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Six steps to getting serious about web video

Martin Johnson - Friday, December 06, 2013

6 steps to getting serious about web video

If you're a regular reader of this blog you'll know that one of the subjects I often write about is using video on the web. In my business I produce videos for a range of businesses and organisations. They're all distributed on a web site. Often this is the businesses own web site or their YouTube or Vimeo channel.
Making a video to go onto a web site takes a bit of planning. Unlike uploading text or images, which you can do almost instantly, you do need to do some planning to make a web video. If you're serious about doing this well, here's a six point guide to getting it right.

1. What's the video about?
You might think this is the easy part but thinking about it and then writing it down can help you get this important part right. Is it about the services you offer? If it is, do you include them all? How do you decide? Before the camera rolls, you need to have one topic to talk about. Make sure your web site has more information about the topic easily available.

2. What type of video is it?
  • Presenter on camera? 
  • An interview/testimonial with one or more of your clients? 
  • Product demonstration?
If your video is promoting a service, such as accountancy or legal services, testimonials work really well. If you make or sell a product then a product demo might work best. You can mix all three types into the one video if you like, but think about what's best to communicate the right message about your product or service

3. Where will you shoot the video?
There are two main options, on location or in a studio. Both have pluses and minuses.
Shooting in a studio means you have total control of lighting, sound and the setting of the video. However this may make it too impersonal - depending on what the video is about. Product demonstrations, provided they're table-top demos, might work in a studio, but if you want to promote a Dog Wash service, it might be better to shoot that on location showing how you travel from dog owner to dog owner. 

4. Who will shoot the video?
Whilst your wife/husband/partner/son/daughter/father-in-law, etc might have the latest video camera, that doesn't mean they should shoot your web video for your business. You need someone who can show you what they've filmed before and you need to be satisfied that they will give you a quality product.
I always ask prospective clients if they have seen a video they like on someone else's web site. Have a look around the web and search for videos about similar subjects or businesses as yours. See what you like and what you don't like. That will help you and the company you hire to do the shoot.

5. Plan your shoot
Filming the family in the backyard is usually a spur of the moment thing, shooting a video to promote your business needs planning. Put aside enough time to shoot the various sequences or segments that are needed. This is something you shouldn't rush.

6. Post production
You may have heard the saying, we'll fix it in 'post' (Post Production). But if you can get it right on the day, it will be a whole lot easier. Of course if you're doing a green-screen shot (where you replace a green background with another image) post production is key to making it all work. One of the things I love about digital video is that you can manipulate the image in all sorts of ways 'in the edit'. 
From re-framing the shot through to changing the colour and exposure, there are lots of tricks to make your footage look great. 
Post production is also where you add music, sound effects and graphics. Take the time to get these right.

Six steps to help you 'Get serious about Web Video'. Good luck


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