September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.
This article was last updated September 22, 2022.
Cisco recently stated that online videos will make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic. So where are you in your video journey and what is it that you are doing to claim your part of this amazing marketing opportunity?
Video is not that hard if you have the right tools and mindset to produce good content. The value of quality video content is rising every day.
Whether you’re wanting to get started or you’re an established video content creator, this article will share the tools needed to take your video production to the next level.
The quality of your video is directly proportional to the camera you use. The following are a couple of options available.
Your phone’s camera
The quality of video production from your phone’s camera is dramatically better than it was just a few years ago. The camera on our phone is probably better than any technology that was available just five years ago. I personally use my iPhone for videos on the fly and it is more than adequate for 90 percent of our video content.
If you’re just starting out, start with the camera on your phone.
Sony A7III W/ 18-105MM Lens
If you are looking to enhance your video quality, we use the Sony A7III with a 18-105MM lens. The main camera is important but the lens you use can create unique opportunities for enhancements like blurred backgrounds, wide-angle views and crisp, clean visual effects. The set up we use costs about $3,000. We have been very pleased with this setup and the versatility it has provided.
Your lighting can make or break the visual attractiveness of your videos. Here are a few tips and tools we use.
Start with natural lighting
If you’re just starting out, use natural lighting whenever possible. Focus on shooting with the natural lighting from windows or sunlight by facing the light. When the natural lighting is behind you it can lead to shadows or overblown backgrounds. Face the window or source of natural light and that will solve most lighting issues.
Selfie ring light
The selfie ring light is not just a tool for teenage TikTokers. A ring light is a donut-shaped light that is on an adjustable stand providing the ability to adjust the height of the light. This offers the ability to adjust the brightness of the light according to your needs.
We’ve all probably seen videos where you can see the ring light in someone’s glasses. A pro tip is to place the ring light slightly above the height of your face or eye level and angle the light down on you. This will eliminate the glare and provide the lighting you desire.
Ring lights are lightweight and easy to use in most places. With a cost on Amazon from $50-$100, they are a great way to make sure your lighting is on point.
The quality of your audio will impact whether someone decides to watch your video all the way through or quickly move on.
Saramonic Blink 500 Wireless Lavalier Mic
If you’re looking for a wireless lavalier mic set, we’ve found the Saramonic Blink 500 wireless lavalier mic set to be exactly what we needed. It comes with two mics, making it great for interviewing or having two people on a video at a time. The cost is around $250 – $300 and the quality for this price is outstanding.
Sennheiser MKE 600 With Boom Mic Setup
When we were looking for a studio-quality mic that we could use in a controlled environment we decided on the Sennheiser MKE 600 with a boom mic setup. With the boom extension, the mic stand, and the microphone, the cost for us was around $500. This has been a great investment for the videos where we wanted the best audio available.
Editing and Production Enhancements
The editing process, including some production enhancements, can be the difference between a good video and a great video. Here are a few of our favorite tools and websites for enhancements.
Fiverr.com for intro and outro bumpers
An intro bumper is a quick, branded animation or series of shots that presents a sleek and professional transition between the video intro and the main portion of the video. An outro bumper is a branded animation that is utilized at the end of the video to add professionalism and consistent branding to your content.
Sites like Fiverr.com have designers that can animate your logo for intro or outro bumpers starting at $5. If you’re looking for a great way to add professionalism to your video content, these branded bumpers are a great place to start.
If you’re an Apple user, iMovie is a great, free video editing software. Some of the editing tools are a little basic, but easy to use. If you aren’t sure how to get started, simply search on YouTube for videos with topics like, “how to edit videos using iMovie.”
Camtasia is an editing software I used when I first started editing video on my PC. It does have a version for Macs as well. This editing software comes with several easy-to-use editing features, and it was a great software for me when I started my video journey. The program costs about $300 and it’s a great value for what you get.
Adobe Premiere Pro
This is the software we currently use to edit our videos. It contains a number of professional features that we had trouble finding with other editing software options. The cost is around $240 per year and they are constantly updating the program with new features.
If you are looking for the best value for best-of-breed editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro is a great choice.
All these tools can help you create higher quality video content. But our desire for perfection can oftentimes keep us from progressing. Remember that you don’t need top-of-the-line equipment to shoot video content that connects with your ideal client. Shoot, edit and share. As you grow your following, invest in better equipment.
This is your year to take your video marketing to the next level and the time to start is now.