360 video technology may still be relatively new, but it’s already become a powerful tool for realtors. After all, pictures can only do so much to give an accurate feel for a property. That’s why we’ve come up with a specific type of 360 video that’s the next best thing to being in the actual home with a realtor. So let’s break down how to create a 360 real estate video that gives your house the best chance of standing out on the market.
The video we wanted to make is essentially a simulation of what viewers would experience if they were walking through the house with a realtor. It definitely will require some special equipment, but the end result will show what a huge difference these tools make. Here’s a quick video that runs through setting up the equipment we used for this particular shoot.
With 360 video, you can throw out all the normal rules about video editing and pacing. That means this particular video can be much longer than a traditional “flat” video we normally would’ve made about the house, since potential buyers watching the 360 video will want to have enough time to explore each room.
“With 360 video, you can throw out all the normal rules about video editing and pacing.”
### Preparing for the shoot
An important thing to keep in mind with 360 video is that everything is in the shot, from the dishes in the sink to the puzzle pieces on the floor that your kids forgot to pick up. So before you start recording, make sure everything is neat and tidy. If it can see the camera, the camera can see it. Don’t underestimate the importance of this step!
While you don’t necessarily have to shoot your footage linearly, it might give the tour a more natural feel to shoot the house exactly as someone would walk through it. That’s why it’s best to start outside.
### Capturing your footage
For your first shot, begin with a brief introduction by the exterior of the house. Place the camera about 10 feet away from the front door, and give a short intro about the house and its surroundings, like the street it’s located on or the driveway. After that, choose another shot or 2 that will highlight other features of the exterior (like the porch or backyard).
Next, it’s time for the interior shooting. Start by placing the camera in the middle of the room, but choose your angle wisely. You might want to sneak the camera forward or backward to give a clearer look through a doorway into an adjacent room, for instance.
Now, move through the interior of the house just like you’d show it to prospective buyers at an open house. The goal here is to highlight specific features of your property, so make sure to spend enough time in key rooms like the kitchen and living room.
### Putting it together
When it comes down to it, editing 360 video isn’t all that different than editing normal video. Bring your flattened 360 footage into your editor. If you used an external audio recorder to capture better sounding audio, start by syncing the good sound with the bad sound from the video.
Next, trim the start and ends of the clips where you’re clicking “record” on the camera, string them all out in order, and watch everything through to make sure it feels right. Don’t worry about adding music to your video—it’ll just distract viewers.
Export your video out matching the footage dimensions, and upload it to Wistia. Once it’s uploaded, head into Customize and select This is a 360 video. Boom! Now you have a 360 video tour of your property that will immerse (and hopefully impress) prospective buyers who may not be able to see the house in person, or just want another look at your property before closing the deal.
BLOG » PRODUCTION
360 Video Production Tactics: What We’ve Learned So Far
Our favorite production go-tos for tackling this immersive, unforgiving medium.
We’ve written time and time again about why it’s best to include faces in your videos. They capture attention and build a sense of familiarity, because human brains are hardwired to recognize faces.
But the importance of having a human in your video goes much deeper than surface-level familiarity. People are also more likely to understand and trust what your video is saying when they can see the human behind the voice.
When we think of speech, we think of it as something we hear. But we actually perceive speech in more than just one way—we take in visual as well as auditory cues when we’re processing speech.
So when you include people in your videos, your audience can better understand what is being communicated and form more meaningful connections with your content. We’ll take a closer look at the science behind speech perception, how it relates to trust, and how to make your next video more convincing.
### We’re hardwired to be judgmental
When you’re watching a video or listening to a podcast, you might think that the reason you trust whoever is speaking is because they’re an expert in their field. It makes sense. Out of anyone, “experts” should be the people who have the most accurate information. But in reality, lots of experts aren’t trusted.
Think about a controversial topic, like climate change. Even though many scientists are talking about how it’s a real threat, there are still many people who don’t believe it exists. But why? Shouldn’t we be listening to people who’ve spent years studying it? A study published in 2009 found that rather than trusting those who have the most expertise, we are more likely to trust those who we believe have our best interests at heart.
“In just a tenth of a second, we form impressions of strangers from their faces alone.”
In fact, a New York University study found that certain facial features are generally perceived to be more “trustworthy.” Faces with “higher inner eyebrows and pronounced cheekbones” were seen as more trustworthy while “lower inner eyebrows and shallower cheekbones” were associated with untrustworthiness. We tried our best to reproduce these scientific findings…
Other studies also suggest subtle things, like the amount of white showing in the eyes, as other factors of trustworthiness.
Aside from the initial facial scan, we also rely on unconscious estimates based on past experiences and preconceptions to make a judgement. These judgements can be influenced by a number of small factors like:
– Where we meet them
– What they’re wearing
– Whether their posture mimics our own
– Whether they mention a mutual acquaintance
Once this quick judgement has been made, our amygdala then begins to alter brain processes and coordinate appropriate responses, depending on whether we decide to approach or avoid that person.
### Appealing to all the senses
So how can we make people in our videos seem trustworthy? Does it mean people on camera should make sure to open their eyes really wide and show as much white as possible?
It’s a good thought, but probably not best practice. It’s important to remember that just having a trustworthy-looking face isn’t enough to get people to actually listen to your video’s message.
Humans care about trustworthy faces, but as we mentioned earlier, speech perception relies on both visual and auditory cues. This brings us to something called the McGurk Effect.
“Speech perception relies on both visual and auditory cues.”
When we think about communication, usually we can both see and hear the speaker. But it’s only when we lose the visual part of this equation that we realize how much influence vision has on our speech perception. Take a look at this video:
The same sound is being played over and over. If we look to the left side of the screen, it seems like she’s saying “far.” But if we glance to the right, suddenly the sound becomes “bar” in our minds. The visual information you’re getting from the video changes how you perceive the auditory information you’re hearing. This phenomenon shows just how closely linked hearing and vision are.
Just one factor, whether it’s a great speech or a trustworthy face, isn’t going to be enough to immediately convince your audience. It’s really a combination of multiple factors, appealing to both the visual and aural senses, that will help you create a compelling video.
### How to get people to listen to your video
When someone clicks on your video, they’re choosing to invest their time in your content. They’re expecting to get something of value from the experience. So you need to be speaking in a way that will make people want to listen. Julian Treasure, Chairman of The Sound Agency, has an easy acronym to follow if you want to sound more convincing:
– Honesty (H): Be truthful with what you say. Make sure you’re delivering information in a clear way, so it doesn’t seem like you’re trying to hide details.
– Authenticity (A): Be yourself. The audience can sense if you’re uncomfortable, and they’ll mirror that feeling.
– Integrity (I): Practice what you preach. If you don’t follow what you’re telling people to do, there’s no reason they should listen to you.
– Love (L): If you’re truly wishing someone well or caring for your audience, they’ll notice it.
“HAIL” can apply to all types of performances to help you to look like a practiced public speaker who really cares about their audience. But when filming a video, you need to be conscious of more than just your speech.
– Keep your background free of distractions. You want the focus to be on the speaker and not on the dog running around in the frame (no matter how cute he is).
– Put important things in writing. If your video is on the longer side, it’s easy for people to zone out and forget the main points. Emphasizing larger points in writing will also give your video more structure.
– Mind your body language. Your body language speaks just as loudly as your words. Make sure to stand tall and gesture with confidence.
– Use verbal cues. Say things like “once that’s done” or “next” to direct the flow of the video, so it feels like things are moving. A stagnant conversation is a boring one.
### A video is more than the sum of its parts
Having a trustworthy face isn’t enough to convince people to watch your video. Nor is just having a compelling narrative. If you take the time to consider all the aspects that contribute to speech perception, you’ll be better equipped to make a video that connects with your audience.
LIBRARY » PRODUCTION
How to Direct Non-Actors in Your Next Video
Tips for preparing your shoot and coaching your teammates to achieve their best takes.
Earlier this year, we took the leap to go beyond video hosting. Our new goal? Help people create video to communicate more quickly and clearly, and maybe have a little fun in the process.
Since the launch of Soapbox, we’ve seen more than 30,000 installs, and probably just as many requests for additional features.
Over the past 3 months, here’s what you’ve taught us:
– You like sharing Soapbox videos via your personal email, but you need more options for posting videos on your website or sharing them with a wider audience.
– Even if you’re casually making a video about a seemingly mundane topic, you still want insights into who’s watching the content you’re putting out.
– Some of you are creating super high-quality videos that you’d like to integrate with your marketing campaigns, especially for lead gen purposes.
You spoke, and we listened. Starting today, we’re excited to help you expand the ways you can use Soapbox videos. That’s why we’ve added the ability to export your Soapbox videos to your Wistia account!
By adding your Soapbox videos to Wistia, it’s easy to incorporate them into the rest of your marketing tools. You can start by embedding your videos, then move onto more advanced use cases like adding them to email marketing campaigns, or using Wistia analytics to understand who’s watching—and how they’re responding.
You might be thinking that’s all terrific, and we agree! “But what else can I do with this new feature?” Glad you asked! Here are just a smattering of the cool things you can now do with your Soapbox videos in Wistia.
### Soapbox for marketing
If you’ve been using Soapbox to record on-demand webinars or whiteboard-style learning videos, you can now export them to Wistia, then embed them on your site, blog, or resource library for everyone to see.
