Quick and Easy DIY Brand Video Tips

Brand Video TipsVideo is a MUST in the travel industry -- and it isn't as hard as you think to DIY. Have confidence in today's tools and technology and you can go from good to great with these brand video tips. A fantastic travel experience transcends words and photos. Capture and share the full story with video.  According to travel industry analysts, digital video is one of the fastest growing formats for marketers in 2014. Cost is usually the biggest hurdle because it is hard to measure up to a great professional video. No budget? No problem! There are plenty of ways to create an eye-catching (and client grabbing!) video that highlights your travel products.

To Start

Get started making a brand video today with your smartphone or get outstanding video from a $200 Sony Alpha Mirrorless Camera. Invest $20 in a tripod. It will make a huge difference in the stability of your video. Nothing will compare to a professional set up but that level of quality isn't always necessary.

DIY Brand Video Tips

  • Keep it short: How long should your video be? Ask yourself 'How short should my video be?' instead. Most of us are programmed to tune-in to 30 second commercials. Keep a brand video between 10 seconds and two minutes tops.
  • Steady as she goes: If you need to move around while filming, keep the tripod attached to the camera and use it for your grip. The extra weight will minimize how much your camera bounces around.
  • Gone in 8 seconds: If you are filming scenery or a still object, eight seconds per scene is plenty. Similarly, if you are interviewing someone as part of a video keep it under twenty seconds unless they are really compelling, or on fire.
  • Hurry up and slow down: Use the speed controls to speed up slow parts (driving, cooking, etc.) or slow down fast action sequences
  • Lights, Camera, Action: Lighting can bring everything to life. Even in daylight! Get a $100 LED light panel to point at your subjects face and leave your days of dull/flat videos behind. If you don't want to spend even that much, get a cheap flashlight and have someone stand there holding it off camera!
  • Can you hear me now? If you are recording people, you should also consider investing in a microphone, and be aware of ambient noise. For higher quality results, minimize people talking and instead layer music over the entire video.
  • Sounds good: Of course you know not to use copyrighted music without permission. There are plenty of stock music sites out there. If you are uploading to YouTube you don’t even need that. YouTube has thousands of songs you can use for free to add to your video once it’s uploaded.

To Finish

Basic video editing software from Microsoft (Windows Movie Maker) and Apple (iMovie) are more than capable of piecing together your masterpiece. Editing is as important as filming. There are plenty of fancy built-in format options. Adding a title slide and music are the final pieces of the puzzle.

Brand Video in Action

Awhile back, I needed to put together a brand video to announce the opening of the Flowrider, a very cool wave simulator at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country. I had a professional crew scheduled a month out, but we needed something quick. We used a GoPro video camera to capture about fifteen minutes of raw footage, and I had all of 45 minutes to cut a video using Windows Movie Maker. Compare my video HERE with the one above. My entire video was shot, edited and uploaded to YouTube in less than two hours (yes that is stock music from YouTube).

Did I follow my own DIY brand video rules? Mostly...the video is a little long. I achieved my goal though, the video not only told people what the Flowrider was, it SHOWED them how cool it was. Later, I learned even more from watching the real videographers. While I am proud of my video, you can see the difference in quality.

Brand video ads exploded in 2013, topping over 35 billion views in December according to Business Insider. Don’t be afraid to explore new waters with a DIY brand video, you have nothing to lose – and new fans to gain!