Incorporating video in your business's marketing and sales funnel is a great way to boost engagement with users and close more deals.
Video is an incredibly powerful form of content, but some businesses don't have the budget, tech, or experience to create high-quality video.
Fortunately, it's 2019, and there's a good chance the only tool you need to shoot a quality video is in your pocket.
We're talking smartphones.
Both iPhones and Android smartphones have fantastic built-in cameras that can shoot both high-quality photos and videos. Apple, in particular, has been paving the way for mobile video and photography, and has put some of the most affordable, high-quality camera tools in the pockets of millions.
So, what are some things to keep in mind in order to create the best videos possible?
7 Tips For Creating Awesome Videos With Your Smartphone
1. Keep the Speaker Close to the Camera.
In general, the closer the speaker is to the screen, the more focused they will be, creating a subtle blur of the background.
While it may not be as high quality as a video camera, newer phones have excellent focus, meaning your iPhone video can look just as good.
2. Keep the Background Simple.
Branching off of point one, it’s best to keep background distractions to a minimum. The more simplistic the background, the more focus can be on the speaker!
When shooting on an iPhone, try to avoid shooting in spaces that have a lot of action or a lot of little items, like the center of your office.
Another tip that might be helpful is to stick to the same shooting location for every video you create, or at least shooting consistently in only a few locations. Once you find that sweet spot, everything else might just be subpar.
3. Use the Rule of Thirds.
The concept of placing your speaker in the center of the frame is now outdated and boring. To spice up your video, use the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is a simple video technique that breaks up the frame into a 3x3 grid. To satisfy this rule, you should position your subject so their face is in one of the connecting intersections.
Using the rule of thirds will create more aesthetically pleasing and engaging videos of everyday business life and will create interesting new compositions.
4. Don’t Script It, But Be Prepared.
Oftentimes, scripting a video can seem disingenuous and “fake.” Rather than drafting out an entire script, outline a few main points you plan to discuss in your video, then work with on-screen personnel to create a more natural and conversational "script."
This will keep your discussion on the right track but allow for genuine conversation with your audience.
5. Use iMovie to Add Branding and B-roll.
Just because you aren’t shooting with high-quality equipment, it doesn’t mean you can’t try to create a high-quality video masterpiece!
Use iMovie—a free app on Apple computers (and even phones!) to add your company’s logo in the lower corner of your videos. This will instantly brand your video.
Also, experiment with b-roll footage to bring together different elements. If you’re talking about a new product, shoot some b-roll of someone using or demonstrating that product. This will add variety to your shots, so viewers don’t get tired of seeing just one person talk the whole time.
6. Choose the Orientation Based on Your Platform.
This one is the most basic tip, but it can create the biggest impact! You should choose the direction of your video based on the platform or platform feature you are sharing it to. What do I mean?
Different platforms display their videos different ways.
- YouTube: Horizontal
- Facebook: Horizontal
- Instagram: Either (will always display as a square in your feed)
- Instagram Stories: Vertical
- Twitter: Horizontal
7. Shoot in Low-Light Spaces.
We don’t mean to shoot in that dark room in the corner of your office… but iPhones are actually equipped with a high aperture to perform well in low-lighting situations!
Unlike shooting with a video camera, placing your subject in front of a window might wash them out a little more than usual. Remember, you want the lighting to be clean and display as much color as possible.
Affordable Tech to Ramp Up Your Business's iPhone Videos
All you truly need to create a killer business video with your iPhone is the phone itself and iMovie (or a similar basic video editing software). This is great for on-the-fly sales videos, such as video voicemails and follow-ups, as well as social media promotional videos.
However, if you've got the time and a some extra cash available, be sure to pick up an affordable tripod and smartphone adapter.
We also strongly suggest purchasing a basic video/photo lighting kit and lavalier (LAV) microphone. A three point lighting kit will help provide controlled lighting for interviews, testimonials, and sales videos, while a basic LAV mic will provide clearer single-talent audio without the background noise and fuzz of built-in smartphone microphones.
The following are some great and affordable options for all of the above on Amazon:
- Ravelli 61-inch light weight tripod ($24.96)
- DaVoice cellphone tripod adapter ($6.95)
- LimoStudio continuous lighting kit ($52.99)
- Movo PM10 omnidirectional lavalier microphone ($14.95)
Of course, there are better lighting kits, tripods, and microphone options out there; however, if your business is just starting to use and promote videos to drive engagement and sales, the options listed are a great place to start.
We should know: we used these exact options for years when we started our video marketing projects (and still do for several). Just over one hundred bucks to drastically improve your video marketing game? It's an affordable equipment haul that practically sells itself.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2016. It was updated in January 2019 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.