HubSpot Research reveals that 54% of respondents would like to see video content coming from businesses and brands they support. This is just one of many reasons why video marketing seems to be at the top of many marketer’s to-do lists. While there’s no question that video marketing is a channel worth investing in to achieve business growth, there are a lot of questions around how to actually get started — like what equipment you’ll need, where you’ll find talent, and how the heck you’ll figure out how to write a video script.
Before you let those overwhelming “I don’t know how to do anything of this” feelings sink in, let’s take a step back.
As a savvy marketer, you probably have a pretty clear process for creating written content. Trouble is, when it comes to mapping out the video production process, well, things start to feel a little unfamiliar. Unlike writing a blog post, creating a video calls for, lights … and a camera … and someone to stand in front of that camera when you yell, “action!”
Don’t worry, though. The goal of this section is to walk you through some of the basic equipment you’re going to need to get started, as well as some tips around sourcing and working with in-house “actors” to star in your videos.
production | How to Set Up Your Set or Studio
When people hear the word video set or video studio, they tend to think of these elaborate production spaces full of fancy equipment. And we’re here to tell that that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s entirely possible to set up a dedicated filming space in your office without breaking the bank. Heck, it’s entirely possible to build out a library of video content using just the smartphone in your pocket — but we’ll let you learn more about that here.
For those looking for a bit more sophisticated video production process, setting up a studio space is going to require you to invest in some basic equipment and then arrange that equipment in a way that’s going to give you the best possible end result.
Let’s start with the former: basic video equipment. We’ve put together a list of some of the equipment our own in-house video team uses below — from cameras and tripods to lighting, microphones, headphones, and more.
While this is the equipment we use here at HubSpot, we encourage you to explore other options and alternatives based on the constraints or flexibility of your own budget, as the equipment purchasing process will be different for every business.
CAMERAS, LENSES & TRIPODS
- Canon 5D Mk III
- Canon 5D Mk IV
- Canon EOS C100 Mark II
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 lens
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens
- Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 lens
- Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 lens
Tripods, Supports & Rigs:
- Manfrotto 755XB Tripod
- Manfrotto 755CX3 Tripod
- 2 x Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Head
- Benro BV10 Twin Leg Aluminum Tripod Kit
- Edelkrone SliderPLUS X Long
- Edelkrone FlexTILT Head 2
- DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer
- Steadicam Merlin 2 camera stabilizing system
RECORDERS, MICS & HEADPHONES
- Zoom H4 Recorder
- Zoom H5 Recorder
- 2 x Zoom H6 Recorder
- 3 x Sennheiser wireless lavalier mic system
- EK 100 G3 receiver
- SK 100 G3 transmitter
- ME 2 clip-on lavalier mic
- Rode VideoMic GO on-camera mic
- IK Multimedia iRig Mic
- Sennheiser ME66/K6 shotgun mic
- Sennheiser MKH-416 shotgun mic
- 3 x Blue Snowball mics
- Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphone
- 2 x Kino Flo Diva-Lite 415 Kit
- 24 x Kino Flo 55w daylight lamps
- Genaray LED-6200T 144 LED on-camera light
- StudioPRO light kit
- 2 x StudioPRO Fluorescent 4 Socket AC Power Lights
- 2 x 16″x24” Softboxes
- Carrying Case
- 4 x light stands
- Scoop lamp
- 3 x sandbags for light stands
- Impact Deluxe Varipole Support System
- Savage Widetone Seamless Background Paper
- Impact Background System Kit
- Impact Reversible Muslin Background – Sky Blue / Aqua – 10′ x 12′ w/ carrying case
Once you have the equipment you need to get started, you’ll need to configure your set up. While there are benefits to establishing a dedicated studio space that you can leave set up at all times, it’s totally fine if you need to keep your equipment packed away until it’s needed.
Whether you have the space for a dedicated studio or not, following these best practices will help you set up a shoot that reads both consistent and professional:
- Stabilize your camera. Be sure to stabilize your camera using your tripod to maintain a steady, static shot — and to avoid the risk of breaking any expensive equipment. If you want to achieve more dynamic, active shots, you can purchase a handheld stabilizer to meet the same need.
