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Digital Marketing

Up Your Production Value, Not your Cost

Using video as a part of your digital marketing strategy is a no-brainer in today’s day and age. Video is a great education tool, a great driver of traffic to other sources, and most importantly, it gives business owners a chance to be real and show off their personality. That said, a lot of businesses are scared to approach video out of fear that it’s too expensive to produce, or that it simply won’t look good. thankfully, in the past few years, the barrier to entry has really come down in the video space. And we have a few simple strategies so that you can up your production value without breaking the bank!

Content. Content. Content.

The first thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you are shooting your videos with an iPhone or a $50,000 cinema camera if your content is worthless to your audience. Your production value doesn’t matter is your content isn’t useful. Always make sure you have clear objectives laid out for the video before you even pick up the camera. As with all things, it’s important to start with the WHY. Is your intent to educate? Inform? Persuade? Build your brand? Figure this out FIRST, and always make sure the content is relevant to your audience and on-brand for your business.

Make the Most of Your Equipment

As previously mentioned, you really don’t need to break the bank buying equipment to get started. You’d be amazed by how great the video quality can be straight from a modern smartphone! It’s all about maximizing the tools you have and being smart about the production.

Lighting

The #1 most important thing for a good quality video is lighting. Look for locations where you can take advantage of natural light. The best conditions are when the sky is overcast, as it creates a nice soft light for your subject without creating harsh highlights or shadows. If you are outside, try to avoid shooting when the sun is directly above as this can make the light appear even harsher. Just note that when filming outside, you have to deal with more noise which could make your subject harder to hear.

If you are shooting indoors, lighting may become more of a challenge, but don’t let that scare you. Try to look for spaces with big windows, or consistent bright light. The key is to make sure your subject is clear, and your footage comes out clean and sharp. Notice how grainy and cheap the shot on the left looks, compared to the one we shot in good lighting. It’s all about making the most of your space.

Camera Settings

When you’re shooting with a smartphone, one of the challenges is taking the camera settings into your own hands. A lot of smartphones, especially iPhones, are guilty of dumbing down the settings for consumers. That’s great for capturing a quick clip for a home movie, or recording a vlog to send to a friend; but if you want to take your videos to the next level, it’s worth diving deeper into the settings.

First of all, shoot at a high resolution if possible. We don’t recommend uploading all your videos in 4K because it’s a bit overkill for platforms that people are mainly consuming on their phones, but if you shoot at a higher resolution, it gives you the option to crop into your image without it becoming pixelated.

Next, consider the frame rate. A lot of people like the look of high-speed video shot at up to 60fps, but you have to think about how people are consuming your content and the look you want it to have. 60fps is great for fast-moving clips with lots of action because it keeps everything smooth and sharp. 30fps is the North American standard for broadcasting, so if your video might be used for TV that’s something to consider. And then there’s my personal favourite, 24fps; which is a bit more cinematic than the other option, but comes at the expense of more motion blur. It’s also worth noting that the higher your frame rate, the worse the low-light performance gets.

Helpful Apps

If you really want to take your iPhone videos to the next level, you can look into affordable third-party apps which allows you to further fine-tune your settings like colour temperature, aspect ratios, audio settings, and more.

iOS apps:

Android apps:

Presenting With Confidence

So you have a topic that your audience cares about, and you know how to get the best image quality, but how can you present it in a way that makes your audience stick? There is no ONE right way. Don’t be afraid to play around with different video lengths, different animations, different titles, different transitions, different camera movements, different angles. Optimize over time, ask for feedback to speed up this process. The most important thing is that the presenter comes across as truly authentic.

Quick Tips

  • Be comfortable, don’t overdress or underdress. You want to feel good without it feeling forced
  • Study the content
  • Write prompts, not a script
  • Remember that it’s a learning process; your first video isn’t going to go viral, don’t be afraid to learn and progress

Closing Thoughts

So before you put a huge investment into production equipment, make sure you have the basics down first. Learn how to maximize the potential of the tools and locations you have, present with confidence (but don’t shy away from critique and adaptation), and remember it all starts with great content.

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