Expectations are fairly high when it comes to business videos – especially in terms of quantity. YouTube is the second-largest search engine, so you need to upload as many quality videos as possible. People expect to see punchy videos on your website and throughout your social media channels. How do you keep the quality up while also making videos in quantity?
Many small businesses simply do not have the budget to hire a video production team for each video. A convenient tool for shooting video is the smartphone. It is always available and shoots fairly good quality. The smartphone also does not require an additional investment in equipment. However, smartphones have built-in problems. Use these five tips to improve your company’s smartphone videos.
Tip 1: Clean the Lens
Your skin is slightly oily. Your phone gets a lot of skin contact. It is inevitable that your lens will be smeared with sebaceous oil. If you keep your phone in your bag or pocket, dust and dirt will stick to your lens. Oils create a “haze” on the image. Before shooting a video, brush all lenses with a soft lens brush. Then, dunk a cotton swab, lens tissue or a lens cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the lenses clean. Wait a minute until the lens dries. Then you are “clear” to shoot.
Tip 2: Turn the Phone the Right Way
You have a 50% chance of shooting utterly useless video solely because the phone can be turned the wrong way. You need to shoot landscape, with the phone on its longest side (horizontally). You are accustomed to holding the phone vertically when you make a phone call. But do not hold the phone that direction when you shoot video. Otherwise, you will end up with a thin vertical strip with black stripes on the side. This is basically unusable.
Tip 3: Keep it Steady and Level
It’s true that YouTube and other tools have the power to steady shaky video. However, you will sacrifice clarity. Best to shoot the best video possible by using some hardware:
- If you’re shooting a fairly stable scene, use a tripod. You might need to add on a device so your phone attaches to the tripod. Some tripods include a level to indicate whether your camera is perfectly horizontal; if it doesn’t have this, eyeball it or use an app or tool to make sure it’s straight on.
- If you are shooting while walking, invest in a device to steady your camera. For example, the SteadiCam Smoothee Camera Mount provides a counter-balance to keep your video watchable.
Tip 4: Get the Best Sound Possible
A phone is not very good at recording audio. Pick the right audio environment to get the best sound possible. If you do not plan to make your own audio track later, avoid this:
- Background noise. One crucial business video was shot in a yard with thousands of chirping insects – crickets! Find a quiet place.
- Speaker is far away
- Narrator is holding the camera and speaking very loudly.
When the audio counts, consider using an external microphone. Experiment before shooting day to make sure you can synchronize everything and make it work.
Tip 5: Edit the Video
It’s not too often that raw footage can serve as your final product for a business video. You will probably want to start with a quick, engaging title sequence (such as animated text overlaying the opening scene) and edit out any dull moments. Also, people have a short attention span, so you will want to splice short pieces of video together. You can hire someone, or see what you can do with an editing tool. For example, YouTube has built-in tools for cutting out the beginning or end of the video, and for enhancing the footage. It is during the editing process that you can add your logo and branding if it isn’t already in the footage.
When you need to increase the quantity of company videos without compromising quality on a budget, turn to your smartphone. Make sure your smartphone videos are the best quality possible by turning the phone the right direction, cleaning the lens, holding the phone steady, getting clean audio and editing. Your prospects and clients will notice!