5 Simple Ways to Improve Promo Videos

Promotional videos can be a great tool to have in your e-marketing tool belt. Especially when dealing with small business internet marketing, a well made promo video can really set your business apart from the competition. Promo videos can be incorporated into your marketing strategies in a variety of ways, such as: educating consumers about your business in a more engaging way, further demonstrating the functionality or usefulness of a product, or even teaching a brief lesson.

A well made video does not require a large budget or expensive equipment, especially when producing content for the web. The following is a list of techniques that will greatly increase the quality and professionalism of your promotional video.

1. Visuals
Stand-Up: When a subject is placed in front of the camera and speaks directly to the viewer for a more personal level of promotion.

Do not perform your stand-up in front of a plain wall. Consider the background of your shot and get creative. Pick an area that will give your shot some depth, and preferably, has some relation to what you are speaking about. For example, if you are promoting an auto-body shop, don’t do your stand-up in your boring office, do it in the actual shop with all of your equipment in the background.

B-Roll: Example footage shown ‘on top of’ what is being talked about to visually demonstrate a point.

One of the most important uses for b-roll is to cover up cuts between takes. You should never cut filming and resume on the same shot. B-roll allows you to break up a stand-up into multiple takes and cover up the areas where you have stopped and started. This makes it appear that you nailed your stand-up perfectly in one try.

2. Sound
External Microphone

Consider an external microphone that plugs into your camera. Even a cheap one can help to eliminate background noise and make your voice sound more concentrated. Plus, with an external microphone, you can move the camera further away from the subject and zoom in creating a shallower depth of field (blurry background effect).

Voice Over: Speech that is combined with b-roll or other video.

If an external microphone is not an option, record the audio in a small enclosed space, such as a closet. The confined space, and clothing in the closet, will help reduce any echo in your voice caused by recording in large rooms.

3. Editing
Perform as many takes as needed until you get your shot right. You can also mix and match takes underneath B-roll to compile the perfect scene.

Consider most of the transitions in your editing software to be completely useless. Never use anything other than a normal hard cut, a dissolve, or fade in/fade out transition.

4. Framing
Rule of thirds: Eliminate wasted space in an unbalanced frame.

Headroom is the empty space between the top of a person’s head and the top of the frame. Never place a person’s face directly in the center of the frame. Instead, follow the rule of thirds by mentally dividing up your frame into three even vertical and horizontal sections. Then frame your subject so that their eyes fall on the imaginary horizontal line that separates the top and middle sections. Watch T.V. and look for this rule in effect. You will see it is used in everything.

5. Lighting
Make sure shots have a sufficient amount of light. Light sources should be positioned slightly above eye level as ceiling lights create dark shadows under the eyes. If filming outside on a sunny day, try to stand in the shade which will eliminate virtually all of the harsh shadows created by sunlight while still providing you with ample light to film with.

Following this guide will help reduce many of the most common pitfalls seen in videos produced by small businesses. These techniques will give you extra credibility over the competition and help strengthen your e-marketing strategy as well as your online presence.


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