In our series on strategic internet marketing campaigns we have touched upon the use of video as a tool for branding, and for spreading “the word” in an entertaining and engaging manner. Using proper video techniques will make your work easier and more fun. The theme is “work smarter, not harder”.
Digital video cameras have gotten small, inexpensive and reliable and they now capture video in 1080p high definition, making it easy to always have a video camera ready to capture your lifestyle, or to capture a message to help convey your business – perfect for your strategic internet marketing initiative. Knowing what to say and how to say it without stumbling or filling pauses with “ers” and “ahs” comes from practice and getting comfortable in front of the lens. Even the best video techniques can’t beat down-and-dirty practice. However, being conscious of zoom and panning, queues, starts and stops are all components of best-practice video techniques – techniques that will give you an added level of distinction that most others won’t have.
Strategic Internet Marketing – Top 12 Video Techniques
Here is a list of the top twelve video techniques to think about before pressing the RECORD button:
- Camera Angle – the camera angle is so important when using a small hand-held camera. Hold the camera slightly above eye level facing back down at the subject (you?). No one wants to count how many hairs you have in your nostrils. Also, be sure that the head of the subject is in the upper area of the frame and filling the frame. Pay attention and don’t let it drift off camera while speaking. Address the camera by keeping eye contact with the lens.
- Edit Points (queues) – think in terms of sections, phrases and clips. Between each section, phrase or ‘clip’ leave a second or two as a point where you will be able to edit the video. Just do a ‘freeze frame’ by holding still. If you keep talking during transitions between sections you will never have a clean point to transition to the next section in your presentation. Realizing this video technique alone could make the difference between having a strategic internet marketing initiative that is amateur or one that is professional.
- Panning – move the camera slowly and smoothly when panning across the subject. Fast and jerky motions will make the viewer feel queasy after a short while.
- Reverse Angle – if you are going to look into the camera for a phrase or two, then turn the camera to face what you are looking at, do not speak while turning the camera and allow for a one second pause after aiming at the new subject. This allows for editing out the quick and disorienting spin of the image and insertion of a transition event.
- Zoom – be sure to zoom slowly and smoothly, without panning while zooming, and be sure to zoom back out before going to a reverse angle.
- Background Noise and Lighting – the type and level of background noise can make or break an off-the-cuff interview. Be conscious of the environment, including the lighting. Incandescent and fluorescent lighting causes color shifts in the image. These can be corrected at the time of editing, but noise cannot. Also, be conscious of the background. A cluttered and busy background will take focus away from the subject.
- Start Point – always start your video with a three second pause of your subject holding still, wearing a great smile and engaging expression. Many people start their videos by clapping or some other signal, but just be sure to allow a couple of seconds of silence before beginning the presentation.
- End Point – when you have completed your presentation, wait in silence for three seconds or more with a wonderful expression on your face, or that of the subject, to allow for a fade out or transition to the closing sequence.
- Opening Sequence – come up with some kind of introductory sequence that is no more than four or five seconds long as part of your branding process. A bit of snappy music and a transition into the body of the movie will help to identify you and your brand.
- Closing Sequence – the same holds true with the closing and the credits. At the end of the body of the movie there should be a transition into your standard closing sequence, the same snappy music as the intro, some images to reinforce the brand, and any credits, ending with the main contact information. If you leave the contact info as the final shot it will be there when the movie is over. Otherwise, allow for a long period, 10-15 seconds, for the contact info to stay on the screen before the end of the movie.
- Script – most people are not good with spontaneous presentations. It is best to have worked out a script ahead of time, at least as far as the concepts and sections are concerned, but most times down to the phrases as well. Do a dry run, if you are able, to get the pacing and for getting clear on where the edit points are going to be. If a given video is fundamental to your strategic internet marketing initiative, be sure to take a few different “takes” of your video from which you can choose the best one.
- Motion – if you are going to be the subject of the video, such as at a lecture or presentation, do not move around a lot. Being animated is wonderful, being mobile is the bane of any videographer. Stay put. Put a lot of energy into the presentation. Speak clearly and slowly with a natural cadence. Be excited, funny, soulful or doleful and engaging; whatever the mood calls for. Above all, be yourself.
These Video Techniques Are Fundamental to Strategic Internet Marketing!
The twelve concepts that we have discussed above are the elements that will make for easy to produce professional looking videos, and that translates to a higher quality, perhaps professional level of strategic internet marketing. Unfortunately, most of the videos that I see on the internet these days are very amateurish. This is a statement as to the level of professionalism that the proprietor is bringing to their marketing and, ultimately, their business. This is a direct reflection of their strategic internet marketing campaign and will be a big factor in their level of success. A little thought and planning will help to take you to the next level in your business.
Remember: lights, sound, camera, action!
From the office of Drew Berman, contributed by Seth Lefferts. Seth is a life coach helping people to achieve the maximum results in realizing their dreams of health and wealth with the time freedom to enjoy them. He can be reached at www.DareToDreamNow.Us.
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