Tips on shooting marketing videos for business

It used to be the case that making a video to promote your business required a lot of extra cash, access to a studio, a production crew, and premium payment for airtime. In the 21st century, however, just about everyone carries a video recorder and editing suite in their pocket. And getting your video out into the world is as simple as uploading it to YouTube, although targeted placement is still a good idea.

But with such ubiquitous public access to production tools comes a glut of content, from film trailers and product commercials to funny cat videos and hilarious edits of pop culture clips. Question is, how do you stand apart from the crowd?

More companies are now shooting marketing videos for business purposes, including recruitment videos to attract new talent. Some companies are even using video job descriptions to bring their written job postings to life. Whether your company videos will be posted on YouTube, Instagram, or even traditional television, it’s important to pay attention to the details in order to create a professional look. The following business video tips will help you get there.

Prepare properly

Before you yell “action!” you need to take some time to prepare. This preproduction phase of the shoot typically takes longer than the actual filming, but it’s critical to a successful video. Common preproduction steps include the following:

  • Storyboard/Script – Don’t wing it, but provide a script for everyone’s lines and actions (or “blocking”). A storyboard, which provides a shot-by-shot illustration of the production, helps those involved visualize the scene(s) from start to finish.
  • Prepare your subjects – This may sound obvious, but chances are you’re not using professional actors. Let them know what you’re expectations are, your vision for the finished product, and how they should carry themselves.
  • Will you need B-roll footage? Any footage that isn’t the primary shot (for instance, a shot of an erupting volcano) is referred to as B-roll footage. Make sure you have access to this footage, much of which is available from stock footage providers, and decide what you’re using (and how) before you start shooting.

Learn the basics of production

Now that you have your script and storyboard in everyone’s hands, a time and location for the shoot, and your general plan in place, it’s time to shoot. Marketing videos for business won’t be eligible for Oscars, so don’t have unrealistic expectations or spend too many resources making it perfect. However, there are some ways to get the best out of everyone:

  • Composition – You’ll want to learn about the “Rule of Thirds,” in which the scene is divided by two horizontal lines and two vertical lines (creating four intersections). For effective visuals, place points of interest (faces, etc.) along one of the four intersections.
  • Lighting – The wrong lighting can tarnish all your other hard work, so you want to get it right. For instance, you want to avoid conflicts between artificial and natural light and make sure your light source is consistent (such as avoiding rooms with windows when shooting indoors).
  • Sound – What are the acoustics like in your chosen set location? Echoes are virtually impossible to overcome (unless you’re going for an echo effect for some reason). Be sure you have the microphone(s) you need and that they’re set up properly. If you’re filming one or more people simply talking to the camera, it may be worth it to get access to a soundproof room.
  • Multiple takes – Don’t be afraid to reshoot your scene(s), especially if it’s not that simple to get everyone together on location in the future. Maybe even prepare several different versions or styles, since you may change your mind or get inspired for a new direction once you’re in post-production.

Be camera-ready

You don’t need a degree from Julliard to successfully take part in your company’s marketing video, but attention to a few key details can make all the difference. The following tips will help you be camera-ready on the day of shooting:

  • Relax – Relax your face and the rest of your body, making sure you’re not scrunching your shoulders, fidgeting with your hands, or rocking back and forth. We’re not always aware of our nervous ticks, so make a conscious effort to notice these things before shooting.
  • Mind your breath – Almost as if you’re doing yoga, take deep and slow breaths that will help you relax and slow down.
  • Use proper posture – One trick is to stand with your back against the wall, and then slowly walk away from the wall while keeping your posture intact.
  • If in doubt, overemphasize – This is a performance, not your day-to-day routine, and the camera will respond better to clear enunciation, somewhat exaggerated gestures, good volume, etc.
  • Be concise – Remember, most promotional videos are about 30 seconds to a minute or so. You want to get your point across early and in the most concise manner possible.
  • Be comfortable – Drink plenty of water, wear comfortable clothes, and be as relaxed as possible. If it’s warm, turn on the air conditioning. If you’re nervous, do some breathing exercises.

Put on the finishing touches

Once your marketing video is in the can, you’ll need to go back and tidy it up in post-production, typically with the help of available video editing software. There is a wide range of options and corresponding price points, but your company may already have image and video editing software as part of a larger creative software suite.

And while it may be tempting to throw every single special effect and graphic at your video, it may ultimately cheapen the final product. Focus on simplicity and minimalism so the subject of your video takes center stage. Similarly, make sure your backing music (if applicable) doesn’t detract from your video or conflict with your branding goals.

Need more help with marketing and recruitment?

As these tips suggest, focusing on the little things will help you attain your larger goals when it comes to marketing videos for business. If you want to take your recruitment efforts to the next level, we’re ready to help. Stay connected with Monster and we’ll provide you with free access to the latest recruiting resources, from job market insights to hiring strategies for your industry.