By: Molly Berrens, Founder, Spotted Yeti Media, and Casey Williams, Senior Producer, Spotted Yeti Media

Just about every marketer will tell you to include video as part of your marketing mix, that video is essential to complement your content marketing plan and reach your intended audiences. Easier said than done, right? Only a few of us have degrees in film or video production, let alone the experience to manage and work with a video production services partner.

With video, there are so many options–and many of them viable–that can present opportunities and challenges. How do you determine what option is best for your strategy, objectives, budget and timeline?

Below are four questions to ask as you develop your video marketing strategy.

1. When should I hire a pro?

As many marketers may know from experience, the answer is, “it depends.”

If you have the time and budget to work with a professional video production team, the experience and final product can be quite rewarding. You’ll have the luxury of an experienced professional to lead you through this highly technical and creative process. When you have to put your best foot forward, create sales collateral or are feature your company or product overview through video, hire a pro to help you create content with purpose. Before a camera is even turned on, they’ll do a deep dive with you into things like your objective, target audience, distribution channels, and tone.

2. When should I do it myself, or “get scrappy”?

When quality of video is less important, and an off-the-cuff, casual, grassroots feel is what best serves the strategy and purpose of video. Give it a shot yourself, but try it for an internal project first. Don’t go external with it on your first try.

3. What about video for social media?

Video is getting more and more important for social media channels, and again, you have lots of options. One of the keys to successful use of social media marketing is consistency. And, if you have a goal of producing video content on a regular basis, it’s a great opportunity for you to get scrappy and do it yourself. I’m a big fan of DIY video production to stay engaged with an audience on social media, to show the personality of a brand, or to highlight the people who make your company awesome.

4. So how do I make a great video if I’m doing it myself?

There are a lot of moving parts to creating video, so I can’t overemphasize the importance of planning. Just like working with a professional, start by understanding your objectives, target audience, distribution, and desired tone. Map all that stuff out first. Then, think about how you’ll technically execute your project:

  • Camera: DSLR cameras are very popular, shoot great HD video in most cases, and are versatile. Mobile phone cameras have also come a long way and most modern cellphones shoot very nice HD video.

Tip: Use a stabilizing device like a tripod or monopod for better looking footage.

  • Audio: Nothing ruins a great video like bad audio. Most cameras have built-in microphones, but they’re not very good, so if you’re going to be shooting your own videos, invest in a decent microphone. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to improve the quality of your audio, but do your homework and buy the right type of microphone for your intended application.
  • Lighting: Use natural light whenever you can. If you’re shooting indoors, try to choose a bright room with windows.

Tip: Light colored and reflective surfaces will reflect light, and you can use this to your advantage. Take a white foam board to reflect additional light onto your subject instead of using an additional light.

  • Environment: Look and listen carefully around the environment where you’ll be shooting. Can you hear street noise? How does the air handling system sound? If you can hear unwanted sounds, chances are that your microphone will pick them up.

Tip: Try to use the environment to your advantage. A visually interesting background can be a valuable tool in helping to keep your viewers from losing interest in your content. Consider the environment to be a character in your production, so make sure that it will make sense to the viewer.

Producing video yourself can save you money and be a very rewarding process. Or, it can be way harder, take way more time, and ultimately be more expensive than you planned. You could wind up with a lousy product and have to hire a professional anyway to do the whole thing over again. Proceed with caution and don’t forget to PLAN! With careful planning, any of these tips should help improve the quality of your video.

About Spotted Yeti Media
Spotted Yeti Media is a video production company based in Covington, Ky., that serves the tri-state region. We offer full script-to-screen experience includes corporate and large businesses, but our team also understands smaller organizations because, quite simply, we are one. Learn more and check out our work on our website.