As reluctant as we may have been, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, everyone had to become a video star.
From birthday celebrations and first dates to business meetings and graduation ceremonies, people across the globe were forced to turn to video to collaborate and stay connected. But even with many social distancing restrictions thankfully loosening, the relevance and power of videos in sales and marketing — or what we call “The Visual Sale”— remains strong.
We’ve heard it for years, but now more than ever, the cliché is true: Adding video content into your marketing and sales process isn't just a "nice to have;” it’s a must have.
And this call to action can be intimidating for many. While creating engaging video content should be your top concern, production is high on that list as well, so the word “video” is often associated with a big price tag.
Businesses become worried about the costs of production, including buying video equipment, audio equipment, lighting equipment, video editing software, and hiring a videographer, among other things. How can they afford to create high quality videos?
But professional video doesn’t have to — and often shouldn’t — be an expensive financial endeavor, especially when it comes to sales.
Rest assured, you can look and sound great on video without breaking the bank, and in this article, we’ll give you a crash course in how by diving into:
Now, your first thought when investing in video marketing and sales may be, “We need the right camera!”
You very well can invest in a DSLR camera or another high quality camera, but in this article, we’ll assume you’re filming on your laptop, desktop computer, or smartphone — all of which are more than enough to produce high quality videos.
How to get great lighting for your sales videos
When you begin filming, you’ll quickly realize lighting can be the difference between your video content looking like a Hollywood-produced film and a “hostage” video.
When it comes to professional video in sales and marketing, you want to come off as positive, approachable, and inviting. Not only do you need to entice people to click and keep watching, but you also want to make sure they are paying attention to your message.
Bright, natural light helps accomplish this by making it easier for a viewer to see your subject’s face and expressions and creating an airy, positive ambiance. Dark or poor lighting, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect.
For great lighting on a limited budget, aim to have a natural light source across from your face (for example, a window or lamp behind the camera). However, you may also want to invest in some small equipment, such as a ring light or a three-point lighting kit to provide fill light and avoid harsh shadows. Many online retailers sell inexpensive lighting kits to help those making professional videos get set up with great lighting in a few seconds.
Want to avoid glare on your glasses? Try softening the lighting with tissue paper or an umbrella. More on that here.
What audio equipment and software you need
Like lighting, poor audio quality can distract viewers from actually paying attention to the message you deliver in your videos. High quality videos have sound quality that is crisp, clear, and free of background noise. If you’ve ever watched any of your own videos recorded from your phone or webcam, you’ve probably noticed that the audio quality was lacking.
To help improve your audio and video quality overall, use headphones with a built-in microphone, or consider using pillows and blankets to help with echoes. These techniques or noise-canceling through your headphones will also help muffle any distractions so you can focus.
You may also consider investing in an external recorder or mic that can be clipped to your shirt. This sound will be recorded separate from your raw footage, but it will also be more crisp and clear.
Krisp.ai is a great app that can help cut out background noise (and is very popular among our team).
How to frame your best shot
More than likely in your sales video, you should be the focus. You want to make sure that you project camera presence every time you make a video. With this in mind, try to keep your camera at about waist or chest height. This a great height to create the impression of an intimate conversation, but still allow for people to see your hand gestures and body language.
Small tools like a laptop stand or tripod can help accomplish this, but you can also consider simply placing your camera on top of a stack of books or sitting on pillows to raise yourself up as Myriah did in this talk.
With pillows vs. without.
You’ll also want to place yourself in the center of the frame, unless you’re presenting content on the screen simultaneously.
Regardless of the option you choose, make sure your laptop or mobile device is level and steady. Shaky footage can be as distracting as poor audio or video quality.
How to sound great without using a script
Have key talking points you need to cover in your video? While you don’t want to look or sound like you’re reading off a script in a professional video, it’s good to have notes handy to keep track of what you need to say. Great videos flow naturally, but that doesn’t mean the speaker was flying off the cuff or memorized their points.
Try having a Google Doc open with bullet points of your topics or simply writing them out on a sticky note that you stick on your camera or laptop so they can’t be missed. Video tools such as Vidyard also have built-in note functions so you aren’t fumbling with multiple windows or tools.
(And even if you do fumble, don’t worry. When you’re finished recording, that can usually be fixed with the help of video editing programs.)
Setting up a background
Like lighting and audio quality, your background can either enhance or detract from the message of your sales videos. Again, you want the viewer to be focused on you and what you are saying, not distracted by the pile of clothing on your bed or the bright red cereal box on top of your refrigerator. (All very real possibilities if your home has become your office in the past year.)
A good rule of thumb in any situation is to pick a simple, clean background. Try using a plain wall or something uniform like a bookcase or area with framed photos. You can also hang a sheet behind you or buy a simple backdrop. Simple backgrounds are also the easiest to light, helping ensure that you produce professional looking videos without having to fuss too much.
Picking video editing software and more
After filming, post production is where you perfect your videos. For personalized 1-1 videos, this likely won’t come into play frequently, but should you like to have one on hand, the gold standard is Adobe Premiere Pro. There are also plenty of free editing software packages that you can use to get started.