Video has become an incredibly strong element of the modern business. Whether you enjoy live streaming on Periscope or adding short films onto your Facebook page, these platforms all offer amazing ways to be seen because they harness the power of video. The most powerful of all, though, is YouTube.
YouTube is a platform where users can upload videos they’ve created, from amateur phone clips that last mere seconds to fully edited movies. This is an incredibly exciting (and promising) media! It allows people to appeal to the human desire to see things. We are visual creatures, and getting to see products in front of us, getting to sit back and be entertained, or getting to explore ideas in a way that only text or audio cannot is amazing.
It’s only been in recent years that creating video was accessible to the masses, though. Ten years ago, creating quality videos as part of a small business marketing plan was an incredibly expensive endeavor. It required pricey film equipment, an up-to-date computer, and professional film editing software.
Anyone can be a filmmaker these days, and in fact, you probably have tried your hand at a bit of filming already with your smartphone. If you’ve ever recorded a short video using your camera, then you might have what it takes to add video to be part of your small business marketing. Here are some tips to get started:
1. You’ll Need A Camera (Obviously)
Most smartphones these days have pretty decent cameras, actually, and choosing to start out this way is perfectly acceptable. Eventually you might want to invest in a better camera, but the truth is that being on camera isn’t for everyone. Before you go out and drop $1,000 on some high-end equipment, it’s good to try making a few videos with whatever you have first just to get a feel for everything. You might film a few videos and think that blogging is a better way for you to promote your affiliate links and ditch video altogether. That’s not a bad thing! But just make sure to try it out first before diving in too deep.
Of course, if you do have another available camera, then feel free to use it. Smartphones are an obvious first choice since they’re prevalent, but be aware that the most current versions of cameras will be higher quality. Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your filming setup and being on camera, consider upgrading.
2. You’ll Need Lighting…
If you’re wanting this to be a low investment at first, then plan to film your videos during the day when there is the most natural light coming into your home. Decent filming lights are relatively cheap, but the effect can easily be achieved by filming during the sunniest times of the day.
If filming during the daytime isn’t possible, then invest in one or two lights to shine on your face. There’s no need to light yourself from behind, but instead try to brighten up one or both sides of your face. A few of your natural shadows will appear on camera, and this is a good thing—it will look natural. If you play the video back and your face appears completely colorless, then turn it down a notch.
With good lighting on your face, all your movies will require is a little color correction (which we’ll get to later). However, with bad lighting, it can be hard to salvage a video, which leads me to the next point.
3. And Good Audio
Audio is another thing that can make or break a YouTube video. Imagine looking at two videos of equal length that are reviewing the same product. If one of them has scratchy, quiet, or hard to understand audio, you’ll more than likely not even watch it and go with the other one.
Audio can be somewhat tricky, especially if you’re starting out low budget. Mics aren’t exactly cheap! The best thing to do is to test the audio out in different places that you’re considering filming. If you discover that your room or office has too much of an echo, consider filming in the living room or kitchen instead. You can also utilize the mic that comes on a lot of headphone sets—it won’t be professional quality, but it will be a step up from whatever audio input is built into your smartphone.
If you’d like to purchase a mic, consider your options. Lavalier mics are the tiny microphones that clip onto your shirt collar, while USB mics can plug into your computer and record directly onto it. The good news is, you don’t need to invest in the fanciest microphone out there to get significantly better audio than what your smartphone alone offers.
4. Film With A Good Background
As you start to film your videos, consider what the setup behind you looks like. If you’re filming in your office and there are papers scattered everywhere, it will appear to be incredibly cluttered. At the same time, filming right in front of a white wall is relatively boring.
Beginners might simply shoot video in their office or living room, and once they’ve gotten a hang of it might even make a custom background. This is by no means necessary, but it can help you brand your business and make you stand out.
5. Edit Your Videos
The last thing you’ll have to do is edit your videos. This can be a little tricky, but there are luckily plenty of tutorials online for whatever software you’d like to use. Believe it or not, you might not need to spend any cash in this department—iMovie works great! You can upgrade to Final Cut Pro or Premiere, but those are costly programs that you should only purchase if you intend to do a lot of the editing yourself and you’re wanting to grow your YouTube video quality.
When you’re editing your videos, you can remove bloopers, enhance the colors with color correction, and improve the audio and add a background track. It sounds like a lot, but once you’ve gone through a few editing tutorials it will not be too difficult—it will, however be time-consuming.
For better quality, you can send in your video clips to have someone edit them. You could hire a film student to get cheaper rates, or you could hire a professional for a quick turnaround. Doing this costs a bit of money, but it also takes the responsibility off of your shoulders and can open you up to create more videos.