The popularity of video for business has reached an all time high in 2015. More marketing departments and business owners who are pursuing Internet marketing are starting to implement video marketing into their annual marketing plan. According to InsideCXM, “69% of marketing, sales and business professionals have used video marketing and another 31% are planning to” in the coming months. As you begin to research how to take advantage of video production for your business, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of production value for video before deciding how much money to invest in a video marketing budget.

What is production value? Production value is the aggregate of quality resources and techniques you utilize to produce a video. It can be determined by the equipment used (camera, lights, accessories, etc), the location you shoot at, the number of skilled video crew members, the experience of talent on camera and even motion graphics or special effects.

Production Value Resources To Consider

Below are production values for video to consider when your company ventures into the world of video production.

Video Camera Type

With the advancement in technology, we have access to amazing cameras at a much more affordable price point than we ever had before. With the wide range of video production cameras from companies like Sony, Canon and Panasonic (to name a few), you can produce amazing HD quality. It’s also possible to capture decent video with HD cameras that are built in smartphones for video blogs and social media posts.

Having experience shooting with a video camera will always be the difference in the quality of video you get with any camera. The following is a basic To Do checklist for everyone behind the camera:

1) Expose the shot correctly
2) Color balance your camera
3) Make sure your shot is in focus
4) Frame your shot correctly (or more importantly interestingly)

Video Accessories

If you already have a professional video camera and have been experimenting with video production, then it’s time to step your game up. One way to increase your production value for video is with sliders, cranes, jibs and rigs. One of the best-kept secrets from businesses new to video marketing is how to move the camera. When you’re watching a Hollywood movie or your favorite episodic show you may not realize it but the video crews are making conscious decisions on how to move the camera. It could be dramatic swooping shots with a crane or jib (smaller handheld crane), a graceful smooth gliding motion (IE left to right) on a dolly slider or even a stable walking and talking shot with a stabilizer. These are sure-fire ways to step up your video from an uninteresting static shot or even a repetitive pan on your tripod. For more information on some of these accessories, check out B&H’s Support and Rigs page.

Lighting Equipment

Adding professional lighting to a video production shoot is a sure fire way to add production value. Having the proper lighting helps the camera capture a better image. Whether you are capturing more color, a crisp picture or setting the mood, adding lighting to your video will increase the quality. The difference is night and day. In fact when you have the right lighting for a video shoot, it can even compensate for a camera of lesser quality, because it’s actually reducing the work of the camera and not exposing it’s limitations. Adding lights to your video budget can get expensive, so think about ways you can use natural sunlight if possible. It’s an inexpensive way to add lighting to a video if you are outside or indoors with windows, but it’s also very hard to have consistent lighting throughout your shoot. If you go this route to start, I suggest investing in a 5-in-1 reflector, to help fill in some dark areas in your shot. There are inexpensive ways to assemble a starter lighting kit for those who understand the value of lighting but can’t afford it. Check out this Wistia video from their learning center for instructions on how to put together a makeshift light kit.

Audio Equipment

During my years in Los Angeles working with filmmakers, I learned very early the importance of sound for a video. The fact is most people will put up with low quality video and proper audio recording compared to the reverse. There is something awful about horribly recorded audio that we notice within seconds while viewing a video. The truth is most people won’t tolerate it. Think about the last time you were on YouTube, pressed play on a video and heard loud high piercing sounds screaming through your speakers. It was probably upsetting to put it mildly.

Audio production is usually last on the list for video marketing budgets for small to medium size business. As a business owner, this should be a higher priority for you, when considering video production and more importantly production value for video. At the very least you want a professional cameraman who understands how to capture quality sound on set. I would always recommend that your video crew consist of a soundman dedicated to recording and monitoring audio.

Now that you have fantastic audio recorded for your video, try to plan time for a final sound design and mix down of the audio once you have the final video edit complete. On video projects that have a fast turnaround, this part of the process is almost always rushed or skipped completely, but can really increase your production value if done right. Adding some subtle sound effects, adjusting your audio levels and mixing in a background soundtrack (in certain sections of your video) can take your video to new heights. Check out some of the pro audio gear at B&H for information on audio recording equipment.

In Conclusion

The difference in a mediocre video and a high quality video is production value. Before shooting a video for your business, make sure you pick the best options possible for your camera type, camera accessories, lighting and audio. The more time and resources you allow yourself or your video production crew, the better quality of video you will achieve. For more information about how to create engaging video content for your business, please send us a message or call 202-683-6881.

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