If you’re not already creating videos to promote your business or organization, then now is a great time to start. In this post, I’ll give 10 tips for producing quality videos with your phone. But first…
Why is video important?
- People are 50% more likely to watch a video than read text.
- Video gets on average 65% more engagement than other content on social media.
- YouTube is the second largest search engine. YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month – that’s more than any other channel.
Videos make it much easier to engage with viewers. They’ll spend longer on your website and more time interacting with your brand. This extra time increases the chance that they will buy a product or use your service. Plus, videos can easily be shared on social media.
You can use your iPhone or Android phone to shoot your marketing videos.
If you’ve never produced a video, it can feel daunting to begin. Many people think they need a fancy camera and expertise with professional editing software. However, you can make a highly effective video using your phone.
Most smartphones shoot HD video, and the footage you get with them is pretty good. The quality on the latest iPhone and Android devices are better than ever with 12+ megapixels.
Here are 10 ways to create better videos with your smartphone:
1. Shoot horizontal (not vertical).
Most people view videos on wide screens, (laptops, computer monitors, iPads, and TVs) so you should maximize their experience by shooting horizontally.
If you shoot vertically, you’ll have to edit and crop later. You’ll give up pixels, and your video will be less sharp.
2. Stabilize your smartphone.
There’s nothing more distracting than shaky video!
YouTube and some editing software has stabilization features, but they aren’t perfect, so try to use a tripod as much as possible.
If you shoot handheld, it’ll most likely be shaky. Most people don’t have a steady hand, so use a tripod.
If you don’t have a tripod, stabilize your phone on top of something such as some books, a box or a table.
When you use a tripod, the shots are more consistent and are much easier to edit.
I use a flexible tripod. It’s cool because you can wrap the legs around things like a chair. I like this one because it has a level.
Joby Griptight – It slides apart to fit your phone securely. Then, it screws directly onto a tripod
3. Good lighting.
Good lighting can make a huge difference in the quality of your video.
Poor lighting can make your video look grainy and unclear. Shadows on your face can make you look tired and flat.
You don’t have to go out and buy fancy lights. There are several simple light kits available on Amazon and other retailers.
If you don’t have lights, the next best option is natural lighting. Stand in front of a window so the light shines through the window onto your face.
If you’re using natural light, try to shoot during the early morning, late afternoon or when it’s slightly overcast. The bright sun can sometimes be too bright and cause you to squint, and you’ll look blown out.
Also, do a quick look around to make sure there is nothing in the shot that you don’t want such as a water bottle, gum wrapper, trash can, or an ugly lamp.
If there is something that you can’t remove, either adjust the angle from which you are shooting or hide it with something like a plant.
4. Capture clear audio.
Your message is important, so make sure it comes through loud and clear.
We recommend using an external mic. We’ve used the Audio-Technica Lavalier mic, and it sounds much better than the built-in mic.
It’s simple, you just plug it into the headphone jack of your phone and attach the lav mic to your shirt.
If you have a cover or case on your phone, be sure to remove it so the plug snaps in all the way.
Try to find a room without background noise such as air conditioners, printers, people talking, or shuffling papers.
A carpeted room has fewer echos than a tiled room.
If you have a lav mic, it will cut out some of the background noise. If you use the phone’s internal microphone, then make sure you are no more than arm’s length away from it and talk directly toward it.
5. Don’t zoom with your phone.
When you zoom in, the lens isn’t actually zooming in optically. It’s just enlarging the picture digitally. When you zoom in, your video will be grainy, and it will end up being less sharp.
If you want a closer shot, move the phone or tripod closer to your subject.
However, be sure to not cut off your head. Make sure your head is in frame.
6. Video Editing.
There are many editing apps for iPhone and Android.
However, it’s much easier if you use a computer.
Windows comes with Movie Maker and Mac comes with iMovie. This software is free with your computer, and both have basic editing functionality and can export HD video.
After editing, you can upload to YouTube, Facebook, and embed it on your website.
7. Background music.
Adding music can make your video sound complete. It also can be part of your branding if you use the same intro music for every video.
There are many royalty-free music sites including Audio Jungle, Premium Beat, and Pond5.
8. Keep the script simple.
- If it’s too complicated, then you’ll have trouble remembering it, and you’ll be more likely to make mistakes.
- Have a single and clear call to action, answer a common question, do a product demo, or simply introduce your company.
- Write a script and a storyboard to make sure you get all the shots you need.
- Practice what you are going to say many times. Definitely don’t wing it, even if you are a great speaker. The goal is to be precise and stick to the main call to action.
9. Body Language.
It can be pretty nerve wracking when you first get in front of the camera.
- Pretend you’re talking to a customer, or friend instead of talking to the camera or a large audience.
- Look directly at the phone screen.
- Use a natural conversational tone – let your personality shine through.
- Speak clearly, slowly and with a steady pace. This will help you look (and feel) more confident.
- Don’t over act. Be authentic and natural with your facial expressions and hand motions.
- Posture – sit upright, but stay relaxed.
- Clothing – solid, neutral colors, non pattered, non distracting are the best.
10. Shoot more than you think you’ll need.
It’s always better to have more than enough footage than not enough. Save your outtakes and bloopers.
A few other tips:
- Make sure your phone is charged. You don’t want to get half way through and have the battery die on you.
- Clean your lens before you shoot.
Dump your existing photos and videos from your phone to make space for your video clips.
You have a great video, now what?
If you keep your video on your phone, it won’t do anything for you. Share it!
Choose the title wisely. The title and description are the two main things that can help your video come up in the Search Results.
Things you have control of:
- Advanced Settings – gives you the option of assigning a category, setting a video location, setting a language, choosing the thumbnail (can determine how clickable it is).
- Enhancements – edit color, contrast, trim the video.
You may not always need to edit on your computer. If you have a solid video, YouTube might be all you need.
Other premium video hosts are Wistia.com and Sproutvideo.com.
So go forth and create an amazing video using your phone!
- Flexible tripod with wrapable legs
- JOBY GripTight Mount for SmartPhones
- Deluxe Studio Light Kit
- LimoStudio 2Pcs Photo Video Studio Continuous Light Lighting kit
- Audio-Technica Lavalier Microphone
- Drive Card Reader with App Adding Extra Storage
- How to speak so that people want to listen, by Julian Treasure