14 Nov How to Produce Marketing-Quality Videos Using Only Your Smartphone
At Stitchcraft Marketing, we’ve taught a lot about how important video is to reaching an audience and really engaging your customer to build trust. Video can be a perfect tool because it’s moving, it’s dynamic, and for the first time the average person has the opportunity to produce their own high-quality videos with their smartphone.
If you missed it, we spoke with Heidi Gustad on Episode 40 of our Business of Craft podcast. Heidi owns the website and blog Hands Occupied, and we couldn’t help but notice that her videos were fantastic examples of how to do it right. She shares a lot of great tips on how to shoot clear, clean and professional-looking videos with just your smartphone.
We also wrote this blog post, where we covered how to use the popular platforms of Facebook. Facebook Live and Instagram to host your videos, increase your views and reach a broader audience.
To help you incorporate video into your marketing strategy, we wanted to expand on those posts with a how-to guide that will help you with the technical and design aspects of shooting that perfect video.
The background of your video is just as important as the item you’re recording. Try to carve out a simple place to record your videos that has an uncluttered background. It doesn’t have to be a huge space. A table will work well if you’re recording a small item, and if you’re showcasing a sewing, knitting or crafting method, try to zoom in as close as possible to the actual work being done.
The idea is to avoid competing patterns, differing light sources and other visual distractors that can draw the viewer’s eye away from your subject.
Take the time to get to know your camera’s focus ability. Try doing a few test videos from different zoom points, and remember you may have to move your hands a little bit slower than you would when you’re working on your project without a video. Experiment with the manual functionality of your camera settings to find the setting that shows projects up-close and consider using a tripod to further stabilize your focus point.
Lighting is the most important part of shooting a high-quality video. Most smartphones come with a built-in light feature, but the light provided is very bright and small, so you will end up with a surface area of just inches that are illuminated in your video. This can lead to harsh shadows that can distort your video and make it visually ‘jump’ for the viewer.
A ring light that attaches to your phone is an option. If you have space and the ability, consider installing two work lamps on either side of your recording space off-camera frame. The flexible arms will allow easy adjustment of the lighting points as you shoot your video, and will supply quality lighting for both video making and demonstrating crafting techniques.
It’s important to consider where you place your lighting. If you focus your light source too high, you’ll have shadows on your work. If you only supply lighting on one side, you’ll have shadows on the other side. Placing your light too low results in a distortion of proportions.
One of the most important considerations regarding lighting is to never place it behind the subject you are filming. Your camera will focus on the light, and anything in front of it will be in shadow.
Getting Over Stage Fright
If you’ve organized your video area but are still being held back by stage fright, you’re not alone. The thought of taking a video and uploading it to the internet for the entire world to see can be intimidating.
Consider writing out what you want to say and practice it several times before you shoot your video. The more you do this, the more likely you are to get through your video without mistakes or having to stop and review, which will save a lot of editing time in the future. You’ll also gain confidence in what you’re saying and present a more professional video to your viewers. You could also use a teleprompter app such as cueprompter.com
There are online video editing sites that allow you to upload and perfect your footage. They range from paid to free and will give you the tools to crop, cut and adjust the technical aspects of your video. One of the tools we love at Stitchcraft is Camtasia by Techsmith. The current software is $169 to license. Camtasia also allows you to add to your video with visual features such as screen transitions, captions, emojis and more.
These are great if you want to inform the viewer of the brand you’re using, list quantities of an item or post tips to the project you’re displaying. Don’t forget to add your name, website or shop to the credits or an ending slide. By making your video, you’ve created your own space to increase awareness of your brand.
We hope this inspires you to incorporate video into your website and explore everything it can do for your business and brand. We also have a quick Facebook Live Guide you can download here if you’d like MORE tips on using video in your marketing strategy. If you need more help creating video for your crafty company, reach out to us here.