Marketing videos can be made using basic equipment in some cases; many of the Instagram influencers still use a top-end iPhone to record their content. However, there are other vital pieces of equipment, apps, and digital solutions that, when utilized properly, can ensure marketing videos have the desired impact.
Here are our suggestions for what equipment, software tools, and platform solutions are necessary to produce more effective marketing videos.
A Video Camera or Two
A video camera should be at least 1080p Full HD resolution at this point. Purchasing a 4K video camera is a good idea too because videos can be uploaded in this format. Bear in mind that home movie theater owners now can get 4K TVs, and don’t want any videos scaled up from a smaller resolution. Stretching to 4K, if your budget allows for it, is worth it.
When shooting outside coverage or in-person, having a camera that can capture distant shots and another that’s best for close-ups is best. It provides the potential to inter-cut multiple camera angles within the final video.
Get a Decent Microphone
The microphones inside most cameras or smartphones (if you’re shooting video on the fly) are low quality. While an audio editing suite can do much with audio clips, there are limits. It’s always best to get a lavalier mic or a Rode extended mic to capture cleaner audio.
Do appreciate that there are microphones that capture audio close up, but not distant ambient sounds, and others that pick up virtually everything. In most settings, a microphone that picks up sound from the front and isolates distant sounds provides a cleaner recording.
Also, it’s not uncommon to use one mic indoors and another outdoors. Trial and error are required depending on the recording situation. Be prepared to re-record audio like they do with ADR in Hollywood if any outdoor recording is too noisy.
A windsock on the microphone – known as a “dead cat” in industry circles – can block out a good amount of ambient wind sound. However, it can only do so much, and editing won’t help either.
Create a Recording Studio or Hire One
Depending on how often you’ll be producing marketing videos or others inside the business, it may be beneficial to create a mini-in-house recording studio. They require soundproofing and the right gear, but they’re not too difficult to set up.
Marketing videos can include audio-visual recording for YouTube, and audio recordings for advertising spots in audio-related apps or on the radio. This type of marketing is effective and affordable. If you want to create ads of this kind, know that it takes far less time than a video advertisement.
Decibel Ads now have a convenient platform to create ads. Customers can decide on the age range of the voice actor who’ll speak their ad copy. Alternatively, someone working for your company can record the ad using your recording equipment – either way works. Then the ad can be placed for promotion on music apps like SoundCloud and Spotify, and on rotation at chosen radio stations too.
When your business is based on outdoor products or travel where people expect to see outdoor visuals, then a marketing video might need to follow suit. In which case, having an action camera like a GoPro or similar is a good idea. Rather than toting around a heavy DSLR camera and regretting the decision halfway up the hillside to the picturesque spot, a tiny action camera can be a blessing. Many are now 60fps or higher and capture up to 4G video too. Some are waterproof and can keep shooting in light rain or even underwater.
A steady shot is essential for all videos unless you’re a whitewater rafting company trying to capture the river experience in the raft. And even then, don’t give viewers vertigo! Multiple tripods are required to handle various scenarios from different perspectives. A distance shot and a close-up one can provide enough interesting clips to create powerful marketing videos.
Gimbal for Smartphone Video
If you’re using a smartphone for some video shots where either the ground is uneven or there’s insufficient space for a tripod, then you’ll need a gimbal. These are motorized cameras or phone holders that use a sophisticated system which maintains the camera/phone at the same level even when it’s being held unsteadily. Walking and talking videos can be produced without it seeming jerky.
While image stabilization features in video editing software can help to smooth out the video, they’re not miracle workers! Using a gimbal for either indoor or outdoor shots is the closest thing you can get to a Steadicam on a budget.
Lighting: Softbox or Umbrella
The one thing you notice immediately when viewing digitally recorded footage is how dark it is when relying on natural light. While a photo may come out looking fine, a video sadly won’t. Occasional outdoor video shoots at the perfect time of day could be ideal, but conditions will rarely cooperate like this. Instead, you’ll need powered lighting sources.
A row of overhead lighting probably isn’t in your future unless your budget is extensive. In which case, you’ll need either a softbox or an umbrella lighting arrangement. The softbox is on a stand and projects light towards multiple objects or people to illuminate them for the camera. The umbrella light is less expensive but can provide a similar solution for one person on camera.
Video Editing Software
Video editing software like Adobe Premiere Elements or another package can handle a series of video clips adroitly. It allows the editing out of all the unintentional breaks in conversation that get interspersed with natural speech.
While basic video editors like Apple iMovie are useable to some degree, any business serious about producing marketing videos will quickly feel restricted. Instead, pick a professional editing suite and learn to get the most out of it.
Fortunately, there isn’t a huge amount of equipment needed to produce professional marketing videos or audio clips for that matter. Having a quiet place to record is essential though; don’t expect to filter out all the ambient noise. Also, expect quality lighting to be important to capture the best images using a high-quality camera setup. Editing suites are powerful, but they cannot easily fix dimly lit subjects or with a poor color balance without it being visually obvious. Get the gear right, and the videos will look immeasurably better.