Updated: Aug 29
If you feel like shooting a video is a pain in the ass, you’re not alone. Especially when you're creating video marketing content on a budget.
I don’t think creating a video is easy, like how many tips and tricks out there would say. But I guarantee you it is do-able even if you’re shooting a video as a solopreneur like myself. This article is particularly helpful for those hoping to create Youtube content as a beginner.
What is video content?
Video content is any type of content that is created in video format. This can include promotional videos, educational videos, vlogs, webinars, and more. Video content is an effective way to engage with your target audience and can help you convey your brand's message in a more compelling and memorable way.
Effective video content creation requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a clear understanding of your target audience. By following the 10 steps outlined in this post, you can create high-quality video content that engages your audience, promotes your brand, and achieves your marketing goals.
But first of all, why are you shooting video as a solopreneur?
Consider why other businesses and marketers are investing in video in 2023:
Here, I’ll guide you through all of the steps from shooting to distributing online, with first-hand details that one would easily miss.
Recommended Tools List:
Make your videos awesome - ProductionCrate
Make your videos awesome - ProductionCrate
Create videos for free - ssemble
1. Have a picture of what you like to shoot, but with all your restrictions in mind
We’re all working with a budget, so it is unrealistic for me to tell you to think of all the things you want to shoot and then get the required gear. Instead, I would tell you to think about your surroundings, the cost of the gears you can afford, and most importantly, what you are capable of doing without getting furious or agitated.
Personally speaking, I hate having to dress up for videos, and I don’t prefer having to put on a lot of makeup, so I would not do any videos standing up and would shoot in a casual setting, like my bedroom. These are very important details because you will only be patient enough to get through the whole video creating process if you don’t hate doing what you’re doing. This also helps clarify to yourself what kind of video you are capable of creating.
Special note - What kind of content should I create for Youtube?
2. Get versatile gears
I have purchased various handheld video recorders in the past, some with flashy functions like the fisheye, others with different filters, and the likes. However, I always end up using my iPhone. This idea is the same when you are buying other gears like the tripod or the microphone. My advice to you is don't buy anything that is too professional or too specific for achieving a certain look. Instead, buy something more generic and versatile.
I’ve purchased a bundle set from moment two years ago, which included a simple but durable tripod and a microphone that I also use for my podcast and other recordings. This not only saves you money, but it also makes the investment more worthwhile as it is likely that you can use these gears on other projects.
3. Write a script
If you are shooting a talking-head video or any other videos that require you to speak a lot in front of the camera, write a script. This is particularly important if you're creating video content for marketing. It ensures all the details and information are included, and the transcript can be repurposed into other content in the future.
If your video is moodier and features you in action, write or sketch down the things you would do in the form of a storyboard. This is important for editing purposes, which I will go through afterward.
4. Be lit!
For a simple video, I’m not too concerned about the background. As long as it looks neat and clean, it’s alright. However, your shooting space must be well lit. This makes it appear more professional and makes any editing afterward easier.
5. Always. Shoot. Wide.
People did not have to worry too much about cropping before social media, but this is key in creating any video content now. My advice to you is to always shoot with a lot of blank space in your frame, as this is the only way you can crop your video for different formats on different platforms later on.
While a square crop is the safest, being able to crop your footage into a vertical format is also very important. If I am shooting a long-format video, I will always shoot it in a wide horizontal frame because this type of content is suitable for platforms like Youtube and Facebook. I can then trim a teaser from it in a square crop and share it on Instagram. But if I’m shooting a fun short video, I will shoot vertical and have the vertical frame be trimmed shorter for posting on Facebook.
6. Shoot and leave the camera rolling
One of the things a lot of people do is shoot and stop when they do something wrong. For me, however, unless you are aiming for a one-shot production, I would recommend you to leave the camera rolling.
When you make a mistake, just take a deep breath and do it again. This ensures a more consistent flow of your tone and voice and that you won’t accidentally knock your camera out of place when you press stop. You also won't end up with a dozen shots in your camera after the shoot.
7. Watch all of your recordings before you move on
You might feel like the shooting went well, but you won’t spot the small-expression glitches or hear your slight mumbles unless you watch the video yourself. Being familiar with what you have shot also makes the editing process much quicker.
8. Time to edit!
I love editing straight on my phone, and I use the Inshot app for all my video edits. The best part about Inshot is its ability to crop, zoom, add backgrounds, remove audio, and add free music. Many other functions on there are also super useful, such as importing various clips and adding transitions, so do play around with it.
But if you’ve shot like how I recommended in step 6, you’ll find yourself simply importing one clip, splitting and deleting parts you don’t want from the same clip, and easily seeing how it flows.
9. Tune your colors, it makes a difference
Unless there is a signature warm vibe to your branding, I find that it is always useful to tune your videos slightly blue to make your footage clearer and with better contrast. Under warm lighting, you’ll find that your whites are cream and your blacks are brown. For those who haven’t played around with this, simply tune your video so that the white looks white and the black looks black.
10. Here is where your script comes in handy
Now that you have exported your video, you are ready for uploading. With every uploading, there should be the option for subtitles. For example, Facebook offers automatic subtitles, but their subtitles often need polishing up. If you have your script, then this is where you can easily input that instead of checking word for word.
You should also find that you can pull out parts from your script and string them back together into a copy to go with your video content. You can inject them as ideas or even quotes, making your copy all the more engaging. Not to mention, label your videos in chapters in your description box. Even if you don’t have specific markers, pull out things from your script and mark them with a time code for your audiences to follow or skip. This detail makes your video much more pleasant and user friendly to watch.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought to yourself, “this is way too much work” after you read all of the ten steps, but does that mean you can’t produce video content? No!
Apart from doing much shorter materials such as time-lapse, boomerangs, or stories, you can look into using video generating templates on wix.com. My brand video was made with that too, and it was just by a simple click.
The point is, video content is a very honest kind of content - what you put in is what you get. We must understand that, whether you like it or not, video is the future of content marketing.
I would suggest you build your asset library to save the stress of gathering footage when creating a video. Take a video of the people passing at a coffee shop, shoot footage of yourself during your staycation. Of course, you can also always look through stock footage on platforms like canva if you're looking for something specific that you can't get yourself. Just make sure when you do need to create a video, you already have footages to work with.
Looking for help specifically on how to create and use reels?
This is the biggest tip I can ever give anyone because this is the most helpful habit for all of my previous jobs, when I was a viral video producer, and now when I do content marketing on Youtube. If you're interested to learn more about using Youtube videos to improve your online presence, Headway Capital has created an amazing infographic you can access below.
11. Bonus! How can you attract social media users to share your video content online?
Video marketing doesn't stop after the video is made.
In fact, the process has just started. Here are some ideas for you to start distributing your video content:
1. Create engaging and interesting content that users will want to share with their friends and followers.
2. Leverage influencers and celebrities to promote your video content.
3. Use social media networks strategically to target specific users who may be interested in your content.
4. Use hashtags to increase visibility and reach a wider audience.
5. Ask your followers to share the content with their friends and followers.
6. Offer incentives, such as discounts or freebies, for people who share your content.
7. Link to your content on other websites and blogs to increase visibility.
8. Use visuals and videos to grab users’ attention.
9. Create contests and polls to encourage users to engage with your content.
10. Create a link to your content in your email signature.