Video on your website is a great way to boost your site traffic, help your search rankings and engage your visitors with something other than text or still pictures. But shooting and editing video takes time and some expertise (editing can take a lot of time) and we get asked a lot about how good the quality of the video should be.
The answer is as good as you can afford to make it in a reasonable time frame. I know, that’s kind of a weasel-y answer, but it is true. For certain things, you may want to have a professional do the shooting – like when you are presenting at a conference and you’ll have to be captured from the back of the room – so a longer lens is important, as is a remote microphone set up. But for most videos – customer testimonials, introductions, how-to videos – you can shoot them yourself pretty successfully.
We recently added a video editor to our staff, and so I asked her to give us some tips for shooting video yourself and getting a high quality result. Here are 6 things to consider…
#1 - You need a well lit area. You want the lighting to look warm and inviting – not harsh and not fluorescent.
#2 – Don’t shoot the video too close (tight or filling the whole screen with just the person(s) being interviewed or the demonstrationbeing done. Keep it loose – you can always tighten a shot in editing. If you want, you can mix and match the tightness of the shots to keep the viewer engaged, but remember to allow room for graphics to be put on the same screen as you.
#3 – Pick the right angle – you don’t want your subjects looking down at the camera- you want to be looking straight on.
#4 – Use multiple angles – if you are doing a demonstration of something or want to have a more professional look to your finished video, consider shooting the interview or demonstration a couple of times from different angles. It gives you (or the editor) more to work with.
#5 – Wardrobe - Wear a solid colored shirt- no stripes or patterns.
#6 – Be heard - If you can, wear an external microphone for best audio. The microphones on our computers and handheld consumer cameras offer "ok" sound- but can sound very hollow.
#7 – Interact – if you are doing something like a welcome video for your home page, be more engaged with the page itself. Tell the visitor where to go on the site for information on certain topics. You can even point in the right direction- remember the open to the Brady Bunch? That is the idea, but not as animated.
So, if you want to add some video to your website or create a YouTube channel, and editing isn’t your thing (and you don’t have time to learn how), take the above tips, shoot some video and give us a ring to talk about how to cut it into shape for you.