Right now, you’re probably thinking, “This sounds wonderful, but I don’t know anything about how to actually make a video!” Don’t panic. It’s not a big issue, because we’re not trying to make the next award-winning hit show. The videos that are most popular and successful are not fancy.
They are filmed with a basic handheld camera, sometimes even webcams. They are created with simple programs that anyone can learn to use. In fact, many successful videos have been created with programs you’re likely already familiar with, such as Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Powerpoint.
Videos made with these simple programs can still look good because the process isn’t really difficult. Here are some methods you can use to create your own videos.
1. Windows Movie Maker
Windows Movie Maker is a simple program that’s easy to use. It’s so easy, if you’re already familiar with how computers work, you can likely figure out this program in five minutes or less. An added bonus? It comes standard on most PCs, so there’s no additional expense.
Not a PC user? Mac has something similar, called iMovie, that you can use. If you are seeking to create an informational video and you lack access to a budget and required resources, the only think you need is Windows Movie Maker and Paint. You will be creating a slideshow with images in Paint. This is known as the “Poor Man’s Method.”
In Paint, I recommend creating images that are the same size as your video. The standard video size is usually 320×240 pixels. If your images are not sized correctly, the aspect ratio will appear distorted, making your resulting video look poor.
It is easy to choose a background color and type text onto it. Then, after you save the image, you can import it into the Windows Movie Maker. Another option is to create your image in Paint using a solid background color.
Import the image into Windows Movie Maker, and then use the Title/Caption feature to enter the text on top of the background. This is probably simpler if you feel like you need to be able to easily make edits to the video, because it’s a single file instead of two. To spice up the video to make it more interesting, find stock photos related to your niche.
Make sure you’re using licensed stock photos that you know for sure are free, or purchasing the rights to use. Do not just steal images from a Google Image search. Making sure you have the right to use the image, and that images are credited appropriately, will help you avoid legal trouble.
It is also a good idea to add some sort of music to make things more interesting. Music is another thing you need to watch carefully for copyright issues.
A simple search for “royalty free music” will provide you with options for music without running into copyright infringement issues.
When the video is complete, all you need to do is click “import.” You first video is now finished. While it’s not going to be a masterpiece, but as long as you included good content and made sure it was interesting, you are on the right track.
2. Camtasia Studio
If you are trying to make “how-to” videos for a topic related to the computer/Internet niche, and you have a bit of extra cash on hand, investing in Camtasia Studio is one of the best choices you could make to help boost your marketing efforts.
Camtasia Studio allows you to record your computer screen. Everything you do on your computer is possible to record, so this is an excellent way to do tutorials.
You can also record audio to narrate what you’re doing as you go, but you’ll need a microphone to do this, if you don’t already have one. Microphones are fairly cheap and available at many retail stores. This method is more professional than the Windows Movie Maker and Paint/Powerpoint method.
Instead of having someone sit and read pages and pages worth of text to explain something, the video will be much quicker, and actually show the person what to do on a step-by-step basis.
YouTube is full of useful “how-to” videos created with Camtasia Studio. This program is incredibly useful for people who run Internet marketing memberships sites because products and quickly turning from text to video format.
Using the screen capture program, you will be able to easily describe things that would be otherwise difficult to describe in a standard article format.
Camtasia Studio is available for both Windows and Mac®. The Windows version will set you back anywhere from $200 to $300, depending on the version you purchase and where you purchase it from.
The Mac version will run you about $100, depending on which version you purchase and where you purchase it from. If this seems like too much money to invest, there is a free version available.
Camstudio is an open source program that does most of the things Camtasia Studio does, but because it’s open source, it doesn’t cost anything. It doesn’t run as smoothly, and you may run into some issues, but for a free program, you can’t really beat it. This program is only available for PC users.
There is not currently a Mac version on the market. Camstudio is good if all you want to do is take a screen capture. It does not include features that allow you to add background music, use multiple tracks, or re-dubbing. The cost effective method is to use Camstudio for the screen capture, and Windows Movie Maker for editing.
Jing is another free program that is quickly becoming more popular. You can take screen captures with images and videos and then release them in SWF format. Jing’s free limitations mean that your video can only last five minutes. If your videos will be shorter than this, it is the perfect solution for you.
5. Videos on Webcam
If you are not camera shy, and you don’t mind your face being associated with your brand, then using the webcam to put your face on video may be a good way to go. This is especially the case if branding yourself is part of your marketing strategy. These types of videos will also give you the chance to add a “personal touch” to your product or service. Doing something like this gives you the chance to introduce yourself, as well as your product or service.
