A Video Production Tips reader recently wrote to me expressing confusion over how good a video has to be in order to be acceptable.
He said he had read conflicting things. Some people were arguing that quality didn’t matter much, any video was better than no video.
Other people insisted that top quality was paramount. Don’t throw up anything less than a high-dollar perfect production or your business will tank!
What to believe?
As with most things, I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.
No video is perfect. Many “mistakes” will go by unnoticed by the majority of the audience.
“Less than perfect” is ALWAYS acceptable in my opinion. To insist on perfection is inefficient in terms of time and money both. Perfectionists are generally quite extreme.
But “less than perfect” and “sucks out the wazoo” are DEFINITELY not the same thing.
If it sucks out the wazoo, you are probably defeating your purpose.
I am a big fan of “good enough.” Some of my favorite sayings are: “It’s better than good, it’s done!” And, “We’re not doing brain surgery here, it’s just video production!”
So where do you draw the line? How much badness is forgivable and what qualifies as truly awful? Truly awful is REALLY bad. Audio you can not understand. Wildly shaky video that makes you sea sick. Long, rambling and pointless.
But if it’s just a matter of a little bit too dark, or a little bit over exposed, then I do not think that’s a big problem for online video. Online video does not have to meet the standards of broadcast television. Viewers are not that picky about online video. A bit of homemade flavor can actually help you appeal to people because it seems more believable.
Research has documented what online video viewers think is too crummy to watch. REALLY bad, they click out. Sort of bad, they stay with you IF you are saying anything worth listening to.
So luckily, the main things people complain about with online marketing video are easy to fix.
- Do not ramble
- Get DECENT audio
- Get DECENT video
If you think about what you are going to say before the camera rolls, you won’t have to edit so much later. Short and sweet. Don’t go off on tangents. Be focused.
Use a tripod or prop the camera up on something steady, like a table or counter top.
Speak loudly, clearly, and fairly slowly. Do not mumble. Turn all the background sounds OFF. Stand fairly close to the microphone and speak to the back of the room.
Make sure the area is bright. Open windows and curtains. Turn on any lights available. Make sure the light falls on the person’s FACE and not behind their back. The background should be darker than their face or you get a silhouette.
These simple things will improve your quality by leaps and bounds.
No, it doesn’t have to be “perfect.” Online viewers are not expecting Star Wars. They just want the thing to play, be audible and not waste their valuable time.
Thanks for reading Video Production Tips.
Internet Video Gal