Perhaps you’re new to making videos or maybe you’re a seasoned veteran.
Either way, it can be insightful to hear what experienced creators have learned by making video content on a regular cadence and measuring the results.
We worked with Jay Baer, founder of digital marketing consultancy Convince and Convert and New York Times best-selling author of six books, to bring together a group of expert video creators for a conversational webinar about their top video tips.
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Watch the entire webinar
Below, we’ve put together the highlights of what these video experts had to say. You can also feel free to watch the full hour-long webinar for a few additional tips.
Now let’s dive in!
1. It’s okay to be uncertain
It’s normal to be nervous and uncertain! This is especially common when you’re new to video. You’ll get better with practice, and it will continue to get easier with each video that you create.
Madalyn shared, “…many people tell me they don’t know how to get started, and so they don’t realize it’s as simple as pressing a button on your phone. It is easy to get started, but sometimes we need to just know how.”
Sunny added, “The value you’re providing is so much more important, versus the level of editing tricks and fancy pants graphics and all that kind of stuff. It really comes down to how much are you able to help your audience. Take yourself out of the equation and don’t worry so much about what you look like or sound like. Instead, worry about how much you can help the people who are going to watch this video.’”
2. Plan your video in advance (even live videos)
Planning your video can help keep you on track, ensuring you don’t forget anything important, and that you don’t stray too far from your topic. Depending on the video, it might make sense to write a script, though your plan doesn’t need to be formal–even preparing bullet points can help to keep you on track.
According to Amy, “I think this is a lot of where confidence ends up coming from, is really just understanding that you’re going to be able to communicate better when you plan what you’re doing and you know what you’re talking about. Make sure you’re in tune with the audience and delivering on the content that they want.”
3. Your phone can be your camera
When it comes to filming video content, it’s a common misconception that you need a high-end, expensive camera. If you already have one and know how to use it, great. If not, though, a smartphone will work!
Madalyn shared, “My dad called me the other day and he goes, ‘What’s a good digital camera that I should get?’ I said, ‘Your phone,’ and we just had a little bit of a laugh because I think sometimes people forget how powerful our phones can really be…the iPhone X has the ability to shoot 4K at 60 frames per second. That’s mind-blowing!”
Don’t get hung up on getting the best gear. Starting is far more important than having the most powerful equipment.
4. Lighting is key
Proper video lighting can make a huge difference when it comes to making a polished video.
Sunny shared her thoughts about lighting– “…it’s everything. When I was first starting and even now, I love shooting in natural light, and I truly believe that natural light is one of the best lighting sources…one of the keys to video is that you become relatable and that people feel like they know you and they’re inviting you into their phones, their computers, their commutes, their family time. You’re a part of their life, and so they want to see you, look you in the eyes, and really get to know you, and lighting is a big key of that relatability.”
Jay added, “I’ve got some studio lighting here in my office because I do videos all the time, and I have two nice semi-professional lights…I think it was like $75 or something.”
The takeaway, here, being that lighting doesn’t have to be expensive to be effective.
5. Sound is massively underrated
Your video’s audio is something that is easy to overlook. But it’s something you should be thinking about!
Amy shared her opinion about this– “…as a beginner, sound is one of the last things you’re probably thinking about when you’re thinking video. But, in all actuality, it’s such a major component of the immersive experience that video can offer! So it’s really important to be thinking about this and making sure that it is aligned with the experience you want people to have with that video.”
If you are going to invest in one piece of gear to start, make sure to get a good microphone for recording videos.
6. Use a consistent background
What you choose to use as a backdrop for your video may vary depending on your goal and your industry, among other factors. But especially when you’re creating a video series, you want to have consistency. This aids with brand recognition.
Amy offered tips regarding consistency: “Think about how you can articulate your brand. So for instance, I tend to lean toward a lot of light pink and gold. That’s all on my bookshelf behind me, so that helps me continue to drive my brand through in something very simple like home furniture… how do you just make sure that you can either be wearing the logo, maybe it’s behind you, maybe it’s your brick and mortar shop…it really just depends on what your brand is and how you’re going to be presenting that video every time.”
Sunny weighed in on this topic, too: “What I’ve found on YouTube particularly is people want to relate…it’s really important to have pieces of your backdrop that really represent your brand, who you are, and how you want people to feel about you.”
7. Stop random acts of video
Strategically planning your content, vs. creating a one-off on a whim, will help you make more of an impact. Plus, it’s a great way to build and keep an audience.
Jay shared, “creating something consistent with a consistent cadence and a consistent type and a consistent circumstance gives your audience something to look forward to and something to know you from. It just becomes much more familiar.”
He went on to liken regular video publishing, such as a weekly show, to writing blog content: “Say you want to start a blog–great. Write down 50 headlines. If you don’t have 50 headlines, you don’t actually have a blog. You just have a desire to have a blog, which is not exactly the same thing.”
8. Have a consistent editing style
The eighth tip, again, reinforces this idea of consistency–this time, with regard to editing.
Sunny provided her tips for consistent editing; “We have a script formula–I call it the hot script formula–to make sure that we are efficient and consistent with each video that we create. It makes my editor’s job a lot easier.
The idea of the hot script formula is having a hook, outcome, and testimonial in the first minute of your video so people know exactly what they’re getting into. Next, you have your bullet points that you speak through to get your point across and create value for the video. Then at the end, you obviously have your call to action. So we follow the same scripting formula for each video and that allows us to have consistent editing.”
9. Vary videos by channel
You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s typically not a good idea to use the exact same content across all social media channels.
Amy provided some insight about this: “Specifically if a video on YouTube is designed for YouTube, it may not work as well on Facebook. That doesn’t mean you have to make a brand new video every single time, but it does need to be customized for that experience. So let’s say you are going to upload an entire video to YouTube–maybe a 30-60 second clip of the video could be what you upload directly to Facebook to kind of tease that content and move people over. This allows you to point people to the space where you want them to be in the immersive experience.”
Make sure to create content tailored for each specific social platform.
If you upload your video to Facebook, or you want to make a YouTube video, be strategic. You may also want to use that to move drive traffic from your target audience over to a blog post or landing page where they can learn more about your product or service.
Be mindful of where content will live and create around that.
10. Shorter is usually better
People have limited time and attention. So while there isn’t a “magic length”, as a general rule–the shorter, the better.
Sunny provided some advice about video length, “One of my favorite words is efficiency. People don’t have big attention spans in this day and age and we’re just getting fed so many messages. So my biggest thing is efficiency and relevancy…if you’re creating video content as a business, you really need to remember that people might not know you. They might not have any loyalty to you, and so you want to be as efficient as possible with your content.”
Time to Apply the Tips!
Hopefully, you’re feeling inspired after reviewing these tips, and are now ready to get started planning your next video!
If you want to learn even more about creating video content, download our free ebook, The Marketer’s Ultimate Guide to Video, also featuring Jay Baer, Amy Landino, Sunny Lenarduzzi, and Madalyn Sklar, for a more comprehensive look into the video creation process.
If you are ready to try out what you’ve learned but need a tool, we’d recommend Camtasia, TechSmith’s screen-recording and video editing solution, which is perfect for beginners. We even offer instructional tutorials to help you get started.