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Technology / Podcasting and video tips

Video tips: What I learnt from shooting a demo video

A year ago, Matthew White set out to create a series of videos to demonstrate the benefits of his product. Find out what video tips he learnt from the process and whether it could work for you too.

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Video is a powerful marketing tool, and studies have shown that people who get the opportunity to see a product in a video will often buy it.

In cluttered market places where choice is abundant not only do brands have to stand out but the value and benefits of the product also need to be communicated. From product reviews and demos to interviews and behind the scenes, there are many different types of videos that can help you do this.

Video marketing is on the rise and the numbers speak for themselves. In a report published on HubSpot businesses claim that videos help customers understand products, increase sales, reduce support queries, increase web traffic and increase the time spent on a website.

I would certainly agree with this based on my own experience of creating videos for our brand.

A year ago, I set out to create a series of four videos to demonstrate the zero-partner disturbance benefit of our mattress. Put simply, when you are laying on one of our mattresses you can’t feel the person next to you move.

Inspired by the Jim Carey film Yes Man, I wanted to prove the fact that you could place a glass of wine on our mattress, jump on the mattress and the wine would not spill. To be honest I also wanted to take the average wine-glass video that was doing the rounds by one of our competitors and blast it out of the water in a rather tongue and cheek way for a bit of fun.

Here’s one of our videos in the series:

The other videos in the series are available here:

What did I learn?

Budget is not necessarily a limitation.

First and foremost I learnt that you do not need to spend thousands of dollars to create a viral video. You can use a video production agency if you wish, but you can also do it on a shoestring and still make it look good and be effective.

However, I am not a big fan of videos shot using iPhones. I know they work for some, but I prefer quality imagery and sound, so one of my core requirements was ensuring high end equipment was used.

Planning and story boarding is critical.

It is important to prepare well and story board your idea from every conceivable angle so that no time is wasted on the day of the shoot. This also involves doing a recce of the location, taking photographs and discussing the concept extensively with all those concerned so that the idea is set and the shoot runs smoothly. We were certainly guilty of not doing this well to begin with but by the end our concept was clear.

Prepare for every eventuality.

Not only weather related but location and equipment related too. We took spare mattresses, spare mattress covers, extra wine and  spare batteries for the camera. In my experience you can never be too prepared.

Use your connections wisely.

As you may know we are based in the Hunter Valley so we used our connections with a winery for both the location and the tractor. And a family member was an experienced drone pilot, so again we used our connections to work with people we know and also to save on costs.

Shoot a lot of footage then edit, edit, edit.

If you have time shoot as much footage as you can. You can never have too much and it can always be edited out at the production stage. And don’t rush. Watch a replay of the footage straight after you take it and don’t be afraid to re shoot if you think you need to. In our video we only had one take for the tractor actually going over the mattress itself and thankfully it worked out well but I must have poured wine into the glass a dozen times before we settled on the shot we preferred.

It’s also really important to edit well. Find an experienced editor who can give your video that polished and final look. Don’t attempt to do this part yourself unless you have experience doing so.

If you have an idea just do it.

Give it a try! As long as it doesn’t take too much of your time away from business-critical decisions, it can be a lot of fun!

Do you have any video tips to share from your experiences?

Matthew White

is director of Ergoflex Australia, an online retailer of premium quality memory foam mattresses. As well as helping Australians get a better night's sleep, Matthew is a marketer, sleep blogger, father of four and home renovator.

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