The Anatomy of a Good Video

Video is great. Why? Because it lets you show and tell, rather than just tell.

And that showing and telling can go a long way towards marketing your business. According to a study by EyeView, they found an increase of 80 percent in conversions from visitors watching a video on a landing page – and that’s only one of the many benefits of using video.

However, making a video is more than winging it with your laptop camera, or whipping out your iPhone and recording something on a whim (although, I will admit that iPhones have pretty good cameras and mics – but that’s a topic for another day).

Not sure how to make the best video possible? Well, we can help fix that by dissecting good videos and studying their anatomy.

Below you’ll find two types of videos that you can get started with: a “talking head” style and a screen recording. Let’s take a look at when each one is appropriate and how you can make it great.

What Makes a Good Video with “Talking Heads?”

Before we go any further, take a quick moment to watch this example of a good video:

So what makes the above video “good?” Well, for one, we made it. 🙂 But seriously, it all comes down to quality. Throughout the process of creating a video, you want to keep in mind things like visual and audio quality. Here’s how you can enhance each aspect:

Lighting

Lighting is key to making clear and clean visuals, such as the set and people you saw in the previous video. While you don’t need a super-expensive light kit to get the job done, you just want to make sure you’re not filming in the dark.

Cameras don’t have to be super fancy either – just something that can shoot clear and in focus; and yes, iPhones are great for this, but pretty much any camera will do. The only thing you might want to avoid is your laptop cam. (Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never had luck with those.)

Audio

As far as microphones go, a relatively inexpensive option is an iPhone compatible clip-on mic; it’s cheap and will deliver better sound than most on-board mics.

For any filming you do on location (basically anywhere that isn’t a dedicated room for filming or recording), you also want to keep an ear out for environmental noises, such as people talking or even the humming of an HVAC system.

To help you identify if your recording is picking up background noise, keep a pair of headphones handy to check the quality of your recordings.

What Makes a Good Screen Recording Video?

Now you might not always want to film anything or anyone on camera. If you’re looking to show off a website or give some sort of tutorial, for example, you could do something like this:

With a screen recording, you don’t need to worry about cameras or lighting. Just open up your recording software (QuickTime is a great built-in tool on Macs; Windows users can download CamStudio for free) and start recording!

Since a screen recording will capture sound, make sure you record in a room with little to no HVAC noise, and silence any phones or other gadgets you may have.

What Do I Say in My Videos?

Before you can start filming, you want to make sure you have a script to help you stay on track and focused. You may think you can wing it, but stumbles and too many “ahhs” and “umms” won’t sound good (and it might hurt your credibility, no matter how good a mic you use and how much editing you do).

As you write your script, consider timing as well. You want to get your message across clearly, but as quickly as possible. Instructional videos make take longer, but generally you’ll want to stay in the 1 ½ – 2 ½ minute range.

Not sure what you want to create a video about? The good news is: choosing a topic is the easiest part! Here are some ideas to help you get started:

1. Use video as a hook to explain what you do.

2. Create a video showing off your software.

3. Provide an instructional “how-to” video that shows the benefits of your software.

4. Film a testimonial from your customers so they can preach to others how awesome your business is.

Already have an idea of the kind of video you want to make? That’s great! You’re ready to get started.

Once your video is ready, get it up on YouTube or Vimeo and make sure to share it with your email list.

Start Filming Today

Video is a great medium to showcase products and people, helping viewers around the world see what you see in your business every day. So what are you waiting for?

Have you seen really great examples of video marketing? Share it below!

2 Comments

  1. Jarrett Holmes

    5/1/2015 1:10 am

    Video is the future. Eventually most ads, if not all, will be in video format. With smartphones sales only growing yearly, video has taken over as a simple means of communications and simple social media share tool (Vine, Facebook, Instagram and now Meerkat and Periscope). Great post.

  2. David

    5/7/2015 1:55 pm

    Half of your blog videos just have a green screen and don’t show video…especially ironic with the video entitled, “What Makes a Good Video with “Talking Heads?”