Making Digital Video for Your New Business
Creating digital video for your website need not be an expensive endeavor. In fact, you can probably do it yourself. If you do decide to produce the videos for your online business presence you will learn a LOT and it will be knowledge you can use for years to do it again and again.
Video is quickly becoming the preferred media for showing website visitors important facts. Branding your business is easy with video – because you can re-shoot a hundred times if you want until you get exactly the right tone and style you think accurately depicts your business.
Creating digital video for your new business need not be expensive. If you have a digital video camera right now you can give it a shot. I’ll list the basic steps below, with some tips for creating high quality video for internet use.
1. Create a spreadsheet (Excel sheet, or Google Apps spreadsheet) and outline your video.
Some Important considerations:
- Length of video
- Size of video on the website – large videos mean big files. Ours on this site is only 300pixels wide. Is that big enough?
- Where will you host the video? We use YouTube because it’s free and because they are the 2nd most used search engine online – even beating Yahoo. Other people interested in incorporation can find our video there and visit our site because we have links to it in the video and description.
- What will “talent” wear?
- Where will you shoot? Is lighting excellent?
2. Once you have an outline of what you need to consider shoot the video. The format your video camera uses will likely be either .avi or .mpg. There are camcorders which record video in .mp4 and other formats. If your digital video camcorder shoots .mp4 you’re in luck – you can upload that directly to YouTube if you don’t make a file over 1GB in size.
3. Edit your video. Add titles to the beginning and end. Consider adding some titles throughout the video if they can help explain something. If you use charts – beware of small characters and lines because when video is compressed it destroys the fine details. I use Windows Movie Maker for many of the videos I create. If you’re just starting out you should too. It creates great movies and allows some manipulation of the effects, transitions, and even brightness and speed of your videos. It’s quite intuitive and easy to learn. Spend some time and learn this program. You’ll have fun doing so.
4. Once you put the movie together in the timeline in Movie Maker you can ask a friend to preview it and see what they think. Often times your own assessment about what looks good is skewed. Get some other opinions.
5. When you create your file make it as large as you can – and as large as you can stomach uploading. For me – files of 250MB and larger are difficult to do because I don’t have access to a very fast internet connection. If you do – 1GB won’t seem like a pain and that will be your max because as of today – YouTube’s max is 1GB unless you’re in their partner program. I usually use 640×480 size video with a bit rate at “high quality” custom setting in Movie Maker. This is about 4000 bits per second and is a good quality video that YouTube renders nicely – and gives you the “HQ” button for High Quality viewing so anyone can see the video in higher definition.
6. After you’ve finished uploading to YouTube play the file there and grab the “embed code” that is just to the right of the video. Choose the asterisks looking icon to the right of the embed code option so you can choose the size of the video window you’ll put on your site. And, if it’s not the right size – you can edit that embed code to make it smaller. For our business videos we use 300 wide by 250 high settings and it works well.
7. Embed the code in your website.
8. Use Twitter, Facebook, and other places to tell others about your new movie. Try to get some feedback. You might need to change parts of the video. If you’ve saved your video project in Movie Maker you’ll be able to edit it easily – replacing clips, titles, and transitions easily before you rebuild the video.
9. Go back to YouTube and add “Annotations” which is text on top of your video in which you can put hyperlinks leading to your website. This is a good way to bring more visitors to your site.
10. Do it again! You’ll get better with practice…