at 4K resolutions, which are excellent for your new home studio setup.
Amazing results and low costs? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, we’re happy to tell you that it’s not. The native camera app on your device is perfect for incredible shots and that highly sought after professional-like quality.
However, if you want to take it to the next level, then you can download some handy apps. We recommend ProMovie as it gives you full manual control of your device's camera. But for this example, we only need to use the camera app already on your phone.
When addressing your audience, you need the camera to be stable, don’t you? If it’s wobbling and bouncing around during what you’re saying, not only will it look incredibly amateur but it’ll also distract the viewer from the message you’re trying to get across too. So, all you need to achieve this is a lightweight tripod and a phone holder mount.
We’ve seen a lot of people get creative when stabilising their phone for video. In fact, I've previously used a bike phone holder clamped to a shelf for the same results - we can assure you that Red-Fern’s set up is of a lot higher professional standard when creating videos for our digital partners.
Framing yourself is very important, you don’t want to look up or down at the camera so keep it at eye level. There’ve been some hilariously framed interviews on TV in history, so try and avoid their mistakes and maintain a high standard throughout.
How to prepare your shots
Natural light always works best - FACT. So, you’re going to need to find a window. If the light is too strong you can close your blinds or curtains until it softens. If that doesn’t work you can use a white bedsheet to diffuse the light.
We know how annoying it is to strip and make your bed, so we’ll save you the hassle - you can also use pieces of white paper taped to the window for a similar result. At this stage, you should be looking for a nice soft light with no harsh shadows.
Your audio counts for 50 percent of your overall video and needs just as much attention. If your sound is poor, then you’ll be wasting your time with the rest of the video. People aren’t willing to stick out watching a video with poor sound, so it needs to be perfect.
We recommend using a Rode SmartLav external microphone that plugs directly into your phone. The quality is great and can remove a lot of the atmospheric sound of the room. If you don’t have an external mic, stand at least one metre away from the camera for a clearer, crisper sound.
Image Credit: Camera Hire
It’s not just your direct sound that you need to consider, either. Listen out for any unwanted background noise such as music playing in another room, kitchen appliances, people talking in the background. You want to eliminate as much of that as possible. Also, avoid rooms with tiled walls and hard floors as echos can bounce around.
Once your camera is set up it’s time to position yourself in the video. Try to stay in the middle of the frame, if you need to move around, place a marker on the floor so you can easily get back into position. You want the top of your chest at the bottom of the screen and your head an inch from the top of the screen.
When shooting from home, make a conscious effort to double and triple check what’s in the background of your shots. Keep it neutral - however lovely your treasured family photos are, you don’t want them making a guest appearance in your video. Think about your brand and if the items behind you fit in with it. Move things around, this is your studio. Do you have the perfect wall art in another room? Go and get it!
Landscape or Portrait?
This is something you can get wrong without realising, so let’s walk through it. Portrait refers to the phone recording vertical video. Like you would see on TikTok or Instagram stories. You should only record vertical video if you want to post to those platforms.
Never shoot in square format. You can crop your landscape video later for the same result and still have both landscape and square. If in doubt, always shoot landscape!
Once you’re happy with everything and you’ve tested your setup, it’s time to record your video.
How to edit your video like a pro
Handles are a five-second pause at the start and end of your video. It prevents us from seeing you touching your camera. Simply press record, stand in position and pause for five seconds - do exactly the same at the end too. These handles can be trimmed down when editing.
There are loads of options available to you when it comes to editing. You can choose to edit on your phone with a number of apps available. Adobe Rush is £9.98 per month and allows you to edit on the go. Or, you can go with iMovie for iOS devices.
If you prefer to edit on a desktop then I recommend Adobe Premiere Pro, you pay a modest subscription fee but you’ll have industry-standard editing software at your fingertips. You can find free editing tutorials on YouTube to help you with your edits.
Additional tips to perfect your videography
So, you’ve learnt the fundamentals. But how do you take your video marketing to the next level and ensure that they’re filmed perfectly every time? Here’s some additional tips to help you perfect your videography:
- Lock the focus and exposure by long pressing on the screen. This will prevent the focus from hunting.
- It’s ok to pause if you forget what to say. You can cut the pauses out in the edit for a smoother more continuous video.
- Place your device on flight mode. Prevent unwanted calls and notifications from disrupting your recording.
- If you own a smart colour changing bulb, set it to purple or blue and place it behind you. It’ll add depth to your video and it looks cool. Extra tip, put your smart bulb in a lamp, then you can place it anywhere.
- Ask family members not to enter the room while you’re recording. There’s nothing more annoying than surprise appearances when you’ve absolutely nailed a shot.
Red-Fern can help with all your videography needs
So, you’ve discovered how you can shoot and create top-quality videos from home but what are you going to shoot? As we mentioned, you need to align your video efforts with your goals and Buyer Personas. Not only this, but you also need to keep an eye for what’s trending within the video industry too. There’s no point releasing videos that follow old trends, they’ll easily blend in and look dated.
If you’re not up to the challenge or need professional help to take your videos to the next level, we can help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, or why not book in a free discovery call with one of the team? We’ll be on hand to work together to find the perfect solution for your business.