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Chapter Five

How to make great marketing videos

Now that we’ve got the mechanics out of the way, let’s talk about how to make your marketing videos (and you!) look good.

Learn everything you need to make video part of your marketing strategy in our Complete guide to video marketing.

How to look good on camera: Speak lower, slower, and with certainty

Practice makes perfect, or at least makes you confident. Get used to seeing yourself on camera by recording yourself for at least one minute every day. Maintain eye contact with the camera to build a connection with your viewers.

Move your hands some, but not so much that it’s distracting. Take pauses after sentences. It’ll help you remember to slow down, but it also creates suspense.

Meaghan Courson, founder of Flash 22 Productions, recommends lowering your voice one octave. “Voices sound higher on camera,” says Meaghan. “Plus, it conveys authority.

How to dress for the camera: Wear solid colors

Dress to connect with your audience and match your message. If you want to convey reliability to a big New York financial services film, wear formal business attire. If you’re trying to connect with a small startup, a hoodie might be more appropriate.

Try to wear solid colors—complicated patterns often look funny on film. Meaghan recommends jewel tones, which help you stand out against most backgrounds. Whatever you do, don’t wear all white or all black; The camera will have trouble adjusting.

How to interview someone: Let the conversation flow

Before you sit down to talk, make sure your interviewee is comfortable. Review the purpose of the video with them, share questions you’d like to cover, and give them time to prepare.

Begin the interviews with a strong, concise introduction of who you and your interviewee are, and why the viewer should care.

Keep your questions as short as possible—viewers want to hear what your interviewee thinks, not you. Memorize your questions, but let it be a conversation. Ask spontaneous questions as they arise and be engaged and curious.

How to film a customer story: Cover the who, what, and how

There are three chapters to any customer story or testimonial: Who the customer is, what problem they ran into, and how your solution helped. You’ll want shots of your customers talking from multiple angles, B-roll footage of their office, and shots of them using your product.

Depending on the scope of the production, try to interview several people who viewed the problem from different angles, such as an executive and a manager. This allows you to show the problem and solution from multiple perspectives, but also allows you to create multiple versions of the video, each catered to a different persona.

Have a graphic designer or animator create an intro and outro for your customer stories to give them a consistent feel, and to insert subtitles for speakers’ names.

How to record remote interviews: Film a video chat interview like any other

You can’t always travel to interview in-person, but luckily there are a few workarounds. For example, you can record an interview of you two talking to each other side-by-side using Skype or other video conferencing software, or show a video of just of the interviewee.

Learn from the pros:

If you want to use movement and alternate angles, you can also record the interviewer in their office, talking to the interviewee on Skype. Below is a video produced by the digital agency Quarry, where they film it much like they would an in-person interview.

To make Quarry’s format work, however, you have to film a computer with a retina display, so the refresh rate is high enough, plus you need to have a strong Internet connection.

How to capture video at a conference: Find quiet, well-lit places

When shooting video at a conference, try to find a place that’s on the quiet side and doesn’t have too much backlighting. Don’t film your subjects with a window behind them, and don’t film on a tradeshow floor unless you have really good audio equipment (such as a lapel mic).

There are tons of videos you can capture at conferences, including:

  • Customer testimonials: Ask your customer service team to suggest customers who want to speak with you.
  • Speaker interviews: If headline or breakout speakers are willing, have someone on your team or an executive interview them.
  • Event footage: If it’s your event, have your video team capture the whole thing. This is great for B-roll and for promoting your next event.
  • Hot takes and tips: Conduct on-camera surveys. If you can, provide interviewees with questions ahead of time. Offer swag to those who volunteer and consider asking funny questions to shake things up.

How to create killer social videos: Get right to the point

Keep social videos short and get right to the point. You’re competing with everything else on social media, and earning attention is tough. Use a graphic designer to juice up your thumbnail and make it uber clickable.

Get your free video brief template and storyboard outline and get started filming!