ASBPE members in Washington, D.C. recently met for a half-day workshop to share tips and tricks on producing the best in-house videos. Speakers included Robert Freedman and Sam Silverstein from the National Association of Realtors, Holly Gilbert Stowell from Security Management and Casey Flores from Window Film Magazine. Here are the top 10 tips from the workshops speakers so you can improve your videos, too.

  1. Get creative
    They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and video is no exception. No matter what topic, idea, or event you’re covering, someone somewhere has probably done something like it before. So how can you ensure that your video stands out among the crowd in a different, compelling manner?
  2. Don’t be shy
    This is imperative if you’re going to get the best sound bites out of your characters. Don’t be afraid to push the limits on your questions. If your sources grow uncomfortable, back off a little, but don’t go home after the video shoot regretting not asking that all-important question. Be bold when you approach individuals you want to interview on camera. Most, if not all people, can be convinced to do at least a 30-second interview. Deep down, I think everyone is flattered to be involved.
  3. What’s the story? Really!
    A video of a cat playing the piano may have 100 million views on YouTube, but is there a story there? Frankly, no. Your video needs to have a beginning, middle, and end, just like any article you would write. There are characters, there is action, there is a purpose.
  4. Budget? What budget?
    When it comes to video, budgeting is something we’re all concerned about—and traveling the nation can get expensive. Since the nation’s top companies tend to be in cities, and so do trade shows, tack on a few extra days to a regularly scheduled trip to shoot a video piece. This keeps costs down.
  5. Promote, promote, promote!
    Post videos directly to Facebook and promote the post. Facebook’s built in community and auto-play function on native video posts makes it the best place to share for the most engagement.
  6. Format familiarity
    Videos produced as part of a series should keep with a standard format. This helps viewers know what to expect and get the information in a concise manner.
  7. Mind your medium
    Consider whether video is really the best medium to reach your audience for the topic you’re covering. The same considerations for knowing your print audience apply — how do your readers spend their day? Are their jobs service-oriented? Are they at their desks or out in the field?
  8. Audio is king
    Pay close attention to audio quality. Try to use a camera with a headphone jack so you can hear what you’re recording. Don’t rely on a built-in microphone, if you can. Be careful to hide the cable if you’re using a lavalier. You can even record audio and video with separate devices and merge the sound with your editing software if that’s what it takes to get the best quality.
  9. Don’t rely on auto controls
    Autofocus controls aren’t infallible. To ensure you get a sharp picture, adjust the focus manually, if possible. A basic course in manual camera operations can do wonders for video clarity.
  10. Keep trying
    New to video? It can seem daunting and your first video certainly won’t be your best. But don’t give up — video is an engaging platform that can help your organization tell better stories. For more video know-how, check out our 3-part archived webcast on multimedia storytelling, available on-demand for all ASBPE members. Keep trying, and keep looking to ASBPE for more tips and tricks.