A Media Expert Shares Her Top 5 Secrets for Creating Irresistible Videos
01 Jun 2015
If you’re working on building a successful brand or business, the reality is you also need great content that will help you stand out from your competition. The fastest-growing type of content being produced today is video. Consider these statistics:
• 74% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video.
• 52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
• 71% of consumers say that video is the best way to bring product features to life.
• Retailers say video increases purchases by 40%.
Take advantage of the growing popularity of video by incorporating these secrets of the pros to create the type of content your audience will love.
1. Be Yourself
There’s nothing worse than watching someone on video who, quite frankly, is just not comfortable in their own skin. Have you ever felt this way? The camera’s ready, the content is there, but your throat is dry, you blink more times than you should, and your palms…could they get any wetter? Yeah. Video for you, (like most people starting out) can be pretty scary. So in these moments, it’s important to remember a few tricks to get in the zone.
• Get silly on camera. Go ahead…make faces, weird noises, yell, dance, tell jokes, laugh…do whatever it takes to loosen up and get comfortable in the space where you are recording. Give yourself permission to become a total goof ball for like, one minute straight (off camera of course). And it’s okay too—because no one will ever see it!
• Think beyond yourself. Yes, you are going to be the one on camera, but the mission is bigger than you. Just think about who needs your content—what will happen if you just up and quit?
Your audience needs to see and experience what you have to offer. Give it to them with confidence, and don’t hold back.
• Wear clothes, accessories and make-up that best represent who you are. If you normally don’t wear three-piece suits, then why for Pete’s sake do you have one on on camera? Be you. That’s who people really want to see and connect with.
2. Connect with Your “Why”
Ask yourself: what is the goal of this video? Am I doing this “just because”, or is there a deeper reason or calling? Who is this for? Why should they watch this? What is my core message? What is the action or step I want my audience to take after they watch this?
Believe it or not, your audience can tell if you are passionate or not within the first three seconds of pressing play.
So before you press record, make sure you are speaking on something that completely rocks your boat! It should be something you can’t wait to talk about, and you’re willing to kick fear in the gonads to get it done. Your “why” is the heartbeat of the video you’re creating, and your audience should feel that thing beat and come alive through the screen.
3. Treat the Camera like Your ‘BFF’
As a TV personality, I have had the pleasure of speaking to hundreds of people on camera. Before the show starts, my guests are comfortably talking to me like normal human beings should—laughing, joking and having a great time. But the moment the cameras start rolling, they immediately crystallize into alien robots who blabber, temporarily forgetting their first and last names. It’s okay too, because a good TV host has to always be prepared to de-ice the situation.
That’s why I tell all my first-time TV guests to breathe, have fun and imagine the camera is an old buddy or best friend.
This usually puts them at ease. I used this trick with a group of university students—most of whom were creating video for the first time—and it worked like magic. Their resulting promotional videos made most of them look like pros. Try it for yourself!
4. Who Said You Had to Be Perfect?
Flub ups, mess ups and mistakes can sometimes seem like three playground bullies ready to pounce on you when you press “record”. I know, because I’ve often felt the same way. But don’t go giving those bullies your lunch money. Why? Because you’re not alone.
If you listen to some of the world’s greatest radio, TV and internet show hosts, you’ll realize every single one of them make mistakes—and they still have a job.
This means that no one will fire you over a stuttered word, fragmented line or forgotten phrase. If and when it happens, just smile, pause, and keep it moving. We’re all human. And perfection? Well…it’s over rated.
5. Lights, Camera, Action!
It’s no secret that the real deal behind taking your video from good to great is all about the equipment. Now, if you’re just starting to dive into recording, don’t go out after reading this post and buy thousands of dollars worth of video equipment. It’s not necessary. The equipment I’m talking about can be found right in the comfort of your own home. Here are a few great tricks to help you make the most of what you already have:
• Lights: Use tall floor lamps and desk lamps in your house that have “daylight bulbs.” Daylight bulbs can be found at your local hardware store and create more of a studio “white” light, which gives a more professional look. Regular soft-white bulbs tend to give a yellowish tint on screen, making your video look amateurish.
TIP: Shooting by a window that receives great natural light is perfect for video too!
• Camera: If you have access to a smart phone or a computer, chances are you can record video with that thing! Cell phones have become the leader of video production on the web. If you have one, make sure you record with the smart phone positioned horizontally and not vertically. Horizontal shooting is better for mobile devices and other playback social media networks like YouTube.
TIP: Use your cell phone with a tripod selfie stick until you are able to invest in a feature-rich camera. For clearer audio, use a plug in mobile microphone that connects to your smart phone’s headphone jack. I use this one by Audio-Technica.
• Action: Make sure you’ve done plenty of tests before you record to check and ensure everything is working properly with your camera. There’s nothing like finishing your recording session, only to discover that your camera wasn’t recording video at all! Check your video after you record it, paying close attention to things like wires, background noise, extraneous objects behind you, etc.
TIP: If you feel uncomfortable or distracted when you watch your video, chances are, your audience will do the same. If you have time, adjust and re-record the video to put your best face forward.
BONUS TIP: Speaking of faces… Make sure you always wear a translucent powder to buff down the natural shine on your skin. Trust me: you don’t want to look shiny on video. Translucent powder (found in your local pharmacy or drug store) has no pigment or color, so it’s perfect for guys and gals of every tone. Whether you wear make-up or not, this is a staple.
Even if you’re an amateur at creating video, these tips can help you look like a pro. As with all things worth doing, practice makes (almost) perfect. The most important thing is to get started. The world is waiting to hear what you’ve got to say!
Here’s a client video I created which captures many of the tips I’ve outlined in this post:
Which of these tips will you use in your next video? What would you add to the list?
BONUS: If you’re working on a video, we want to see it! Post the link below with your comments and we’ll give you professional feedback.
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