D.I.Y. Or Professional Video?

Bill Baraona, Founder/Videographer
20th September 2018

If you’ve spent any time within the past five years looking into how to market your company, organization, or products, you have probably heard the same thing over and over again. If you’re not harnessing the power of video, you are missing out on an opportunity to use the most engaging form of content to help drive sales and grow your business.

HubSpot reports, “The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.” And Wirebuzz states, “Viewers retain 95% of a message after watching it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.”

When you see stats like that, how can you not pick up your mobile device and harness your inner Steven Spielberg? But with all the video content online, how do you make yours stand out?

Do you pay a professional or do it yourself? It depends. Though having a professionally produced video will make your brand stand out amongst your competition, there is a time and place for DIY shoots. Ask yourself, “How long do I plan to use this video, and where will it be shown?” If the answer is less than a year and on my social media channels then you could probably get away with DIY. These types of videos are not used as frequently as videos that will live on your website or those you expect to use frequently for the next few years.

Videos that you plan to host on your website to help explain your organization and convince consumers to make a buying decision directly reflect your brand. Those are the types of video you want to be professionally planned, scripted, shot, and edited. The more professional those videos look and the more planned out they are, the more professional your brand appears and the greater return on your investment.

Now that you have decided which route to go, how do you arrive at a finished video?

If you plan to go the professional route, the beauty is that a professional digital marketing company will take care of all of the heavy lifting for you. However, I often get asked, “What should I look for when choosing a company to produce my video?” Make sure you find a digital marketing company that emphasises strategy and planning, followed by experience, equipment, customer service, and finally price.

Without strategy, you may have a great-looking video that impresses your friends and family, but it won’t necessarily help you drive a return on investment and deliver results. That’s something that has to be planned out from the beginning.

I am an avid listener of the Video Marketing Mastery Podcast produced by Todd Hartley. Hartley always puts it best when he says, “Smart marketers know to start with the end goal and lay out the strategy to achieve that goal. And video production companies and kids with cameras DON’T understand that.” That’s why it is important to work with a company that starts with strategy first.

Now what if you decide to go the DIY route with your video? How do you go about shooting, editing, and delivering content? If you have equipment already, great, but if you don’t have any equipment don’t run out and buy a bunch of expensive stuff just yet. Start off with the camera that you already have: your mobile device, such as a phone or tablet.

Whether you have video equipment or a cell phone, I can’t walk you through every step of production in one blog post. However, I can give you three simple tips to deliver better video for your brand.

Tip #1: Use a Tripod: I can not tell you how many people want to go hand held with their video camera/cell phone. Though this may be great for family videos, this is the number one thing that separates amateurs from professionals. We use tripods because viewers are looking for stable shots. There are many tripod options out there but for the purpose of this blog I am going to tell you that anything is better than nothing. Go online, do some research, and get something within budget that will hold the type of camera you’re shooting with.

Tip #2: Use a Microphone: You can have amazing cinematic shots but if you have bad audio nobody will stick around to watch them. Buy a small shotgun mic like the Rode Video Micro, or lavaliere mic like the Rode Smart Lav+ to help you capture high-quality audio and sound better than the internal microphone on your camera or mobile device. If you don’t have the budget for a microphone, your best option would be to try to record in a room with less echo and noise and get your subject as close to the camera as possible without ruining the framing of your shot.

Tip #3: Use Available Light: My last piece of advice is to shoot at a location that has available light. Not all cameras or cell phones perform well in low light. The last thing you want to produce is a video in which your viewer can’t see your subject. Test your camera/cell phone out before your shoot. If you notice this issue, find a room with some natural light, however DO NOT shoot your subject against a window or your light source. Instead, position your subject so your window or light source can light at least one side of your subject’s face. You can then use white foam board or poster board to bounce light from your light source to light the other side of your subject’s face if needed or desired. This would be what’s referred to in the video production industry as “two-point lighting.”

These are just a few tips to help you get started. If you are looking for professional video production services, Flex Media offers a variety of packages to help meet your needs and budget. If you are looking for more tips, tricks, and answers, subscribe to our monthly emails. We will be creating more blogs and videos for you and sharing some the resources that we find most helpful in our industry today.

If you have a question, we want to hear from you! Please send us your questions so we can try to create videos and blog posts to help answers them. Let us help you grow your business with creative content!

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