Videos are an exciting way to showcase a particular product or service. Just look at YouTube and its more than two billion users. People love watching videos. However, it’s not always as easy to get noticed as it seems. IMMedia Editor Robert Wilson outlines five things to consider before getting behind the lens
Next time you’re on a train or in a mall, look around; you’re guaranteed to see people glued to their phones watching a video. It’s a format on the rise. And COVID-19 has further accelerated this trend with people spending significantly more time online, including streaming videos on their various devices.
This gives marketers a great opportunity to use videos to promote their business and complement an assortment of other types of exciting content. But how do you make the perfect video that will really stand out online? Here are five easy steps.
1. Choose your video publishing platforms wisely
In 2020 there are numerous platforms available to publish your video, including video-sharing platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. Social media is also very popular allowing for short clips and full-length videos. On Facebook, more than 720 million people per month spend at least one minute viewing videos in Watch. Your own website should also not be overlooked.
Depending on where you plan on publishing your video, do take into account the length of the video. For social media it’s usually better to have short clips. If you’re publishing the video to your own website or on a video sharing platform, a longer video may be better.
2. Have a game plan
Pre-production planning is critical to ensuring your video stands out online. It’s essential to have a clear game plan for your creation goals. First, are you publishing a quick video to Instagram Stories or TikTok? Is it an informal first-person chat to camera or are you thinking of something more elaborate like a time-lapse video that will require talent and some additional edits? Or perhaps you are seeking a more polished production that will require a film crews and actors.
No matter the complexity of your video production, before you even think of yelling, “Lights, camera, action!” start with a mood board to get the creative juices flowing. Pinterest is a great platform to get started ideating the look and feel of your video.
Next, you’ll need a script and storyboard, as well as a shot list and shooting schedule. This is also the time to decide on location and talent; where you will shoot and who will be in the video? Don’t forget to also think about other factors such as wardrobe, hair and makeup, lighting, filming permits and more. As with most creative endeavours, the more time you spend planning, the better.
2. Use the right equipment and crew for your video production
The equipment you need will vary depending on the type of video you are shooting and the look you are going for. Live videos will of course need cameras, as well as lighting and microphones. Cameras can range from anything from a mobile phone to a DSLR to a GoPro. Your budget and style of video will determine what’s best to use. Animated videos will need various types of animation software depending on the style of the video.
If you’re using a crew to shoot video, check what equipment they’re using prior to hiring them and ensure you review samples of their work. For professional shoots for brands, it’s imperative to go through the shot lists, storyboards and script ahead of time with your director to ensure familiarity with any brand messaging and creative guidelines, for example specific instructions regarding shot composition or set design. If you’re shooting interviews with talent, make sure they are comfortable, well fed and prepped with the correct call time and script.
Earlier this year, IMMedia shot a client video in Hong Kong featuring two local business people. This project had two particular challenges. Firstly, the talent were real people, not actors, which can be tricky if the individuals haven’t done much work on camera before, and secondly because the video had to be shot remotely, meaning that I couldn’t be physically on set. As a workaround, our professional video crew provided me with images of the interviewee set up, as well as individual clips throughout the shoot so I could provide real-time feedback.
We also shot in a studio, which always makes it easier to manage lighting and sound, compared to a makeshift room or outside space. The team also shot plenty of extra video footage, such as shots of the speakers from different angles, which was a huge advantage in the editing suite.
3. Editing is where the magic happens
Post-production is also key when creating a video. If you’re editing the video yourself, make sure you choose the right software. There are a lot of options out there, so it’s important to select the one that will work best for what you’re trying to achieve. You’ll also want to look into the ease of inserting music, supers, subtitles and other special effects.
If you’re thinking about having a third party edit your video, have them provide a selection of samples of their work first before making a decision. As important as the camera work, equipment, acting, and location are, the editing can really make or break your video. Ensure you allocate enough time for reviewing the raw footage and marking up specific shots, scenes and more.
Also think about how you can make your videos work harder by repurposing the same raw footage into multiple videos, for example: a four-minute interview could be cut down into three 30-second videos with supers or other punchy graphics. You can also repurpose the same video for multi-language markets by producing multiple versions with different translations and subtitles.
5. Make sure your video gets noticed
Just like with a blog, SEO is important, and you need to ensure the video gets noticed. You can do this using several different techniques.
First, create an attention grabbing title and description that is relevant to what’s in your video. People are more likely to click to watch something that sounds interesting. This will increase your chances of it going viral.
Second, ensure the video is tagged properly and uses the optimal keywords. The Google Keyword Planner can help, as can doing research to see what other relevant popular videos are using. Ensure you use accurate keywords and insert them into the title as well as any accompanying copy as this is one of the main aspects that the search algorithms will look for.
Third, depending on where the video will be displayed, you may also need high quality thumbnail images. Be sure to use an image from your video that will make people want to watch it. This may be the barrier between someone viewing your video or watching someone else’s if given a selection of videos with a similar topic to choose from.
Fourth, create links to other sites and attain backlinks. This will help direct traffic to your video as well as improve your ranking in search engine results pages. Ensure that the websites you are receiving the backlinks from are authoritative as Google gives better weighting to them.
Fifth, include copy on the webpage when publishing on your site to improve SEO. How much copy? Well, according to SEO specialists Yoast more than 300 words is a must and if you can write 1,000 words or more then you’re more likely to rank in Google.
Finally, timing is also highly important, especially if publishing on social media or a video sharing platform, as it can determine how many people view your video. It may vary depending on the platform used, so it’s important to review the analytics for your account to see when you have the most viewership.
The bottom line
Shooting a video can be a lot of fun. It allows you to take your creativity to the next level and create something that people can watch over and over again. It’s also an excellent format for promoting your business online. However, videos have a lot of moving parts and with a seemingly endless selection of videos available to view online that are all competing for the same eyeballs, it’s imperative to make yours stand out.
Speak to us today about how we can help you create and amplify the perfect videos for your business.