12 tips to make your videos stand out from the crowd

by Halina St James

It’s never been easier to make a video for your website. But a video can be the easiest way to lose credibility – if it isn’t done properly.

Some very creative friends of ours are Tracy Bennett and her partner Julian Gibbs of Firefly Digital Media. I had the pleasure of attending a speakers’ event the other day, at which Tracy and Julian shared some production tips.

First, the big picture:

  1. Have a strategic plan for your video. What do you want it to do?
  2. Figure out who you are targeting.
  3. Put your video on your home page.
  4. Short videos are better than longer ones. It’s better to have four one minute videos than one four minute video.
  5. Release the videos strategically. Don’t post them all at once.
  6. If you do have a longer video, indicate the duration so the viewer knows what to expect.

Second, some vital technical tips:

  1. Always use a tripod.
  2. Always use an external microphone. The camera’s built-in microphone will make you sound as if you’re speaking from inside a tin can.
  3. Always use a light. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just make sure the face is properly illuminated.
  4. Use medium to tight shots of your face. People need to see your eyes. That helps build a relationship with the viewer.
  5. Pick an interesting background, but don’t let it overwhelm the primary subject. You’re still the star.
  6. Do a test shot and check it to make sure the picture and sound are good.

If you don’t want to shoot your own video but still want video on your website, hire a professional. Shaky, badly-lit video with muffled sound will harm your reputation quicker than you can say ‘Action!’

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