In our article, Tips for Producing Video Content for Social Media, we explained how social media sites are now favouring video over other forms of content. Playing to specific video lengths and posting times, as listed in that article, opening your video strongly and including a call to action can all go towards producing video content that boosts your traffic and sales.
But how do you, practically, go about creating video content? It can appear to those unfamiliar with filming and editing to be a complex or arduous task. But worry not! Here we will break down how to film and edit video content for social media brand promotion, and prove it’s not as daunting as you may think!
Despite what some video producers may lead you to believe, you don’t need a fancy camera or expensive sound or lighting equipment to film high quality video content. All you really need is a smartphone, a tripod, a clip-on microphone and some good light.
Most people already have a smartphone in their pocket, and the sun is the best, most affordable light source you could ask for! Tripods and smartphone-compatible microphones, then, are all that need to be purchased, and can be found for lost cost on Amazon. Another good, though optional, accessory to have is a selfie stick. A selfie stick will enable you to capture stable, well framed first-person footage if your video requires as such.
Of course, you can film video content using high-grade, high-cost equipment, but you don’t need to! A smartphone, tripod and small compatible microphone is enough to capture high-quality footage, without breaking the bank!
Filming on a Smartphone
Whilst high quality video footage can be captured on a smartphone, it’s easy to forget some film-making basics and end up with some not-so-great quality video.
Good light is imperative when shooting on a phone- we’ve all tried to film something in low light and been irritated when the footage appears grainy and dull. Making sure you film in bright natural light, or at least around some strong sources of artificial light, can ensure your video is clear, crisp and as high quality as your phone allows. Not using the zoom while filming also helps in keeping your picture quality higher; the more you zoom in, the grainier your footage will get.
When filming human subjects, especially when they are addressing the camera directly, it’s best to the camera at roughly eye-level. This can be easily achieved and maintained with the use of a tripod. A tripod will allow you to keep a stable shot and make your video appear much more professional than if a person is holding (and unavoidably shaking) the phone. Remember to utilise your plug-in microphone, especially during segments of speaking, to further up the professionalism.
You’ll notice most video content on social media, between shots of subjects speaking, will usually include cut-aways to more artistic footage. This is called ‘b-roll’, and is essential in making your video more visually interesting. Long portions of the same shot can become tiresome to a viewer, and dissuade them from continuing to watch. Including close up, wide and unusually angled shots that break up the video a little can make it more digestible and help it look more deliberately artful!
Filming in good light and with an additional microphone accessory can help enhance the quality of your video footage. Filming subjects at eye level, and with a stable tripod can make your video appear more professional, and interjections of ‘b-roll’ can improve the aesthetics and attention-holding power of your video.
Landscape, Portrait or Square
Believe it or not, the orientation of your video can play a huge part in its engagement rate!
The best orientation for your video is usually dependent on the social media platform you are posting it to. For more traditional video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, for example, landscape videos are best – square videos posted there would have unattractive black bars on either side to accommodate the empty space. YouTube does now successfully support portrait videos too, provided the user is on the mobile app and not watching on desktop.
For social media sites only recently prioritising video content – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for example – square videos have proven to be much more successful in garnering engagement. Square videos take up a staggering 78% more space on a newsfeed than landscape videos do; all the better to catch a viewer’s eye.
Portrait videos, however, are best for portrait-oriented platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, and for ‘stories’ within platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
The orientation of your video content can greatly affect its engagement rate. Make sure to orient or crop your video based on the appropriate video dimensions of the platform you are posting it to.
Around 466 million people around the world are deaf or hearing impaired. Your content should be accessible to all; place captions on your video to allow those 466 million people the ability to fully engage with it.
Not only will captions widen the accessibility of your video to deaf and hearing impaired people, but it will also appeal to and encourage engagement from the 85% of people who watch social media video content without sound. Whether it’s because they’re caught short without headphones in a public setting, or simply because they have their silent mode on, your video needs to be watchable without sound.
YouTube and Vimeo both offer auto-generated captioning options on their videos, but adding text to video is a fairly fundamental editing feature that the vast majority of editing software, free or otherwise, will offer.
Adding closed captions or subtitles to your video content is essential. It allows you to be inclusive of deaf and hearing impaired people. As well as this, subtitling appeals to the large portion of hearing social media users who tend to watch video without sound.
Filming video content needn’t be expensive. Smartphones are capable of producing high-quality video content, providing you utilise tripods and compatible microphones, and film in plenty of light.
Remembering good filmmaking practices like filming human subjects at eye level and interspersing interesting b-roll throughout will ensure you make visually interesting and professional-looking content.
Orienting your video according to the platform you intend on posting it to, plus including closed captioning for accessibility will push up engagement rates!
For more help and advice regarding your content marketing strategy, visit Floodmaker.
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