How to create quality business videos on your smartphone
Generating interesting video content has never been easier – you simply tap into the technologies in your smartphone.
Whether you’re a small business that’s just starting out or one that’s established, content moves quickly on social media. Self-generated videos can effectively promote your brand’s message as well as help you engage with your customers.
Just this year alone, 45% of people watched more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube Videos. This means that Facebook now has a total of 100 million hours of daily video watch time.
As a small business, without the extra resource or budget for production, how can you create marketing videos? Hiring a full-time video team will be too expensive. Fortunately, if you know what visual content you need, there are ways in which you can shoot, edit and curate it yourself – all on your smartphone.
1. What content will work?
Before you start the filming process on your phone, it is important that you have a clear idea of the direction and type of content you require.
This can easily be done by either drawing a simple storyboard or by writing down in bullet points the type of images you will use. This method not only helps you visualise your final product better, but also forces you to eliminate ideas that don’t work or might clutter your narrative. It also helps with the planning of locations, talent and props. Alternatively, if it's spontaneous it will give you an idea of what to capture during an event.
“Unless your stuff is Oscar-winningly good, people won't slog through a 10-minute video of material. Cut to the best moments and put them all together,” says Victoria Stephanie Tay, who edits videos for Singapore production company Night Owl Cinematics.
Not that you should be creating a 10-minute video. Business video hosting platform Wistia found that for videos 4-5 minutes in length, less then 60% of viewers are still watching. The figure rises to 75% with a 1-2 minute video. Brevity appears to keep attention.
2. Creating your video
Almost all smartphones possess cameras with a minimum of 8 to 13 megapixels. While this guarantees crystal clear material, it is equally important to remember that stable footage is much easier to view than a shaky effort.
Invest in a simple monopod or tripod for your smartphone, or try to prop your phone on a stable surface when shooting. Once you’ve started shooting - be it in either landscape or portrait mode - it is important to keep this style of shot consistent throughout. Not only does this make for easier editing, it will make for better viewing for your audience.
3. How clear is the audio?
While you may be using background music for your video, there may be times when you require a voiceover to narrate certain scenes. Recording voiceovers can be done easily with in-built applications.
Before recording, take note of any background noise. Consider moving to a quieter spot. Eliminating distracting sound during the actual recording will make your job much easier during the editing process.
If you see yourself recording more audio for future videos, consider investing in a simple external microphone. Choose one where the files recorded on the mic will be automatically stored on your phone.
4. Editing and exporting on the go
There’s lots of editing software allowing you to edit on the go. Most are usually equipped with the standard features such as trimming, customisable arrangement of clips in the timeline, transitions, text, filters, adjustable playback speeds, and title cards.
In addition, there are usually templates available or video styles which you can choose from. You can even import content from cloud platforms such as Dropbox and Google Drive.
Here’s a selection of apps that you can try for your video creation:
- iMovie (iOS) automatically syncs your project making it available on all your other iOS devices.
- Power Director (Android) can support 4K but ensure that your mobile device is compatible.
- Splice (iOS) lets you tap into your iTunes library for that perfect background track.
- Quik (Android) will export your video for you in either the standard cinema format or square Instagram format.
- Adobe Premiere Clip (iOS/Android) is connected to one’s Adobe Creative Cloud and allows you to import content from Lightroom.
- Always have a clear idea of the final product and the message you want to get across.
- Maintain a consistent style of shooting, whether in landscape or portrait mode.
- Make sure your recordings are stable.
- Ensure your surroundings are quiet if you need to record a voiceover.
- Work with the editing software that suits your needs the best.