A good video creates engagement and makes viewers come back for more content.
So video makes an appealing option for bloggers to gain more visibility for their blog content, especially when you take into account that people perform 323% better while following visual directions than textual ones.
To make your video work, powerful content is important. But while content is the most crucial factor in engagement, many other factors go into a successful video production: visual and sound quality, placement of subject, lighting etc.
From choosing a subject to writing scripts to gathering the equipment; DIY video can be a bit overwhelming but when done right, it can drive great results for your blog on a decent budget.
The Keys To Smooth Video Production
The key to a smooth DIY video production lies in buying good quality equipment, creating a compelling story and optimizing according to the platform.
Here are some simple DIY video production tips that can help your blog stand out:
- Transform information into a compelling story
The true power of a video lies in its ability to transform information into an enticing story. To ensure that your video doesn’t just get clicked but is also watched till the end, you need to make it memorable.
People are more likely to recall a story which educates while entertaining than a video which just focuses on giving information. Pick your “How-to”, “DIY”, “5 things to do” posts, weave them into a story and make compelling videos.
- Pick the right style
A video comes with a platter of options in terms of style. You can go for whiteboard, live action, animated… the choices are plenty.
It is crucial that you pick an appropriate style that matches the message you want to deliver. Like animated videos can work really well as explainer or tutorial videos for your blog. And when these videos are placed on landing pages, they can reduce bounce rates by 34%.
- Match background elements and graphics with the video subject
Be careful while choosing your set. The set background should reflect the mood and subject of your video. If there is a contrast between the video message and the background elements, the user might just get confused.
Use relevant colors. Ensure that they are aligned with the message. You might want to re-read that chapter on color psychology and how it affects your viewers. Plus, using contrasting colors will create visually awkward video frames.
1) Use a tripod to avoid camera shakes
A video with great content is very useful but it doesn’t have the same appeal if there are quality issues like blurred images or camera shakes. Compromising video quality because the video is DIY is a mistake.
For instance, a lot of people skip the tripod simply because they think that it adds “personalization”. But this is often seen in a negative light.
Your audience is more likely to stick around when you take your DIY video seriously. Also, tripods don’t burn a hole in your pocket. You can easily get a multi-purpose tripod that supports your camera, mobile and even GoPro’s, in a very decent budget.
So just remind yourself: ‘without taking a stand, there will be no stability’.
- Ensure that the video is well-lit
You can’t do without a proper lighting kit when you are shooting in closed spaces without natural light. Here, Wistia will help you collect the much-needed lighting equipment.
Once your equipment is ready, it is time to pay attention to lighting details. Both poor and excessive lighting tend to disengage users by diverting attention to light related issues, like unwanted shadows. There must be no shadows unless you want them to be there.
- Make sure your video equipment is sound
A good sound quality enhances the viewing experience by knitting the visual story with dialogues that deliver the intended message; the same message might not reach the audience appropriately when only visuals are used.
For live action videos, especially the ones that require the subject to be seated, use a lavalier microphone as it allows the subject to move freely. These microphones are also a suitable pick for interviews.
For video shots that cover larger areas, shotgun microphones make the best option.
Here is a very useful tip: If you are using a smartphone to shoot your videos, connect a microphone to the headphone input. This improves the sound quality drastically.
- Don’t forget to utilize the rule of thirds
The rule of thirds is an important element of visual design. This technique allows you to place the subject at the point of maximum engagement.
In this method, the shot is split into thirds, both horizontally and vertically. And then the subject is placed in one of the side panels (and not the middle one).
The image below explains the engagement values for different points in a visual frame.
- Be the video presenter
For bloggers, being the key face in their videos can create a number of good opportunities. Brands love faces. Being the presenter in your own video gives you an edge as sponsors take you more seriously. In fact, if you are a subject expert in your niche, they would love to use your ‘influence’ while talking to their audience.
This technique has been effectively used by various bloggers. Take the story of Hailey Paige for instance. Her YouTube channel boasts of more than 108k subscribers. She shares her insights on wedding planning, fashion, beauty and various other categories. Apart from an effective storytelling, she has knit so many people into her story by being the main subject in her videos.
1. Pace it right
Once the video is produced, it is time to optimize it for invoking the right responses at the right time. Structure your video properly and align the script with the right combination of visuals and sound to deliver maximum impact.
2. Introduce a soundtrack in the background
It’s best to not use soundtracks if your audio has a bigger responsibility than your video content. But when the visuals speak for themselves and there is less dependency on audio, it is advisable to put a soundtrack in the background; something that is in line with the video mood and not contrasting.
- Optimise for Your Platform
Is the video landing on your blog? Or going up on YouTube? Or Facebook?
Since each platform has its own metrics for success, it is crucial to optimize video to suit the platform needs. For instance, 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. So make sure to include subtitles. Facebook has its own caption tool for that.
Similarly, for YouTube, you need to keep your audience hooked for longer than any other social platform (because YouTube counts a view after 30 seconds while platforms like Facebook count a view after the video has been watched for just 3 seconds).
Here is an exhaustive guide to social media video tips and strategies that will come in handy.
DIY video is tricky but it can do wonders for your blog on a small budget.
Start with the equipment, then head on to the script and visual design. Ensure that the process follows a visual approach. Since the result is visual, you must rely on visual storyboards than just textual scripts.
Additionally, with an attention span of 8 seconds, it is essential to hook the viewer in the first few seconds, so make those seconds count. These first few seconds should be relevant to the viewer.
Also, for a DIY video, equipment should be given the first priority. Because a video with good content can easily fail if there is a sound and/or video quality issue.
So invest in the right equipment. Pay attention to the small details of lighting and sound. Leverage the power of video content to boost your blog visibility.
Deepasha Kakkar is a visual marketer, founder of Crackitt, and a consumer behavior aficionado. She helps businesses & organizations hone their identities, craft their brands, and share their truths using beautiful handmade animated videos and compelling infographics. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.