SRW Agency’s Chief Video Officer Shares 5 tips for Video Creation Success Amid Pandemic

By Brian Rolling

The lack of open offices and in-person connection due to COVID-19 has presented many challenges for companies of all sizes. This global pandemic has impacted the day-to-day operations in every sector of the business world, and navigating it has tested many employers. 

In a time where face-to-face communication is limited, many brands are trying to figure out how to best connect with their customers — and each other — while existing in a virtual world. The pandemic has created hurdles for external and internal communication throughout all industries  so now is the perfect time to embrace a new approach to video. At SRW, we’ve always had a very flexible and efficient production process, so as COVID-19 became an issue, we were able to quickly adapt to this new reality. Our ability to gracefully pivot has allowed us to embrace the greater need for video and  has contributed to our growth during this time. 

Companies who previously relied on a highly trained, in-personal sales team, live conventions, or more traditional production processes for video creation can use video to overcome the communication hurdles lost by the lack of face-to-face interaction. Let’s take a look at five tips to help you approach your video content amid a global pandemic. 

  1. Storytelling is still the most important part.

The most difficult part of video is saying everything you want to say in a short amount of time. Sometimes, when you say too much, you end up saying nothing at all. The key is to focus on the most important points you need to get across. When using video to tell your company’s story, I like to use a simple formula: Problem, solution, result. It’s an easy formula that can break complex thoughts down into a tight 90-second video and forces me to remember that the simplest form of the story is almost always the best one. 

  1. Always obtain an outside perspective.

One mistake I often see companies make, especially when they create videos internally, is that they get too caught up in messaging that, quite frankly, only matter to them. The impact of what they’re trying to do is lost on the audience due to a focus on irrelevant content. This is why it is so important to bring in an outside perspective. It could be your partner, a friend, or a family member – anyone not in the industry — that will be honest enough to say, “Hey, this isn’t connecting for me.”

  1. Audio is the most important piece of equipment.

If you’re putting money into equipment, prioritize audio first, then focus on lighting and cameras. The first thing I tell my clients is to get a microphone, because If the audience can’t hear you, nothing else matters. One microphone I recommend for folks doing web presentations, or podcasting from home, is a USB condenser microphone. These typically range from $100-$300, but if you want the best quality for your money, I personally recommend Blue’s Yeti USB microphone. 

  1. Location, location, location.

Where you shoot is more important than what you shoot with. Smartphones and webcams can capture a nice image when there is a lot of light in the room, so picking a place with a ton of natural light is key. Find a location in your home that gives you some depth in your frame. Let people know who you are by shooting in your home office or in your kitchen. COVID-19 has taught us that we can’t chase the level of production quality we have in our head, so we have to make content that is attainable for the situation we are in.

  1. Remember the human connection. 

COVID-19 has forced us to not look for perfection. Talk straight into the camera – don’t try to create a “video.” You’re just elevating what people are already used to seeing on a Zoom call, while crafting a more concise story or pitch. Don’t be afraid to lean into the new reality we’ve been forced to adapt to. If your kid jumps into your lap, or your dog starts barking, you’re giving people a view into your life and letting them know that we’re all in this situation together. A homemade, pared-down video will be more relatable than a squeaky clean one. 

At the end of the day, remember to place value on the content, not the time it took to create it.

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it, and if we do it right, it will change the future, too. 

In my mind, COVID has highlighted the fact that the value of the work is in the quality of the content itself. 

With these tips, I guarantee that you will create better content than you previously imagined. Altering our perspective on what video success looks like in this pandemic will turn your good videos into great videos, whether it’s internal communication with your team or external communication with your customers.

Brian Rolling, an award-winning director and the founding ‘R’ in SRW Agency, grounds the conversation in what really matters for clients. He offers deep experience building communities through content, while producing quickly and affordably. An independent, full-service marketing agency with a penchant for growing natural health and wellness brands, SRW specializes in creating and converting communities through ads, content and video storytelling. Brian lends an artful eye to everything SRW creates.

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