Smartphone/Tablet Video Production: 4 Types of Videos You Can Make!

Have you ever felt like you just don't always have a steady stream of content to keep your agency or company's social media site (i.e. Twitter, Facebook) fresh and engaging?

Studies show that when you add audio and video content to your sites, interaction (shares, likes, favorites) goes way up. (Dry text and bland links to news releases is so booooring!)

One of the best things you can do to get some social media action going is to post videos, but until fairly recently, it has been costly and time-consuming to create them. Learning to run a large, intimidating video camera and use a complicated video editing program is too steep a learning curve for many.

The great thing is that now, your smartphone or tablet computer is all you need. With the addition of a professional smartphone/tablet-designed microphone, and a tripod mount, you can shoot full 1080p HD video that looks and sounds great. With good lighting, great audio, and a steady shot, you can turn out a terrific product - fast!

There are 4 types of videos I like to produce on smartphones and tablets.

1) Direct-to-Camera
Your talent looks directly into the camera and delivers the information direct to the viewer. This approach works great for event promos, or informational pieces and demos, or updates from the Emergency Operations Center during a disaster. The talent needs to be able to communicate smoothly and authentically - no reading off camera notes! The viewer will see that your eyes aren't looking directly at the lens.

2) The Package or Recap Video
This is a classic news-style report package: an open and close "standup" from the on-camera talent, mixed with interview clips from event attendees or subject matter experts. These are great for recapping events your organization is involved with, and then sending them out to community supporters, board members, decision makers, and anyone who really needs to see what was accomplished! (This can build or maintain critical support for your programs!)

3) The Inteview
This is a sit-down interview with your subject matter expert. You can excerpt video bites for use in a Package, or you can just use interview excerpts on your social media sites alone and use the text box, say, in a Facebook post to "set up" the interview clip ("County Health Officer Jane Doe explains why getting a flu shot is critical.")

4) The "Music Video"
As communicators, we're always shooting photos at events, such as community fairs, workshops and conferences. Why not take those photos, put them to a 60 second music bed, and post them to social media? You need to make sure you use music you own the rights to, but it's easy to find it. YouTube has a free library of music for your productions! And iMovie for iPhone and iPad has some tracks built in as well.

These videos are easy to produce, and smartphone/tablet video editing apps let you add titles and effects easily, then upload to social media with one button. This is a skill that I think should be in every public information officer's personal toolkit!

My next two hands-on workshops on Smartphone Video Production will be held March 26, 2014 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and April 2, 2014 in the Sacramento, CA area.
View a promo video and registration link here!

Kerry Shearer is a broadcaster, communicator, social media/communications consultant, and Chair of the National Public Health Information Coalition's Web and Social Media Committee. He's a frequent emergency communications trainer and speaker at national conferences on social media and web audio/video techniques.