Getting great promotional video material and posting it on the web is easier than ever these days.
Just about everyone has a video camera and with the introduction of the Flip, high quality video is cheaper than ever to get and extremely easy to download.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for those of you who are thinking of creating and posting video interviews on the web that highlight your company, event or services.
1 – Find the Right Person to Interview
The more articulate they are the better. Try to find someone who can get to the point, but is good at expanding on a topic.
You can’t do much with an interview that is filled with “Yes” and “No” answers. Some ideas for that might include:
a satisfied customer
an employee or colleague who is an expert on the subject you wish to highlight
an industry notable that might shed some light on your topic
2 – Find a Great Location
Unless you are supplementing with your own lighting equipment, you’ll want to find a place with very good light.
I’m fond of the outdoor cafe. It provides a casual atmosphere and good light is almost always easy to get. A backyard patio is also nice.
But if you are at a conference or event, you’ll have to make do. So just find the place with the best light and the least amount of ambient sound.
3- Pay Special Attention to Sound
Your interview will be useless if people can’t hear it. So, besides minimizing the ambient sound, make sure that your microphone is doing a good job of picking up your interviewee.
Ask everyone who will appear on the video to speak loudly and clearly. You might consider having the interviewee repeat any questions that are asked before answering them.
If your camera’s built-in microphone isn’t very sensitive, you may want to opt for a hand-held mic instead.
4 – Pay Attention to Composition
A close up shot of your interviewee facing the camera as much as possible is best.
If you also place the bottom of the frame just below the shoulders and the top just above the head, you usually won’t go wrong.
Make sure NOT to cut off any portion of the head. Give your subject a little space to move within the frame.
Also, use a tripod whenever possible. A tripod makes things easier for you and creates a much more professional look.
5 – Get More Video Than You Need
At best, you may have enough material to post several video interviews. At worst, you’ll have to go through a bit more video to find the portions you want to use.
If you have more sophisticated editing equipment, you may want to also get reaction shots of yourself or others asking or responding to the questions. These can be used to cover edits and help to make your video look more professional.
6 – Choose a Part That Grabs Interest But Can Stand on its Own
Viewers should be able to understand it with as little explanation as possible.
While TV news soundbites are generally no longer than 1 minute and a half, internet viewers seem to be a bit more forgiving of longer videos. However they don’t have all day.
I try to keep mine between 30 seconds and 4 minutes.
7 – Make it Search Engine Friendly
Make sure to give your video an attention grabbing title with relevant key words.
Titles with verbs in them are usually better than labels at drawing attention. And don’t forget to add more keywords as tags.
8 – Make Sure to Include the Word “Video” When You Promote It
Video is very attractive on the internet so don’t be shy about using the word to promote your material.
An effective tweet or Facebook update, for example, might be “John Sanderson of Wonderland Cosmetics shares his experience at the International Make-Over Conference (video) link.”
A Few Extra Ideas
Using broadcast news stories as patterns to follow when creating your promotional videos will help you to acheive a more professional look.
Pay attention to the news next time you are watching it. How are the shots composed? What kinds of reaction shots are they using? What makes a story interesting?
Before you start posting your videos, have some fun and do some experimenting. You’ll be surprised how quickly and easily you can create an effective promotional video using just a little bit of forethought.