If you’re trying to grow your audience online, the content you post is one of the most important parts of your business. It’s the first thing that your customers will see and consume from your brand. Publishing content that serves to impress and uphold certain standards is of the utmost importance. A low-quality video will make everything else look unprofessional, which reflects badly on you and your public image.
It’s pretty straightforward to make professional videos that look good. Here are 8 tips you can follow to easily improve video quality.
How to Improve Video Quality and Make It Look More Professional
1. Keep it simple
Cluttered visuals never look good. Having too many elements is actually one of the most common reasons for a low-quality video. Remember that less is always more; let the content and message speak for themselves.
To make professional videos, keep minimalism in mind. Try to film in front of clean backgrounds, in good lighting, and without too many subjects. Keep the editing and special effects to a minimum where it doesn’t take away from what the video is trying to tell the audience.
2. Be prepared
Write a script for your project! Part of the process to make professional videos is outlining either the dialogue or general direction of where the video is planning to go. One of the ways to spot a low-quality video is when it’s disorganized and confusing to follow. Prioritize clarity and coherence in your production.
Aside from writing a script, make sure everything else is ready to go as well. This includes set design, production crew, video editors, and more. Taking the time to properly plan things out is a foolproof way to instantly improve video quality.
3. Find good lighting
Good lighting is the oldest trick in the book when you need to make professional videos. It instantly gives everything a much cleaner look and eliminates harsh shadows that can be distracting. Remember that the main purpose of your video is to deliver a clear and coherent message, so try to avoid anything that can deter from that.
The sun is one of the best (and budget-friendly!) light sources you can utilize for your videos. It’s usually best to film in the mornings or afternoons, to avoid the harsh midday sun which can cause unflattering shadows. Indirect natural lighting is best to make your subject look softer along with their surroundings.
Indoor lighting is also good if you want to achieve a consistent feel. Investing in a simple setup with just one or two lights is an easy way to improve video quality. Another bonus is that you don’t have to wait or schedule around the weather, and you can keep filming in a controlled environment.
4. Invest in audio equipment
Low-quality audio translates to a low-quality video. Modern marketing revolves around both visual and auditory communication to successfully promote something. Sacrificing one or the other can cause more damage than you might think. A bad audio recording can be distracting and irritating at its worst.
To make professional videos, you’ll need dedicated audio equipment to capture high-quality sound. This will make editing go more smoothly since you’ll have an independent audio track that’s clearer and thus easier to manipulate. Relying on built-in microphones from video cameras or even a smartphone is a lot more trouble than it’s worth.
5. Use good editing software
There has never been a good quality video without a great video editor behind it. A reliable editing program can make professional videos look even better by further polishing the final output. There’s a lot of editing software out there for you to choose from, but at minimum, they should be able to do the following:
● Color correction and color grading
Equalizing the color and light balance of the video can drastically improve video quality. Sometimes the images captured by the camera can be dull, or the footage is too dark to make out the contents of the video. With the right tools, you can adjust these settings slightly to make your video look bright and colorful or dark and moody.
It’s always a great idea to make your videos accessible to a wider audience. Subtitles are a great help to those who are hard of hearing, or to minimize any accidental audio issues that can occur during production. Even if the majority of your audience won’t need subtitles, they’ll still appreciate the option to turn them on.
● Special effects
Sometimes the special effects in post-production can get out of control, but with a lighter hand, they can make your video look a lot better. Transitions and overlays can help to subtly change the mood of the scene. They can also make your video more entertaining or sophisticated depending on the context of your target audience.
● Video presets or templates
Presets are an easier way to apply special effects without having to do them manually. Using them can speed up the editing process because you’ll be able to process a lot of footage with just a few clicks. You can use premade ones or templates from other creators, or design your own. Making your own presets can also be an innovative way to imprint your editing style easily and make your brand identity recognizable. You’ll be able to create consistent, on-brand videos at a much faster pace.
6. Be mindful of composition
Just like photography, film composition is important because it creates aesthetically pleasing visuals. These capture the audience’s attention and entice them to keep watching. You can follow basic rules of composition such as the rule of thirds, or utilize framing techniques depending on the shot you want. A low-quality video will have amateur composition, making it look unprofessional.
Near the end of your production and editing process, try to take a step back and review. You don’t need to use all of the footage you got from the shoot day. Just take what you need, and don’t feel pressured to include everything! More often than not, you’ll just drag out the video and make it boring for your audience.
Anyone can start telling their stories through video, but it’s always better with some extra help. The Outside Collective is a full-service design and video collective that wants to help you bring your message to life.