Just a few years ago, video on your website was seen as a flashy, nice-to-have element. But in 2011, video is no longer considered extra marketing fluff and is instead a key element to driving website success. To begin creating professional grade videos for your own site, follow these four simple steps.
1. Make it look good. This means using a sufficient amount of light to make the images look sharp. You don’t need a big, fancy lighting kit. A couple large reflectors – soft fill lights can do the job just fine. If you can’t afford lights, then at least turn on all the lights in the room and aim a lamp at your subject.
Also, be sure to keep the camera steady. Jumpy, jiggling video looks awful. Buy a tripod and use it. It does not have to be fancy, just strong enough to hold your camera steady.
2. Make it sound good. When you are shooting your video, make sure you use a good microphone. It can be a tiny lavaliere mike attached via a cable to the camcorder, or a shotgun mike aimed at your talent. If the location is relatively noise free, you can use a wireless microphone to give your talent more flexibility and freedom to move around.
If possible, have someone listening in on headphones while your talent speaks. By monitoring the recorded audio, with their eyes shut, they will be able to pick up on verbal flubs as well as any noise or mike crackles. It is always better to catch audio problems during the recording session, rather than trying to fix them later.
3. Keep the production simple. You don’t need fancy effects, lots of camera moves or a flashy background. A nice pastel background, with your company’s logo works fine. Keep the demo stage area clean and uncluttered, focusing only on what you are trying to show your viewers.
Video is all about close ups. If the video is all about how the product is used, stay tight on the product. If the video is all about the words coming out of your talent’s mouth, stay with medium shot or a close up of them. We don’t need to see the whole room.
Fancy video effects are cool but unnecessary. To transition between scenes, stay with straight cuts and very quick dissolves.
4. The most important aspect is to keep your video concise. Keep it short – between three to six minutes and spotlight one or two features that really set your product apart from the competition. It is more effective to do a series of short videos than one long, complicated video with lots of sections and elements.
Not only hip and cool, online video is becoming an essential way to show that your company is an industry and thought leader. Using these 4 tips, you’ll be well on your way to incorporating video into your existing marketing tools.
Posted by Ian Snead of vzaar.com, the leader in hosting online video for business and eCommerce.