Creating your own online video is easier than you think.
By Fiona Collie
You may not consider yourself a filmmaker, but creating your own video can be beneficial to your business. A video engages prospective and current clients, says Russell Vance, digital director with Toronto-based Wickware Communications Inc., and it increases your credibility.
Here are eight tips to keep in mind when making your video:
1. Clarify your goals
Outline your reasons for making the video, says Loic Jeanjean, online marketing director with Advisor Websites in Vancouver. Whether it’s for promoting yourself or an event, defining your goals will keep your project focused and make it more effective.
2. Craft targeted content
Successful videos are short and succinct, so craft your message carefully. Think of your ideal clients and what appeals to them. Format the material to be interesting, but remember: it’s for clients, not friends. “If the content is boring and dull then nobody is going to sit through that video,” says Jeanjean.
3. Write a script
A prepared text will keep your message focused and your video on point. Write out exactly what you intend to say to ensure your message remains clear and concise. When you shoot the video, follow the script exactly. Otherwise, Jernjean warns, as it’s easy to get carried away when you start to wander and speak “off the cuff.” Preparation also helps with compliance. You can send your prepared script to your compliance officer for review before shooting.
4. Save on picture quality, splurge on sound.
Many people avoid creating videos, Vance says, because they believe it requires expensive equipment. Producing a video is simple and requires minimum gear. A cellphone camera is often sufficient because most clients are more concerned with the content than picture quality.
People do, however, expect quality sound, so it’s worth spending a little on a proper microphone. Jeanjean recommends using a small clip-on external mic. Prices vary but you can find an adequate one for as little as $15 at most electronics stores.
5. Prepare your set
People can see what’s behind you in a video, so get rid of any distractions. Eliminate visual clutter and make sure there are no disruptive screen savers or other activity in the background to divert attention. Make sure the space is well lit. A common error among novices is to produce videos that are too dark, Jeanjean says. Also keep “quiet on the set,” eliminating all potential background noises that could interrupt your presentation.
6. Keep it short
People don’t have a lot of time, so be brief. “The video should be quick and to the point,” Vance says. “If it’s 30 seconds, that’s fine.” Jeanjean and Vance recommend keeping your presentation between 30 seconds and two minutes in length.
7. Record several takes
Get rid of the jitters by filming more than you’ll need. Jeanjean recommends filming your presentation three to five times. Then, you can choose the best version.
8. Make it searchable
Set up the video so it’s easy to find online. A relevant title with the right keywords will boost the video’s chances of being found via a search engine such as Google, says Jeanjean. For example, if the video is on RRSPs, include that word in the title to increase the likelihood of it appearing when someone searches “RRSP.” If you upload the video to YouTube, place your web address at the beginning of the title so viewers can visit your site. An example title would be: “www.abcfinancial.com: How to contribute to RRSPs.”
You may not consider yourself a filmmaker, but creating your own video can be beneficial to your business.