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How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck

Audience Focused Video

Hey Steve,

I’m a brand new Realtor in a small coastal town in Florida. Understanding that more and more people are viewing video as opposed to reading a bunch of stuff on line, and with a very limited budget, I bought a Kodak Playtouch camcorder to make videos that are entertaining (if not somewhat funny) to gain interest in my town and my inventory.

But from there I’m completely lost– Do you have a road map of what to do next?

–Herb

Good job realizing (a) that people like getting their information on video and (b) that if it isn’t entertaining, they’re not going to watch.

You are heading down the path to creating audience focused video—which is great, because it doesn’t matter how much time or effort or money you put into your video if it sucks.  If nobody watches, it was all a waste.

Your first step  to creating audience focused video: figure out what the audience needs or wants or will get excited by. You might want to brainstorm a list. I’ll do it now to show you what I mean.  We’ll call the list “audience needs”:

Audience Needs: they want to see the house fast. They want to see it well. They want to get a feel for the place so they can decide if they want to look in person. Maybe some information about it in voiceover (opportunity for humor there.)

Highlight the important needs from this list and use them to trigger another list of what might make your video work.  I’ll take “seeing the house fast” and “seeing the house well” and brainstorm some more on “Look and Feel”:

Look and Feel: NO long intro. Bring a few plug-in lights to keep things bright. More than one video per house so someone can click right to, say, the back yard if that’s their passion. Nicely framed shots. Not much camera motion, but not holding for a long time either. Close-ups of cool details. SHORT videos so people don’t feel like they have to spend a long time to get a look.

Now let’s brainstorm what information we want to include.  We’ll call this “Content.”  Knowing the audience needs and look and feel, for each house consider questions like:  What are its strongest features?  What will look best on video?  What do you want to avoid?  You might end up with things like:

Content:  The sunset view of the mountains, the two story entryway, the kitchen cooktop and vent.  Avoid the guest bath.  Get details on living room flooring and baseboards.

Putting it all together:  You’re going to shoot and edit your  content  in a way (look and feel) that satisfies your audience’s needs. You may want to follow all the other rules of good video too!

Being a realtor– even a new one– you’ll know a lot more about this stuff than I do.  But the process is the important thing.  Thinking about your audience first– before you shoot anything– is the key to creating a video the audience will want to watch.

 

Want to ask your own question about video?  Don’t be shy!

(photo by Stijn Bokhove via flikr.com)

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