How to make quality video content on a small budget

If content is king then there’s an argument that video is the king of content!

Go back five years and businesses were still getting to grips with video. It was pretty rare to see it in a content strategy and non-video people didn’t have a clue how to make one.

Fast forward to today where online video accounts for 74% of all online traffic and the content creation landscape has completely changed.

So what has happened to spur on this video revolution?

Technology has improved a lot over the last 5 years, so much so that most people now have a video camera in their pocket that can shoot HD footage. Not only has our hand held tech upgraded, but also the internet. High speed broadband is now widely available, stopping that old age problem of… buffering.

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram now encourage video content by increasing organic reach for it, and as a result video is seen as more engaging and impactful than a simple image or link.

Youtube has completely changed the way we search and watch videos, especially with younger generations who consume video on a daily basis.

So what are the main problems for businesses creating video?

The real answer is mindset. A lot of companies still have the view that video is an expensive thing to produce. In reality, a simple video is in reach of most companies for a limited outlay.

Now don’t get us wrong, we aren’t saying everyone will be able to go out and create your company’s brand new, slick marketing video with your iPhone. HD bespoke video production and editing is a skilled profession that requires a lot of expensive kit, software and knowledge.

But creating smaller bits of video can be done by yourself and your team for a fraction of the cost.

Invest in some video equipment

While shooting certain types of video can be achieved on your phone, it’s going to be difficult to create something polished without at least a few decent attachments.

If you’re planning on creating more than a couple of videos then do consider buying a suitable camera that will shoot in HD. The quality of the video is all about the camera. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to get a good camera. Do your research and don’t go overboard. A good SLR will shoot great video and cost a few hundred pounds.

Investing in a camera tripod is also a great idea. It will automatically get rid of any accidental wobbles and enable you to self shoot if needed.

You should also consider a microphone. This is one that a lot of people overlook and then regret when their sound doesn’t match the quality of their video. You can get a clip on microphone for next to nothing.

Finally, consider lighting. If you are shooting in the day and outside, the sun will more than likely be good enough. However, if you are shooting indoors, lighting can make all of the difference. Again, you can get some reasonable photo lighting online for around £30 on Amazon.

In fact, you can probably buy a complete video studio for under £400 on Amazon if you shop around.

Write a script

What is a surefire way to make your video content stronger?

You guessed it… scripting!

Video can be made so easily and quickly now that lots of content creators forget what video is all about: telling a story.

If you video doesn’t tell a story or provide some sort of benefit to the viewer, then why are you making it? Corporate videos have a time and a place, but don’t expect your audience to sit through hours of your team talking about how great the business is.

By taking time to plan out, storyboard and script your videos, you can make sure key messaging and a story is present throughout.

Big budget video is always scripted and meticulously planned, and just because you have a small budget doesn’t mean you should be doing anything differently.

Keep it in-house

It can be tempting to go out and shoot on location at different places, or maybe you are thinking about hiring out a studio for a day?

The reality is that you can build a perfectly good studio in your own office.

If you have a white wall, all you need is some bright lighting and you have a studio. If you don’t have a white wall then a white sheet is a great alternative.  

If you want to shoot outside, rather than having to travel to different locations, use your local area, it keeps the whole video personal.

You can also recruit your actors in house. The majority of your people may shy away from featuring, but once the cameras come out you’ll find some natural extroverts who work well in front of camera.

Take it upon yourself to be the star and lead from the front!

Keep post production simple

Editing video together has always been really accessible if you have a computer. If you are on Apple you should have iMovie for free. Alternatively if you have Windows you should have Movie Maker.

These programs aren’t difficult to use and allow you to easily upload raw video clips and stitch them together with text & transitions between clips.

If you have a storyboard and script this process should be really easy to accomplish. Try adding in your brand colours or logo into the video just to keep it personalised.

Of course there are more advanced parts of post production you can apply to your videos to make them look even better. You can outsource editing to a freelancer for a very small cost if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.

 

Don’t let costs stop you from telling a story

Video shouldn’t be content you shy away from because of budget or effort.

By spending time getting the basics right and investing in the right setup, you can create really nice looking impactful video.

If you are thinking about kicking off your company’s video content and do need a hand with your next video feel free to get in touch with us.

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