The Ultimate Guide to Creating Video
for your Business
TYPES OF VIDEO YOU MIGHT WANT TO CREATE
When using a video marketing strategy
to grow your business
A lot of people talk about making videos for their business. It helps to move you along the process if you can clarify the type of video you wish to make. This creates a head start for yourself if you are creating the video (either with your team or for the video producer/production company you have chosen to work with). We are creating a range of templates to help guide you and planning your video content in each of these categories.
Facebook banner videos
Video Creation Process
People are often surprised that there are so many steps involved in creating a video. You need to decide a key message, the visuals to go with it, whether or not you want audio and the style of the background music. All these elements contribute to creating a video that will effectively transmit your video message to clients. The tasks can be approached in a different order. Some people are more visual and want to start with the pictures, whereas others prefer to start with a script.
We will outline each step for you to help your understanding of the process. Feel free to send us your questions at any time:
Scripting your Video
"You cannot begin, until you begin"
It’s important to have a written script, rather than winging it or making it up as you go. Committing to paper, what you plan say in your video will ensure that; you are not rambling; that you don’t go off-topic and that you create a structure to what you are saying.
How much you need to write will depend upon how complex the topic is. A rule of thumb is that half a page of text translates to about a minute of video footage. You are only aiming for about 80 - 100 words. With video, less is more. We let the pictures tell the story.
Firstly, you need to put time aside to write and create your content and using deadlines will ensure it gets done, as well as giving a huge sense of satisfaction each time you tick off an item. Secondly, you might create a brainstorm sheet of everything you know or want to say. Put down on a piece of paper everything you know and want to get across in this video.
Promotional Script Formula
Keep it short as often video does a good job of telling a story visually many people over-complicate video scripts with too many words. Your creation of a clear message at the outset will help you along the video production path.
If you are not sure what to say or where to start on a promotional video, try using this 5 point script formula as a prompt:
What problem does your prospective customer face?
Outline the solution to the problem / How does your business help them out of their problem?
Expand some details on the solution (eg your business offer) What objections would the client have that would prevent them from using your services? And how would you resolve their objections?
What's your unique style? Your sizzle? Your special promotion. Add tips and tricks
Summarise your point with a succinct conclusion and a call to action. What action would you like your potential customer to take?
Aim for about 80 -100 words for a 30-second video.
Researching your Script Content
Sometimes when scripting you get a brain block. At this point, it is helpful to use the web to help you search for key marketing messages. My approach is to research a few competitors sites to remind me what are important things to get across and borrow/change a few ideas. In this way, you can build up an idea of what you might say in your video. Whilst you are researching, you might also get additional ideas for creating images for your instructional video.
If you’ve never worked with video before, the easiest thing is to imagine yourself talking to one person who has never before attempted to do what you want to tell them.
A First Draft
Anything you write will do at first. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you are more of a talker than a writer, try recording on your phone speaking to the video camera and then transcribe it later. I use: https://speechnotes.co/ The point of having a written script is so that you create a logical format and don’t ramble. Remember, the beauty of video is that you will have pictures and visual content to help you out. Set yourself 20 minutes and commit to writing something down or typing it up, whichever you prefer.
Revising your Video Script
Every time we write something down, it will always be improved through revision. Once you have something written down, you can come back to it later and improve it. There are four activities to think about when re-reading your script.
i) Revise - when you read your script, if it doesn’t make sense, re-write that small section.
ii) Edit - often, by cutting out phrases or everyday expressions, you’ll find that it makes more sense and is clearer for the viewer. Think of it like weeding the garden. Removing small words will help to showcase your bigger plants.
iii) Cut - as much as you can, cut out words that are unnecessary. This will streamline your script and make it clearer for the viewer.
iv) Improve - Where you can, work to find a better word. More specific words are easier to remember and create clearer instructions. Don’t get carried away though. We don’t want too many fancy words.
Ask a Friend to Review
your Video Script
With some of my videography clients, I work with them to adjust the script immediately prior to filming. We usually manage to create a couple of edits. Sometimes, it’s not until you are actually filming that you realise your script isn’t quite right, so it’s important to select a videographer (or friend to film you) who can work on the script with you if you reach this point.
Use a Copywriter
If you are still struggling at this stage, I suggest you might want to hire a copywriter to help you create the scripts you need. Remember, the beauty of video is that you have pictures and images to help you out so your explainer video is not totally reliant on the words.
