Did you know that people spend more time online watching videos than looking at pictures or reading text? Most marketers and business owners have realized this, and that’s why video marketing has taken the business world by storm.
Entrepreneurs are producing more video content than ever, and people are spending even more time watching them. So if you want to launch your own video marketing campaign, now is the right time to do it. Don’t worry, you’re not too late to the party: in fact, videos aren’t going anywhere.
Videos are very popular because they are the easiest type of content to consume. Videos are visual, which makes them naturally eye-catching. But you can also just listen to them and still absorb a ton of information. Speaking of which, the first few seconds of a video can contain a whole lot more information than a paragraph of text.
They say a picture paints a thousand words—so just imagine the impact of videos.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to make high quality videos. It’s especially difficult to stand out today, when there’s a sea of content being published every second. But with these tips we have below, you can make your videos look more professional and appealing to a wider audience.
Here’s how you can make professional videos at home.
Plan Your Videos before Shooting
Production quality is important. But believe it or not, the content of your video matters a lot more. So if you want your video to look professional, you need to start by creating a solid piece of content.
Planning your video ahead of time will make it easier for you to shoot the entire thing. But more importantly, it will lead to a much stronger result. You can tell when a video is well-planned and well-executed while watching it.
Poor technique isn’t the only thing that can make your video look unprofessional. A lack of planning can lead to more problems that will ultimately reflect in your finished product. It may leave your audience feeling underwhelmed.
Know Your Objective for Every Video
In order to create an impactful video, you need to know your objective for it. This will dictate the type of video you produce. There are many types of videos out there, and they can fulfill different goals. This flexibility is another reason why video marketing is so effective.
Do you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? Then educational videos like tutorials, webinars, and how-to guides are perfect for demonstrating your knowledge and expertise.
Do you want to earn the trust of your target audience? Post testimonials, product demos, and brand videos.
Do you want your viewers to know your brand a little bit more? Vlogs, event videos, and live videos are very effective when it comes to building relationships.
Every time you create a video, start by defining its purpose. Learn who your target audience is and what you want to say to them. This will guide most of your creative decisions, including the angles, the background, and the editing process. Identify the message you want to deliver and use your video to deliver it.
Choose an Interesting Topic
You don’t just randomly choose a topic out of nowhere, especially if you’re just starting out. You want to cover topics that people care about—topics they want to learn more about. This will help you reach your target audience more effectively.
Create videos on topics that are relevant to your audience’s interests, particularly those that are in your niche.
What you talk about in your videos is entirely up to you. But you want to make every video count. So the best way to make sure people actually watch your content is to choose the right topics.
Your video can entertain, inform, or both. But whatever you make, be sure that it is valuable to your viewers.
Appeal to Your Audience’s Emotions
Emotion plays a big role in every customer’s journey. And the good news is that video marketing is the perfect way to appeal to your audience’s emotions. Videos can be artistic, inspiring, and motivating. They can drive your viewers to follow through with your calls to action.
However, triggering an emotional response isn’t always the easiest thing to do. But the first step is making sure you publish something people care about. Know who your audience is and find out what type of content appeals to them. Use this as a guide when making video content that’s impactful and effective.
Write a Script
Unless you’re doing a live video, going completely unscripted will make you look unprepared, and therefore unprofessional.
People do enjoy authenticity, and there’s definitely room for that in your video marketing campaign. But they also like knowing that the speaker knows what they’re talking about. That means the person in front of the camera is speaking cohesively and in an organized manner.
You can only achieve this with a proper script. Not only will you know exactly what to say, you will also be sure that every point you want to cover in your video is covered. You can then revise and restructure your video as the need arises. A script will save you lots of time during the shooting process.
Rambling videos will bore your viewers, and so will videos that have too many “umms” and awkward silences. Don’t be afraid to rearrange and rewrite your script before your shoot. Make sure your video doesn’t linger too much on any single point. Keep it short and concise.
With a strategy in place, you can now create a video that will leave a lasting impression. It all starts in the scriptwriting process.
Prepare Your Equipment
Some entrepreneurs might hesitate to pursue video marketing just because they don’t have the most expensive camera in the world. But you don’t really need it—at least for now. It’s more important to get yourself out there and start engaging with your audience even if all you have is a smartphone.
