The First C of Effective Marketing Videos: CAPTURE!

If you are entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard the amazing statistics about the benefits of using video on the web. In fact, according to the Wharton School of Business, a well-produced video increases information retention by 50% and speeds-up buying decisions by 72% over print. That’s pretty powerful.

Most entrepreneurs know they need videos to market their businesses, but so many are overwhelmed by the technical, scripting, and performance aspects of making videos. They either don’t have the technical know-how to create a great video, or they don’t know how to craft a message that captures their audience. This can make the average entrepreneur go into in-action or what I call “Video Visibility Overwhelm.” This inspired me share a few simple steps to making effective marketing videos, which I call the Four C’s. In this article, I’ll share the first C: CAPTURE.

It is important to capture an image that is pleasant to look at, easy on the eyes, well framed, and well lit. If you are sitting in a dark room on your web cam, we’ll feel like we’re watching the Blair Witch Project and will want to click away – not a good thing for your business! There are a few simple tips you can implement right away that will make a big difference in the quality of your videos.

The first tip for capturing a great image is lighting. Make sure you are well lit so that you audience can see you well. Placing two lights that shine on you at 45-degree angles to your body will ensure that we can see your face clearly. Be sure to play around with your lights and watch your footage so you can make sure you are not over-lit or under-lit. Lights with dimmers are ideal so that you can adjust the light exposure. Other lights that work well are Japanese lanterns, which are soft lights that you can put on both sides of you. One of my favorite do-it-yourself lighting tips – using shop lights – was one I learned when I was waiting for my professional soft box lights to arrive. Photographer Curtis Judd recommends buying two shop lights and two fluorescent bulbs from Home Depot – not a bad solution for under $40. Here are his videos on Youtube where he explains how to use shop lights:

The second tip for capturing a great image is framing. Common mistakes entrepreneurs make are framing themselves with several feet above their head and filming themselves from too far away. This makes our eyes wonder around the room and not focus on the person speaking. If we were looking at your video on a computer screen, we’d want to see about ¼ inches above your head. I also suggest zooming in on your camera so we see you from only the chest up. This makes the shot more up-close and personal, which helps establish a stronger connection with your audience and a greater impact.

The third tip for capturing a good image is making effective wardrobe and make up choices. Wear clothes that are simple and streamlined. The camera adds weight to the subject, so avoid billowy clothes, layers and ruffles. Simple translates better on camera. Black can often look drab on film and white isn’t recommended, as it throws off the white balance of the camera. I recommend finding out what colors look best on you and wearing those colors. If you have pale skin, avoid bright, overpowering colors. Go with the medium shades like medium pink, blue, green, or purple, and avoid pale colors, which will wash you out (by the way, the camera loves blue!). If you are making a website video, be sure the colors you don’t clash with the colors of your website. Lastly, I suggest wearing make up so we see a vibrant you. Wear the amount of make up you would wear for a business meeting – simple, yet pulled together. The HD camera picks up every detail so wear the exact amount of make up you would want to show up on video. And be sure to powder your entire face before going on camera – including your eyelids and hairline. The lights produce a shine on the subject’s face, so using powder ensures that we pay attention to what you are saying and not to the shine.

If you’d like to learn more, I’ll be sharing the other 3 C’s of effective marketing videos in a guest pert interview with Susan Newman of Broadcast Louder on Wednesday, April 11 at 5 pm PST/8 pm EST. Here is the link to register:

My hope is that you will master Four C’s, your audience will be captivated, and they’ll say, “Tell me more!”

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Comments & Responses

4 Responses so far.

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