While they’re up there, you can decide whether or not you want to add a Turnstile to collect leads. Once the leads start rolling in, sync them with your email or marketing automation platforms to keep your contacts engaged by sending them relevant content. Or, hand them off to your Sales team while they’re still hot.
### Soapbox for education
We’ve seen so many awesome video tutorials spring up since we launched Soapbox. So many, in fact, that teaching has quickly become one of the most popular use cases for Soapbox. You can use Wistia to store all of your educational content in a centralized library that’s easy for members of your team (or classroom) to access.
“You can use Wistia to store all of your educational content in a centralized library that’s easy for members of your team (or classroom) to access.”
Also, you can add chapters to make it easy for people to skip to the parts of the video they most need, or create a video playlist to ensure viewers can watch sequential videos in the proper order.
### Soapbox for sales
Sales teams have taken to using Soapbox like fish to water. Our Sales team at Wistia uses it so often (we’re talking hundreds of videos created each week) that our Principle Video Producer, Chris Lavigne, created a special Soapbox station to help them make higher quality videos with an HD camera and professional lighting.
When you export your sales videos to Wistia, you can still share them with prospects. But now, you’ll also have engagement graphs and heatmaps to get insights into who’s watching your videos, in addition to which parts they’re engaging with. You can also password protect your videos whenever you have content that contains sensitive information.
Even sales managers are getting in on the Soapbox action, using Soapbox to instruct their teams on the best ways to demo their product. And by exporting those videos to Wistia, they’ll be able to keep every video in one easily accessible place for ongoing training.
### Looking ahead
We know we’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can do with Soapbox videos outside of sharing them via email or social. But at the most basic level, there’s a lot more value to be had once you start putting them to use in other places.
So keep the feedback coming, and keep an eye out for additional features (like the ability to download Soapbox videos) in the near future!
#### One last thing…
If you’re a fan of that launch video—recorded entirely using Soapbox, we should add—here’s a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to pull it off! (We assume our Oscar for Best Cinematography is already in the mail.)
Record, edit, and share impressive videos in minutes, using nothing but your laptop. Install the free Chrome extension, and clean up your act!
Have you ever been told that you use your hands a lot when you talk? You’ve probably never noticed it yourself in the moment—it’s just how you express yourself. But now you can’t not notice it. You get self-conscious about it, and suddenly you’re talking with your hands at your side every chance you get.
When you watch the playback of yourself being on camera, it’s no longer someone else telling you that you look weird: you’re the one who’s noticing all of your supposed faults and quirks. You see that your eyebrows do a little dance when you’re excited, or that you look like a puppeteer trying to conduct a one-man show. And because everyone’s their own worst critic, you now feel so awkward about being on camera that you’re certain no one else would ever want to watch any video you’re in.
Our movements and posture are things we feel, but rarely see ourselves doing. Our posture reflects how we feel and conveys many nonverbal signals. So when you see yourself looking confused or flustered, you no longer feel confident about yourself.
But it’s important to remember that the way you feel in your body and the way you feel in your head are linked. Just as your body language on video makes you feel a certain way, you can also use body language to make yourself feel more confident on camera. Here’s how.
### Why we think we look awkward on video
When we see our faces on video, we tend to dislike it because we aren’t used to the non-mirrored image. And when we hear our voices on video, we cringe because recorded voices sound different than what we hear when we speak. Turns out, our posture and gestures on video look weird to us for a similar reason.
#### Movement is something we feel, not see
We have a general sense of the relative position of our body, called proprioception, which contributes to how we feel our overall body position and movement. But this sense is something we usually feel, not something we see. So when you notice how you carry your body on video, your posture and your voice look and sound different than you had assumed—we experience cognitive dissonance, and it’s uncomfortable!
An interesting example of this cognitive dissonance of seeing our movements instead of feeling them is the tendon vibration experiment. It goes something like this:
– First, a participant is blindfolded and both arms are laid flat on a table.
– The right arm is raised initially to 50 degrees.
– The left bicep’s tendon is stimulated for 10 seconds. The left arm is then matched to the same height as the right arm.
– The experimenter then moves the left arm and tells the participant to match the movements with their right arm.
Throughout the experiment, the participant believes that their arms are matching in movement. But then they take off the blindfold and watch the playback.
Because they felt that their arms were moving in sync, they’re dumbfounded when they play back the video and realize that they really weren’t. Which brings us to mere exposure. There have been multiple studies done on this phenomenon, but the moral of the story is this: vibrations of our tendons lead to a bias in perception. What we feel like we’re doing no longer correlates to what we’re actually doing.
#### Going out of your body
This disconnect between what we feel and what we see has also been studied through virtual reality. A study published in Science examined how out-of-body experiences can be induced.
Participants in the study were asked to watch a video of their own backs being stroked. This video was either a live feed or slightly out of sync. However, the video would show the participant placed in a different part of the room than where they physically were.
After this, participants were then blindfolded and asked to move back toward their original place in the room, completely by feel. Here’s what happened: those who had the in-sync video—and therefore felt an out-of-body experience of actually being somewhere that they weren’t—“drifted” toward where the illusion had been shown rather than where they had actually been.
This presents an interesting idea that we experience our bodies internally. But when we view our bodies externally, our internal map of our bodies gets screwed. Particularly in this experiment, when participants “felt” their bodies in a different location, their bodily self-consciousness was influenced. While this might be more of an VR-related topic, it’s still an issue with video. It can cause us to feel disconnected between what we believed was our sense of bodily self-consciousness and lead to awkwardness.
### How to feel more confident on camera
Not everyone naturally feels confident in front of the camera, and that’s ok! But it doesn’t mean you can’t appear that way. In fact, you don’t have to completely change how you act in front of the camera to feel confident—you just have to take what you naturally do and turn it into something that looks, well, natural.
#### Your hands aren’t awkward—they’re expressive!
We use our hands when we talk. They help us express our thoughts more effectively and emphasize important points. But we usually don’t realize how our hands look when we’re talking, and when we see ourselves on camera, it may seem like we’re trying to play Fruit Ninja.
“Being expressive makes you seem more warm, agreeable, and energetic, while a lack of gestures can be seen as too logical, cold, and analytical.”
1. Avoid using the same gestures over and over. This can get repetitive, awkward, and distracting. Some repeated gestures may even be misconstrued as aggressive or unfriendly. Not good.
2. Keep your body language open. People subconsciously cross their arms when they feel uncomfortable to give themselves a sense of security. So make an effort to keep your shoulders open and arms turned out, as it looks more welcoming and inviting to your viewers.
3. Hold something that not only makes you feel comfortable, but also is relevant to your video. Some people feel more comfortable with a prop, and that’s fine! Just make sure it’s something that actually adds to your video, so that you’re not distracting from the points you’re trying to make.
#### Your audience isn’t judging you—they’re cheering you on!
Another big reason why people feel awkward on camera? They experience stage fright. Not knowing who’ll be watching the video immediately sends our minds to the worst place possible. If we think we look stupid on camera, then everyone else will probably feel the same, right?
It’s easy enough for us to tell ourselves that this definitely won’t be the case, but it’s another thing to actually feel that way while filming a video. So make sure you’re creating a filming environment that makes you feel comfortable and allows you to get loose.
You want some tips for getting to that comfy place? You got ‘em.
– If you mess up, laugh it off! Don’t be hard on yourself if you make a mistake once, twice, or multiple times. Even the best actors make mistakes (yes, even you, Meryl Streep). That’s why blooper reels exist! But one thing you’ll notice on all of those blooper reels is that they tend to laugh off their mistakes. Take comfort in the fact that everyone is on your side and wants you to do well.
– Do as many takes as it takes. No one films a video once and calls it a day. You might pause when you didn’t intend to or think of a better way to say something after you’ve already filmed a particular line. Don’t be afraid to do another take if it’s going to make you feel better about the final product.
– Have someone there to encourage you during the process. Even if they’re just there to tell you that you’re doing great, encouragement can be exactly what you need to overcome any initial feelings of awkwardness.
Getting over the cognitive dissonance you might feel when watching yourself back on camera is ultimately about getting out of your own head. Remember that you might feel awkward because you aren’t used to seeing how your body and gestures look—but it really is just you. Nothing to worry about, right?
LIBRARY » PRODUCTION
Directing Non-Actors in Your Business Video
Tips for preparing your shoot and coaching your teammates to achieve their best takes.
It’s been a busy summer at Wistia. From our the launch of Soapbox to our first-ever Storytelling Night, new projects kept us on our toes, but our focus on constantly improving the Wistia player helped us stay focused.
So for our final product update of the season, we’re bringing you some handy new tools, plus improved access to your Wistia videos, no matter where you’re working.
### Customize in place
If you’ve ever embedded a video and realized the player color or thumbnail didn’t look quite the way you wanted it to, we’ve felt your pain. That’s why we created a new way to update the look of your embedded videos.
Customize in place is a beta feature that lets you make quick changes to the appearance and feel of your embedded videos. If you’re logged in, simply hover over any of your embedded videos, then click the Customize in place wand. The Customize panel will open on the page for you to make any changes to the look of your video, allowing you to see the changes within the context of the page. Plus, it’s completely invisible to any viewer who isn’t logged in. That’s some Harry Potter-level magic right there.
To turn this beta feature on, head to your account under Account > Settings > Beta Features, and the new tool will be available to any of your logged-in users who have permission to customize. Accio Customize!
