Getting Started Making Video Content
In the increasingly fast-paced world of 2020, the attention spans of people are decreasing every day. People want content that is entertaining, engaging, and to the point. Gone are the days of newspaper articles, lengthy blog articles, and magazines. If you want to reach people in the 21st century, you need to utilize video content.
Video is the #1 tool for getting your message out into the world, but many business owners and brand builders get hung up on the complexity of many methods of video production, the “techiness” of the tools, and the time required to learn complicated software programs. Though it can be daunting to get started in video, the reality is that there are so many tools out there that are simple, inexpensive, and high-quality that allow you to churn out great content as a beginner! In this post, we’re giving you the rundown on everything you need to know as you get started with video content!
Find a camera
In 2020, smartphone cameras are so advanced that, for most people, and iPhone is sufficient as a primary video camera. You can shoot high-quality video that looks and sounds great on a device that you already carry around in your pocket! But there are some limitations to consider. First, a smartphone camera has no manual settings. The iso, white balance, shutter speed, etc. are all automatic, which makes for great “run-and-gun” videos when you’re on the go, but can be a hindrance when you’re going for a specific look in your videos.
Also, the microphone on a smartphone is fine, but it breaks down whenever there’s any kind of background noise. It’s not meant to isolate sound. So, if you want more flexibility with your camera settings, or if you want to record external audio, you might want to consider upgrading to a dedicated video camera. Our brand recommendation is Sony; their cameras are geared toward video content – they have great high-frame-rate options and good dynamic range in video shooting mode. Our team’s go-to is the Sony a6500, but the a7iii can be a good option if you want a bit of an upgrade from there. Finding a camera that works for you is crucial for getting your foot in the door with video content. Next up, audio!
Figure out audio
Audio is the #1 thing that makes videos appear professional. Though it doesn’t seem like it, good audio sets a good video apart from a mediocre one. That’s why, if you’re going to invest in one “fancy” thing for your new video setup, we’d recommend finding yourself a good mic. Our favorite is the Rode VideoMic Pro, and we think it’d be your best bet too. Even if you’re shooting video on a GoPro or cheap DSLR, if the audio is crisp, isolated, and not echoey, the video will turn out nicely.
Another thing to note is sound isolation. If possible, try to pad the room you’re recording in to prevent echoes; we all hate when someone is talking in the video and it sounds like they’re inside of a tin can. Just hanging some blankets on the wall can do wonders for the quality of your audio! In summary, your video will go from good to great if you have great audio, so prioritize it!
Nail the lighting
You can have a state-of-the-art camera, professional microphones, a perfect recording environment, and still produce a terrible video. How? Lighting. If you don’t prioritize lighting your scene, you can end up with shadowy, grainy footage that looks like it was shot on a smartphone from 2008. By lighting your subject brightly, evenly, and naturally, you can nail that elusive professional look that you see in YouTube videos and TV shows. We recommend getting some kind of LED or continuous output light so that there is no flicker detectable by your camera, no matter what your frame rate is.
Once you have a light, the positioning of that light is important as well. Make sure to use lighting to accentuate the lighting that already exists in your environment, not alter it. For example, if there is a window on the left side of your subject, make sure to position your main key light on that side. That way, there isn’t an appearance of conflicting light sources and hopefully, it just looks like there’s a window with bright sunlight on one side of your subject.
In that same vein, it’s important to maintain the color temperature of the room in your lighting; if you crank your lights up to a yellow setting when the light in the room is primarily a blue-ish, daylight tone, the end result will be ugly and confusing. Again, lighting is only to be used to assist the light already in the room you’re filming in, not change it. When you get your lighting right, your video quality will skyrocket.
Once you’ve established a good setup for filming, it’s time to move on to editing. For a lot of people, editing software and its complexity is the biggest stumbling block preventing them from getting started in the video content world. It seems complex, technical, and impossible to understand. But, there are many programs out there that aren’t that tricky once you get the hang of them. If you’re on a Mac, Final Cut Pro X is an amazing piece of software that takes the best features from pro-level programs and simplifies them for beginners and intermediate creators. The learning curve is moderate, and the results you can get are stunning.
For non-Mac users, Premiere Pro is very good, though a little bit more complex than Final Cut. If you’re looking for a free option, DaVinci Resolve is available for free on both Mac and PC, and it’s about the same difficulty level as Premiere Pro. Whatever program you choose, it will always be worth it to put in the time and effort to really learn the ins and outs. If you invest in really understanding that program, the results will shock you.
Establish what your content will look like
Okay, so you have your filming setup and your editing setup, but you can’t forget the content itself! Being creative and innovative with your content will keep people coming back for more, and it will prevent you from getting stuck in a rut creatively. If you own a coffee shop, maybe your videos could be about different brewing methods, how you roast your coffee, the way that you package and store your coffee, or what it takes to set up and run your shop for a whole day.
If you’re a retail boutique, maybe you could create videos where you showcase the latest trends in fashion, give people style advice, or teach them how to accessorize. Whatever the case, it’s worth it to put in time and effort establishing the theme and style of your content so that you can create a consistent feel across all of your videos! Be creative and expressive, and people will love it.
Making videos can be rough. It can seem like the constant slog of coming up with ideas, filming, editing, uploading, and repeating is killing your soul. But, for your brand to grow and people to keep viewing your content, consistently is key. Even if you only post one video a week, try to make sure you’re doing it on the same schedule (posting on the same day of the week each time) and that the length of each video is relatively the same. Power through the stress of if, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Once you start cranking out video content, you’ll be amazed with the results! People love to watch and share engaging videos, and your brand will benefit massively from implementing this strategy. This week’s episode of the brand nation podcast is all about video content, and there are tons more tips and tricks there! Head over to digitalbrandnation.com to listen, and to find some more great resources like this one! Peace✌️ #TeamBrandNation