How To Create Videos for Social Media
Updated: Mar 13
With video estimated to comprise 82% of internet usage within the next few years, it's more incumbent on business owners than ever before to master the art of online video production.
But that doesn't necessarily mean you need to invest in costly video gear. For social media purposes, as long as you are using a smartphone that's less than two or three years old and you have decent mobile storage space, you're in a position to make videos that tell the kinds of stories that can connect with your potential customers.
Here are some key tips for shooting video so that you can take charge of your video content on social media.
Shoot in landscape mode (mostly)
Unless you're in the habit of creating Instagram Stories, you're better off shooting each and every video you create in landscape mode (tip your phone on its side and shoot with your phone at its widest). Landscape orientation reflects the rectangular shape of digital screens, so landscape mode will produce much more pleasing-looking video footage.
Keep your video device stable
There's nothing that screams 'amateur' more than shaky footage. So, try to keep your video-capture device as steady and balanced as possible so that your film footage looks smooth.
Get close up and fill the frame
There’s nothing worse than video where the subject fills a little bit of the frame, and there is ‘dead space’ in other areas of the frame. Get close to your subject — whatever that is at any given moment — and make sure you fill the frame.
Use natural light
Natural light is your friend, so find a space with lots of natural light in front of your subject.
Audio is more than 50 per cent of what makes a great video. So, always be mindful of your audio conditions when shooting video. Try to find a quiet, dry-sounding (not too reverberant) space that is uninterrupted; be mindful of the sounds in your environment (including obvious noises such as traffic and less-obvious sounds such as radios and fridges); get your microphone as close to your subject as possible, and don't be afraid to tell people nearby to be quiet so extraneous sounds don't ruin a great soundbite.
The quieter your shooting locations, the better-quality videos you will create.
Pro tip: An even better approach for audio capture is to use a dedicated microphone, rather than rely on the audio recorder in-built in your camera or smartphone.
Try to make sure the background to your video brings relevance to what you are filming about. For instance, if you're filming a video about your coffee shop, make sure you include coffee cups and barista coffee machines in the background of your video. However, try to avoid backgrounds that are cluttered, or include a high number of people in them, because that can be distracting to viewers.
Do your subjects, or yourself, a big favour by checking if they're happy with how they look BEFORE filming. It’s okay if someone’s hair is less than tidy, their shirt is not tucked in, or their face is oily-looking. But only if that's the look they're going for. There’s nothing worse than looking at a video of yourself after the fact and thinking, 'Why didn’t the videographer TELL me I didn't look great?'.
Do a count-in
If you're filming an interview, try to do a three-second count-in with your subjects after you've asked them a question and before they start speaking. It really helps with editing video when there is some ‘dead space’ before the subject starts to talk. It also helps subjects think about their answer, rather than launching into it before thinking about what they really want to say.
Shoot more footage
Always shoot more footage than you think is necessary. Because when you come to edit it, you'll be kicking yourself if you don't have the footage you need. The BEST way I know how to ensure you film as much video footage as you need is to create a document called a 'shot list' before your shoot and use that to list out all the shots you'd like to capture for your video. That way, you go into any shoot having a great vision of what footage you need.
Of course, the topic of video production is a deep one, and the above are just some of the points that have helped me with my video shoots. Ultimately, whether you take the above pointers to heart or not, the best way to become a better videographer and video storyteller is to shoot as many videos as possible.
If you tell your story enough, you will learn everything you need to know to become a video master.
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