### Multi-language captions plugin
We’re all about tailoring content for specific audiences. And one helpful way to make sure your viewers from across the globe get the best experience is to create multiple sets of captions in different languages.
With the new captions plugin, you can set the default language for your video’s captions instead of letting the viewers browser decide. Just add a :language: tag to your embed code to set the right language for your video’s captions. Your audience is going to love you that much more for it.
### Callable CTAs
CTAs and Annotation Links are 2 of our favorite tools for encouraging viewers to raise their hands and show interest in your company. In some cases, that comes in the form of a landing page or a related video. In others, you may actually want them to give you a ring to introduce yourself or explain your product in more detail.
Starting now, you can modify your CTAs to create a custom telephone link. How so? When creating a CTA or annotation link, add a tel: suffix to your phone number, then watch your hotline bling.
### Wistia for Chrome
Wistia for Chrome helps you use video in all of your business tools, but until now it was limited only to Account Owners and Managers. We’ve now updated the way permissions work so anyone using a Wistia account, no matter their user role, can log into the Wistia for Chrome extension.
All members of your team will be able to locate and share projects they have access to, so they can get more done with video. Start putting your videos to work by installing Wistia for Chrome today!
That’s all for August, but keep an eye out for the next round up of new Wistia updates and features this fall—we have a feeling you’re going to like what’s in store.
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You just got approval to start on your animated video project and you’re asking yourself, “What do I do now?” Well, first-off, you should totally celebrate! An animated video is a great way to build up branded content and tell your company’s story in a new and excited way.
Plus, it’s a fun process!
Here are our seven steps for creating a great animated video.
The concept is the story. Without a strong storyline, the visuals won’t have any impact and won’t meet your business goals.
This phase includes the Creative Brief — a questionnaire that the clients fills out. Here the video production company finds out about goals, branding, unique selling points, benefits, and non-negotiables (items or topics that cannot be cut). This is the fuel to the brainstorm where the concept is born.
At Explainer Video Production, we take our creative brainstorms very seriously because it sets the framework, tone, and strategy for the video. They’re also a moment to have fun with ideas and get a little playful — which might sound like we’re screwing around, but this gives the team an opportunity to change perspectives and develop bold ideas.
Once this step is complete, a couple of concepts are pitched to the client. Once the winner is selected, onto the script!
This is where the message is developed. Characteristics of a strong script are concise and casual language, staying on point, and having a strong call to action. Without a call-to-action, your video ROI will be difficult to measure.
Typically this step only takes about 3-5 days and from there it’s open up for revisions. A big benefit of having an outsider write your video script is that it’s a new perspective. Heck, your producer could also be your customer, and a great script always keeps the audience in mind.
Here is where you start to see the visuals. After a concept and script are approved by the client, we draft up frame-by-frame the look of your video. Here is where you can see the beginnings of design and how the story progresses.
It’s important to remember that at this phase that everything is sketched out. This makes it easier for us to incorporate your feedback and keep things moving along.
The reason why we create each video from scratch is because each video should be unique to your business and accurately reflect your brand. A style frame is a single, full-color frame that reflects the final aesthetic of your video. They might include text, icons, backgrounds, characters, or more.
An easy way to think of a style frame is your video without motion. Here is an example of what we mean:
Since an animated video requires both a designer and an animator (sometimes creatives specialize in both), it best to start with design, approve it and then move onto animation. That way if you find that you would prefer your dog character to be a cat, we can make the change before sending it over to the animator.
The voiceover. It may seem like a small part of the video in comparison to the design and animation, but it carries a lot of weight. It’s important because you need to find the right voice for you and your company. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all voice, it’s all about finding the right tone to match your brand.
We find there are three basic tones to use: Excited, Dramatic, and Neutral. Your story and brand voice will help influence the tone. Are you launching a product and trying to build up awareness? You may want to find an excited voice to pump up your viewers. Or is your product or service a solution to a major problem? Using Drama can help build things up. Lastly, if you find that you need a simple video that explains a certain topic pretty extensively, a neutral tone can reduce distraction so your audience can get the full meaning of your message.
This is where the meat of the project is — adding motion to your video. This phase can take about 2-3 weeks but it’s important because every frame is carefully timed to make sure things are transitioning smoothly and any characters look lifelike (not robotic or awkward).
There are two types of scene transitions in animation. The first is when you let the computer create in-between frames (or in the biz, we refer to as “tweening”). This allows for effortless motion between scenes.
The other is traditional cell animation (think of old school illustrations such as Looney Toons). This is the preferred method when a video has a lot of characters in it. When a character moves across the screen, the animator needs to think about how their legs, arms, and torso move together. Because of this high complexity, it’s done by hand and takes much longer, but it’s worth it! Accurate motion is required for making your viewers feel connected to your characters.
The final stage is adding sound. This can be anywhere from adding a song (our friends over at Marmoset have great tips on music licensing) to just sound effects.
Sound effects can make a big difference for your video. They can spice up an otherwise mundane scene or can call attention to a certain section. With the information from the Creative Brief, your producer will know what action you’re hoping your viewers take and make sure the sound design helps highlight it.
It might seem like a lot at first, but every step in the process is important in telling your story. Just remember that if you have a solid foundation in your creative brief, animation, design, and sound are just icing on the cake. If you’re interested in learning more, check out http://www.explainervideoproduction.com
Also feel free to add questions or comments or tweet us!
Promo videos are steadily becoming a standard part of marketers online growth strategy. As the trend to broaden exposure to multiple marketing channels increases, the need for video marketing grows just as quickly.
In 2017, online content marketing is booming like never before. Organizations of all sizes are becoming more Internet savvy and online articles, whitepapers, ebooks, info graphics and of course, videos are being created at a steadily faster rate. Because visual content is the most engaging, images, GIFs and videos continue to be the most popular content. Content is easily shared as links via e-mail, twitter, Facebook and even person-to-person through text messaging, the most personal method of sharing.
Video is expected to become even more popular as this year progresses. It has been shown through research and surveys that content marketing with specifically promotional video will be responsible for the highest share of traffic by 2019! On an average, forecasts predict mobile users spend at least 40 minutes daily watching – and sharing and engaging with – videos. So it won’t just be 2017; the popularity of promo videos trend will continue, and grow at even a faster rate as time progresses.
Now is the time to get started; here are four easy promo video trends to familiarize yourself with this year
1. Branded Promo Video Content
People today are now more inclined towards watching videos than reading online. As mobile Internet use grows, video is easier to watch than reading text on a small screen – just press play! Viewers can sit back and let the video do all the talking. All brands that aspire to better connect with their customers must be aware of this trend to video content.
Marketing departments can respond accordingly by releasing engaging, informative promo videos that answer viewer’s questions while building brand awareness. A promotional video is not an advertisement, but having the support of a brand without being overbearing is perfectly okay. If the information’s quality is good, and the production value is good, a viewer will likely be inclined to like, bookmark or share the video content with their friends and colleagues. Bite-sized videos, with time lengths of thirty seconds to no more than a minute and a half, are excellent for this purpose.
Examples of branded promotional videos can range from featuring their employees and offering quick tips to their buyers to interviewing any industry influencer with promotional voice over some video content. And, the best thing is that there are numerous platforms available for free to share these videos. YouTube and Facebook are the most ideal, and LinkedIn and Twitter have their wide popularities to draw upon too.
The easiest way for an organization to begin creating promo videos is to consider repurposing your existing written-article content into the video medium. Taking already your most-popular articles and reworking the messages for the video format will allow you to take maximum benefits from the video marketing trend while pleasing an expanding audience.
2. Promo Videos Embedded throughout the Website
As it is said images speak far better than the written word, it is proven in the case of video marketing too. A video embedded on a sales or informational page will notably amplify conversion rates in online business. Commerce websites can better inform a prospect, gain trust, build brand and reduce opposition by creating relevant promotional video content. Moreover, this can prove to be more beneficial in case of a services company as products can still be featured through images and text content.
Posting promotional videos on social platforms and linking to homepage is one of the most efficient ways to drive traffic to your website. Unlike other forms of content, videos are more engaging therefore these are more effective. If you feature a promo video on your main page or about us page, visitors tend to stay longer on your website and this may turn them to potential customers as well.
Using a promotional video content on your website to introduce your brand to the audience is a remarkable way to build relationship and trust with the customers. To start exploring promo video by using a creative brief template will help you discover the goals and needs your audience has in a video. As promo videos gain more and more popularity, you can grab this opportunity to have promo videos posted on homepages as well along with sales and landing pages.
3. Live Streaming Promo Style Videos
Sharing of live videos has become notably popular in the current years via Facebook Live and Periscope. These platforms allow the users to share real-time videos. Businesses are embracing these new mediums by being creative and utilizing these platforms for promoting products, featuring demonstrations. Also, while not a promotional video per se, video can be used for question and answer sessions too. If none of these, you can also let the audience simply know about your brand by viewing these videos.
Periscope is one of the free video sharing platforms with comparatively fewer users when compared to say Twitter, but still, it has the capacity to promote your following more quickly. Periscope is said to feature 350,000 hours of videos daily and is widely popular amongst top 15% of the brands. Above all of course is YouTube. which has its huge user base and SEO tie-in with Google, and is a must-have to be used to feature your promo videos.
