Everyone has a smartphone and everyone loves video so its never been a better time to start using your smartphone to create video content for your Facebook page or other social media networks. Video is a great way to engage with fans, share important news and advertise new products. Yet, a lot of people are still apprehensive about being in front of the camera. Our quick and practical guide below will help you conquer those fears and create video content that generates engagement!
1) Always use the rear camera
This may seem obvious but a lot of people still make this mistake. The rear camera of your phone is on average at least twice as good as the one on the front. If you want a decent and quality finish then make sure to use your rear camera and remember, the front camera is great for selfies but that’s about it!
2) Good lighting is key
Good lighting, especially on a smartphone, is crucial. This is partly due to smartphones having smaller image sensors and lenses than what you would find on a dedicated camcorder or SLR. Natural light works best but if that’s not possible try to have as many light sources as possible if indoors. Another important aspect is that light sources should come from behind the camera to avoid overexposure and lens flare, any light source in front of the camera is going to ruin your footage!
3) Keep it steady
Keeping your camera or smartphone steady is crucial, especially on smartphones as they aren’t able stabilise the image as quickly as a proper camera. You can try holding the phone but for best results use a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod then improvise! Using simple household items you can create a sturdy tripod for your phone. For example, using some elastic bands and a plastic bottle you can create a homemade tripod. How? fill up the bottle first of all so its sturdy, then use the elastic band to wrap both ends of the phone around the bottle. If you have a tripod for a camera, then get this out, attach the camera as per normal and then using elastic bands attach your smartphone to the flat side of the camera.
4) Get a good angle
You should place the camera angle at or above shoulder height. If you are standing then your shoulders should be near the middle of the screen and your waist towards the bottom. If you are sitting make sure you sit at a desk or table, this also doubles up as a flat surface on which to place your smartphone. When you are sitting remember not to slouch and keep your back straight as this affects how you come across on screen.
5) Speak clearly (and smile!)
It is VERY important that you know what you are going to talk about before you start talking! Its very easy to turn the camera on and your mind to go blank – umming and erring will not create the results you hope for. Take 10-15 minutes to write down a short draft of your speech, use bullet points and make sure you structure your speech so points follow each other and make sense. It is also very important to remember the call to action of your video so if you are presenting a new product, speak about the product. Don’t deviate from the subject as this will not create value for the viewer and they will likely switch off!
Finally, it may be obvious but easy to forget, SMILE. Smiling makes you look friendly and confident, it helps to reassure the viewer too and will make a world of difference to how you come across.
6) Landscape or portrait?
A lot of videographers will tell you that shooting video in portrait mode is a cardinal sin. This is not always the case and what you need to consider is what you are filming and where you plan to post the video. For example, if you are filming a promotional video where you will be filming yourself and that video is going on Facebook and Instagram than there’s very little point in using landscape, stick to portrait and be mindful that Instagram especially will crop your video to a 1:1 aspect ration (it will be square). This format will look best when viewed on a mobile device. If that’s your target audience then makes it easy for them. That being said, filming in Landscape mode will look good on all devices and on big screens too so again, it’s about where you plan to post the video.
7) You are not a robot!
Act as if you are speaking to another person, speak as you normally would and avoid having a monotone, in other words, pretend the camera isn’t there and relax! This is not easy at first but with practice, you will get used to it. Also, remember to look directly at the lens so it gives the impression you are making eye contact with the viewer. Looking at your phone in general (or the screen, if you haven’t paid attention first point) will give the impression you are looking in a different direction. Other things to do to mitigate the robot effect is to use hand gestures, shift your weight, use humour and use your face to emphasize your words.