Making great video content for social media may seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. If you follow these simple tips, then you can shoot video like a pro.
1. Keep a Steady Camera
First and foremost, you want to make sure that you keep the camera steady while shooting. This may sound trivial or unimportant and while it’s true that your audience won’t really notice if your camera is steady, they will definitely notice if it isn’t. An unsteady camera screams of amateur production and will turn your audience off as fast as anything else. Consider using a tripod to stabilize the shot because no matter how steady your hands are, they will still shake a bit.
2. Give Your Content a Story
One of the easiest ways to increase viewer engagement is to give your content a story. If there’s a beginning, middle, and end, with some sort of obstacle to overcome and a hero to overcome it, then your audience is going to pay more attention. Not only that, but they will form an emotional attachment to your content. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard and shoot an entire movie that overshadows your content, but it only takes a few seconds to set up and execute a story.
3. Lighting Is Critical
Poor lighting can sink a video like nothing else. Even if your audience can see what’s going on in the video, they will still notice if the lighting is weird or uneven. Thankfully, your phone has some options that solve most of your lighting problems. Make sure you’re using a brightly lit setting, give your phone time to adjust when moving from dark to bright environments, and try to steer clear of backlighting whenever possible.
4. Make Sure to Edit
Cutting and rearranging your content is obviously important, but some organizations only do the bare minimum and it shows. You need to cut any sections with awkward pauses and verbal stumbling, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You also want to edit more dynamically, creating a smooth and seamless flow that doesn’t disrupt your audience’s enjoyment. For the simple stuff, you don’t need much more than the tools that come on your phone or computer. For the tougher stuff, specialized programs like Sony Vegas can come in handy.
5. Keep Your Platform in Mind
Different video formats work differently on different platforms. A vertically shot video is going to translate poorly to viewing on most websites and desktops but can fill the screen perfectly on phone apps. To that end, you want to use horizontal videos for most cases, but if you’re sure that most of your audience will be viewing your content on their phones, then vertical can be more effective.
6. Use Subtitles if Necessary
Adding subtitles can be a big help to your viewers and won’t take much effort if you’ve already got the script written down. On platforms like Youtube, putting in optional subtitles is easy and won’t disrupt the experience for users that don’t want them. One critical consideration is that you aren’t just making subtitles because your actors are hard to understand, but to accommodate viewers that will watch on low volume or are hard of hearing.
7. Attention Is Your First Priority
Making a great overall video is smart, but what you really need to do is focus on making that first few seconds as eye-catching as possible. If you can hook them in early with something attention-grabbing, then you can practically guarantee they’ll stick around until the end of the video.
8. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
You also want to make sure you don’t make an overly long video. Get their attention, get to the point, then get out. If it takes several minutes to accomplish all of that, then so be it, but most videos don’t need that long. Consider how much you can cut and still get the point across. One of the big considerations in the mind of the viewer is how long your video looks when they open it up. Too long and they might not bother at all.