Facebook Live is gaining popularity with users now as well. This platform lets an organization speak to it’s users by perhaps offering a special “behind the stage” glimpse of your company. Using an iPhone on a tripod for video can suffice as these cameras record 4K video. Reports say that Facebook users spend three times more time watching videos on Facebook Live than on any other videos that are simply shared to the site. This simply means that there is more scope that can be explored and executed into your marketing plan.
4. Email Campaign with Promo Video Series
The last big concept for promotional video use is with a tie-in to an email marketing strategy. Video is more effective and quick to communicate your ideas and concepts than written text. Embedding promo videos in e-mail marketing is proving to be an added advantage. Surveys have shown that businesses or marketers who have utilized this feature have enjoyed an upsurge in their e-mail open rates as well as pay per click rates. Also, there has been a greater count of shares and engagement once the video is being watched.
Strategies like using the term ‘video’ in the subject lines of e-mails have confirmed it to be helpful. The types of video contents that tend to perform the best include videos on training and product demonstrations.
Get Stared with Your Promo Video Campaign
To make sure that using video content in your marketing is successful, focus on creating quality promotional videos that are brief in length, have a clear call to action and are persuasive. Brevity and a key message is paramount. As a final takeaway, to reach a greater audience, ensure that you are hosting your videos on YouTube as well for SEO. Take hold of the opportunity and boost your organization by embracing this year’s promotional video trends!
Steven Randall is a blogger and a content manager. He is also a fan of movies, music and writing. Steven finds inspiration in reading and traveling, and is happy to answer any questions you may have.
Saying that online video is popular is a gross understatement. With 6 billion hours of viewing YouTube per month, and an average of 40 minutes of viewing per session per person, YouTube is the undisputed king of online video. All forms of online video; documentaries, news, promotional videos, educational videos and entertainment video are evolving.
As the average attention span continues to shorten thanks to bite-size media appropriate for Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, how videos are being produced is developing to keep pace with consumer viewing behavior.
Why Online Video Works So Well
Complex ideas work extremely well with online video – would TED’s “ideas worth spreading” educational videos be such a success if the same content were merely published in a magazine article? Of course not, there is already great content being published in print, but it rarely gets shared or goes as ‘viral’ as much as some TED videos have. The video medium has a real ability to ‘hook’ viewers and engage emotionally. A video producer’s task as a storyteller is to communicate ideas – and the value of the ideas – in an easily digestible, efficient manner that makes an impact.
There are five main classes of video; they range from entertainment to compelling a person to act. Professional organizations, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes are adapting how they use video. It wasn’t long ago that video that was online was merely low-resolution entertainment or news clips. But as video is the best idea-conveying medium, its popularity continues to grow proportionally to its easy accessibility and high quality.
The 5 Types of Video Production
Video doesn’t simply tell a message; instead video displays the meaning – video is the ultimate show and tell. Successful video cuts through technology, all the while conveying messages as a form of entertainment, around the world, twenty-four hours around the clock. Here are the top five types of videos, along with explanations and examples:
Educational videos are excellent examples of teaching and learning concepts. As video uses the primary senses of sight and sound, using video in education allows concepts to be taught more easily and be retained better than reading off a page! This is thanks to the models of ‘multi-modal learning’ and ‘dual-coding theory’, which have shown that communicating with visuals and sound simultaneously will greatly increase comprehension and retention of new ideas.
And with the ability to show a concept though the use of editing shot of an in the field demonstration allows the viewer to truly understand the concepts being shown and discussed.
Educational videos go beyond merely informing the viewer – these videos go deeper into the ‘why’ such and such is important, in addition to just the ‘what’. As an example, an educational video on learning how to SCUBA dive will explain the reason why you must not hold your breath as you ascend to the surface, rather than just stating ‘don’t hold you breath’ without explanation. This ‘why’ is critical, as it delivers real understanding for the audience. The beauty of educational videos is how they can easily share complex ideas – and ‘educate’ learners properly, with comprehension even often able to bypass language barriers.
Examples of Educational Videos
Remote Online Classroom Instruction
Online Courses with Video Lessons (MooC)
How-To Training Videos
Student ‘Show and Tell’ Videos
Webinar Informational Videos
Video Lesson Series
Animated Explainer Videos
2. Promotional Videos
Promotional videos have become exceptionally popular with the convenience of fast wireless Internet, powerful mobile devices and businesses realizing that they can afford and use video with their marketing. These style of videos have adapted quickly to the habits of the modern viewer; short length videos, relevant information, engaging style and available where the viewer will be interested in viewing, and then ideally sharing the video with their social networks!
A critical distinction is that promotional videos are not advertisements like we would see on TV commercial breaks. With a promotional video, the choice to watch is with the viewer. The person is interested to see if the video will offer a solution to their problem and presses play. The promotional videos marketing therefore to suggest value up front. And if it doesn’t, the viewer can choose to stop viewing at any time, unlike TV or online video ads, which intrusively play without the viewer having control.
Promotional videos differ from instructional and educational videos in that they’re targeting a very specific viewer and speaking to their needs, then presenting a solution and concluding with a ‘call to action’, asking the viewer to take action. With the art of persuasion and rapport, similar to an experienced salesperson, a viewer will ideally feel that the video offered value – and it’s their choice if they respond to the call to action. Taking action: a social like or share, or a purchase, are all common goals for promotional video marketers.
Examples of Promotional Videos:
Human Resources Videos
Product Demonstration Videos
Real Estate Tour Videos
Keynote Slideshow Presentation Videos
Product Review Videos
3. Informational Videos
These are the most simplistic types of videos – cut and dry information delivered as succinctly as possible. Think of a news host delivering current news, with a quick story sound bite and moving on to the next story in rapid succession. These videos give the ‘what’ on a topic, but don’t go much deeper, so the ‘why’ is often left largely unexplored (as good educational or promotional video would show).
Journalism is a good example of purely informational video. News and information videos give you the sounds and sights of the news events as if you were right there on location. No need to imagine what might be going on… You can see it and hear it for yourself. With all smartphones having a HD or 4K camera with video capabilities, news gathering is now in the hands of common people. Instead of a Television station with a producer and camera operator and interviewer, a single person can record and upload or stream live-video from most anywhere, anytime.
The definition of a documentary film is “nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record.” (Wikipedia). Bear in mind, most documentaries are mostly shot digitally now, rather than on celluloid film, but the word “film” is a throwback to the genre, not the medium, which is fine.
Documentaries are typically a mix of entertainment and information dispensing, and very popular. There are three main types of documentaries; observational (or Cinéma vérité) mainly without any narration moving the process forward, participatory, such as famous director ‘Michael Moore’ as a character taking part in the events as we watch, and expository, with the narrator chiefly explaining and the events as we watch. There are more genres of documentaries are well, please see this site: alexburtonjournal.blogspot.ca
Examples of Documentary Genres:
5. Entertainment Videos
Finally, the fun stuff, entertaining videos simply for entertainment’s sake. The sky is the limit here, and many of the prior examples of video can fall under entertainment as well, so it’s not a hard and fast category. Entertaining videos can vary in scope, genre and purpose. Videos on Netflix, online movies, YouTube video stars, video clips, and more all fall under the scope of entertainment.
Examples of Entertainment Videos:
Automotive Enthusiast Videos
YouTube Channel Stars
Movies (Hollywood, etc)
Streaming Services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, HULU, etc)
Solid Media (DVD and Blu-Ray)
Similarities and Differences of Video Types
There are so many varieties of videos, and so much crossover and overlap that the combinations and lists could seemingly go on forever. The lists above help outline the main genres of video. Next, onto differences and similarities between the key genres. First, the differences…
The Differences Between Video Genres
Most videos types aside Entertainment videos, if not all videos, have a bias and a goal to persuade and motivate action on part of the viewer. Promotional videos require a call to action, where the video will clearly state the next step the viewer must take to achieve the result that is being proposed.
While each video style has a degree partiality on the featured issue, it’s specifically the promotional video that follows a specific formula to persuade the viewer to take action at the end. The entire purpose of the promotional video is to persuade a change in opinion or behavior on part of the viewer, whereas informational and educational videos are more passive.
Commonalities between Different Videos Types
All of the video types share the goal of sharing a story or knowledge with the audience, so in this regard, they’re all the most basic type of video: informational. All videos have a target audience in mind, whether it is narrowed down to age, language, gender or political opinion, an audience was chosen when the planning the scope out with the creative brief took place. Entertainment is also a factor, at some level – if a video is not engaging, the viewer will simply not ‘hear’ the message, rendering the video useless. Videos simply can’t be boring anymore due to short attention spans.
Lastly, always remember, each and every video has a bias – even the most seemingly impartial documentary has made specific choices on what video clips to keep, and which ones to edit out, shaping the message the end viewer receives.
You’ve got a great idea, and you know how to tell it right, and need to make a video. But your video sucks. Something is off, but it’s hard to tell what is off exactly. Does it really matter?
This isn’t really a problem, is it?
Unfortunately, I regretfully must inform you, a poor video is a poor video and likely will not succeed, even if your message is smart. Why is this? What happens if a video feels low quality?
Due to very low attention spans today, if your viewer cannot easily see, hear and understand your video due to low quality, you will lose that viewer.
Worse… your viewer will likely click away to view your competition’s video!
The Good News: The Hard Part is Already Over
A lot of people get stuck before even hitting record, overwhelmed with the idea of creating a video and worried about details. (Note: there is no reason to get overwhelmed.. there are plenty of checklists to assist with getting everything you need done! That’s what they’re there for – guiding the process, one step at a time.)