A storyboard is like a cartoon strip where you plan out the visuals for a video you plan to create. It comprises a set of simple images to show what the final video will look like. Underneath each image, you will write what will be seen in that portion of the video. You might also include notes on the audio content beneath. Planning the visuals that will go with your video message is something that goes hand in hand with scripting, so it might be that you start your process with images and go back and forth between scripting and storyboarding until you are sure of the content you want to produce.
You don’t need to be able to draw to create a storyboard. You can use screen grabs from the internet. The purpose is to create a shared vision for you and your team so that you know in advance what you are hoping to create.
Using an analogy in your
To further illustrate the point, I have added an example here. Imagine using a simile in your marketing message (Note - a simile Is where you compare one thing to be like another. Example - Making a video is like baking a cake). You might create beautiful images of someone gathering baking ingredients and producing a wonderful cake. The audio content will be about gathering together a script and images can be combined together to create an amazing video. In this way, your video content does not have to feature you or your business directly. A video creation might be a bit boring if your business boxes or something that's not inspiring to look at. Adopting a marketing message that uses a simile or analogy offers you so much more scope to create an interesting video.
Setting Time Aside for Video Creation
Video Creation takes time...one of the key things people ask me is "how long does it take to make a video?" Well, you might as well ask 'How long is a piece of string?' because there's a lot of factors involved. If you are serious about wanting to use video as part of your digital marketing strategy, then you need to allocate time in your diary for: planning, scripting, designing, filming, editing and publishing. Remember, sharing your knowledge with your audience can help develop your reputation as an expert in your field.
Creation of Video Content
The stock footage option
The time required to create a video using stock footage is as long as it takes to select the images plus a few hours editing and post production. So in this instance creating a video can take as little as half a day. The steps involve creation of a marketing message and selection of visuals to match. You can search sites such as PIXABAY or PEXELS for footage in your preferred style.
The filming option
When the director shouts "cut" - it is usually followed by a flurry of action from the film crew as they reset the scene for a second, third, fourth or even fifth take. The reason successful actors are paid so well and why creating high production films costs so much money is that getting perfect quality video takes time and effort. it is worth it if you want to create a lasting impression that your business offers quality. Spend time researching videographers in your area.
to Create Video Components
One rule of thumb for the creation of video components is that usually the higher the quality you require the longer the process will take. Higher quality means hiring actors, understanding angles, lighting and undertaking several takes to ensure the footage has just the right quality of light and dark, the correct colour balance and that the lines are spoken in the right style.
Equipment/Gear that you will Need
A camera or phone
Tripod (or hack)
Lighting (or natural light)
Microphones (or hack)
Camera / Phone / Computer
A DSLR camera offers the highest quality and will create the best footage. If you have access to gear like this, then use it. Ask friends, encourage family members to get involved if they have photography skills. This is the simplest way to ensure your video is of the highest possible quality and will reflect well on your business.
Fact: many modern mobile phones have fabulous camera lenses and can create great quality footage. Usually, the lens for the front facing camera is of better quality than the selfie one, so if you want good quality...that's the way to go. Using the lens on the front of your camera is better than the selfie lens.
Often these are low specification lenses and the quality comes out very pixelated. If you can, then please DO invest in a higher quality plug-in webcam. At the very least, ensure your lens area is clean.
Tripods and Hacks
HACK - If you don't have a tripod, use bluetack or sellotape to fix your phone to the wall/mirror.
It's great if you have a tripod as this offers a sturdy, fixed location where you can film from. If not, then you need to ensure your camera is placed on a steady surface. One hack is to sellotape your phone to the mirror. Keep some cleaning fluid handy to wipe down your phone later. Equally, bluetack is great too - put something soft underneath your phone...just in case!
Lighting - Tips and Tricks
Avoid fluorescent lighting where possible as it tends to wash everything out. You still want some elements of shadow in your footage to help give definition to faces.
Use additional lighting as much as you can, such as a torch, lamp or even your phone torch.
If in doubt, take a still and send it to us, we will advise you.
BE AWARE OF TUNGSTEN
Common light bulbs create 'tungsten light' which causes a yellow tinge. Most photographers will try to eliminate this light source from any shoot to avoid having to adjust the colour in post-production.
