Video content is in ever-increasing demand. 86% of marketing professionals are using video as a marketing tool, and it’s cited as the favorite type of content that people like to see from brands on social media.
With platforms like TikTok taking off over the last few years, it’s clear that there’s an appetite for short-form, easily-digestible video content, and B2B needs to get on board and embrace this popular form of marketing.
Even if you think you operate in a “boring” industry, there’s plenty that can be done with video. Whether it’s educational/instructional content to help users with your products, reviews from trusted sources, or behind-the-scenes looks at the day-to-day business operations, video can be leveraged in so many ways to help connect your brand to your audience, build trust and boost revenue. Take a look at our previous article about types of B2B video content for some inspiration.
But if you’re new to video marketing, take a look at our top tips for getting started, looking at everything from lighting to editing so you can create the perfect video content for your B2B brand.
Lighting is essential for filming and can make a huge difference to the quality of the finished product. Natural light is a great lighting source for videos, so it’s best to film your footage in the morning or evening when the light is at its softest (midday sun can cast harsh shadows, and won’t look as flattering).
For indoor filming, you’ll need more intentional lighting and you’ll need to think about where you place them. Avoid overhead lights as these will cast unflattering shadows over the subject’s face.
Use a three-point lighting system, which consists of a key light, a fill light, and a backlight:
- Key light - the brightest of the three lights and provides the bulk of the light
- Fill light - eliminates shadows caused by the key light, but less intense
- Backlight - separates your subject from the background, creates depth to the shot
Always check the subject through the camera lens to see how the lighting will look to the viewers, so you’ll be able to reveal any issues that can’t be seen with your eyes.
There’s no excuse for poor sound quality in a professional marketing video, it will cheapen the final product, and viewers will immediately switch off.
For interviews or voiceovers, you need the right kind of microphone to produce the high-quality audio needed. Mics come in many shapes and sizes, each with its own strengths for capturing audio in certain situations. Here are a few examples of microphone types:
The type of mic you’ll see on film sets, a shotgun microphone is usually mounted to a long pole and operated by a member of the crew. They are highly directional and can isolate the sound you want to record.
If you want to produce high-quality voiceovers for your video, you should look into condenser mics. They’re best for capturing vocals and high frequencies, and their sensitivity means they can pick up the most delicate of sounds.
Also known as a lapel microphone, lavaliers clip to the front of people’s clothes and are often worn by news anchors or interviewees to isolate a subject’s voice while they’re talking. Outside, these mics can be affected by wind noise and may require a windscreen. Also make sure your subjects don’t move around too much, as you’ll pick up the sound of their clothes rustling.
Audio is something that’s quite difficult (and expensive) to fix in editing, so it’s crucial to get it right while recording. If you’re outside and a plane flies overhead while filming someone speaking, you’re probably going to want to do a re-take.
There may be times when you don’t need a full script (or even any script at all), but if you want to promote your brand in the most flattering way, and keep everything consistent with your messaging, a pre-written script is the way to go.
Even if it’s just a list of bullet points of the different talking points, your video shooting will go much smoother if you have a plan.
Make sure you read your script drafts out loud when they’re done, as they’ll sound very different being spoken than just silently read. If you can, consider recording yourself or someone else reading the script just to get a feel for how it might come across on camera, and get an idea of the run time for the video.
If you find your performance a little dull or robotic, it could be that your script is too rigid. Try learning what you want to say and try to perform it without referring to the written down lines, you may find this comes across more natural and produces a better performance. Remember, things can always be edited and cut out later.
A storyboard is essentially a pitch for your video, a way to show your team an outline of what kind of footage you’re looking for so no one’s left floundering on shooting day not knowing what scene comes next, which can be extremely detrimental if you’re reliant on certain locations, people’s availability, or certain lighting.
Planning your shots will save lots of time when you’re filming, and having a storyboard will also give people a chance to make suggestions or point out any foreseeable problems with chosen locations or equipment restrictions.
Here’s a basic step-by-step process for creating a storyboard:
- Establish a timeline
- Make a shot list
- Sketch the scenes
- Annotate scenes with details
- Add cuts
Don’t worry if you’re not an artist, even basic stick figure drawings can be enough to give your team a rough idea of what you’re after.
Now everything is prepped and ready it’s time to shoot the actual video. There’s a lot that can be done in editing but it’s still crucial to get the footage you need, so there’s likely to be re-takes aplenty.
Trying to shoot handheld is very difficult and will undoubtedly result in the footage shaking, so make sure you use either a tripod or stabilization tools to keep the camera steady, especially if your shots require the camera operator to move around.
Test all of your equipment before you begin getting your shots. Make sure the lighting is right and your audio is actually being picked up on the mics. Listen back and ensure there’s not too much background noise or echoing that needs to be dealt with before you start the shoot. If you’re going to be filming with time-limited people like the CEO, it’s a good idea to have stand-ins for the setup and practice shots so you can get right down to filming when everything is ready and in place.
The rule of thirds
The ruler of thirds is a concept that helps to create the most aesthetically pleasing shots. If you’re just starting out filming you may be tempted to slap your actor right in the very middle of the shot, but that often isn’t the best way to film people.
Enter the rule of thirds, which involves putting your subject into the spot where the eye most naturally gravitates. Most cameras have a grid setting that overlays four lines across the screen (two horizontally, two vertically), and the intersections of these lines are known as “power-points”.
If you place your presenter at these intersection points, it produces a more natural-looking image. Off-center composition is pleasing to the eye and is a way to creatively use negative space.
Don’t forget the B-roll
B-roll clips are the additional footage that adds visual interest to your shoot. For example, when having a presenter talk about a product, you might cut away to footage of said product in action with the presenter still talking over it, rather than having the whole video focus on a person talking to the camera.
Grab as much B-roll footage during filming as you can, so you can pick the best shots to use during editing. They’re also great for time-lapses and slo-mo shots, just make sure you get permission from any members of the public who might appear in background shots of your footage for their face to appear on video.
Editing is when you bring your final product to life. You may have only minimal edits like a few cuts, or you may have complex shots inter-spliced into your video with impressive graphics thrown over the top - it’ll depend on the tone you’re going for (and likely your budget and skillset).
For any shots that maybe didn’t come out the way you hoped, editing can help rectify this, and if all else fails, you have your B-roll to fall back on.
There’s plenty of video editing software out there, from high-end products like Premiere Pro to free software already pre-installed on most computers. You may even want to outsource to a company or a freelance editor if you don’t feel you have the skills needed.
Effects can be fun, but try to keep everything clean and simple so it still looks professional. You can make basic edits to instantly improve any video, such as:
- Adjusting the lighting a little
- Cutting out any pauses or moments of silence
- Adding background music
- Adding transitions
Video marketing is one of the most popular forms of marketing and this looks only set to continue in the B2B space. Once you’ve got your videos done and dusted, share them all over your socials and your website so you can grow your following.
Got more tips for video marketing? Need some advice? Head to the B2B Marketing Alliance Community!