Not being afraid of the camera is great, the gusto to get up and ‘film something’ should be encouraged!
While recording video is easy, and it can be inexpensive, actually making good video that viewers like takes a little bit of upfront effort to avoid looking amateur.
Smartphones and apps and fast wireless Internet opened the opportunity for video to quit being an elite newscaster-only tool; and to go mainstream. Then with active social apps such Snapchat, Facebook, Periscope, the general population knows that video is ‘easy’ now.
Sure, video is easy, but GOOD video isn’t just as simple as pulling out an smart phone, pointing it at oneself and tapping record – that’d just be a glorified selfie.
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Number 1. Newbie Mistake: Lack of a Proper Plan
An intention to record video is good, but a good camera operator and/or director knows why each video clip is being recorded and what that particular shot will be used for. A plan will cover the people, the equipment, the locations, the goals and the target audience the video will be distributed to.
Successful video producers complete; 1st, a creative brief in advance to sort out the goals for the video, and 2nd, a script written to have an overview blue print of the project, and 3rd a storyboard and shot list to cover ALL the bases to having a good plan for each shot used in a video. With a plan, your video will be a success.
Success Action Step: Cover all your bases of Why, Who, When, What and How by using the tools of a video professional. A Creative Brief, Storyboard and Script in advance of shooting your video to have a clear plan of what your video will be do – and make it easier and more fun.
Number 2. Newbie Mistake: Not Understanding ‘Production Value’
What does ‘production value’ mean? Explained in more detail, the phrase should be ‘high quality video production quality’, or professional quality, for short.
Professional Hollywood films cost millions of dollars. This money is spent on planning and filming to make the visuals and audio sound good and look the absolutely best they can (within the constraints of the budget).
Production Value Factors:
Production value is an assortment of variables, and here are some of the following aspects that play a role in the quality of a video.
Video Resolution Quality (4K, 1080P HD, 720P, frame rates,)
Camera Operation (stability, exposure, leveled, focus, movement)
Message Effectiveness (clear script, easy concept, call to action)
Graphics and FX (design principals, balance, quality, professionalism)
Distribution (ads or no ads, social sharing, effective channels)
Audiences are accustomed to spending as little effort as possible to watch and listen to video of this caliber, so the worse the visuals and sound are, the harder a video is to view. This is important because if there is a similar video with a similar message, but it looks and sounds better than yours, viewers will watch the better looking of the choices.
Success Action Step: Watch videos similar to one you wish to create to see what works – and what doesn’t! Write down the aspects that are important on your Creative Brief to help guide the process.
Number 3. Newbie Mistake: Improper setup of camera
The camera is the first link to the video – it acts as the eyes and ears of the viewer. Even if the camera is a high-end 6K camera, if it’s being used as a handheld camera, and shaky and bumpy will not make for a good viewing experience (and if it’s an online video, the viewer will likely stop watching and watch your competitors video instead!)
In comparison, a well-mounted iPhone filming in HD set on a stable level tripod with a smooth camera operator will make a world of a difference – the video will be far more pleasing, and the viewer is far more likely to continue to watch rather than jumping away to another video.
The Manfrotto Compact Action tripod offers basic adjustment. Be sure to get a smartphone or tablet mount if shooting with those devices. Not useful to pan or tilt with though.
This is a portable, high quality tripod. It will work with smartphones and high-end production cameras. Very smooth pans and tilts. Great bag too!
This is a high-quality, heavy duty tripod. It can handle a light-weight “backpacker crane” jib system! Included spreader with the legs also supports more weight.
Success Action Step: Use a tripod – there is a variety available, here are three different tripods for different budgets. Rest assured – all are professional, and all will help make your video better.
Number 4. Newbie Mistake: Failure to use sound and light properly
Any camera – be it a 6K RED or a regular iPhone – only capture two human senses – sight and sound. Modern cameras, while very good today, still cannot filter out background noise or poor light like our human brains can when we’re there, in a room with another person.
The SmartLav+ is a quality wired lavalier clip-on microphone that works perfectly with an iOS device without needing an adapter.
The Polsen OLM-10 wired lavalier microphone offers great audio with no noise feedback. If used with smartphone, needs an adapter.
This Sennheiser lavaier is a wireless microphone set. The EW 112-P G3 is more expensive because due to it’s very high quality and being a two-part kit.
While a human can easily have a conversation with another person on a busy subway platform and filter out all the background noise, hums, and uneven light, a camera will have difficulty. Setting up a camera in the best location possible for good light and sound will make a world of difference. With the first step, the planning stage, the best location to film will have been chosen to maximize the quality of the video.
Success Action Step: I encourage you to try this: record a test video clip in a busy location like this (dim light or nighttime too if you can) of a person speaking to the camera, and then record an alternate clip in a quiet – and well lit bright area. Play back both clips one after the other and see for yourself the differences.
Number 5. Newbie Mistake: Ineffective Distribution
‘Work’ is important. GSD (getting stuff done, or the other variation on the acronym). How does this tie in with distribution? An analogy I like to use is absolutely everyone is creative and most people have great ideas, but what separates people that are considered ‘creative’ from those who aren’t creative is that the creative people actually sit down and MAKE the idea happen. Without that step of the work, no good would come from the idea – it wouldn’t even exist.
A plan for a video is just an idea, just one step in the process. A video that is recorded is one more step too – it’s not completed. Even a video that is edited is still not safe – unless the video is shared – and shared properly – it won’t ‘work’. Getting that video out there is a hugely overlooked step. Too often businesses invest in video – good video – and then have no distribution plan to get it seen. Marketing is key – ensuring that the video is put online, and in front of the correct eyeballs, is important.
Success Action Step: Your Creative Brief will address all the aspects that you need here too. It will help you to plan out who will see your video, and where they’ll see it, and what they’ll do after they view your video. Easy, right?
So as you can see, the first step sets all the other steps in motion in the planning stage. The channels for distribution will be chosen, the best locations for sound and lighting will have been identified. The camera will be setup correctly with a tripod, and a script, storyboard and creative brief will be on hand to guide the process. Oh, and have fun.
Use of Educational video and informational video inside and outside the classroom is the opportunity to communicate better, more easily and cross boundaries using the web and social media.
This how to guide goes step-by-step through the scripting, filming, editing and sharing of an educational video. Both students and teachers appreciate that understanding is paramount, and when a method is available that offers better memory retention and is faster than reading – though online video – the opportunity is a must.
Outcomes of This How-To Guide for Students (and Teachers)
By reading this how-to guide, you will have the overview of how to make your own educational video, the steps and tools involved, and how to share your video online. This guide is laid out in sequence for both students and teachers, with explanations and examples for students as they embark on their first educational video assignment. At the end of each section are tips specifically for teachers and students, to ensure they:
Follow the steps of video production for successful video creation
Understand how the main concepts in editing a video
Learn the concepts of shooting with a video camera
Upload a video to YouTube to be shared
Resources for finding music for use in production
Downloadable Templates for Scripting, Storyboarding, and More
Bridging The ‘Brick-And-Mortar’ Classroom with Online Learning
Teaching in stage, moving into deeper complexity as concepts are understood works in classrooms, online courses and books. In this knowledge transfer process, teachers and student learners are bound together in this exchange as they cooperatively attempt to communicate effectively and understand and memorize new concepts.
Today, available to everyone is a solution that helps us teach and learn even more effectively. The tools and know-how, as in this guide, is available for students and teachers inside and outside the classroom. While face-to-face is the ideal option, it’s often not available, and we can embrace new learning opportunities.
Why is Learning, Teaching and Understanding, So Hard?
earning new concepts can be difficult. If learning was easy for everyone, then one in-depth book for each subject would be enough. Self-directed learning would be king. There would be no need for classrooms, schools or instructors. Just a book for each topic.
But learning usually doesn’t happen this easily, as students can often get lost with a new concept. Ideally, with careful consideration for learners, an instructor teaches using concepts and words a student already understands to translate and explain a new idea. Periodically, a new word or idea is introduced that conveys a new meaning. Using this language progression, the process continues forward as the instructor goes into the topic, building deeper understanding all the way along.
Why Use Video as a Teaching and Learning Tool?
Informing effectively and keeping learners engaged is critical during the information transfer process. Today, the best technology tool for effective distance-teaching is using educational video. Video is also used as a supplement in the classroom. Well-made video captivates and communicates effectively as it is multisensory, using both visual and auditory senses. Being able to see and to hear a concept being demonstrated is far more effective than a new learner simply reading text and trying to visualize the concept mentally.
Watching a demonstration ‘live’ on video reduces the ‘cognitive load’, or amount of mental work. Video is simple and allows the mind to easily grasp a new concept and commit the idea to memory.
Effective teachers are aware that students need the most support just as they are initially being introduced to a new idea. Similar to how good promotional videos communicate concepts successfully, teachers use educational video’s ability to captivate interest and enhance student learning and supplement concepts being taught in the classroom.
How Does Video Work to Make Learning Better?
Learners and instructors alike prefer video compared to reading and writing methods, as video verbally explains and visually illustrates at the same time. Used both inside and outside the classroom, video is ideal for the process of transferring ideas to be understood. Being more engaged when the learning occurs leads to more effective memory recall, and concept is retained more easily than with many other mediums.
