Harnessing the power of DIY video

15/11/2021 13:15:09
Done well, video can be a powerful way for a business to communicate its message in a way that is easily accessible to a large audience.

We explored the benefits of using video in campaigns in a recent post: from helping potential buyers learn about a product or service, to supporting SEO or increasing engagement on your digital and social channels.

While there will always be a place for professionally shot and edited video content, video has never been easier and more affordable to produce with the use of just a smartphone or tablet. However, there are pitfalls to avoid if you want your hard work to be rewarded with views.

Here's our advice...

Make the first ten seconds count

You can create an Oscar-worthy video, but if you can’t hook the viewer in within the first ten seconds then you've wasted your time, as they will scroll straight past. 

The average internet user has a short attention span, with about one-fifth of people clicking away from a video within the first ten seconds unless you make it clear right from the start what they will gain from watching. You can start with a startling fact, introduce a problem and promise a solution or ask an enticing question. Whatever you choose, you need to hook your audience in.

Everyone works in their own way. Some will want to follow a script that they have written out beforehand. Others may find it easier to have a few bullet point notes on a post-it just out of shot. Whichever works best for you, plan what you want to say and make sure you have a great hook to engage people. 

It’s important to make the last ten seconds count, too. Remember to end with a strong call to action that makes the viewer want to contact you for more information.

Placement in shot

Think of the rule of thirds when setting the camera up. You don’t want to appear off to one side or too far away. Spending a few minutes to get this right will improve the quality of the finished video.

Also, consider your background. Make sure that there isn’t anything confidential or personal in the shot that you wouldn’t want anyone to see. Having a clean and clutter-free background will help focus the viewers’ attention on what is being discussed.

Can you hear me… is this thing on? 

Choose somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed by people walking past or making a coffee. You may want to speak slightly louder than you might normally and keep close to the camera so that your voice is picked up by the phone’s mic. 

Know your landscape from your portrait

You need to ask yourself how and where are people going to see my video. If the answer to this is mainly on desktop on YouTube, then filming in landscape would be the right choice. Likewise if your video is likely to be used on a website, by the media, or streamed as part of a webinar - as was the case with this video filmed by Partners senior account executive Joe Richardson for a global PR seminar earlier this year. 

However, if you are filming for social media channels such as Instagram stories or Facebook, portrait mode is best. 

Don’t leave viewers in the dark

Good lighting is vital. Regardless of how good your product is or how interesting your subject, if the viewer can’t see you or the product you are talking about then they will quickly scroll past your video and on to the next piece of content.

Take the time to make sure you are in a well-lit space, but try to keep any light either to the side or in front of you so that viewers can see you on screen. If you’re struggling to get the lighting right, ring lights are cheap and easily available on the internet and will greatly improve the quality of your videos.

If you are filming outdoors on a sunny day, step into the shade otherwise you may be overexposed and too bright in shot.

Keep it steady

Nobody wants to sit and watch a wobbly video. Seasickness aside, it looks unprofessional and doesn’t showcase your product or business in its best light. Either use a mini-tripod or carefully place your phone on a shelf or table so that it stays steady. See how skilfully JM Glendinning Group CEO Nick Houghton manages to do exactly that while filming a testimonial for us in his car!   

Your ultimate goal when using video as a marketing tool should be to educate and establish yourself as a thought leader within your sphere. If you want to find out how Partners can help you generate powerful video content, get in touch for a chat.