Getting yourself into the world of video editing can be daunting if you’ve never tried it before. Back in the early days of the internet, video was rare, and took up tons of time to produce, edit, distribute, and even view. Nowadays, HD video can be streamed in an instant, and the barriers to entry are getting smaller and smaller every day. You can even shoot, edit, and upload an entire professional looking video on your smartphone or tablet.
Long story short, video content shows that you’ve taken the steps to make sure your website is as professional as possible. As we’ve mentioned in our Tips & Tricks, you can use video for many great reasons.
You might be thinking to yourself now, “Wow, this sounds great! how do I get started?”. First of all, if you want to produce a professional video, you need to dedicate a lot of time to learn how to do a lot of things, so if you know someone who already has experience making videos, it’s probably a good idea to get them to help you out, or at least give you some pointers. Overall, it’s a project that will take a lot of time and dedication in order to produce high quality results. However, the skills you’ll learn are invaluable, and it’ll put your business ahead of everyone else.
If you’re committed though, the first thing you’ll need is a camera. Most modern smartphones have the ability to shoot very high quality video, but if you have access to a better digital camera, that’s usually a better choice. One thing you’ll want to make sure to verify is that the camera is capable of shooting (at the very least) 720p HD. This means the video you capture will be 1280 by 720 pixels, the minimum standard for HD video. If you don’t have access to a camera that can pull that off, you might want to invest in some better equipment (or at least, a modern cell phone). Also, make sure you know how to get the clips off the camera or phone, and get them onto your computer.
Some things to keep in mind when you’re shooting your video:
Have a plan in mind
Don’t rush in blind, make sure you know what you want the end goal of your efforts will look like.
Don’t just hold the camera in your hand, unless you’re shooting a listing tour video, or another video that requires you to move around. If your camera needs to be kept steady, invest in a tripod or other method of holding your camera steady. If you do move the camera around, be sure to use smooth movements so your viewers don’t get disoriented.
Your video is basically worthless if your sound quality is bad! Unless you plan to completely redub the audio, pay attention to your sound quality, and test your setup to make sure you don’t come home at the end of the day with useless clips that are too quiet!
If you’re shooting an introduction video of yourself talking to the camera (your website visitors), you’ll want to make sure your shot doesn’t look unprofessional. Take the time to set up some lights that make your shot look better. Lighting and color is very complex field in cinematography, but you can always take a few pointers from the pros to make your videos really good. Use this quick tutorial on three-point lighting to learn some tips on lighting people in film.
Make sure you’ve written and rehearsed what you’re going to say before you shoot! If you start rolling with no plan, you’re going to end up with a video full of awkward fillers and pauses, and that doesn’t look professional at all.
Some things to keep in mind when you’re editing:
You don’t need professional editing software
Nowadays, you probably have access to some kind of video editing software without even knowing it! Windows users can look for Windows Movie Maker, a simple editing software that can be picked up in minutes, and comes installed on most Windows computers. Mac users can use iMovie, a similar program for the Apple crowd. If you can’t use those, YouTube even offers some simple editing tools directly on its site.
Keep it short
In todays era of 6 second Vines and instant gratification, people aren’t going to sit through a feature length presentation, especially on the homepage of your site. Keep your video to a few minutes, and only show what needs to be shown.
Keep it professional
Using stock transitions and titles tends to look pretty bad to most viewers who know that you didn’t take the time to deviate from stock editor fare. You can even use the same fonts and color schemes for titles that you use on your website, to make your site a seamless, professional experience.