Video is a prime example of ‘multi-modal’ learning, or, multiple communication methods at the same time (Lazear, 2008). With the powerful combination of simultaneous visual and auditory learning and due to ‘picture superiority effect’, visual memories are given far more importance than verbal, or word memories (Nelson, D.L., 1976).
The Benefits of Video with Learning and Recall:
Video is Easier to Comprehend than Verbal Instruction. Well-planned and produced videos enhance comprehension and retention of information when compared to traditional “reading and writing” methods.
Video is a Textbook Example of ‘Multi-Modal Learning”. With visuals, text, and speech, educational video offer multiple methods of information delivery and simultaneously increases engagement and ability to understand (Lazear, D. 2008).
Video Increases Memory Recall due to ‘Dual Coding Theory’. Because humans’ memory is recorded as either pictorial or word-based, educational video greatly increases recall ability of both due to it’s synchronized visual and verbal associations (Paivio, A. 1921).
The Value in Assigning Students to Make their Own Educational Videos
Competency-based learning is demonstrated by students when a class is assigned the task to make and share their own educational videos. The hands-on aspect of researching, filming and editing video gives students the ability to demonstrate both their technical communication competencies as well as detailing the topic they are persuasively reporting on.
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Educational video is a perfect fit with increasingly popular online education options, and with mass online courses, travel is no longer an issue. Students can be away from the classroom and using an iPhone with the iMovie app and can create their own educational videos and then share and view each other’s video assignments over the Internet. Students can watch and report their classmate’s videos as well, all this occurring outside of valuable classroom time.
The 3 Points of Educational Video Production
By following the correct steps of video production, in the proper order, students and teachers alike will be able to create successful educational videos. Today, video does not have to be difficult to create, and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. The iMovie app for Apple products, (for either the Mac or an iOS mobile device such as iPhone), will work very well. Thanks to the advances in technology, cameras, microphones and editing apps are easy to acquire and use – an iPhone is all that’s needed to create a professional looking video today.
Planning and Goals, Phase 1: Identify the key message, goals, style, audience, script, storyboard and the purpose and strategic steps to communicate the message. These are governed by use of a creative brief, script and storyboard.
Video Production, Phase 2: Planning the pre-production technical aspects to creating and filming, the video production filming days, and editing and fine-tuning the visuals and sound in post-production.
Editing and Sharing, Phase 3: Distribution, social sharing, video search-engine-optimizations and analytics.
By following the correct steps of video production, in the proper order, students and teachers alike will be able to create successful educational videos.
Start Making Your Education Video
You can make your own video, but the first question you have to ask yourself is this:
“What should your viewers think or do after they watch your video?”
The answer to this question is crucial to know before any other steps happen. To be said another way, what is the ‘point’ of your video?
The answer to this question will define everything else you do in this with this project; the script, the shots, the people, the graphics, the music and where the final edit is shown.
If a student was making a video to show classmates how a particular change in signage affected pedestrian flow in a public building, then the student would be no reason to interview a grandparent asking them about their childhood studying habits. Planning main details upfront is key, and is done through a few specific worksheets, covered next.
Point 1: Educational Video Planning and Goals
What’s the point of a video if it doesn’t communicate effectively? If a viewer watches a video and doesn’t understand the message or the video production process is untidy and unprofessional, all the time put into the project is wasted – a scenario best avoided!
Good news, there are tools that exist that ensure a video will work as intended. From inception phase and finding meaning to the action phase with the structure of video production and storytelling (T. Pychyl, 2010). Planning and picking the audience and goals for the video aren’t hard, but, does require a little a brief period of focus. The upside is, the more time you concentrate on planning, the less work you have to do later.
The Most Important Step
The first step is to use an educational video Creative Brief – a special questionnaire designed specifically for video production, and answer all the questions in full before you begin. The creative brief defines the key message, the audience, the goals, and other key aspects to make an educational video.
The message to the audience should also be clear and concise – you can’t speak to absolutely everyone, so you must decide who your main audience is upfront. Your language and topics will be focused when you have an audience in mind – be conscious of not using terminology if you’re choosing an audience that is unfamiliar with the terms.
The Main Message
How does the Creative Brief work.
What is the one Main Message?
Who is your Primary Audience?
What is the One Action the Viewer Needs to Take?
And a few more questions…
The Creative Brief will give more detail, but in short, the main message should just be one idea. Keep to one learning objective for a video. It should be very clear so that when the video ends, the audience can easily speak to what the topic was about with confidence. If you have multiple ideas you want to get across, it is best to break those ideas up into separate videos, so rather than having a single 6-minute video with 3 messages, make three 2-minute videos with one idea each. Shorter is better, and each video will be a full complete message per video.
Similar to the one main message, the viewer needs to know what action they’re being asked to take. If this were a promotional video, this step would identify what the “call to action” is. Is it to learn more about this topic by visiting a resource website? Or is it to write their local congressperson to challenge about a certain law? Using your Creative Brief will help you narrow down your message, audience, tone, duration and call to action step.
Tips for Students: Spend as much time on the Creative Brief as is needed – this document will provide the outline for the core goals of your project, and you can always refer back to it when you’re unsure how to proceed. It’s a very necessary step for a successful educational video! Tips for Teachers: Have your entire classroom complete a Creative Brief and review these before production begins to ensure that the proper direction will be taken. Once you have reviewed and approved your student’s Creative Briefs, have your students complete a series of Storyboards as the next task – and review these too.
Choose your Style of Educational Video
You’ve decided to make a video, now it’s time to choose which style; ‘talking-head’ style where a presenter is on screen being recorded talking, or imagery and voice over only, (photos and or images and text with a narrated voice speaking the message), or a imagery and text only, and no voice over.
Traditional (Full Featured) Educational Video
Can feature all available elements; a-roll, b-roll, photos, graphics, text, voice and narration.
Imagery and Narration Voice-Over Educational Video
The most simple way to think of this video style is that there will be no on-screen person presenting and speaking to the camera.
Imagery and Text Only Educational Video
Here is an example of a video for MIT – text and imagery (stills, animations and b-roll video) with music, and no voice-over at all.
Script Writing for Educational Videos
A script is often referred to something like a blueprint for filmmaking – it’s the plan that flows from the Creative Brief and carries the actual story. In addition, a script saves you a lot of time in editing and filming. When filming, it’s not always necessary to memorize word for word, but as an outline that gets you to the end goal, a script is invaluable.
Format of a Video Script
Typically professionally formatted scripts, similar to a Hollywood screenplay, have a similar flow or style to them. This consistent style is done because it works – in addition to spoken word, character names, scenes location, motivations and actions are all listed. There is also plenty of white paper space on the page that is ideal to use a pen to write cues and notes on.
Script Duration vs. Video Duration
The basic rule of thumb is that one page of ‘properly script formatted’ text is about one minute of on-screen camera time. So a two-page script should be approximately 2-minutes for the educational video.
“ … [no matter what video topic] the rule of thumb will be make [your video] as short as possible.” (Hornung, 2014)
This rule is important to be aware of because for online video, shorter is better. Longer videos are ignored because viewers’ attention spans are short, and so if an idea can be conveyed easily with a short video, it’s all that’s needed.
Tips for Students: Try and use a traditional script format if you can – it will help for timing and reading. Try reading your script out loud, speaking slowly, and time yourself to get a sense of how long your video might be. Usually scripts take longer to read than you think – time yourself to see! Tips for Teachers: A general rule of thumb for online video is shorter is better. 1:00 to 3:00 is a suitable duration for most educational videos before the viewer’s attention is lost. If a video is in the 5:00 – 8:00 range, there should be a special reason. Again, shorter is better.
Visual Storytelling with a Storyboard
With your creative brief now printed off and filled out, completed and in-hand, the next step for you is to visually plan out individual shots using a storyboard template. A storyboard is a page with several blank boxes that represent individual shots or ‘frames’ from your promotional video. Each frame, or panel, represents an individual shot – comic books use this method to tell a story in sequence.
Storyboard to Visually Illustrate Shots
Where is the location setting? (inside vs. outside)
Which subjects are in frame, and which way are they facing?
What type of shot (close up, wide angle, extreme close up, etc.)
Where is the camera in the scene and how close is the subject?
Is there movement? Is the subject moving, or the camera?
Using a pencil, lightly sketch on printed storyboard and draw out the plan for the shots you have in mind. Feel free to add notes below each frame, for instance “Opening shot, actor walks up to camera.” With pencil, you can adjust the shots as you work through your script.
How Long Does is it to Make Video?
Educational video production and planning varies with the scope of the project. Much time should be spent on the planning and preparation to ensure the video is a good result.
First Week’s Assignment: Creative Brief
Second Week’s Assignment: Script and Storyboard
Third Week’s Assignment: Shooting and First Draft Edit
Fourth Week’s Assignment: Review, Re-Edit and Upload the Video
When first assigning an educational video assignment to a class, the first step is to have the room individually (or in groups) complete the creative brief and submit it to the instructor for feedback. When the teacher gives back the creative brief with feedback, next, the storyboard and script should be created. Again these are submitted to the teacher for feedback. When these are all complete – creative brief, script and storyboard, the video is ready to be filmed.
