Online Video – Quality is Critical
It should be established by now that there are currently clear benefits in using online video content to communicate with your customers. Furthermore, it will not come as a shock to you that the video content you are putting out there should be of a high quality. However, it is important to investigate exactly what we believe to be quality video and how it can be achieved.
We won't be undertaking a study into what quality itself is - you can read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for that. Rather we'll be looking at user expectations, technical requirements and how extremely easy it is to get these all horribly wrong and the consequences to your brand.
Getting stuck right in.. Sound quality is paramount - your dialogue contains your message and expresses character through the actor or voiceover (VO) artist whereas suitable music or effects can introduce a relevant mood. These elements are all necessarily of a high standard to ensure your viewer continues viewing, and has a favorable perception of your product impressed upon them
To achieve good sound you need, in a nutshell, professional quality microphones of a type suitable for the shoot, positioned correctly. The audio must be recorded onto a high quality digital recording device in an uncompressed format to eliminate noise and to retain the original quality. It's necessary to be familiar with the recording device in order to set the recording format and levels correctly. If any of these factors are compromised at all, the viewer will immediately be aware and they will probably move on.
An iPhone shoots HD video right? Your little handicam has a tripod adaptor, can we shoot on that? Absolutely this will not do. A better quality video in the right hands can be shot on a 10 year old video camera than on a modern camera in the hands of an amateur. Also, using a brand new device does not mean the light passing through its lens will be of any use to you or the poor editor who has to work with it.
There are so many boxes to tick here and considerations to explore. Your camera should have a high quality lens or your footage will be fuzzy, dark, the colours will be drab and poor overall. A good tripod is necessary to ensure a stable image when necessary, and smooth pans when called for. A wobbly image or jerky pan will destroy the quality of your video.
Again, a whole world of clamps, bulbs, filters, gels to contend with. But it all boils down to the art of making sure your subject is lit well, which means ensuring there are no unflattering shadows and they are neither too dark nor too bright. Using the correct lighting kit is important, particularly when mixing daylight with artificial light, or you might find your blue sky looks great but your interviewee has turned green.
Almost every computer in the world now has an application installed to edit video. But this doesn't mean that everyone who takes advantage of this fact is producing great videos. iMovie and Movie Maker are great but professional packages such as Sony Vegas, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro are expensive for a reason and their users study those applications and take exams for a reason, which is that they are very flexible, powerful and riddled with features that enhance and enrich the end product.
We hope this has given you some insight into the complexities of video production, and some pointers on how to get it right if you decide to do it yourself. However, of course we're recommending that the best course of action is to outsource the production to a company who specialises in online video production. They should be able to take your current branding guidelines and incorporate them into any new video content so it seamlessly integrates with your existing website content.