Tips for creating and editing videos on a budget

Tips for creating and editing videos on a budget
April 29, 2016 Madeleine Helme

Video is a massive phenomenon on the internet. It seems like you can’t go anywhere online without seeing a video of a cat or someone doing something stupid in the name of entertainment. However, video is not just good for trivial things such as these. It is also an incredibly powerful tool for businesses to promote themselves, raise brand awareness and develop trust with their audience.

Just take a look at some of these impressive stats about video marketing:

  • Each day, Americans watch the equivalent of 8,061 years of video on YouTube alone.
  • Businesses that use video benefit from 41% more traffic to their website.
  • Landing pages containing video experience 80% higher conversion rates.
  • 70% of marketers claim video wins more conversions than any other content type.

These stats indicate the undeniable benefit of incorporating video into your marketing mix. Despite this, many small businesses avoid it because they believe they do not have a large enough marketing budget to create high quality videos. Poor quality videos are likely to have a negative effect on a brand’s reputation, but you don’t have to spend the big bucks for a great marketing video.

Here are a few tips on how to create professional-looking videos on a budget.

Prepare your script

Create a clear plan about what your video is going to be about first. It could be an introduction to your company and staff, a video testimonial from customers, a how-to guide or tutorial, a product demonstration, and the list goes on.

If you’ve got a talented writer in your team, you can save money on hiring a professional. Whoever writes it, make sure a few people check the script to confirm that it reads well and delivers the right message.

Prepare your actors

If you have members of your team who are comfortable in front of an actor, then this, again, will save you some money. Make sure they speak clearly and confidently, and that it comes across as natural. Actors should be well-rehearsed going into shooting so that they are more comfortable with the script.

Filming equipment

You don’t need expensive equipment to shoot your video. Video cameras are available at fairly reasonable prices if you have the budget for it, but if not, your smartphone or webcam on your computer can do the trick if it’s a recent model with a good quality camera.

The microphone on your smartphone or computer should be enough, but for even better sound quality it is worth investing in a lapel microphone for your actor. If you’re shooting on a smartphone, I would also recommend a tripod to avoid shaky filming.

Location

Try to find a room with plenty of natural lighting to shoot your video in. Overhead lights will cast shadows across the face of your actors, so try to avoid these. If your room isn’t well-lit, you can position desk lamps behind the camera to provide more even lighting for your subject. Use a location where you can shoot against a solid colored background, or else you can hang up a sheet of colored paper behind the subject.

Try to also eliminate any background noise as this can be very distracting. Turn off any heating or air conditioning units and try to prevent any background chatter from people in the building. Shooting in an empty room can also affect the sound quality as it causes an echo. If you face this problem, try hanging blankets on the walls behind the camera to dampen the sound.

Editing software

Just like your shooting equipment, you don’t need expensive editing software to put your finished product together. There are plenty of free or low-cost options that let you carry out basic editing techniques. You should have iMovie or Windows Movie Maker already installed, depending on whether you’re a Mac or Windows user. Take a look at some other options for free editing software.

And there you have it; a quality video for you to utilize in your marketing. When it comes to platforms for sharing videos, YouTube is obviously the go to for most. However, you should use multiple channels to try to get it seen by as many people as possible. Publish it on your website, share it on all your social media channels, and send it out in your email campaigns. Vine, Instagram and Snapchat all allow you to create your own short videos using your smartphone if you are looking for something a little less formal.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.