Videos add interest and creativity to your websites and social media pages, and they can help you connect with new customers, sell your products and enhance your brand.
Whether you're a DIYer or you plan to hire someone to make your videos for you, it's important to understand some of the basic techniques of video editing. These five tips will help:
1. Tell A Story
To make a video that people will want to watch, you need to have a story and some sense of how you want to tell it. That means your video must have a beginning, a middle and an end. Even if you're making a straightforward product video, it will need a sense of narrative flow that begins with an introduction of you and your product, proceeds by explaining how the product works and why people need it, and wraps up with a conclusion and perhaps a link or two. This narrative arc is present in any good video, whatever the length, topic, purpose or audience. Ask yourself what story you want to tell—your answer to that question will be the beginning of your video's structure.
2. Gather Lots Of B-Roll
You might think your video will mostly be shots of you talking to the camera, but in fact, much of any good video actually consists of B-roll—cover video of your product, your manufacturing facilities, your office, your meetings with clients or whatever else might make sense for the purposes of your video. You can then use these B-roll shots in conjunction with voice-overs to give your video extra interest and appeal.
To see how B-roll can be used, watch some videos on YouTube and pay particular attention to those segments that don't involve someone speaking to a camera but rather speaking over video. You'll soon get the sense that the more B-roll you can capture in the filming process, the more you'll have to work with when you sit down to do your editing.
3. Write A Script
You might be eager to get started on your video, but it helps to write out a script beforehand. The script will help you figure out how to structure your video, what you should say, and what kind of footage you'll need. Draft a script before you begin filming, and then revise and edit it once you've gathered and uploaded all your raw video.
4. Learn The Art Of The Cut
Essentially, cutting removes video segments you don't want and links together those you do. Your goals is to aim for non-jarring cuts between segments. In editing software, it's easy to drag and drop entire sections of video; you'll want to experiment to see what works for your particular narrative. Make sure to avoid fancy, overdone transitions—stick with basic cuts that won't distract your audience.
5. Add Other Elements
You might want to add elements like text, photographs, graphics and music to your video. If you do, think about how these elements contribute to your story, and make sure they're seamlessly woven into the video. You don't want them to stand out—you want them to contribute to the overall purpose, tone and pacing of your video. Also make sure you have the right to use the music you choose, either because you've created it yourself, you've paid for a license to use it or it's royalty-free.
Making an effective and engaging video doesn't have to be mysterious or even that difficult. With a little research, planning and creativity, you'll soon be making videos that will help you attract an audience you can convert to loyal customers.
Vivian Wagner is a freelance writer in New Concord, Ohio.
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