Online video is one of today’s most engaging and powerful social-media marketing mediums.
by Mark Shapiro, October 5, 2014
It’s a wonderful tool for showing what your company does, explaining how your products work and spotlighting customer testimonials. Many businesses want to use video to help them market their products and services but don’t know how to do it well.
To be effective, a Web video has to look good, sound clean, and be short.
You don’t have to hire a professional video producer to shoot your online videos. You can do it yourself if you just remember a few basics.
Keep it simple. A plain background behind a talking head or a product demonstration is very effective — the viewer’s attention stays on the subject. Also, video with a plain background compresses better for streaming versus a background with lots of details and colors.
Use lots of light. I often see fuzzy and muddy videos that were shot in dim light. Open up a window. Aim a few lights on the scene. You can’t have too much light.
Use a tripod. Shaky and jerky images, with lots of cuts, is fine for music videos but not for a business product. Don’t handhold your camcorder. Use the tripod.
No special effects. When you edit, avoid using flashy transitions and complicated effects that strain the compression technology used in streaming video and can result in a less-than-optimum online playback. You don’t want your video stopping, stuttering and dropping frames. However, it can be very helpful to use graphics.
Text. Use a large and easy to read non-serif font.
Sound check. Bad audio plagues most online videos. You can make your film sound professional by using a good quality microphone plugged into your camcorder. An inexpensive lavaliere mike pinned to your talent’s collar will work wonders. Bad sound is a common problem because the built-in microphones found on most camcorders are not very good.
Be brief. Keeping your video short and to the point may be the most important. Whatever your goal, limit your video to just one point. A good Internet video should be between one to two minutes long. Three minutes max. If you plan your video well, that should be plenty of time. It is always better to have a series of short videos on your site rather than one or two overly long videos.
It is not hard to make a good Web video. You don’t need a Hollywood crew. Just make sure it sounds and looks good. And most importantly, keep it short, sweet and to the point. And, after your video is live on the Internet, you need to make sure it gets found and watched. The Google search engine loves video and can greatly boost your SEO results. To make sure Google finds your video, create video site maps for your videos and post them at Google’s online Webmaster Tools.