With web video exploding and the promise of GoogleTV growing each day, it’s a wonderful time to be able to upload your own content. But just because anyone can do it doesn’t mean everyone should. For every well-produced, entertaining and informative video, there are millions that aren’t. So what are some of the bigger pitfalls to avoid if you want your video to get people talking? We have all heard that there is value to “do-it-yourself” videos; they look less slick, more genuine, blah blah blah. BUT, don’t you want to put your best foot forward? One bad video impression can be the first nail in your web marketing coffin!
First, you need to remember that at the moment, the vast majority of content created for the Internet makes zero money, so everything you do should come from a place of passion. Here are a few tips WE USE to make that passion work for our clients.
1. Take the Time to Write
Unfortunately, few people who are rushing to get their stuff up on YouTube have actually thought it through. You don’t have to take my word for it — just click on 99% of the web shows out there and you’ll find the script was clearly lower down on the priority list than craft services.
So here’s where you’ll need to roll up your sleeves. You have to actually sit down and come up with compelling stories and interesting ideas. There’s no hurry to get it right either, so take your time. This is one thing we insist on- getting the back story right, and then moving forward from there!
It’s probably best to outline your video before you write it. And while you’re doing that, discard any parodies and cliches you’ve been thinking about. The web is bursting with them. If you want your content to stand out, you should focus on creating something original.
The wonderful thing about the Internet is that you are your own creative force. Nothing exists to dilute your voice or imagination as it might in more established mediums like TV or film, so use both to their full extent. Professional production companies like RMAVP can help bring out your voice, your passion and tell your story properly. That’s what we do every day!
2. Know the Medium
The target length for most web videos is five minutes or less. If you have more to say (additional products or services, then make several video chapters. It’s better for SEO anyway!)You should be fully aware of this as you write and prepare for production. Know that within those five minutes, there needs to be a beginning, middle and an end — remember Sesame Street? – even if it’s part of a greater narrative structure that takes place over 10 episodes.
Remember that you must make it as engaging as possible: You’re competing with e-mails, Tweets, and whatever else is pinging away in the background.
It’s also important to note that most people watch web videos alone. The sharing is often done not with people present, but through social media and e-mail. So think about the viewing habits of your audience.
3. Pay Attention to Production Value
You don’t have to compete with Mr. Spielberg, but there are a few basics that should be noted when it comes to producing web video — simple things like getting the lighting right (can we see your actors?), making sure all the dialogue can be heard, and ensuring the room tone matches.
Don’t know what room tone is? It’s making sure that everything sounds basically the same when you’re cutting from shot to shot within one setting. To do that, our editors lay down an audio track taken from the room while shooting, which can then be used to make the ambient audio uniform between takes.
Web audiences don’t expect something that looks like The Matrix — but they’re not going to put up with dialogue that sounds like it was recorded through a tin can. Find a good middle ground. Decent production values are what will set you apart from the thousands of other videos your audience could be watching instead.
So there you go — a handful of simple tips that should serve as a starting point for getting your big idea off the ground, and hopefully out to the masses. What sort of production or marketing values do you look for in a successful web series? Be sure to share them in the comments below. And as always, email or call me at any time to discus your specific ideas and questions- always glad to help!