PLACE THE LIGHT SOURCE
BESIDE THE SCREEN
When using a computer camera, always place a lamp or light source beside the screen. You don't want to be that one person who is in silhouette during a conference call.
Audio is Everything
Good quality sound is essential if you want to come across professionally. It’s always better to use a plugin mic even if it's just the headset you use for your phone, as this will generate better sound quality. Of course, if your budget allows then certainly invest in something of higher quality.
Remember - poor sound quality will reflect badly on your business.
Using a Teleprompter
For some people, it is easier to plan a script and then read it from a teleprompter during filming. It seems to take away nerves and can also help to focus the presenter's eyes towards the camera. Tele-prompting doesn't need to be expensive or require fancy equipment. Simply download an app called BigVu to your phone. It scrolls the script and you can adjust the speed that the text scrolls. If you are filming with your phone, then you all need to buy the upgraded version. If you have another filming device, the free version can just act as your teleprompter and goes a long way to reducing nerves for those who are uncomfortable on camera.
What to Wear on Camera
Billy Connolly once said “There is no such thing as bad weather, only a bad choice of clothes” and at Filmonaday, we believe that having the wrong choice of clothes for your photo shoot can prove disastrous.
What NOT to Wear
Avoid Black. Black absorbs the light and minimises shape and shadow making for boring and flat visuals.
Avoid white. White clothing affects the white balance so your camera will expose for your clothing rather than your face, leaving your face shadowy. The same applies for yellow.
Stay away from stripes. Striped clothing creates a weird optical effect called a moire pattern, where competing patterns compete with each other for visual dominance.
Keep away from pure reds too as they tend to 'bleed' meaning the reflected colour can negatively affect your skin tones.
No hats or scarves. Don't wear a hat on camera because they cause shadows and similarly scarves hide your neck contours and might make you seem like an alien.
Clothes Favoured by the Camera
WEAR WARM COLOURS
Colours like teal, cobalt, purple and coral pop on screen so go for these if you can. Bright, bold colours really pop.
STICK TO SOLID BLOCK COLOUR
Generally you will notice that TV presenters opt for solid colours because patterns are too distracting to the camera/viewer.
Dealing with Glasses on Screen
If you wear glasses - be aware of the glare that is created when you are looking at a screen. It’s not helpful for viewers if they can’t see your eyes. Rather than having to constantly adjust where your glasses are placed, you can purchase an anti-glare coating.
More Guidance on What to Wear for a Film Shoot
Clothing - stick to plain colours, even a slight plaid pattern in a suit jacket can create a fuzzy effect on the camera.
Hair - Be well groomed. It’s amazing how a bit of stubble can make you look like a hobo on film.
Clothing - follow the guidance (above) on colours and avoiding patterns. Choose styles that are flattering to you. If you only have your upper half showing, then you will need to choose something with a bit of detail, such as a lapel or an interesting neckline. Choose colours that compliment your skin tone.
Jewellery - You might love that new pair of big bad shiny earrings but they are not going to work for you on camera. Also avoid big necklaces that might cause weird reflections and distract the viewers. An additional problem can be the jangling of jewellry which messes with the sound quality.
Hair - You will want to ensure your hair is well-groomed so book your video shoot for the afternoon so you can go to the salon in the morning.
Make-Up - In real life, you are seen by the human eye and your make up looks totally different once you are more strongly lit by the strong lighting required for the camera. Adding a matt finish to the foundation will avoid you looking shiny on camera. Careful in-filling of your eyebrows will also create a stronger look for the camera. If you use eye-shadow, a three colour approach (a neutral, a darker shade, and a highlighter) will make your eyes appear brighter and larger in pictures. Finally, with lipstick a nude colour will suffice as strong coloured lipsticks will be over-dominant for film purposes.
Setting Up your Background
Let's face it we've all been there. On a video call with somebody who has their camera positioned somewhere where there is a messy background. Perhaps they are in the bedroom, the bed isn't made, there's stuff hanging off the back of the door, there's underwear in full view on their vanity top and all you can do is look at the stuff around them rather than at their face.
No-one wants to be looking at video content with a messy background. In fact we want to be taken seriously and you need to invest time and effort in perfecting the background for your videos. Think location, location, location as ultimately, this is how your viewers will make decisions and judgements about who you are and what you can offer them.
