February 27, 2020 | By:

How to Shoot Great Marketing Videos from Your Smartphone

It has been proven time and again that videos are growing in importance for any marketing campaign. However, startups usually struggle in this area, as even basic video equipment can be quite costly for a business with tight finances.

The good news is that, with today’s advancements in technology, smartphones have become sufficient enough to shoot professional-looking marketing videos. In fact, it’s not only amateur video makers who are using smartphones for video creation; even renowned film directors have used them, such as an iPhone, to create a whole movie. 

Here are a few tips on how to shoot great marketing videos from your smartphone to help you get started:

1. Establish a storyboard

One of the crucial parts of video marketing is being able to tell a story behind your brand. Incorporating brand storytelling techniques to your video’s storyboard not only helps you establish a shooting script, but it also helps you establish the goal of your marketing video. 

Essential questions to ask during this stage are the following: What do you want to achieve from your video? What is your brand messaging? How do you portray that message in a way that resonates with the emotions of your audience?

2. Use the rear camera and in landscape

The rear camera, or the main camera, of a smartphone is usually the one that has better sensors and higher megapixels—some models even have up to 3 rear camera options for more vivid and wider shots. This is why it’s advised to use the rear camera for taking decent quality videos.

Another thing to remember is to avoid vertical shots and to shoot in landscape as much as possible. Landscape videos look more aesthetically pleasing, whereas vertical/portrait videos do not translate well when viewed on mobile, especially when you tilt your phone to view it on widescreen.

3. Apply the rule of thirds

One of the basic principles for good photography and videography composition is the rule of thirds. When taking your videos, imagine that your shot is divided into nine equal sections, with two horizontal and two vertical lines. Most, if not all, cameras enable you to overlay this grid onto your viewfinder.

Here are two basic way to apply the rule of thirds to your mobile-shot marketing video:

  • The primary subject should be positioned near the anchor points, or the area of the intersecting lines. Most viewers are naturally drawn to the top-left anchor point.
  • Observe proper headroom. The best way to do that is to place the subject’s eyes on the top horizontal line, preferably near the anchor point. Too much headroom, or barely any headroom, does not provide a well-balanced composition of the shot.
4. Stabilize your shot with a tripod or a gimbal

The most common challenge when shooting videos, or even photos, with a smartphone is stability. 

To avoid blurry and shaky shots, it’s best to stabilize it with a tripod. Tripods also allow you to shoot distances and heights that would have been otherwise difficult or awkward for you to reach. For moving videos, a camera gimbal can substitute a tripod. Luckily, there are lots of available (and affordable!) video gimbals that are made specially for smartphones. 

5. Make use of natural lighting

Good lighting is essential for creating professional-looking videos. Avoid using the flash of a smartphone to light your subject—this causes unflattering shadows and could blow out the contrast and brightness of your shot.

Make use of natural lighting as much as possible. When shooting indoors, use a combination of natural light from windows and artificial light that is diffused by a white umbrella or with reflective panels and mirrors.

6. Monitor the audio and acoustics

If you’re shooting indoors, it’s best to check the acoustics of the room before filming. Avoid areas that echo as much as possible. If you’re shooting outdoors, background noise can be minimized by using good-quality clip-on microphones that subjects can safely tuck in their clothes. Other options include using a USB mic for smartphones or using a second smartphone placed near the subject. The audio can then be synced during the post-production phase. 

It also goes without saying that when you start filming, you should put your phone in silent mode—no vibrating alerts as well. Better yet, set it on airplane mode or have a dedicated smartphone for video taking.

Need Help with Your Video Production and Marketing Needs?

The advancements in smartphone technology have indeed made it easier and cheaper to start creating marketing videos for your business. However, video planning, production, and post-production can be time-consuming, and often, tapping into the help of professionals can be worth the time and effort.

If you’re in need of help with your video production, video marketing, and content marketing needs, Ilfusion has the years of professional experience and equipment to lend you a hand at cost-effective prices. Give us a call at 888-420-5115, or send us an email to creative@ilfusion.com.

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