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Top Tips For Filming On Your Mobile

by | May 28, 2019

Video has become a key ingredient of social media content. Not ten-minute old school “corporate” videos but ones of a few minutes or even shorter. Instagram cap their videos at one minute. But the fact is a video will engage more than a picture.

You’ll probably have noticed that on your own newsfeeds. Pictures are great, especially on-site content! But a good video will do even more for you. The problem is that they will take more time to do.

From streaming a Facebook Live to putting ad budget behind them, video is the way forward. If you get it right, you can run a Facebook video ad for literally 1p a view or less.

We realized that clients don’t always have the time to do videos themselves; and when they do, they may prefer to let someone else take care of it. And recording with a smartphone, as advanced as they are, might not always create the most professional representation of your brand. I stress “might” because filming a video for social media on your phone could suit your needs in terms of time and budget.

Filming video on your mobile

If you are interested in taking mobile videos for your business, here are some top tips:

Top Tips for Filming Video on your Mobile

Shooting video on your phone is so easy nowadays, it can be done with the swipe of a finger. Smartphones can now record video in seriously high quality, meaning you can create a video for your business easily!

But there is more to filming a video than just pressing record.

1. Shoot landscape, not portrait

Now that may seem like common sense but you would be surprised how often people forget! It’s quite natural to start filming in portrait because that’s the way we normally hold our phones or take pictures. At the moment, only Facebook Live videos should be shot portrait. This is because Facebook Live videos are made for mobile, not so much desktop.

You may not think it is an issue to film in portrait, but as soon as you play that video anywhere else, it could then be a problem. If you want to watch your video on a laptop or television, you will get the issue of your clip being surrounded by two large black bars either side, minimizing your video. By shooting in landscape, you still get the same content; however, your video is automatically full screen.

Landscape suits YouTube perfectly too – a great hosting platform for website videos and Search Engine Optimization.

2. Keep it smooth, keep it steady

Filming with a smartphone may be a lot lighter than filming with a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera (DSLR). But you’ll run the risk of blurry photos and shaky video.

If you don’t want to fork out for stabilizing tech for your phone, it’s OK, you don’t have to – you can use your own body for stability. The key thing is to use both hands when filming while locking your elbows into your body. While there may be some shaky moments if you film for long periods of time, you will minimize the sudden jolts you can get from holding your phone with one hand.

Want to introduce controlled movement into a shot but worried you’ll be all shaky? Don’t fear! Instead of moving just the camera, try using your feet as a solid base and moving your upper body with the camera; then you will get a smooth and controlled moving action.

3. Don’t be afraid to use accessories

All the basics can be achieved with just you and your smartphone. But there is always the chance to improve with the help of some cool accessories. If taking static shots is something that you enjoy doing, investing in a tripod is a good idea; it completely erases any stability issues and you can create clear content.

Is audio quiet or distorted when you film? Consider an external microphone that you can plug in, which allows you to capture crisp and clear audio. You can pick up a mic that plugs into your mobile for a few pounds online. Wireless ones are another level of investment. Of course, you want to make sure that any extra tech you buy is worth the money, so it is always worth to read reviews and see if anyone else has tested them out!

Not really an accessory, but being as 85% of Facebook videos are played without sound. It might be a good idea to have subtitles. You want to make it as easy as possible for your video to be consumed. A handy website is Rev – they transcribe your videos for you and send you a file. Always check the file they send you alongside your video, sometimes they aren’t completely accurate. 

Filming video on your mobile

4. Subject matter

Social media success is largely about content. Yes – timing, frequency, audience targeting, measuring and budgets will all play a part but if the content is weak… you’re fighting a losing battle. Even though you may be super keen to do lots of videos, it is quality over quantity. If you can do one quality video a week, supplemented by on-site photos and news the rest of the week… happy days.

Also, some people will be better presenters than others. If you force a junior member of the team to be the face of your video, it could make for uncomfortable viewing…. Nerves can be overcome of course, so practising will help. Be natural, smile, take your time, speak slower than you think you are speaking. Definitely practice a Facebook Live before actually going live. People expect that a couple of things may go wrong during a Facebook Live. Just don’t swear….

Starting to film or photograph on your mobile phone for social media should never feel scary. The key thing to remember is that everyone started out at an amateur level. Skills like this take time, so don’t panic if you feel you haven’t got it right after a week of trying. And the hardest part will be finding people willing to go in front of the camera! Most people are OK having their picture taken but video is a whole other ballpark!

5. Promoting your video

Once you’ve shot your video, you need to announce it to the world! There’s no point having a Ferrari if you’re going to keep it in the garage all day. No, don’t spam people with it, but once is not enough. The worst number in marketing is one.

Facebook is an obvious start. Facebook prefers native video, so upload it directly rather than via a 3rd party such as YouTube. Again, with even just £1 a day behind it, you will see some awesome viewing figures if you’ve done your targeting right.

Upload it to Twitter a couple of days later perhaps, but we wouldn’t recommend running it as a Twitter advert unless you’ve found Twitter to be accountably great for your business. Then LinkedIn a couple of days later, Instagram if the video is less than a minute long….

We would also recommend uploading your video to YouTube even though that seems to contradict what I’ve just said. YouTube, owned by Google, is the perfect platform for SEO. They just don’t like Facebook. But if you upload your video to YouTube, which you can do straight from your mobile, fill out the descriptions and then link through to the YouTube URL from your website, your search rankings will thank you. As with most things worthy, it just takes a bit of time.

Are you considering giving video for your business a try, but don’t really know where to start? Why don’t you have a chat with us? We could even take care of everything for you, from the initial idea straight through to filming and editing!

If you do need a little bit more information about how video makes a difference to your marketing, have a read about the changes in Facebook’s Algorithm. Videos will soon be the focus of your news feed.

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