What Equipment to Start With for Making Online Videos

Feb 3, 2022 | Content Marketing, Online Strategy

Doing online videos for your business or brand is one of the smartest things you can do to increase your reach and build your audience.

But getting started can be a struggle for some when it comes to equipment and as a result, they get held back.

I’m going to talk to you about what equipment you can easily start with and make high-quality videos without breaking the bank.

You can either listen to the podcast audio, watch the video or read the info below.

The type of videos you want to make will determine what equipment you’ll need. There are many different types but let’s look at three common ones:

  • Direct to camera videos – these are where you present or talk on camera to deliver a message. These are sometimes called talking head videos
  • Slide Presentations – this is where you use preprepared slides such as PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote
  • Voice over with stock footage – you record audio first and add images or clips on top in post production where most of the work is done

You could also have a combination of all the above in one video but for simplicity, we’re going to focus on direct to camera videos, as arguably I would say these are better for creating a connection with your audience. 

And they can be quick and simple to do because all you need for your basic video is a camera and a microphone and you can just share your thoughts.

A lot of people just start recording and say what they need to say, and then publish the video as it is. No editing or other forms of post-production.

I know this may sound scary to some people because they think that a video has to be super polished and well-edited with fancy graphics but this is far from the truth. People are looking for substance over polish and are looking for making connections with others.

Of course, a bit of light editing can help tighten things up, but it is definitely not necessary.

Camera Equipment

Now in terms of camera equipment, you don’t need anything more than a mid-range smartphone that’s been released in the last couple of years as these have amazing cameras that are more than capable of shooting high-quality videos.

You could simply get a small tripod with a phone mount and set it up on a desk in front of you and you are ready to record.

A tip that I have for you is to make sure that you’re in a well-lit area as having good lighting will make even any camera look better.

If you are able to set up by a window with natural light, this can help. Otherwise, you could get a small LED light to help you out.

Audio Equipment

As for audio, this is a really important part of any video and it needs to be good. Unfortunately, the built-in mics on phones and other equipment are not that great so you’ll want to use an external mic to record your audio. 

This can be one that plugs straight into your device or you could use an external recorder to record to your audio separately but this will require the audio and video to be synced up in editing, so you may want to avoid doing this to keep things simple.

The easiest way to do this is to use a wired headset or a clip-on mic going into your phone, that way you’ll only have to deal with just one file.

Those are all you need to record a basic on-camera video and start publishing video content. 

But of course, if you have a dedicated camera and other audio equipment you can use those too, but the more you add to your setup the more complicated it can get and this could slow you down or prevent you from making more videos.

Just to touch on the other types of videos that you could make.

Slide presentation videos require that you prepare your slide in advance and have screen recording software. There are lots on the market that you could use, including Screenflow on mac and Camtasia on windows or  Loom which is browser-based.

For voice over style videos, you’ll need to do a lot more work in the post-production stage as this is where all the visuals will be added. It can be more challenging with these videos as you’ll need to find or film the right footage and come up with graphics and images that match with each scene of the video.

These can be even more challenging for longer videos as you have more space to fill, but when done well, these videos can be highly engaging.

Just to let you know, If you’d like to see a list of all some of the best tools I use for creating online content and running my websites, you can access my toolkit for free by heading to marlonmcpherson.com/toolkit

Now that you see how this works I hope you’ll be a lot more motivated to start creating videos.

If you need some extra help, check out some of my other resources over on my website and see some of the ways that I can help you with your online strategy.

Resources:

  • My Free Toolkit – Get access to a list of my favourite tools for content creation and running websites.
  • Better Mobile Audio – How to connect a professional mic to your phone or mobile device
  • Direct Help – Get my help with your online strategy.

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