Video is becoming one of biggest ways to reach a large audience. Yes, blogging can drive a substantial amount of traffic to your site but right now people are loving videos. The reasons why? Well, for one they are easier to watch than reading a blog, they feel more real and alive, they draw the viewer in, they can leave a lasting impression, they can be very emotive and they create a connection between yourself and your audience. So, basically, if you aren’t creating fab video content maybe it’s about time that you were?
However, it isn’t quite as easy as these YouTubers make it look (believe me, I have tried!) The time, the effort, the content, getting the right message across and all done in a natural manner takes work. Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you get started on creating your very own amazing video…
Research and Learn
You cannot just jump in and make a video without first knowing what is already out there and what is doing well. For starters, what are your friends sharing on Facebook? This is a huge clue in finding out what type of videos resonate with people. Funny does go down well as do song parodies but your content will entirely depend on what it is you are trying to say or sell. Also check out what your competitors are up to, what is working for them?
Get on YouTube and check out the most viewed/popular videos. Find out who is successful here and watch their content to really find out why. Look for key things like how they speak to the camera, where they shoot their film, their body language, what they are saying, what products they are showing and how they talking about them. You should also take note of how long their videos are. Not many people can watch past 20 minutes so you need to think about how you will be able to say what you want in a time that will be watched comfortably.
Tip: Subscribe to the YouTubers that inspire you, that do well and that you like. Check how often they upload, how long their videos are and how quickly they gain views. However, I am in no way telling you to copy. Inspiration is very different to copy-catting content.
If you want to film on location you will need to take into consideration how busy it may be, people who may appear in the background and noise issues. You certainly don’t want to be making harder work for yourself so check out what times would work best for filming and be prepared to do some research around each place you choose. Alternatively, you may find that different spots around your own home or garden will work just as well. You don’t have to go crazy, you aren’t shooting a blockbuster(!) and, hopefully, you will be engaging enough for the viewer to only be focusing on you and not where you are.
Trick: Dress up an area/corner of one of your rooms just for the film. For example, place a plant, a chair, coffee table with a carefully placed item of interest and voila you have a relaxed setting for chatting to your audience. No one will see the clutter that surrounds you!
Before you can start to film you need to think about how you want the final video to look. I would personally keep it simple. Talking to the camera is the easiest option and you don’t have to worry if you make mistakes, that’s what editing software is for! You can always jazz it up with striking opening titles, fun transitions, text and music. Don’t make your project harder for yourself, especially if you are new to all of this.
Tip: Find an editing software programme that is perfect for all abilities, that way you can use the easy option when you are just starting out and build up to the full software as you grow in confidence.
The only way you will be able to come across natural, confident and warm is to practise like crazy. It sounds so easy saying that you are going to make a video but as soon as you sit in front of that camera it is very common to sound wooden and to rush through what you want to say. You need to find a way of being engaging and informative but without being too serious or boring. However, you also don’t want to look like an excitable kid on Christmas Day! Try filming yourself talking, watch it back and critique yourself. Then just keep practising.
Tip: Use Instastories as your way of seeing how you come across. If people like what they see they will probably leave you comments and your views and reach should increase.
What Are You Going To Say?!
Tip 1, don’t read from a speech, tip 2, don’t wing it. You want something a little in between. By practising like above you will have a good idea of how much you need to say and how you will sound but you need to get a good balance between being engaging and getting that message across. What is your message? Are you selling a product? Are you reviewing a new product? Are you providing a new service? Think about how successful influencers ‘sell’. They don’t push what they are telling you about, they are informative and helpful, honest and open, warm and friendly. Hard sales are long gone, people just do not react well to it, so you need to sit down and plan out a rough guide of what you are going to say.
Tip: Think about your warm opening, tell your audience who you are, tell them something interesting about yourself, be informative, include all your relevant points, think about product demonstration and end with a warm goodbye and an open invite to check out your website/sign up/subscribe etc.
You aren’t going to need full-on tech for your video but your basics should really include a good camera (many phones are built for this now too), some sort of lighting and a tripod. You may also want to think about including a team of people to help you. It will take twice as long if you are constantly having to check camera positioning, pausing to zoom, stopping to grab products or props, even if you just have 1 or 2 friends/colleagues at hand to help you will be able to make your video much easier to complete.
Trick: Light doesn’t come much better than in the form of sunshine so if your home is dark why not film outside? There are plenty of affordable lights for you phone on the internet without having to fork out on professional lamps and if worst comes to worst and your video is just super dull edit it to appear black and white.
Get Your Editing Spot On
The editing is just as or perhaps even more important than the creating the footage itself. You could have said all the right things but without editing, it could drag on, it could be dull and have viewers switching off. Think carefully about how you want the final edit to look. Do you want music all the way through or just in the intro? Can you add some transitions between scenes? Zooming in at certain points e.g. demonstrations, facial expressions, ‘oops’ moments can have a great effect on the viewer. Making your video funny will keep them watching, even if it is you pulling a bit of a funny face!
You could also think about adding photos in the middle to break up the video or you talking. You could add a voice over if you aren’t happy with how you have come across on video and if the sound isn’t quite right you can increase the volume to make yourself heard. There are so many options and so much that can turn a mediocre video into a great one!
Tip: Do not overdo the transitions, they can be fun but too many can become tedious.
Trick: If you have shaky camera work try speeding up the footage or slowing it down. It adds a great effect and takes away the appearance of poor camera work