Video has always been useful when it comes to communicating with our teams and supporters and bringing stories to life, but the pandemic has dialed up its already vital role. Lockdown and social distancing mean video is now the only way for us to get important facetime with our community.
Although the government has listed professional filming as exempt from current lockdown restrictions, knowing how to film your own content is a useful skill for any business – and something we’ve been working on over the course of the year.
We’re lucky to be partnered with Capital Content, a digital agency specialising in social-first storytelling. At the start of the first lockdown in March, they gave us some great tips for shooting our own content that we thought you might find useful as we enter lockdown 2.0.
- Use your phone
Think you need to spend a ton of money on a professional level camera? Think again. Most of us are walking around with a 4K camera in our pockets right now – we just need to know how to use it. Before you get started, check your phone’s settings to make sure you’re capturing the highest resolution footage possible. Ideally, you want to shoot in 4K, but 1080p is fine too.
- Get in position
Position your phone at eye level with the light in front of you. Natural light is best, so sit by a window if you can. It’s also important to rotate your phone the right way for your content – horizontal videos sit well on your feed, but choose portrait for Instagram stories or Tik Toks.
- Use rear-facing camera
We all like looking at ourselves, but the quality is far better on the rear-facing camera – so save the selfies for another time.
- Mix up your shots
A simple ‘point and shoot’ approach will help you create some relatable, engaging content, but it doesn’t hurt to add in more creative, inventive footage from time to time. Adding ‘b-roll’ gives context to what you’re saying in your video; we’re talking about the action shots that show you or your product in action. And if you’re feeling confident, there’s also hyperlapse, timelapse and slow motion.
- Invest in some equipment
Although a professional camera isn’t necessary, if you want to take your content up a notch, there are a couple of items you can order relatively cheaply online:
- Lapel mic – The difference between good and bad video is audio, so plug one of these into your phone when filming.
- Tripod – This will help you get the right angle and position without having to prop your phone precariously on a pile of books.
- External battery – Don’t risk your phone turning off half way through a take!
Know when to ask for help
The tips above helped us film a lot of the content you’ve seen during lockdown. When it came to editing, however, we handed over to Capital Content, saving us time to focus on other priorities. Now that professional filming is allowed, we’ll be using Capital Content to professionally produce content again – but we’ll keep using the skills we learned over lockdown and continue to shoot our own footage too.
For more tips on content creation, including how to edit and distribute your own content, Capital Content, has produced an online video course covering all the basics. They’ll take you through everything you need to know to create social-first video that engages your followers and drives action.
If you run your own business or you’re a marketer thinking about adding video content into your strategy, Gary and the team at Capital Content are offering free 30 minute strategy sessions over Zoom all through lockdown.
To book your slot, just click here.