Guest Post Written By: Lawrence He of Polygon Visuals
Video is getting very popular these days as a form of content that can quickly captivate audiences. While doing digital marketing for your tech company you may have already started to produce instructional or explanatory videos for your product or its features. When creating video content, it’s important to first and foremost make sure that the video you make is in-line with with your content strategy. Once you have that, you’re ready to begin making videos that really engage your viewers.
Hiring a local video production firm is great if you need your brand to be perceived at a certain level – but if you don’t have the budget or your business is in its beginning stages, you can still get great results filming and producing your own content. Below are a four easy changes to make your videos better.
1. Lighting is important but sound is even more important.
Clear sound is necessary in order for people to follow what you’re saying; if you have poor sound viewers will switch off right away. To get good sound, make sure you’re not using the on camera microphone. Its beneficial to invest in a lapel microphone, which is one of those small microphones you can clip to your shirt that you see talk show hosts wear, and are relatively cheap. This helps to eliminate the background noise, static and random clattering sounds that muddle what you have to say.
2. Tune into your environment.
Notice where your light source is coming from, and how harsh or bright the light source is. If your subject is sitting in an office, you may not notice the harsh shadows under their eyes, but this becomes very evident behind a video screen. Its important to make the person in the video look flattering because you want the viewer to be engaged with what the speaker is saying rather than be distracted. You can soften light by waiting until the late afternoon when the sun begins to set, moving toward a shaded area, or if indoors, near a big window.
3. Use three-point lighting.
A standard lighting setup is to have a light 45 degrees off to the right, another light 45 degrees off to the left and another light behind the subject just out of frame. This helps balance the shadows across the subjects face as well as bring the subject out from the background. If you don’t have lighting equipment, position your subject so that the light source, (whether it is a window, the sun, a lamp, or actual led lights) 45 degrees to the right or left of the subject. Then use another light source, whether its a lamp, the flashlight on your phone, or a reflector (like a windshield reflector if you don’t have a real photography reflector) and position this 45 degrees from your subject on the other side.
4. Consider where you are framing your subject.
A lot of people frame their subjects in the middle of the frame, and this leaves too much headroom. Headroom is the space between the top of your head and the top of the frame. You don’t want to frame your subject’s head in the middle of the shot because this psychologically lowers the authority of your subject. Ideally, you can frame it so that the eyes of the person you are film are at the top third level of the frame.
Another tip to create better storytelling is whether your subject’s face is zoomed in or whether you’re shooting a wider shot to show the background. If the speaker is making a very compelling point, you might want to film closer. This captures more emotion and the viewer can really notice the expression on the speaker’s face. If you show the background, stepping out to a wider shot can be a subtle way to showing context and hinting your point. For example, if you want to emphasize the importance of metrics. Having a poster about analytics in the background can further drive the point of what you’re saying. If you’re company is international, having a colorful map in the background can hint at multiple locations. The background gives the viewer insight into your business culture, design, and personality.
As you head to off, motivated to shoot your next video, I want you to keep in mind that video is highly visual. Try to make full use of the fact that its visual, and there’s a reason why you’re using this medium. If you’re simply speaking, why not keep it purely audio? Naturally, there are ways to get your message across in a more compelling way if you by showing your viewer. If you’re shooting a tech product demonstration, think about clearer ways to demonstrate usage. Maybe consider the lifestyle of the customer who uses your product. Could you shoot it in a different angle or location so the viewer can better understand how the product helps them? Because in the end, the entire point of making videos is to help your followers engage and connect with your brand.
About the Author:
Lawrence He is creative director of Polygon Visuals, a video production agency in The Bay Area. He also writes about marketing and project management at lawrencehe.com. It is a tragedy for those who feel that it is their calling to create, but don’t. Thus, Lawrence takes every fleeting moment of inspiration to be a creator. Motivated by the works of his heroes, Lawrence constantly seeks for ways to put life into his imagination. For him, living in San Francisco gives him a great opportunity to film for tech companies, and tell the stories behind their innovative products.