WBOC member and online marketing strategist Stacey White, of Stacey White Solutions, was the presenter at the January 4th WBOC meeting held at the Genesee Grand Hotel. Stacey shared her perspective on the power of video for business and why business owners and consultants should consider incorporating it into their marketing mix. Here she follows up with the nuts and bolts of how to create your own videos. Be sure to take advantage of Stacey’s free Make Great Video Guide, available by download at the end of the article.
Today’s technology makes it incredibly easy to make online video. As America’s Funniest Videos and YouTube show, any person with a camera can shoot a video. And today’s cameras, as well as YouTube, make it very easy to share videos with the world.
But video for business is different.
If you want to reap the marketing benefits of video, you must do these things:
- Make videos that meet the needs of your target audience.
- Place them on the Internet in a way that will facilitate your target audience will find them.
- Create videos with a level of quality that reflect the quality of your products and services.
As a business owner, professional or entrepreneur, the videos you present to the world matters: You want people to find your videos, watch them, and then take action. Making your own videos is not hard, but there is a learning curve and few things of which you should be aware.
Here are some tips that you can use to get started.
Equipment There are so many ways to capture video. To discuss equipment you have to decide what video “format” to use. One way to think of video formats is direct-to-camera and “everything else.”
Direct-to-camera means that you or your spokes person is presenting directly to a camera. Your audience can see you as you share your message.
“Everything Else” is video that does not focus on a person presenting directly to audience on camera. Screencast video is a popular type of “everything else” video format. If you’ve ever watched an automated slideshow presentation, or a video demonstration of how to use a piece of software, then you’ve seen a screencast video. Another example are videos that use still photos, words and music to tell a story. Animation is another type of “not direct-to-camera” video.
So, the KIND of videos you want to make determine the KIND of equipment you will choose.
For direct-to-camera, I recommend:
- A simple camera that accepts an external microphone
- An external microphone
- A tripod
- A holder that allows you to connect your camera to a tripod if you camera does not have the screw threads on the bottom.
Camera: Keep it simple. The more complicated your camera is, the more stuff you’ll have to learn in order to make your videos. If you want a hand held camera, consider using your iphone, iPad, or an iPod Touch. Android phones can be used but adding a microphone is tricky because every manufacturer’s phone behaves differently with an external microphone. Two models I recommend are the Kodak zi8 digital camera and Canon Vixia. Whatever model you choose, be sure it accepts an external microphone.
External Microphone: Use an external microphone with your handheld camera. The microphone focuses on YOUR voice and makes your videos appear more professional. Without the external microphone, your audio will sound distant and you will pick up sounds in the area or room, including the hum of any large electrical appliances. You can buy an inexpensive wired lapel mic (lavalier) for under $30 on Amazon. You can also attach a handled boom microphone and place the microphone on a microphone stand. Stands cost around $30 on Amazon. Boom microphones cost around $60 on Amazon.
If you are using an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, you need a microphone adapter so the device will pick up the microphone. This may also be true for other smart phones: check with the manufacturer to see if an external microphone can be used. I buy my adapter from KVConnection.com. Here is the direct product link. I strongly recommend you buy from KVConnection and not try to shop around because you may not get what you think you are getting when you purchase else where. And yes, this one adapter works with all of the Apple mobile devices.
Tripod: Use one! Or your video will be shaky and have that “documentary on the fly” look. You can get an inexpensive tripod for around $25. Even if you plan to place the camera on a table and sit in front of it while you shoot, use a tripod. I like the Joby flexible table top tripod because allows you to bend the legs of the tripod to get the exact angle you want.
Tripod adaptor: You only need this if your mobile device does not have tripod screw threads. Apple products don’t have tripod screw threads, as is true with most smart phones. A good one is Square Jellyfishe Smartphone Spring Tripod Mount.What ever you choose to buy, make sure that it does not cover the microphone jack and the power supply connector and will not drop your device.
There is more to consider when making your own videos for your business. I created a downloadable guide to help you get started: Make Great Video Guide Good luck!
And of course you can contact me at Stacey@StaceyWhiteSolutions.com directly if you have any other questions about making videos.