Tips for Students: Get as much feedback as possible! When you have your instructor read through your creative brief, script and storyboard, they’ll make notes and have questions that are there for a reason. If they cannot easily understand the concepts of what you’ve written down, then it’s likely that your video won’t make sense either. This feedback is helpful as it will help clarify the end video. Tips for Teachers: While you could assign a video assignment without viewing your student’s creative briefs, scripts or storyboards, it is possible that some may not understand the scope of the project or how to best communicate their ideas. If you have the time, staggering the assignments – creative brief first, script second and storyboard third, will set up your class for the best success possible.
Popular Film Shot Types List
CU – Close Up
MCU – Medium Close Up
ECU – Extreme Close Up
WS – Wide Shot
EWS – Extreme Wide Shot
The step of working with a storyboard is called pre-visualization in the professional filmmaking world, and will help a lot before you go to shoot your educational video.
Tips for Students: There is no hard-set rule for how many frames of storyboard a video should have, but think like a video editor when planning your shots. A good rule of thumb is to ‘start wide’ and move in. An establishing shot (to show the location your video is starting at) is usually a ‘WS’ or ‘EWS’ to show the building or location the video starts at. Usually a ‘MCU’ or ‘CU’ of the person speaking on camera is shown soon after. Tips for Teachers: Like the Creative Brief and later the Script, your students’ Storyboards should be reviewed by you prior to filming the educational video so that you can ensure that they are on the right path. Catching errors at this stage prior to filming will help save time for everyone involved!
Point 2: Educational Video, Production, Filming and Editing
You are almost ready to begin the actual video production. In preparation for filming or shooting, make sure you have a list of the on-screen interviewees, the props, the filming equipment and access to all the locations you need.
Make these lists are complete and then bring together all the gear you need and lay it out in front of you first, to make sure it all works. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a location to film only to realize your camera has no more storage memory to film and you need to make space first, or your forgot that script or tripod at home. It happens to the best of us, let me assure you, but the list and preparation will help.
Educational Video Gear Checklist
Like a painter with their set of paintbrushes, using video gear is an exciting step for most people, as this is the phase where we’re actually ‘creating’. While there is no one size fits all, having a guide for gear will help narrow down what is required to make a video.
Headphones (over-ear with muffs to avoid background noise)
The above list is from a guide titled ‘What Video Equipment Do I Need for Any Budget Level’. The article does a side-by-side comparison of low budget, medium budget and high budget gear (click here to see it).
For basic educational videos, the ‘Low Budget’ gear list should be helpful to beginning video producers, but there are bits of gear from a higher-end budget that you may be able to borrow and add to your video to enhance it.
Additional Gear: Lighting, Audio, Etc
Camera Light (clips onto the camera and shines on people being interviewed)
3-Piece Lighting Kit (lights on stands, usually 2 or 3 lights placed around a subject)
Audio Recorder (Can be used to record better sound than the camera does)
Laptop (to backup the video)
Choosing the Best Place to Film
Check the area you plan on filming being conscious of ambient sound and lighting. Try and find an area that offers the least amount of background noise, and lighting, as you’d like it. For lighting, if you were bringing your own lights and stands, you’d want a place that you can control (turn off or on) other room lights. If you’re planning on using ambient light, take out the camera up and take a peek.
Video Filming Day
Filming your education video is fun and exciting! This is the moment where you get to make the concept that you’ve planned come to life. Make sure you have printed hard copies of all your lists, copies of your script, creative brief, and storyboard. Double check your gear, and arrive early to the location you’re planning on filming at. But first, an important note:
Special Note: You don’t want any reason to have to stop filming when you start if it’s avoidable. The common (avoidable) culprits are when cameras fill up their storage space or running out of power. It happens. Bring extra batteries, chargers, cables, and memory cards (or laptop or hard drive), just in case.
Tips for Students: To increase production value of your video, use a tripod, a microphone, and lights. Tripod keeps the camera stable, the microphone picks up the sound better than the microphone on the camera, and the lights allow the camera to see the person being interviewed better than background light. These three elements are what the pros focus on to create great looking video. Tips for Teachers: Most often, sound is overlooked for beginners creating videos. Show your students examples of video where there is background music, or background noise that makes it hard to hear the narrator. If there is an option for your students to use a wired or wireless microphone when they are filming, have them use it for better results.
Some Educational Video Filming Tips:
Make sure the camera is level, and focused properly on the subject. Each time you press record, it’s good to check that audio is good, and that the focus is correct.
Each time you press “record” on the camera, say aloud “Rolling”. This lets everyone in the room know the camera is now recording. Wait two seconds, and then state “Action” – this is the cue for the on screen person to begin speaking, when they’re ready. These pauses help with the video edit time, giving buffers to make the edit easier.
Periodically, check the remaining storage and battery levels on the camera. You don’t want to run out of video storage or battery power. If you’re recording using an iPhone, off-load video footage to a laptop long before it’s necessary. Also, bring a long cable to plug in the camera to keep it charged when it’s recording.
Tips for Students: The process of filming is exciting – and can be frustrating. This is normal. If you ever get stuck on a process, refer back to your script. And if you still need a bit more clarity, check your creative brief. You have everything you need to make it happen. Tips for Teachers: The fun begins! Remind your students that filming today is cheap – don’t have them worry about ‘getting it right the first try’ – it’s not stage acting. If a take isn’t great, they can redo it again and again, till it’s right. Encouraging confidence and relaxation for on-screen performance will likely be the biggest hurdle at this stage.
Video Resolutions: UHD, HD and SD
You will need to choose the video quality for your project – when you record the video footage it will be ‘HD’, ‘UHD’ (also called 4K) or an obsolete format called ‘SD’. ‘HD’ is the current video standard today (either 1080P or 720P) and ‘UHD’ or ‘4K’ are the newest video standards available. It is best to not film in SD if you can (explained below). If you’re making this for a class, ask which resolution your instructor would prefer.
UHD (ultra-high resolution) or “Quad-HD” video resolution come as (3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels high). These name Quad-HD comes from the dimensions being four-times that of 1080P HD resolution. UHD and Quad-HD are often called “4K”, though the resolution of 4K is a bit wider, but it is very close.
HD (high definition) resolutions are typically called 1080P or 720P. The large is the ‘Full HD’ specification of 1080P (1920 x 1080 pixels) and the smaller HD specification of 720P (1280 x 720 pixels).
SD (formerly called ‘standard definition’) is the oldest video format, currently phasing into obsolescence. Dating back to the year 1939, this resolution is very old and tiny when compared to HD and UHD. SD is also called 480i or 480P (640×480 pixels), and should be avoided if possible due to better formats HD and UHD being available.
Once your video is exported, your video is ready to be viewed. You can either copy it to a USB drive to transport somewhere or upload it to the Internet to be shared. Uploading to the Internet is the next portion.
How Much Storage Does UHD/4K Video Take?
UHD 4K video, due to its four-times the size of 1080P HD video (double the height, double the width) takes up more storage space on the device recording it.
30 seconds of 4K will take approximately ~190MB in storage space
1 minute will take up approx. 375MB in storage space
5 minutes will take up approx. 1.9GB in storage space
10 minutes will take up approx. 4GB in storage space
30 minutes will take up approx. ~12GB in storage space
If you own an iPhone with the intent of using it as a video production tool, it will absolutely be in your best interest to opt for the largest storage option you can afford. 64GB or 128GB will be a smart option to choose.
Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3
Setup the Camera on a Tripod, and aim it at the backdrop you plan on filming. Rehearsing the shot several times will help.
Have your on-camera subject sit on chair (or stand if needed) and looking through the camera, adjust the lighting and camera settings to get the visuals where you’d like them. Adjust the camera and on-screen subject to make the shot look like a frame of the storyboard that you’re attempting to recreate.
A rehearsal is a very good step. Setup the microphone too and record an audio test, and play back listening through your headphones. Have your on screen actor feel confident about their delivery too. If the lighting, sound and actor are all ready – then you are ready to roll.
Shooting Time: Sound. Lights. Action
Your run-through tests are complete. The sound is good? The light is good? Then you’re good to start rolling, for real! Using the script and storyboard, start filming. It’s okay to have blunders – just redo the shot again. Go step by step through the shots until you’re done.
Point 3: Editing and Sharing your Educational Video
Editing is where the story gets told. If someone watched your video without knowing the premise, would they understand? Might the editing style and flow of the video imply it’s a promotional video with a sales agenda? The Script and Creative Brief had a plan, and are important to stick to, but in the end, the video has to make sense on it’s own. Keep the end viewer in mind at all times.
The fun part begins – the edit is where the ‘story’ is told. In your editing app, create a new project. If you’re using iMovie to edit your educational video, choose a theme for the video. Keep it simple – the focus should be on the interviews, not the fancy effect associated with an iMovie project theme. Look at other videos like yours if need be. When you’ve chosen and setup a theme, press done.
Easy Editing Apps for Educational Videos
I’ve used all three video editing applications below for professional work and can recommend each of them. They’ve got their unique benefits, and depending not the scope of your project and your experience, they each have their place. I got my start on iMovie and recommend if you’re a beginner, that you do too, but if you’ve got access to a higher-end app and have the time and patience to learn it, it may very well be worth it.
iMovie (available for macOS and iOS) – This reliable and easy to use video editing application is available for both as iMovie for Macs and iMovie for iPhones (and any modern iOS device, including iPad and iPod Touch). I personally recommend every novice gets their start with iMovie before moving onto any other application.
