How to shoot amazing videos with just your phone

28 August 2020

By Graeme Cook

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Countless research points to video being the number one way to engage with your internal and external audiences.

For instance, when both video and text are available, it’s said 72% of us would rather use the former to learn about a product or service.

However, even though we’re consuming more videos than ever before, for most people it’s not their go-to channel when delivering an important message.

And even if you’ve questioned whether you should be filming more videos, the doubts and concerns can be endless:

The list goes on…

However, you’ll be shocked at the results you can get with a piece of tech you probably already own… your smartphone.

So, here are a few tips, tricks and fairly inexpensive add-ons that’ll turn your amateurish, shaky, selfie-style efforts into quality, punchy and engaging content to be proud of.

 

1 Use the rear-facing camera 

It’s tempting to see yourself when filming, but try and refrain for two reasons. Firstly, front-facing cameras generally lack the quality when compared to those on the back; and secondly, your eyes may start to drift across to how you’re looking and away from the lens… this subtle eye movement means you won’t connect with your audience in the same way.

 

2 Light it up

One of the most common offenders for poor quality videos is bad lightning. Smartphones will adjust to their environment, but they need help, so work with your surroundings and make the most of our best light source, the sun. Facing a window or going outside are simple solutions, but if you’re in a windowless room or it’s nighttime,  you may want to invest in a portable LED ring light, which you can pick up for around £20. It’s a small investment, but makes a big difference.

 

3 Invest in a tripod

We’ve all tried balancing a phone on stacked books, but getting that perfect (most flattering) position is nigh-on-impossible.  That’s why a good old fashioned camera tripod, with a smartphone mount adapter (which you can pick up for around £30 all in), is a brilliant, budget-friendly solution. This allows you to film smooth video at the right height and angle with no hassle.

 

4 Get your sound right 

Sound is just as important as picture quality, so don’t take shortcuts with it. Built in camera mics are never ideal, but if it’s all you have, find a quiet spot and get as near to the phone as possible without it negatively affecting the look of the shot. However, lapel or shotgun microphones are total gamechangers, and should only set you back around £20, along with a £10 TRS-to-TRRS adapter (which is needed for the mics to work with your smartphone). This set-up will let you achieve clean, natural sounding audio.

 

5 Download a free editing app

To make sure your finished product looks professional, with cool transitions, filters, music, captions and subtitles, as well as making sure your excess “ums”, “ahs” and slip-ups are left on the cutting room floor, you’ll probably need an expert video editor, right? Wrong! You’ll be amazed at what you’ll achieve yourself with a free third-party mobile app. Plus, this also means you can stumble your way through a script, doing multiple takes of the same sentences, and then simply splice the best versions together. The likes of InShot and Magisto are extremely user-friendly, so download one now, have a go and unleash your inner Spielberg!

 

So, in conclusion…

Understanding the benefits of using video is crucial to building long-lasting strategies that drive colleague and client engagement, and the best camera for filming your messages is the one you have now, and for most of us, it’s a smartphone.

You’ll still need to bring in the experts when it’s time to create business-wide or promotional videos, but when it comes to your personal day-to-day communications, you’re missing a trick not using videos.

Our advice? Don’t wait, start experimenting now and instead of the standard email or presentation, send your colleagues and clients a homemade video this week.

Globally, video traffic will make up 80% of all consumer internet traffic next year, according to Cisco. Are you engaging your colleagues with branded video? If not, EXIMIA can help you get started. #ChallengeTheProcess

 

Graeme Cook

Head of Communications

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