How to Make a Video with your Smart Phone

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So you’re going to make a video to post on social media? Good decision. Video attracts more attention than text and stills so be brave and put yourself out there! You haven’t got the budget to get a production company in? Don’t panic. You can still make it work using your smart phone and get a great response. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Be clear on your message

Having good content is the most important thing. Why do we watch the videos we watch? Because they entertain or offer us valuable info. If the content is interesting, relevant and useful I for one will watch it, even if production quality isn’t completely up to scratch. One key message per video is usually best but you could offer 3 or 5 bullet points. Plan what you’re going to say and have a clear structure in your head. Keep it short – no more than 3 minutes.

2. You need good quality audio
Record audio separately if possible using a digital recorder and synch it up later when you edit. If this isn’t possible make sure there isn’t a lorry driving past, phones ringing or other distracting background noise. Hold the microphone as close to you as possible. People won’t watch your video if they can’t make out what you’re saying.

3. Stabilisation
It makes a huge difference if the camera is steady. You can get tripods, mounts and stands quite cheaply. Try Amazon.

4. Get the lighting right
Outdoors light works well if it isn’t too noisy. If you’re indoors stand/sit by the window with the light on your face so you don’t get shadows. Put the lights on and get an extra lamp if you need it.

5. Think about what’s in the background

What kind of look do you want to portray? Corporate? An office setting might work. Dress smart to match your environment and give the right impression. Or are you going for a more relaxed feel? Sit in a comfy chair or at the kitchen table with a mug of coffee in your hand. Avoid capturing logos in your shot – you don’t want to get into copyright trouble. Same thing goes for art work, photos, sculptures, etc.

6. Edit

Your smart phone gallery will have options to trim the video. There are all sorts of editing apps available to download which will help you add effects, titles, captions and music. Alternatively you could transfer your video file to your computer (via Dropbox or Google Plus, for example) and edit from there. PCs have Movie Maker and Macs give you iMovie.

Just a note on adding music – it’s worth putting some in the background. It keeps the video flowing and adds interest. But you’ve got to get the right piece that fits with your message. Choose from royalty free library music rather than commercial music which is complicated and expensive to clear. Editing programmes sometimes have some tracks you can or you can download stock audio online. Prices vary.

Create your own YouTube channel and upload your video. From there you can share your video on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter or whatever social media platform you are using. Invite comments and see what response you get. See what works and go from there.

Have fun and get creative and for more tips on making videos have a look at our resources page: http://buttonmedia.net/resources/

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