- Strategically place your lights. The traditional setup of video lights is known as three-point lighting. As you might guess, it involves three lights placed strategically around the subject, wrapping them in light and creating appealing shadows on their face.
- Minimize noise & ensure sound quality. If you’re recording in a controlled environment, like a studio or quiet conference room, we suggest recording with a shotgun mic. Unlike lavaliers that clip to a person’s shirt, shotgun mics remain out of the shot — and they record background noise in a natural sounding way. To create a shotgun mic setup in your office studio, you’ll need a shotgun mic like the Sennheiser ME66, a shotgun clip, light stand, XLR cable, and Zoom H4N recorder.
How to Source & Coach Video Talent
Now that you have the means to start recording, you need to work out the talent aspect. And while it would be nice to dial up a couple of your closest Oscar-winning friends to star in your next marketing video, sourcing qualified talent often poses another obstacle for those just getting started with video marketing.
The simplest solution? Work with what you’ve got. We recommend recruiting your coworkers or executive team, particularly those with public speaking experience, to take the lead in your first few videos. The reason why we recommend starting with folks who have public speaking experience is that, quite honestly, getting in front of the camera takes guts — and it’s not for everyone.
To ensure that you make your colleagues feel as comfortable as possible in front of the camera, you need to start by ensuring that they feel prepared. This often starts with advance attention to wardrobe guardrails for the day of the shoot.
To help you sort of the dos from the don’ts of how to prepare for being on camera, check out this video. We recommend sending the video and the on-camera tip sheet to whoever you are working with a couple of days ahead of the shoot so they can prepare accordingly.
Remember: Helping your colleague look their best on camera will kickstart their ability to feel their best, so this isn’t a step you want to skip.
On the day of the video shoot...
When the day of the shoot arrives, make sure that you block off extra time for dry runs and technical difficulties. Budgeting time for this upfront will eliminate the need to rush, which can cause unnecessary stress for both you and your talent.
Before you start recording, be sure you spend some time setting your talent’s expectations, covering details like whether or not you plan on doing one long take or starting and stopping. This is also a good time take questions and reassure them that it’s okay to make mistakes — you’re all still learning, after all.
Once you start doing some runs, you’ll likely need to provide direction and feedback. If you don’t have experience directing talent, this can feel uncomfortable at first.
To help you feel more confident when taking control, refer to the tips in the video below:
Remember: Getting in front of the camera requires a good deal of vulnerability. Be empathetic towards your colleagues as you navigate your first few video shoots, but don’t shy away from feedback. Which leads us to our next point …
After the video shoot...
If you plan on working with a pool of in-house talent on a regular basis, it’s important that you are committed to helping them continuously develop their on-camera skills. To bake this into your production strategy, we recommend hosting a feedback session after every shoot you do to review footage and explore areas where they might improve their delivery.
Remember: Your talent can’t improve unless they know exactly what they need to improve. Taking the extra time to review footage after you wrap filming is a great way to develop your in-house talent and keep outsourcing costs low.
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about the contributorS
There’s this notion that to grow a business, you have to be ruthless. But we know there’s a better way to grow. One where what’s good for the bottom line is also good for customers. We believe businesses can grow with a conscience, and succeed with a soul — and that they can do it with inbound. That’s why we’ve created a platform uniting software, education, and community to help businesses grow better every day.
Jesse Kerr – Creative Commissioner | Sandbox Centre
Jesse is always multitasking.. . . and seems to thrive when juggling priorities and deadlines. He’d tell you he’s adaptable because he builds in room for error, adjustment, improvement, alteration and mitigation of foreseeable road blocks into his vision. However, anything that falls outside of this range of acceptability is quickly dispatched because “ain’t nobody got time for that”! He’s not good at collaborating in large groups – but he sure is good at entertaining them! We’re pleased to offer you his perspective that includes his margin for error; alongside an imagineered vision of greatness. Question is – are we going for good, better or best? Cheers!