This allows your audience to feel like you are speaking to them face to face, and as a result, they will feel a sense of camaraderie and trust they wouldn’t have otherwise felt just by reading text on the screen, or through a standard screen capture video.
If you want to create videos like this, a webcam is typically sufficient. If you have a newer computer or laptop, there is likely a webcam built right in. However, the quality of these built-in cameras is not always the best. Take a few test videos, and if you see your camera producing unclear, blurry, video, then you need to invest in a better quality camera. Decent webcams are available for anywhere from $50 to $200.
Professional Video Production: Cameras And Editing Software
With a webcam, you’re limited to simple videos you can record while you sit in one place near your computer. If you want to really make a video production, you’ll need an actual digital video camera. When it comes to video marketing, there are not many people out there who invest the time, money, and energy into making “real” videos.
If you take thetime to do this by going out into the “real world” and performing interviews and social experiments, this could set you apart from the rest of the crow, and may be exactly what your visitors need to make them excited and more interested in whatever it is you have to offer.
If you opt to purchase a digital video camera, you will have a higher quality camera than if you were using a web cam. Digital video cameras are available for high definition recording, whereas you will get nothing near this with a webcam.
The point of this book isn’t to give you a detailed how-to on filmmaking. If you want to know more about it, turn to Google. You will be able to find good resources to help you if you’re really interested in how to do this. Here’s some information to help get you started.
Digital video cameras are not as expensive as they once were.
A decent lower end camera can be found in the $200-$300 range. While the lower-end cameras are enough to get the job done, you can invest in a professional camera if you have the budget and you want to make sure your videos look highly professional.
The higher-end cameras can cost you several thousand dollars. If you’re serious about video marketing, however, this may be a good
option for you. Simply having a top-of-line video camera does not mean you’ll automatically have top-notch looking videos. You will need to have basic understanding of not only how the camera works, also lighting, and filming techniques.
Spend sometime reading and becoming more knowledgeable about the subject. This will be the difference between professional looking videos, and videos that look like they were shot at home in the ‘80s. Audio capture on most video cameras still has a long way to come before it’s good enough for a professional video.
You may need to invest in additional audio equipment, such as clip on microphones or a boom mic. Both of these
can be found online for under $100 if you search deeply enough. There is a lot of work involved in professional video production. You may need to assemble a small team (two or three friends) who can help you. If you are really serious, place an ad for a personal assistant on Craigslist or similar websites.
If you plan on investing the time, energy, and money into professional quality video production, Windows Movie Maker just is not going to cut it as your editing software. While it works for basic editing tasks, professional editing requires far more features and capabilities, so you will need to plan on purchasing a more robust program.
Popular options include:
- Adobe Premiere
- Final Cut Pro
- Sony Vegas Movie Studio
- Pinnacle Studio.
These programs will set you back hundreds of dollars, but searching online can help you find a good deal. These are the same programs broadcasting professionals use, so you don’t need to worry about power or quality.
It is possible to create professional quality videos without doing any of the filming yourself, through the miracle of stock video. All you have to do is purchase the stock footage and edit clips together to make the promotional video you want. The video clips on stock video sites are high quality, so your videos will look great.
Plus, your visitors will likely think you filmed it yourself, so you’ll have the added bonus of looking impressive. The downside to this is, stock videos are more expensive than stock photos. Where a stock photo can cost only a few dollars, a stock video can cost you up
to $15 each, with price dependent on length and resolution.
Only you can decide whether or not this is a reasonable investment for yourself and your business.
Archive.org features royalty-free videos at no charge, but most of them are very old. You can find everything from documentaries on the World Wars to silent films, and old public service announcements.
Depending on your niche, you may or may not have use for these videos, because they are free and you can use them however you want, it can give you a chance to be creative and think outside of the box.
Video Creation Service
You also have the option to outsource all of your video creation. This is an optimal choice if you have the budget and you are too busy, or just don’t want to mess with having to learn something new. You can use the various freelance marketplace websites such as elance, oDesk, Vworker, etc. to find videographers to hire. If you’re a member of the Warrior Forum, don’t forget to check out the “Warriors for Hire” section there.
Before you hire someone through one of these outlets, ask for a few samples. You need to know that the instructions you give them will translate into a video you want to use. Make sure you provide detailed instructions about what you are looking for. Include a length, a script, and options for audio and music. Compared to purchasing and editing stock footage yourself, you will be able to
save a lot of money.