Video is kind of a big deal when it comes to social media marketing – and anybody worth their salt will tell you the same. In fact, social media video generates up to 1200% more shares than text and image content combined (G2 Crowd). A recent study predicts the average person will spend one hundred minutes per day watching online videos in 2021 (Zenith). The bottom line is if you’re not considering the incorporation of video content into your marketing strategy, you should be.
This point in the conversation is normally whenever a client poses the question, “Okay…but what do I need? How do I actually make good videos?”
The good news for you is that it’s 2020 and the days of perfectly groomed content are behind us. If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has taught us as marketers, it’s that people value content that is honest and real. How else would Jimmy Fallon have gotten away with filming The Tonight Show is his pajamas for multiple months straight? If you have access to a smartphone or a basic DSLR camera, you can create videos worth watching.
Whether you’re new to video marketing or you’ve been dipping your toes into the proverbial video pool for a while now, I wanted to pass on a few simple tech gadgets that will help take your videos to the next level – no experience required.
Whenever a client is purchasing their own in-house equipment, a tripod is the first thing we recommend. Whether you plan to shoot your video with a smartphone or a camera, you’re going to need your shot to be stable and framed precisely.
There’s only so much a post-production editor can do to beautify shaky, unstable footage. That’s why your tripod is a form of quality assurance. This gadget is perfect for interview-style projects, or ones that generally don’t require a ton of movement.
Here are a few tripods that our team recommends:
- Standard Camera/Smartphone Rig: https://amzn.to/3kYZ395
- Smartphone Tabletop Rig: https://amzn.to/3cMEl9n
For projects a little less sedentary, a gimbal or stabilizing device can be a lifesaver. I won a MOVO smartphone kit at a conference last year, and it changed my video creating world. The hand-held gimbal allows me to film on the move and capture footage that doesn’t make the viewer feel dizzy.
A gimbal is a simple way to take your video projects from beginner level, to expert. They range in price, but I’ll list a few solid choices below.
Here are a few gimbal choices to get the job done:
There’s nothing more frustrating than going through all of the steps to film a solid video, only to arrive at your filming destination to realize you’ll be dealing with noise issues. Whether it’s an outdoor shoot and the wind is not in your favor, or you’re shooting next to a busy highway with lots of traffic driving by, noise is never a fun obstacle to tackle.
I recommend keeping a mic on standby for all of your projects. A good rule of thumb is to try filming your video both ways – with mic, and without. Nine times out of ten, you’ll like the audio quality you’re getting much better when using the mic.
While there is no one-stop-shop for choosing a good mic, I highly suggest researching which type is most compatible with the equipment you plan to video with. We typically shoot with a lavalier, or an external boom mic when we’re working on a project at Crossroads.
Here are a few solid models to get you started:
Next to sound quality, I believe lighting is one of the most important elements to setting a video apart. While people care about seeing real, honest content, they also care about being able to see your face. If there was one piece of equipment from this list I’d recommend you invest in today, I’d say get yourself a good light kit.
Purchasing lighting is similar to purchasing a mic – you have to choose the equipment that best suits your individual needs and equipment. Price range varies with this as well, so it’s best to do lots of research.
Here are a few different types of lighting you may consider investing in:
- Camera-mount LED: https://amzn.to/3imrUCl
- Clip-on Smartphone Ring Light: https://amzn.to/33gK4RR
- Studio Light Kit: https://amzn.to/2Sbu1hI
Bonus – Kits
If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution, there are dozens of various videography kits available for purchase (like this one from MOVO that I mentioned earlier). If a buffet of camera equipment choices overwhelms you, this may be the route to go.
A Few Other Kits:
Remember, always do your research to ensure the equipment you’re purchasing will fit your individual needs and objectives. And, when all else fails, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for guidance on what equipment might best suit your business. I could talk about this all day.