By now, you understand how much more engaging video messages can be than just texts or e-mails. You’ve gathered topic ideas and your customer service reps have been tracking the most common — and some uncommon — questions they’re asked, and you’ve planned out a distribution schedule. Now you’re ready to record.
Using a smartphone
There are a few tricks to using your phone in order to capture the best video.
First, you want to hold the phone horizontally. By doing so, you are recording in the most used aspect ratio (16:9 widescreen format) for YouTube or Vimeo.
The second trick may not seem logical, but heed it anyway. Even though your phone most likely has a rear-facing camera for chatting and video conferencing, don’t use it. Always use the front-facing camera for two important reasons: It’s the highest-quality camera and the resolution will always be better on that camera than the other one. It also will have the flash, which will stay on during filming in the off chance that you’re shooting in a darkened area.
Be sure to use a tripod when shooting video with your phone. You can use a selfie stick but you don’t want it to be too far away from you. An arm’s length is just the right distance to capture enough of your image so it’s easily viewable but not so close that viewers can tell which whiskers you missed while shaving this morning. If you’re going to hold the phone in your hand, try not to move around too much, because it can get dizzying for your viewer.
Using your webcam
If I’m sitting at my computer and need to record a video, I’ll more than likely use the webcam for a couple of reasons. One is because it’s easy, convenient and saves files right to my computer. I’ll also choose the webcam if I’m recording something specific and need to get the message exact. I’ll sometimes have a script or outline of notes either up on my screen to speak from or positioned directly below the camera. This will take the stress off of having to do multiple takes.
The better you can capture the video from beginning to end without stopping, the less editing is needed.
Up until now I’ve been talking about recording video messages with the assumption of uploading them to a YouTube channel or Vimeo, and from there embedding them into a website or sharing over Facebook, Twitter or another social media site. But live video streaming is finding its way into the realm of business marketing more each day.
There have been a number of streaming video tools used by businesses for a while, such as Livestream, Streaming Media and Ustream. The new player in this space is Periscope, which is a mobile app, owned by Twitter, that allows you to stream live video over your smartphone. It’s easy and free. Not only will people who are following you on Twitter be notified that you’re live streaming — or “scoping” as some people call it — but you also can build an additional following on the platform itself.
The videos can be archived, you can broadcast to the public or choose specific followers only. You control the chat feature and who can comment.
As Periscope’s tagline says, “Explore the world through someone else’s eyes,” and the app is very much about individuals sharing with others. However, businesses have grabbed hold of Periscope and are using it to educate, promote and build their brands in an environment never before explored.
I think this is perfect for independent agents. The best way to start is to download the app from iTunes or Google Play and search for “insurance” to look for agents who are using the platform. Right now there are more followers than users but that will change over time as everyone gets more comfortable with this medium.
I’ve been mostly observing, but that will change. I plan on pushing out scopes on mobile marketing over the next couple of weeks. So keep an eye out for me, and I’ll do the same.