Most smartphones can produce high quality images now, especially if you use the camera on the back of your phone. Front cameras usually have a lower video quality.
There’s no point in investing a high quality camera right away, especially if you haven’t figured out the rest of your video marketing strategy yet. So even if you don’t have an expensive camera, you can just use your smartphone for now. Don’t stress too hard over equipment you don’t have, especially if you’re just starting off.
Now if you are going to use your smartphone, you need to use it the right way. Aside from shooting with your back camera, place your phone in landscape mode when recording. Shooting horizontally will give you footage that looks good on larger devices, not just mobile phones. If you shoot in portrait mode and someone watches it in their laptop or PC, the video will have black bars on the side, which makes it look unprofessional.
If your phone has a grid overlay feature, use this to keep your phone level.
Choose the Right Background
One of the first things you need to consider before shooting your video is the background. This should not be treated like an afterthought because it helps you tell your story. If you’re making a video at home, you may be limited in your options.
Your best bet is to find a plain wall where you can stand in front of the camera and film your talent. But if you can find an area that’s clean and simple, it can make your video more interesting. Just make sure that there aren’t any distracting things in your background. You don’t want it to pull focus away from the main subject of the video. The background you choose will also depend on what type of video you’re making and what you are discussing.
You can shoot at home, in the office, or even outdoors. Just make sure the background is not distracting or boring. You can even use curtains and green screens—again, depending on the video you are making.
Think About Lighting
If you’re shooting outdoors, you can get some gorgeous colors in your video—but the lighting can also get tricky. If you’re shooting indoors, you have to work with the lighting that’s available to you, whether it’s a nearby window or a lamp. Natural lighting can make your video look fantastic, but artificial lighting works too.
In professional video production, lighting is its very own department. But assuming that resources are limited, you can always work with what you have. Just try to keep the subject well-lit at all times so that viewers can see their face. The location of your shoot will also dictate how much lighting is available to you, so keep that in mind.
Play with lighting, get creative, but always use plenty of light. A well-lit video looks a lot more professional than one that’s full of shadows. The best time to shoot outdoors is in the morning when the light is softer. Midday light can cast harsh shadows on your subjects when the sun is directly overhead.
Capture the Best Audio
Video isn’t purely visual—audio is just as important. So if you can invest in a simple microphone, it would improve your audio significantly, because your camera’s microphone is often low quality.
Using your smartphone to record audio means that you have to position yourself close enough to the microphone that your voice can be heard. This limits the angles that you can use in your video, which will also limit your creativity.
If you’re attaching a microphone to your talent’s body, place it somewhere that it would pick up all the necessary audio (like their voice), but not the miscellaneous sounds like jewelry or heavy breathing.
If you’re using a boom mic, keep it close enough to your talent that it will pick up their voice, but out of the frame.
Keep in mind that the audio quality is more important than video quality. People will forgive a video for not being shot in HD, but they won’t stick around if the audio is fuzzy. A good microphone is the first piece of equipment you need to invest in.
Learn About Composition
Eventually, your skills in videography are going to improve as you make more and more videos for your brand. But you can speed up the process by learning things like the rule of thirds and video composition.
Composition is commonly associated with photography, but it is just as important in videography. Composition refers to the way you frame your subject in the video you are shooting. One quick tip: do not keep your subject in the center of the frame. You will end up with a lot of empty space around your subject.
When framing your subject, make sure there’s enough space above their head, but don’t leave too much empty space above them either. There’s a fine balance you need to hit. Don’t frame them too close to the camera that the top of their head is chopped off.
Avoid Shaky Footage
One of the things that can make your video look unprofessional is shaky footage. Invest in a tripod—even a cheap one will do. You need something that will hold your camera or smartphone steady while you shoot your scenes.
Even casual videos like vlogs and live videos shouldn’t be too shaky. It might make your viewers nauseous. Or they can just click away thinking the video isn’t worth their time.
If you don’t have a tripod, just set your camera on a sturdy, level surface. Do not move your camera unless you absolutely have to. Moving your camera during takes can make it look more interesting, but that takes practice.
