UpdatedApril 27, 2022
June 28, 2017
AuthorMichaletz ZwiefMarketing and digital communications agency specializing in smart, meaningful content development.
Topic Marketing Video
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Video production and even social media video marketing can appear daunting and unattainable to the non-video professional. Thankfully, modern mobile devices have made getting started easier than ever. Today’s smartphones have the capability to record not only usable but impressive videos. All it takes is a small investment in time and resources. Recently MZ produced a video as part of a conference presentation using clips recorded solely with iPhones. Mobile devices have also become an incredibly popular tool for filming marketing content for platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.
Check out these tips on how to take videos from your mobile device.
Make sure you have memory space.
Video takes up a lot of memory. If your phone or tablet has an available memory of 32GB or less, you should attempt to free up space. A great way to do this is to delete files and apps you don’t need anymore. If you still can’t free up enough space, you should consider using another device, or transferring your personal files to a computer or cloud storage.
Charge your battery.
Shooting video is one of the most power-draining activities for a mobile device. Make sure batteries are fully charged before shooting and if possible, connect to an AC adapter during the shoot. If you are using accessories that occupy your charging port, consider an extra battery (if your device has a removable battery).
Check your app settings.
Both iOS and Android devices have default video recording apps that can produce high-quality video. If your video is going to be used for a long-term piece, shoot at 1080p (or 1920 x 1080). If you’re shooting for social media, you’ll be better suited with 720p (1280 x 720). It’s also helpful to enable “Do Not Disturb” while shooting video. This prevents notifications from disrupting your video shoot.
An excellent tip from HubSpot is to lock exposure and autofocus while shooting. This can be done in iOS by pressing the screen over your subject until the yellow box indicating “AE/AF Lock” appears. Using Android, simply tap your subject on the screen during recording to set focus and exposure. This helps your device to expose your video more accurately by telling it what your subject is.
Lighting is critical.
If you are struggling to see your subject, the camera on your mobile device will struggle even more and the video quality suffer. A space with plenty of soft, natural lighting will work well for shooting video. If you are limited by space, consider an inexpensive, DIY lighting setup. With a little time and creativity, beautiful results can be achieved using local hardware store supplies.
Get the microphone close to the source.
When shooting video, you want to record the source, not the room. Make sure to get as close to your subject as possible to reduce room sound in your recording. Even better, pick up a lavalier or directional mic designed specifically for mobile devices. This will help you isolate a subject from the surrounding noise more effectively.
While you’re considering a well-lit room, also listen for ambient noise. Appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners can subdue the audio you are trying to capture. To reduce interruptions and loud conversations, put up signs near your space indicating that you are shooting video.
Vertical videos are fine if they’re only being shown on platforms like Instagram Stories, TikTok, or YouTube Shorts. But everywhere else your audience consumes your video, it will be horizontal. Always shoot landscape, even if you intend to repurpose the video on social media vertically—simply film with plenty of room for cropping and editing post-production. If you can, shoot in 4K. That way you’ll have plenty of resolution to work with when cropping. Then your footage will always look great.
Use a tripod.
A simple setup with a mount for your device and a tripod will guarantee steady video of your subject and deliver professional-looking results. If a tripod is not an option for you, or you are shooting action-based footage (skateboarding or hula-hooping) make sure that Image Stabilization is enabled in your camera app. You can hold a small weight next to your device to make hand-held shots smoother, or use a chair or ladder to prop your phone or tablet against to keep steady.
Now it’s time to edit.
If you are planning to edit the footage yourself rather than turn it over to a vendor, Windows Movie Maker and Apple’s iMovie are competent video editing programs and generally easy to learn. There are also mobile apps for video editing for both iOS and Android, such as Adobe Premiere Rush and PowerDirector.
Smartphones have become a decent filming option as mobile technology advances and video content continues to dominate social media. With some patience and creativity, use your phone to reach your market through the memorable and engaging power of video.