A version of this post originally appeared in the October edition of Mortgage Orb.
Perhaps you’ve heard people in the mortgage industry talk about how the pandemic caused a digital acceleration for the industry. We were suddenly shut off from one another and had to find ways to communicate and do business not only with colleagues but also with borrowers. Enter video – a technology that allows us to keep in touch whether it’s in-the-moment or after-the-fact.
Whether you adopted video before or early on into the pandemic or are just looking for some tips on creating engaging video content, we’re laying out some best practices and tips to help you start or elevate your social media video game.
Q: With many employees continuing working from home, how can teams implement video into their communication and social media plans?
A: The first step in implementing video into your communication and social media plan is to ask the question, “What am I trying to accomplish?” If you are trying to get your message out there in an entertaining way and are not looking for real-time dynamic interaction, you should choose a video tool that lends itself to that type of approach. Certain platforms work more like a traditional camera that records you, publishes the video and allows for written and/or emoji feedback. This type of video is particularly useful for vlogging (video blogging), training, marketing messages, and new product information.
Video platforms where multiple parties can see and communicate with one another simultaneously from different locations also have grown in popularity. This type of video is particularly useful for interviews and group conversations when you want to be able to see others.
Q: What should the subject keep in mind when creating engaging video content for social media?
A: When creating a video with a specific message, it can be difficult to run the technology and deliver your message simultaneously. You may wonder: Am I centered properly in the screen? Is the audio loud and clear? Can they see my hand pushing the buttons? Am I boring? The list goes on. Making sure all of those technical issues are being addressed while you’re speaking is tricky. The easiest and most effective solution to this issue is to have someone else with you when you make the video.
That person can hold the camera or phone, push the buttons, make sure you are centered, and approve of the look of the shot. Maybe there’s someone in your home that can assist you with your video creation. Talking to a camera phone provides zero feedback. Talking to the person behind the camera is much more natural and comfortable. Plus, you’ll be able to take cues from that person’s nonverbal reactions to what you’re saying. If they laugh, you know you are being interesting, and you’re creating engaging video content. If that person looks bored, it may be a cue that it’s time to change it up. And if that person has a confused look upon their face, you need to focus on simplifying your point.
Q: I’m concerned about the production quality. How can I make my video look and feel top-notch?
A: One of the most common and distracting mistakes made during video production involving multiple people during a live shot is when people talk over each other. This is where patience plays a big role in your video strategy. Take a moment and wait for other people to complete their thought before you begin speaking, even if you disagree with them. It’s also advisable to have some kind of signal for the presenters to identify when someone has something they want to contribute, even if it’s a simple wave of the hand.
Avoid locations where there’s bright light behind you. If you stand or sit in front of a bright light, whether it’s a window or fluorescent light, the camera will darken your features possibly to the point that you merely appear as a silhouette. Unless you are looking for anonymity, avoid setting up in front of bright lights. The light should be in front of your face, not behind your head.
Also, avoid camera angles from below. There is nothing less flattering than a shot from below that features a double chin or gives a clear view up one’s nostrils. The camera should be at eye level or slightly higher. Make sure you also avoid any inappropriate items in the background of the shot. Obviously, bathrooms and beer bottles should be kept out of frame. Always, but especially now, when we’re spending more time working from home, it’s imperative that any personal data or documents containing sensitive information do not appear in any video you produce.
Q: What do you say to people who are on the fence about using video?
A: When text messaging was first introduced, many people, myself included, thought it was unnecessary. I used to think that if I had a smart phone and that phone could receive emails and phone calls, then it already had the capacity to do what texting was designed to do. However, texting quickly became an integral part of the mobile communication dynamic. The next element of that mobile communication dynamic is video. While video has made a slow ascension and has often been led by more tech-savvy generations, the usage of video skyrocketed as people were required to work from home offices and maintain productivity.
You may hear people say, “I don’t like the way I look on video. I don’t like the way I sound on video.” The reality is that is how you look and sound to the rest of us every day. Video is commonplace today and once you’ve accepted that fact, you’ll be able to leap over those personal hurdles. If that hurdle is still there for you, here is a quick tip: have a video buddy. Every few days, have a video call with that person. The more video calls you make with that safe person, the more comfortable you will become with the concept.
With all this advice in hand, do you feel ready to start with video? Or maybe you’ve learned a few things to help you create even more engaging video content for social media.