Tips on Choosing a Film Location
a) a blank wall (not a great option but better than the messy bedroom view mentioned above)
b) an interesting background on an angle such as a line of trees or a hedge or
c) a background that is related to your industry so for me I might film with a video camera positioned behind in the background behind me
d) some people purchase a backdrop cloth which are available for about 15 bucks online and
e) interesting architectural features make for added texture and create depth of field
Finally, you could choose to film with a green screen and replace the background with something of your choice in post production.
The Day of Filming - Checklist
Use this checklist to help your planning
Teleprompter (if applicable)
Charged batteries for your camera or phone
Make Up /Shave
Set up a cool background
Set up additional equipment such as lighting and audio device
Switch off your phone
Optimum Lighting Conditions
Cloudy days are better than sunshine days because you have more consistency of light. So, when I say cloud, I mean solid block cloud, not variable like one of those days where the sun keeps popping out from behind a big black cloud. The rule is consistent light is better than full sunlight or variable light.
If you have good light coming in from a window or door, then shooting inside is usually a better option so you can minimise sound pollution (see also the section on audio). Also be aware that variable sunlight will affect lighting levels indoors.
Position your subject, so that the light falls evenly onto their face. Use a side angle if you want to create a more dramatic effect. As much as you can, try to avoid shadows. Shadowy faces in video can make you look suspicious and nobody wants to buy from a dodgy salesperson. If you have additional lighting , then use it strategically to light the subject from the darker side (if applicable). The other option is to use the extra light side on behind your subject. A back light will add depth to the image and create a more interesting view for your audience.
Audio Checks Prior to Filming
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR AUDIO QUALITY
Audio quality can make or break your video. Whilst bad quality audio can ruin your viewers’ entire watching experience there are not too many things you need to do to improve it radically.
1. Minimise external noise. Have a close listen: Is the air con creating background noise? Is your computer or the fridge whirring? (Don't forget to switch the fridge back on afterwards). Even the ticking of a clock can disrupt the quality of audio.
2. Ask the family or your flatmates for "Quiet on Set" when filming. (don't forget to tell them when you have finished).
3. Use a microphone if you have one. Even if it is just the mic on your phone's headphone set, this will produce greater quality using the external mic in either your computer or phone. Obviously if the budget allows, then you should invest in a higher quality microphone.
4. Watch out for too much echo if you are filming in a room with no carpet.
Using a Teleprompter
Teleprompters are used by news readers so that they can read off a script. They need to be positioned closely to the camera so that the presenter looks as though they are looking directly into the camera lens (and/or at the viewer).
But you do not need to invest in expensive software to use a teleprompter. We use an app called Big Vu which is positioned above the camera. You load the script into the app and it scrolls at the pace of the presenter whilst you record your script on film.
Why You Need Background Music for your Video
Have you ever stopped to notice how the background music affects your mood when you are watching a film? There is a huge industry built around creating music for film because subliminally it massively affects our emotions AND if people feel emotions, then they are more likely to buy from you. As with other aspects of your video planning, the style of the music needs to be suited to the image you want to create. If, for example, you are a personal trainer and want to create a video about intensity training, then you will use fast-paced, upbeat music. Whereas, if you offer yoga or meditation services then your music selection will be more chilled and calming.
With music it is critical to remain within the law regarding copyright. At Filmonaday, we subscribe to a site called Artlist.io which provides a wide range of licensed music for your use. Live licences can be purchased for individual songs but do be careful when using music from YouTube that is labelled copyright free, as it is not always the case. Some artists subsequently sign agreements with music companies and music that was originally offered as copyright free later has copyright law applied to it. The individuals never go back and change the listings to say that the “copyright free” music is no longer “copyright free”. Artists use this method to promote themselves and become more well-known then when they become famous they don't change the original “copyright free” status of the listings.
I was once working with a musician and I shared her music video with her via Youtube. However, then Youtube wrote to me accusing me of using music that I wasn’t permitted to use. Luckily, the musician was able to write to them and explain that I did have permission. However, having your nicely completed video pulled from Youtube is NOT a place you want to be. Also, consider that companies providing video editing programs sometimes provide a range of music that you can use.
ONLY EVER USE MUSIC THAT YOU ARE SURE YOU ARE ABLE TO USE.
