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Creating Videos on a Budget

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Recent studies have shown that people are choosing videos as the way they prefer to receive information. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the Web, with over one billion daily users. According to Hubspot research in 2017, video content was the most memorable media type, in comparison to text and images. Videos have also been proven to demand more consumer attention than any other media source. 54% of consumers say they want to see videos from the companies they engage with, making videos a powerful way to build trust with your community and humanize your company.

With video becoming more and more popular, you may have wondered about creating a video for your public education and outreach campaign. But what to do if you don’t have the budget to hire a full video production team? Don’t worry, consumers don’t expect a full Hollywood production every time. We’ve put together some easy-to-follow tips to help you create your own video.

1. Content is Key.
Viewers want to be educated. Video makes it easy to explain complex topics and share information widely via email, your website, and social networks, as well as through advertising outlets, like movie theater and TV commercials.

People are most likely to engage with and share videos that inspire action and emotion, so the quality of the content is crucial. It’s important to first define the message you want to convey, and then break down the information into bite-sized pieces that customers can relate to, avoiding jargon whenever possible.

Think of this process as simple storytelling. The more informative the content, the better. Write out all out your ideas and collaborate with your team. Remember to work out those jitters, and get your presenters comfortable with the content before the camera is rolling!

2. Don’t Worry About Expensive Equipment.
That handy little smartphone in your pocket can shoot high quality video. We recommend an iPhone 6 or newer a Go-Pro or Android for the best camera capabilities. Before you get started, turn off your notifications, make sure you have enough storage, and clean the lens. Shoot in landscape instead of portrait orientation.

Because the microphone will pick up the excess noise our ears tend to tune out, you’ll want to carefully choose an environment that is conducive to recording. Bad audio can ruin a video. Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, get close to your subjects or try using two phones – one acting solely as a microphone. If you’re inside, turn off any background noises, like air conditioners or refrigerators.

To get the very best video quality, you’ll want to mount your phone on a tripod to stabilize the camera. Think about how you want to frame your shot, and place the subject at a slight angle. Avoid using the zoom on your camera, as this can make the video blurry. Adjust your lighting in your phone settings, and don’t use your phone’s flashlight feature to brighten up the shot. Try to have only one main light source, so you don’t end up with shadows or halos around your subjects.

3. Put It All Together.
Once you have all your footage, it’s time to edit the video together. This is probably the hardest part of creating your video. There are several free editing apps you can use to pull everything together. Some apps work on your phone, but we recommend using a desktop version with more robust features. Our favorite free apps include Magisto and Adobe Premiere Clip for Android phones, and Apple iMovie and GoPro Splice, for Apple products.

Remember that you don’t have to do it all. You can bring in experts to help enhance the video and add a little extra flair. This doesn’t have to be expensive — you can often find editors for as little as $100. If you need help creating and simplifying your content or putting your raw footage together with graphics and voiceovers, there are plenty of professionals who can help.

We hope these tips have given you the confidence to take a leap and start creating videos for your education and outreach campaigns. If you want even more in-depth tips, feel free to watch the full presentation here: Making Videos on a Shoestring Budget.

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