5 (Plus) Tips for Creating Compelling Videos
FS: Most organizations do not have the budget to create professionally produced videos. Advice for them on how to create impactful videos in-house with amateur movie-makers?
JG: Video is one of the top generators of ROI. Of course, most consider producing video to be too expensive, be it with time, money or both. There is this myth out there that high-quality video just is not attainable with small or no-budget organizations. Yet, thanks to the progress of technology, we suddenly all have little production companies in our pockets. I have an iPhone that comes with an eight-megapixel camera, and I guarantee any recent smartphone or iDevice you or a co-worker has comes with a camera.
If you can’t hire a professional team to shoot your video, there is no excuse to not create your own content right away. If you shoot in a well-lit area, get good sound and hold the camera steady (or, in the case of iPhones, properly hold the camera horizontally), then you can create a compelling video.
It comes down to the story. You can have the most expensive gear in the world at your disposal, but if the message is not heartfelt or meaningful, then your video will just be very shiny, pretty nonsense.
FS: What are the biggest mistakes you see when people or organizations produce video?
JG: One of the biggest mistakes is not knowing what to do with a video once it’s done. Many companies create a video and throw it up on YouTube. That’s fine, but then what? Hope someone will wade through an endless sea of cat videos and find your message? Strategy is key. Posting on YouTube or Vimeo is fine. In fact, if you don’t have your own internal video player, that’s what you should do. But embed the video on your Facebook wall, blast it out on Twitter and embed it on the homepage of your site. If you do e-newsletters, create a thumbnail with a play button on the image and hyperlink it to the video.