Online Sites where you can obtain copyright free music for your videos
Why You Should Consider Developing a Video Series for Your Business
Developing a series of videos fuel business, not only creates assets, but it is also going to help you develop your brand and your corporate image. Customers love videos because they like to see who they are dealing with- it puts a personal face to your business. Also, depending on the type of
video you choose to create, it can be a great vehicle for educating your customers about how to use products or get the most out of your services.
Videos that offer educational information can only add value to customers or potential clients. When you add value like that then customers are likely to come back again and again. New clients will know that you offer value and won't hesitate to choose you to buy from because they are already convinced that your company offers value.
By creating a series, you are showing your customers that you are knowledgeable about your subject matter and that you care enough about them to share your knowledge freely with them.
What If You Are Camera-Shy?
AND STILL WANT TO CREATE VIDEOS
Dealing with Fears
Three of the biggest fears people have when putting themselves in front of the camera are:
* I'm not prepared
* I need to be perfect
* My face was made more for radio.
We Can Work Around It
The first thing to remember is that you personally don't need to feature in your video if you have a clear marketing message, then other visuals can be used to create your video content using the storyboarding option and free online stock footage. Customers do like to see your face. It is your business and therefore you are the best person to represent it.
Just Do It
Aristotle once said
“There is only one way to avoid fear,
do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.“
So in order to avoid nothingness here is the help you need - in order to overcome fear, then have compassion for your critics. Critical people what are often criticised themselves as children
Like it or not, you are not for everyone. If people are negative towards you - ask yourself do they actually fit your client profile? Probably not. If they do not like you, then that is their choice and you are aiming at a different audience anyway. Finally, consider turning criticism into an opportunity to move forward based on the negative feedback. Use those comments to improve your product offering going forward.
Editing your Video
how editing works
Basically, editing is like creating a digital jigsaw puzzle on the screen. The editing screen generally consists of swim lanes from left to right showing a timeline. The lower swim lane holds the audio tracks and in the top half the visual images or video content is shown. Creating a video comprises sticking together different images and audio or music to create a coherent whole.It requires both technical and artistic skills. If you want to know more about editing, then you can access our next Ultimate Guide. In the meantime, you might want to give it a go yourself, so here’s some options and tips for 3 areas of editing:
Self-editing on a Mac
Software options for editing on a PC or Mac
Hiring a professional to do your editing
VIDEO EDITING ON A MAC
Most Mac computers come with free software called I-Movie and you can use this software to edit your video footage together with music. It is fairly easy to use with some basic features that are fairly straightforward to use, so that your video content isn't boring.
Software options for editing on a PC or Mac
There is a wide range of online software available for beginning editors.
(prices correct at time of publication - May 2020)
Lumen5 $19 per month (starter price)
Moovly.com $49 (monthly)
Doodly.com $69 (currently offering 1 time life price offer at $110)
Nero Video $50
Corel videostudio $51.99
CyberLink powerdirector $80
Adobe Premiere Elements $79.99
Pinnacle studio $129.99
Apple Final Cut Pro $299.99
Premiere Pro a monthly subscription of $19.99
We suggest exploring the versions of editing software prior to committing to a purchase as different software can be complex to use requires significant financial expense. Premiere Pro by Adobe is the professional industry standard at $20 a month but it is complex to use and can be full of bugs.
Hiring a Professional to
Do Your Editing
We highly recommend this course of action.
Filming is actually way more complex that first appears. if you have come this far and filmed your own content, this is probably a really good stage to hand it over to a professional for editing. They can improve your footage in post-production and add special FX. In fact, a professional editor can make your video really pop.
When seeking a professional editor for your video project, you can search for a freelance operator via online sites such as People per Hour, Fivr or Upwork. Alternatively a local editor in the google search or the Film Bay of Plenty directory. Be sure to agree a clear understanding of what you will get in return for your spend when negotiating initial budget with the editor. Video editing projects very often overrun and consume a lot more time than anybody first anticipates. They can be a bit like Pandora’s box, once you begin, you uncover all sorts of things that you can do and want but these push the budget up. At Filmonaday, we offer two sets of changes to the production of the initial draft, as part of the contracted price.
Sometimes you may want more than this as you work towards polishing your finished video and additional editing prices can be agreed at the time. It is worth taking these factors into consideration when first establishing your video production budget. It is often the case that, the more you work on a video, the more you see ways that it can be improved, so the work involved can be seemingly endless.