In our last Flying Solo we talked about the content side of video, this time I’d like to share some technical do’s and don’ts that apply both to DIY video and working with production companies.
Creating good quality video content is an real investment in time and money, so you want to make sure you get a decent return on that investment. Unfortunately, a lot of online business videos don’t get results; people click away after 10 seconds or move on before even viewing. One of the reasons why a lot of videos don’t get viewed is that the quality is sub standard in technical terms. Here are some examples of technical issues and some simple strategies to vastly improve your results without breaking the bank.
Bad audio is number one reason why a lot of videos fail. If people have a hard time following what you’re on about they switch off and move one. The most common issue is that filming is done using the internal microphone of the camera. Internal microphones are o.k. if the camera is close to the sound source and in a reasonable quiet room, but an absolute nono in larger rooms, congresses and presentations. Use an external microphone that plugs into the audio inputs of the camera, or even better use a wireless lapel microphone; one of those tiny microphones you can stick on your collar.
The human eye has an incredible ability to discern millions of shades of light and colour. Even the most amazing high end HD camera can not match that ability, so the camera needs some additional lighting to get results. You can shoot without lighting in locations that have a lot of day light, but since most presentations are done in offices with fluorescent lighting, it may be worth looking into. Fluorescent lights like the ones you see in office buildings are no substitute for video lighting; people look terrible when lit from the top and the video will look dull and greyish. Lighting kits are cheap to rent; it’s false economy to skimp on this.
A common issue with business video is that editors use every option of the editing software; 3d dissolves, text popping up everywhere and tacky clip art and graphics. Keep your videos clean and simple; it creates to the point and professional content. Think about what Google and Apple videos look like; it’s the message that gets you results.
A lot of graphics are unreadable because they were put in while editing the video on a big screen. Always double check by playing your video on a smaller size and after it’s compressed into the format you’re going to use online. Compression can ruin graphics if used unwisely; get informed on what works best. While we’re on the subject of text; don’t put too much text into the video. Video resolutions are far inferior to static content, so text in video is unpleasant to read. Add that content as written content to go with the video; it will also help the SEO of your business video and your audience can take their time to read it.
Choice of music is important and often overlooked. Music instantly conveys where you stand in terms of who you’re targeting and who you are. Make sure the music is appropriate for your brand and target audience. If you target 40-55 year old executives, should you really go for that pounding high energy techno track?
Let me start by saying that what we see as ‘good’ quality is relative, and partly a matter of taste. However, anything with your brand on it should support the brand conception you want existing and future clients to have. Video should get the same amount of attention as anything else that carries your brand. Make sure your website, your blog posts, your business cards, and your video are all matched in terms of quality and branding. If you sell high end shoes, you don’t want to make your shop sign out of cardboard and duct tape. Any media that doesn’t match your brand identity and perceived value will have a detrimental effect on your brand perception.
Video is a great, fun way to communicate, start conversations and build connections. Make sure you get the most out of it by avoiding tackiness!