03.08.20165 min read

Shoot Great Marketing Videos with your iPhone

BambooHR, recently shared some valuable data about the impact of video: they’ve found that emails containing “video” in the subject line outperformed all other subject-line keywords. Plus, the emails containing video generate outsized clickthrough rates.

Brenton comments: “I've seen video links outperform links to our most popular content downloads by more than 65 percent.” Video has increased engagement with their product and messaging. We’ve seen a similar impact with our own video efforts at Wistia. Director of Marketing Ezra Fishman shared the results of an A/B test, involving different calls-to-action within an email campaign: This test showed that video calls-to-action result in click-through rates that are 300 percent higher than click-through rates for other CTAs in emails.

Fishman notes that “videos are generally easy to consume, which makes them appealing for email recipients, particularly those on mobile devices. A video thumbnail is also just an attention grabbing element, helping to drive clicks and increase engagement.”

The data is clear: video is a powerful tool.

Use the camera you own for your marketing videos

Getting started with video can feel daunting at times. Many people believe that they need a fancy camera and expertise with professional editing software. In fact, you can make a highly effective video using the camera you have in your pocket right now. We’ve seen lots of people make great-looking videos using their smartphones. Shooting great marketing videos with your iPhone.

Nearly all smartphones shoot HD video, and the footage you get with them is pretty terrific. Here are some tactical pointers to get you started:

If you’re going to shoot a video on your iPhone, Android, or other smartphone, keep in mind these five simple rules:

1. Shoot horizontally

This will make for the best experience when your video is done. Most people view videos on wide screens (televisions, computer monitors, iPads), so you should maximize their experience by holding your phone sideways. If you hold your phone vertically, you’ll have to later edit and crop it, giving up pixels and making the video less sharp.

2. Stabilize your smartphone

Use a tripod, or even stabilize on top of another object. Our in-house video expert, Chris Lavigne, recommends the JOBY griptight. There’s nothing more distracting than shaky video! Some editing software has stabilization features, but they aren't perfect, so try to use a tripod as much as possible.

3. Create good lighting

One of the cheapest, easiest ways to make your video look professional is good lighting. Shadows on your subject’s face can make nearly any video look amateur. If your subject appears tired and drawn, even the most passionate message can fall flat. Make sure he or she is as well lit as possible, and use a little bit of light behind the subject as well to create depth.

4. Capture clear sound

Your message is paramount, so be sure that it comes through loud and clear. We recommend using an external mic, rather than the one built into your camera or iPhone. And be sure that your message isn’t diluted by other background noises. Even quiet noises (like air conditioners or printers) can be distracting. Try to find a room with minimal background noise and, ideally, with carpeting on the floor. The more soft surfaces you have in your shooting space, the fewer echoes you’ll get.

5. Don’t zoom in with an iPhone

If you’re zooming in, the result will be grainy. You’ll giving up valuable pixels, making the end result less sharp. If you want to get a closer shot of your subject, move the phone or tripod closer in.

As you can see, great video doesn’t require lots of expensive gear. Don’t create additional hurdles for yourself. Buying a fancy new camera will only make the process harder, since it’ll take you a while to get comfortable with it. And you might find that the final product isn’t even that different from what you can shoot right now! Instead, get started with the gear you’re probably carrying in your pocket right now. Really, all you need is some helpful, friendly content, presented in a genuine way.

This is why BambooHR has found such great success with video. They put their message front and center, communicating their mission, (HR software should be easy to use, intuitive, and affordable), as well as helpful information. They know the issues faced by HR professionals, and they create their video content around these issues. This yields more sales, but it also helps them with recruiting, hiring, and brand development.

Just get started and iterate

If you take only one thing away from this post, it should be this: just get started and put something out there. I can almost guarantee that your first video isn’t going to be perfect. But it’s going to be a terrific learning experience that leads to an even better second video. By looking at the video analytics and viewer feedback, you’ll have a clearer idea about how to make your subsequent videos more effective.

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