Which video strategy is right for your company?
Photo: CalypsoCrystal (CC)
The right equipment will give you the best audio and video quality, even in the field.
Video can be compelling. It can show off your personality and engage an audience in ways text and photos can’t. It can convey complex information in minutes through great visuals and narration.
And it can be a pain in the ass.
Before you roll cameras on incorporating videos into your digital storytelling, let me give you some direction on what role it should play in your business.
Strategy No. 1: On the cheap
What’s involved: A smartphone, a YouTube account, a tripod (optional).
Pros: A great way to get started quickly, shooting short selfie videos on the fly. Shoot, upload to YouTube, share on social media, done. Costs next to nothing if you already have a phone.
Cons: You have to be willing to show your informal side to the world. The quality of the audio and the video will likely be poor to passable.
Strategy No. 2: Better look and sound
What’s involved: A smartphone or a low-end pocket video camera (preferably with audio input), a YouTube account, a tripod, homemade lighting (“101 DIY Lighting Tutorials”, “DIY Lighting”), microphones, editing software or app.
Pros: Your videos will look and sound more professional than 99 percent of other videos. Ability to set up location shoots (even just down the hall or on another floor) as needed. Less than $500 cost.
Cons: A big time cost in building the lighting gear and learning the software. Storage space required for gear. Editing time increases in piecing together video and audio clips.
Photo: Melonie Galagos (CC)
Dedicated studio space gives you complete control over professional video production.
Strategy No. 3: Going pro
What’s involved: A video camera or two, a YouTube account (or paid video hosting) and a website, tripods, empty office set aside as studio, lighting, microphones, editing software, a set (chairs, demonstration table), backdrop, green screen, stock music, dedicated editing computer and monitors, experienced videographer and on-camera talent.
Pros: More videos can be shot and edited in batches. Faster turnaround time. Full control over lighting and audio. Easy to start shooting quickly on an interview or product demonstration. What previously cost tens of thousands of dollars can be done for thousands of dollars.
Cons: Cost goes up in hiring experienced pros. Much more complexity in the process.
While the cost of video production has decreased dramatically, it still requires significant time and a good eye for telling stories in a compelling fashion.
The right approach can brand your company effectively.
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