I’ve been using video more and more in my marketing communications this year. I think it allows people to see who you really are more effectively than any other medium.
So in this blog I’m going to share what I’ve learned and save you from the mistakes I’ve made!

Do

  • Clean your camera lens. Laptop or smartphone cameras produce fabulous picture quality nowadays, but only if you give them a wipe before filming!
  • Check your sound. Consistent and good quality sound levels throughout is arguably more important than the picture quality of your video.
  • Keep your videos concise. Plan what you’re going to say in advance. The ideal length of video depends on the platform you’re on and what you’re trying to achieve. A Facebook live video might easily go on for an hour if you have some engaged viewers asking questions, but a video on LinkedIn is more likely to be viewed the shorter it is, generally speaking.
  • Make eye contact with the camera during the whole of recording. This maximises the feeling that you’re talking directly to the person watching.
  • Use captions. There are all sorts of reasons why someone would want to watch your vid with the sound off, so don’t give them a reason to switch off! I’ve used Rev.com and YouTube to do captions on my videos.
  • Think about your background. Make it interesting but not distracting e.g. bookshelves or a tidy desk. Make sure there aren’t any bright lights e.g. windows behind you too.
  • Make sure your face is well lit. People can’t connect with you if they can’t see your face very well. Natural light from a window is great, but desk lights and ceiling lights are fine too as long as they’re not casting any severe shadows. I invested in a small clip on light which has a great battery life but it’s not going to be long before I treat myself which does a better job of eliminating shadows altogether like this.

Key concept

Assume the viewer doesn’t know you and has never heard of you or anything you do. 
Always introduce yourself and tell people what you do. It’s handy to have a short, well rehearsed phrase handy whenever you press record.
Another question to ask yourself before writing or recording any message is:
What is the one thing you want the viewer to think, feel, say and do?
If you have a specific call to action to get across to your audience, you need to be specific with your instructions. For example ‘if you’re interested in a team building day that has worldwide implications on the welfare of zoo animals, book a call with me today. The link is in the comments.’

Don’t

  • Spend lots of money on equipment or software when you’re starting out. There’s simply no need! My iPhone resting on my food compost bin was enough to get me going. Your laptop/ PC will usually come with video editing software and, if not, there are some great free options out there e.g. Hitfilm.
  • Procrastinate in favour of attaining perfection. Done is better than perfect and not done. You’ll only learn and get better by trying and adjusting.
I’m in the process of uploading my videos to YouTube. As you’ll see, my videos aren’t slick, there’s barely any editing. It’s my face, my voice and my thoughts. And let me tell you, they’ve been getting me the best results out of anything else I’ve done this year.
Janine Coombes offers done-with-you marketing plans to small businesses who are fed up of having no time and of feeling out of control of their promotional efforts. If you’re telling yourself ‘I should be doing this! I should be doing that!’ drop Janine a line at janine@janinecoombes.co.uk and she’ll make all of those nasty ‘shoulds’ go away.

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