Don’t underestimate iMovie program just because it has the lowercase letter “i” as a prefix; this application can edit 4K video (high resolution video) with the best of them, and features transitions, title graphics, music and sound effects standard. iMovie has been around for a long time and if used intelligently, won’t detract from your video project’s professionalism. The techniques you can learn and master with the app can be transitioned to any future editing app, so iMovie is the ideal choice to begin with.
Advanced Editing Apps for Educational Videos
Final Cut Pro X (available for macOS) – A modern video editing application for Mac computers, Final Cut is the professional-level video option for intermediate and experienced users. An older sibling of iMovie which has been used to edit educational videos for years, Final Cut Pro X (aptly called FCP X) offers a unique interface and a powerfully designed framework to let pros edit quickly and more dynamically than iMovie. While there is a bit of a learning curve when compare to iMovie or Adobe Premiere Pro, once you get the handle of ‘how’ the application is best used, the process of using it becomes intuitive and brisk. While there were initial complaints about the program when it was released in 2011, Apple has made quick work and tweaked all the problem areas to round the program out and make it a strong contender to both iMovie and Adobe Premiere Pro.
Adobe Premiere Pro (available for Windows and macOS) – A powerful tool to create n educational video, Adobe Premiere Pro is an excellent video editor option from the Creative Pros, and the makers of Photoshop, After Effects and InDesign, Adobe. With a cult-like following, and rightly-so, many editors swear by Premiere Pro and it’s ‘more intuitive’ interface when compared to FCP X. While the debate is open to which application is ‘faster’ or ‘easier’ to use, there is no contending that if you wish to use a Windows PC and a Mac to swap your project between, then this is the app for you. The learning curve is likely slightly easier than FCP X initially, but if you’re going to seriously considering investing in either FCP X or Adobe Premiere Pro, free trial options are available.
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Editing Clips in your Educational Video
Create a new project in your editing application. Next, you can start importing video clips into your project. You can preview video clips before you import them so you can decide which one is the best. Best practices.
Editing is a Puzzle. Trim and layer clips as need be to make the story work. You may have to edit one person mid-sentence. Try it out, if it works, keep it.
Have Fun. You can always ‘undo’ a change. Be courageous and try different flow of clips with your edits to see which works the best.
Keep to the Plan. Have your Storyboard, Script and Creative Brief close by to refer to them as your build your edit. Let the planning you initially did guide the project. With the Creative Brief, always remember your audience and key message, and edit so those aspects make sense.
Edit from Start to Finish. It’s best to start with the core part of your video – if it’s based around a person talking to the camera, edit that part of the video first, start to finish, so that it makes sense.
Less is More. When editing, it’s typical to have a long video when you begin. The trick is to tell the story with as little as possible. Attention spans are short, and a video longer than 2 minutes will be difficult for most people to sit through, let alone focus on. Don’t be afraid to try removing a clip from your edit to see if it still works or not.
Best for Last. For instance, when baking a pie, whipped cream topping is the last part to be added before a slice is served. In the same way, do not worry about titles, graphics, transitions, music or credits – these aspects come near the end of edit, once the ‘message’ is clear with the main edit. These parts are important, but come later on.
Tips for Students: Editing takes time – longer than most people initially expect, and editing is part art and part science. Watching your video over and over is part of the process. If often helps to ask a friend who wasn’t associated with the planning to watch your video to see if it makes sense. Real feedback will help develop your video’s edit and make it better. Tips for Teachers: If your class is using iMovie, have all students use the same theme for consistency. The default theme is called ‘Modern’ – I suggest you have your students use the ‘Simple’ theme because this will keep unnecessary ‘effects’ to a minimum.
Audio: Music and Sound Effects
When your main edit makes sense and is nearing completion, music can help add to the mood. When used mindfully, background music and even some sound effects can be tasteful and add to the video. Be sure to monitor volume levels – music and sound should never ‘drown out’ any person speaking on camera.
Music & Sound Effects Online Resources:
There are various sources to download music – most aren’t free, but if you sort through options, free options do popup. Here are a list of a few popular sources:
Tips for Students: Be mindful of music choices – most music has copyright and royalties or costs associated. If you do find a track you like, document where you found it and any information about it so you can look it up later if your teacher needs you to. Tips for Teachers: Music copyright can be an issue, even if the video is not intended for public viewing. YouTube’s software scans all videos being uploaded and may flag a video unwatchable if the software thinks it can detect a problem song. Inform students that they should leave enough time for reediting if this occurs when they upload to YouTube.
Exporting Your Video from the App
Once your educational video is complete, it’s time to send the video from the editing program and then to upload it to the Internet. Common video formats for Apple products are .mov or .mp4 and for Windows and Android devices, .avi and .mp4 are more common.
Export at the highest resolution that the video itself was recorded in, UHD (2160P) or HD (1080P or 720P) unless there is standing reason not to (such as a low-end Internet connection limiting uploading bandwidth).
Tips for Students: Once the video file has exported from your video editing application, play back the video file to make sure it works properly. Occasionally, a problem will be noticed when you’re reviewing the footage – make sure you catch an error before you do the work to upload your video to the Internet. Tips for Teachers: ‘SD’ or ‘Standard Definition’ is well on it’s way to phasing into obsolescence, as the resolution is very low compared to HD and UHD – SD was the 640×480 pixel dimension of video before HD was introduced. Request projects to be completed in HD or UHD.
Uploading and Publishing Your Video
Online hosting is easy and free. While there are a variety of online videos hosting websites to choose from, the free option of using YouTube is often the best option due to it’s wide range of features. With YouTube, the platform plays on a variety of devices (TVs, desktop computers), and it is mobile-video friendly and allows for privacy.
Step 2: Login using your Google account. (Create a new account if you need)
Step 3: Click ‘Upload’ button, at top right of the page
Step 4: Click ‘Select files to upload’. The page will change, and a ‘Processing’ bar will show the video uploading
Step 5: The video file will begin uploading. A progress will show the upload, depending on the file size the video, a timer will show an estimate for the amount of time the upload will take.
Step 6: Begin by typing into the text boxes information about the video; title, description. A title should make logical sense and use concise, regular language, but in a 140 or fewer characters. The description can be a lengthier explanation.
Step 7: Tags (keywords) can be one word each that are associated with the topic.
Choosing Where Video Appears: The default is ‘Public’ – your video will be available to be seen by anyone viewing your public YouTube page’s channel, or searching for it. ‘Unlisted’ will allow people who have the direct URL only, and ‘Private’ is only for you to be able to view when you login to your own YouTube account.
Optional Step: Advanced Settings are available – not needed, but you can enhance your video here if you wish.
Step 8: Once the video’s progress bar is complete and you have filled in the information you want, click the ‘Publish’ to make the video now available to be viewed.
Step 9: The page will refresh – you can ‘Share’ or ‘Embed’ or ‘Email’ the video from this page. The three options in greater detail:
Share – You see a website link for the video you can copy and paste to send to people, or click on your desired social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) if you wish to share it there on your feed.
Embed – You can copy the code snippet and place it in your website to embed the video. You can define the size dimensions of the video using controls.
Email – Fill in a person’s e-mail address and a message to have a link of the video sent to them.
Some reasons not to choose YouTube may be because music, photographs or some people who you got shots of you don’t have permission to share. Ensure that you have the rights to any music, photographs, video clips, filming locations and any people you are interviewing on camera. Using waivers is an excellent way to ensure you’ve covered all the necessary steps in getting approval. If you’re ever in doubt, be sure to ask.
That’s it, your video is live! If you wish to change settings such as the name, tags, thumbnail or privacy level, you can easily visit your YouTube dashboard and click ‘Edit’ button near the video you wish to change.
Congratulations on completing your educational video!
Note about Music on Youtube: Also, some videos may encounter issues with copyright notices from YouTube. This happens because the YouTube servers ‘listen’ to the audio track of every video uploaded – if the software believes it hears a commercial song, it may flag this video. In preparation, your students can plan in advance for this – they may have to reedit the video to remove songs, or be mindful of background music playing when they’re recording their video.
Recieving Feedback on Your Educational Video
A video will always have some aspect that can be tweaked, adjusted, added or removed. Everyone will have an opinion and this is normal. It is likely you may come back a week later and have a different opinion about your work work too. This is normal! It’s okay. If you have the option of adjusting your educational video, go for it, or, save the ideas and lessons you’ve learnt form this particular project for the next one.
Tips for Students: Watch your video again and make sure it works and there are no glitches in it. To avoid the mass public from seeing your video, on YouTube, it’s possible to have a video ‘Unlisted’ – it will be available to be viewed by anyone you send the direct link to when you publish it later, but will not show up publicly on your YouTube channel, and will not be able to be seen by someone else if they search for it. Tips for Teachers: Suggest that students only upload their projects to YouTube, using the ‘Unlisted’ privacy setting. Next, once a student has their YouTube video on the Publish screen, have your students submit the same way – using the ‘Email’ screen. This way you’ll have everyone submitting the same way. Alternatively, have your students Embed their video on a course blog website with more info about their topic.
Continuing The Video Process
Understanding story telling, video and the creative methods involved is an ongoing process. There is so much more you can learn if you’d like to improve your abilities, and it’s such a rewarding and fun hobby, or full-time vocation, if you choose. Enjoy the process – and if you’ve created a video, share it down below in the comments me to see, and show others what you’ve done.
Fenesi, B., (2011); Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R., 2003; Berk, R. A., 2009.