If you still end up with shaky footage, video stabilization software can help you fix it.
Get Comfortable in Front of the Camera
Now that you have your background, script, camera, lights, and audio ready to go, it’s time to prepare your talent. Filming yourself in front of the camera can feel uncomfortable at first. Watching clips of yourself is not always the easiest thing to do. Sometimes you can feel awkward about your voice or your mannerisms. But soon you will get used to it.
Over time, you will get more and more comfortable in front of the camera. Film yourself while reading your scripts. This will help you get over your shakiness and nervousness. Smile, especially at the start of your video. You want to appear friendly and approachable so viewers are more at ease while watching you. Use a conversational tone instead of trying to sound too professional. You don’t want to bore or alienate your viewers.
Always maintain a proper posture. Relax and speak naturally—that will make you look more confident in front of the camera. With time and practice, you will develop this confidence.
Shoot with Editing in Mind
Spend more time perfecting each shot so you can spend less time editing your shots. Filming in small segments can help make your shooting and editing processes easier. Do not film the whole video in one continuous shot. It will be very difficult to find where certain clips are.
It’s much easier to film short takes. This even gives you more creative freedom when editing your clips because you can rearrange them as necessary. It even becomes easier to create trailers and shorter versions of your video for other purposes.
Shoot from Different Angles
It’s okay to keep your camera static. But if you really want to make it look professional, you should try shooting from different angles.
This is a technique that new video content creators tend to neglect. But the impact of shooting from different angles is very noticeable. You can make your video look dynamic even when you’re featuring the same talent sitting in one spot the whole time. Switching to a different shot every once in a while pulls your viewer back in. On the other hand, a static video may bore them.
Choose the Right Video Editing Software
The perfect video editing software depends on your needs, your budget, and your skill level. There are plenty of free video editing tools out there, so it’s up to you to decide what features you want your software to have. Some video editors are more intuitive and beginner-friendly than others.
There are key features you want to check for when choosing a video editing software. It needs to have the ability to add text to your video, and of course, it should be easy to trim and crop your clips. Look for editing software with a simple drag and drop functionality—this will make your editing a lot easier.
Other features you want to look for are the following: scene transitions, filters, overlays, green screen, aspect ratio adjustments, picture-in-picture, and a library of stock videos and audio.
Keep it Simple
While you should definitely experiment and get creative with the video editing, don’t overdo it. Using editing tricks to make your video stand out is great if you use them sparingly. Use them to dazzle your viewers, not confuse them. Make sure the editing highlights the message you want to deliver, instead of distracting from it.
A clean editing style is considered more professional. Clean up the background noise if your software allows it. Adjust the lighting and colors if you have to. Remove the awkward pauses and silences so that you’re giving information at a consistent rate.
Finally, don’t forget to add background music. It can set the mood for your entire video, but don’t make it too loud that it overpowers the dialogue.
Publish in the Right Channel
Knowing your target audience means that you also know where they are hanging out online. If you know your target audience well, you can pinpoint which channel is the best for your video content. YouTube is a given. But other social media platforms support different formats and video types. Don’t waste your time promoting your videos on platforms that aren’t popular with your audience.
The channel you choose may depend on what you’re trying to upload. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are perfect for short clips—whether they are informative or entertaining. LinkedIn is great for longer content like webinars and tutorials. YouTube is great for any format.
Optimize Your Video to Get the Most Engagement
Your job as a video content creator doesn’t end after you’ve made your video. You still need to optimize it so that it makes the biggest impact. Learn how to use SEO or Search Engine Optimization.
YouTube has become similar to Google in that it has become a massively popular search engine. So when posting on YouTube, think about the keywords people are likely to type when looking for your content. And then sprinkle those keywords everywhere: especially your title, description, and tags.
Use the right keywords to bring the right audience to your content. If you want to present yourself as a serious video creator, you need to get those views. Slowly, you can grow your following.
If your videos aren’t receiving a lot of views, that’s perfectly normal—you’re just starting out. Keep going and keep posting your content. Publishing new videos regularly shows viewers that your channel is active and growing.
Along the way, your video editing skills will improve as well as your content. You can eventually invest in proper equipment.
Follow these tips to create amazing videos from the comfort of your home.