Using videos on your website or blog is a great way to boost search engine ranking and to get your potential clients to linger longer on your site. And the more often you use video the better. But how to do this without blowing the marketing budget? The good news is that these days – all you need to shoot quality videos is your Iphone, a few accessories and I-movie, which is already on your phone, for editing.
Shooting video on your Iphone – what type of videos? If you want a promotional video with all the bells and whistles, you probably do need to spend a few grand, but this is not the type of video we’re talking about here and it certainly is not the type of video you can shoot every month on a shoestring budget.
I’m referring to authentic interview-style videos that resonate with your audience, more like chatting to your potential client over a cup of coffee. Showing who you are and sharing some valuable, free advice related to your business is what it’s all about.
Will the quality be good enough? Yes, provided you follow some basic tips no-one will be able to tell that your video was shot and edited on a smartphone.
Here are some tips for shooting your videos on an Iphone shared with me by York Woodford Smith from Fiveonabike in Buckinghamshire during an excellent half-day workshop.
Scripting: Start with an introduction – who you are and where you work (if that’s relevant for your business) and what you do. Follow with the main message of your video – eg. giving advice or answering a question for your audience. In the last part, tell your audience how you can help and how to contact you.
Stability: The most important thing is for the video not to be shaking, so you need a tripod or gorilla grip, to which you attach an iphone holder to keep things stable.
Positioning: Get your subject sitting or standing in the position you want to film them. (Or if you’re filming yourself test the position on someone else). Think of not filling up more than a third of the frame and leaving a bit of headroom above the person’s head.
Make it pretty: Think of what’s in the frame and remove any ugly background clutter. Make everything pretty and relevant. One of my clients is a divorce lawyer and she needs to look professional, but approachable. If you want to wear a suit, don’t make it too dark and at least wear a colourful interesting tie! An untidy desk or a person walking past could distract from your video.
Sound:Reduce background noise. A gently humming sound might be OK, but loud traffic or raging winds will ruin your video. Record a few words and play back the video to test the sound! You can attach microphones to an Iphone using adaptors, but I’m still experimenting with these. So far the internal microphone quality has not let me down.
Lighting: Use available light – windows, ceiling lights – and make sure the person’s face is well-lit. A light background such as a white wall would also help to ensure the video is not too dark.
Action: Once you’re happy with the positioning of your subject or the person you’re testing it on, get someone to stand behind the camera and when you’re doing your interview. Or if you’re alone, pretend to be talking to someone as it will come across more authentic
Speak up: Be about a third more animated than you would normally be – more if you’re an accountant 🙂
Don’t be intimidated by large video cameras and big crews, with a bit of initiative and the right equipment you can produce your own budget videos on a regular basis that will make a big difference to your SEO and attract more clients.
I’ve included an example of a video I shot for Ann Corrigan, founder of Clarity Family Law – let me know what you think. It’s basic and I’m still learning, but she’s happy and we’ve seen a big increase in visits to that page of her site – as well as an increase in the time people spend on the site.
In my next blog I’ll talk about editing videos on your iphone.
Please share your tips, criticisms and comments below.