A very important component to creating marketing videos is learning how to use a digital camera. Now I realize that you may have never held one before. I’m willing to bet that you might’ve watched videos online that were shot with camcorders, webcams, and video screens. However, these videos are nowhere near as good as the kind that you can create with a digital camera.
In fact, if you’re like me, you may’ve wondered how the heck you’re ever going to know what you’re doing if you’re not given a straight answer as to how to operate the darn thing. Well, I’m here to help you out with that and other questions about using a digital camera.
When you see videos online that are shot with a camcorder that looks like this, the video quality is lacking:
The videos that you see here are not only unattractive, but they’re also grainy as heck. It’s as though the person shooting the video didn’t even use a tripod. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched videos that were shot with a camcorder that shows all too clearly how unprofessional they are.
But just wait! Don’t take my word for it. Here’s an actual example of what you’ll get when you use a digital camera:
That’s a video that was shot with a camcorder using a Camtasia video screen program. Now that’s a video that looks like it was meant for publication!
If you shoot videos with a camcorder, they will always look like this. They will be grainy, unattractive, and unpromising. However, if you do the same using a digital camera that was shot with a micr-s, then it’s a video that looks like this:
In fact, it’s not even a video. It’s a camera’s raw files that have been compressed to make it acceptable to publish online.
You see, a camcorder doesn’t compress raw files like that. But a digital camera that shoots video can be compressed like that!
That’s the way that you’ll be getting really good videos that can be uploaded to video sharing sites, such as YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video, etc.
In fact, if you look at the details for one of the programs that you can use to compress videos, you’ll see that it evens out any file compression that you’ve already done to the video files.
For example, the programs that claim to compress videos for you will actually give you files that are slightly larger than the default settings for the camera. Which means that if you had already compressed the video using a camcorder program, then your files will be bigger, which will make them unpresentable for uploading onto these sites. It’ll also make it more likely that other users will be able to see them. Because of this, I never compress my videos unless I’m shooting a unique video that I haven’t uploaded anywhere.
What are the advantages of shooting videos?
For starters, it’s free. Not only do you get to shoot videos of yourself and your products, but you’re also making yourself an available marketing channel that people will view frequently. People like video more than images and texts. Plus, if your videos are good, then those who see them will be drawn to your site. In fact, many webmasters go into this with the intent of marketing by video.
How to make videos that people will want to watch.
First, you should shoot the video in a comfortable area that doesn’t involve you being in front of a camera. The best locations are places that you can get behind the camera and be able to see what’s being said or presented. You can also get behind the camera by using camcorders to show images and text on a web page. You can also get behind the camera with slides, or in case you want, you can be behind the screen yourself and present as a video character. This will depend on how your video is presented.
What equipment do I need?
First, you’ll need a camcorder. You can use your computer’s built-in camcorder or you can shoot your videos on external hard drives or CDs. You can use CD or DVD’s if you don’t want to use external hard drives. You want a high quality camcorder that can record in high definition and is easy to use. You can get by with a webcam or even a Flip video. Both are acceptable.
What do I do when I’m shooting?
When you shoot video, you should wear good clothes. You don’t have to wear a business suit, but you don’t want to show up in something that’s only made out of denim. And you don’t want to wear something that says “we’re taking a short vacation” on the front.
Once your video is shot, upload it to a video website like YouTube. The best part is that you can upload your video to multiple video websites at once, which means you don’t have to re-shoot the same video footage. And YouTube will actually rank your video so you get more views.
What equipment do I need to edit my videos?
So you’re editing your video, you want to use a program that has been around for a long time. There are a lot of good programs out there, but two stand out. Final Cut Pro and Corel’s PowerDirector. I’ve used both and have found Final Cut Pro to be superior to Final Cut. It gives you more features and more freedom, while still being easy to use. But PowerDirector is excellent. It doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as Final Cut, but it’s easy to use and gives you some of the same features. You can’t do much with it if you don’t have a video, but it’ll convert a video into an FLV. You can use a program that doesn’t allow you to upload a video and then use a program that does. The downside is that it can be more costly.
After I’ve shot my video, I want to distribute it to various websites. There are websites that have been around for years that are very easy to use. They all work in totally different ways, but you can’t go wrong with YouTube, Google Video, and Hulu. And YouTube is free.
After I’ve uploaded my video to all the websites, I have to edit my video. You can use the free program Sony Vegas to do some editing. If you have a Mac, you can use iMovie, while Windows users can use Movie Maker. They all are pretty good. After you edit your video, it’s ready for the major search engines.
Good luck with your video marketing!