Video Production: Top 5 Tools Checklist For Beginners

As a part of a holistic business approach, Video has become one of the top tactics dominating the social platforms and most importantly brand marketing.

“Video marketing” is the effective use of videos to promote and market your product or service, enhance involvement with consumers and clients, and reach your audience quickly.

Over the last three to five years, we have seen a surge in the popularity of video production where small and large businesses have been taking advantage of video to increase brand awareness, boost traffic, grow revenues, and influence buying decisions. Statistics show that more than 50% of customers prefer to watch more video content from a business they support (HubSpot, 2018).

The key to video production starts off with video quality – which is all about content! The more informative, creative, and valuable the content, the more consumers are likely to come back!

If your content has low production quality, viewers will less likely to watch, and more likely to view a competitors marketing campaign.

If you want to make money through digital video marketing campaigns, you’ll need to step up your game. The goal of this article is to give you a checklist of the right tools to make professional videos and keep your content strategy ahead of the curve.

Let’s dive in! Here’s a checklist of 5 production tools and equipment you need to make a high quality video ready for your social platforms.

Video Production Equipment

1. Camera

If you are thinking seriously about generating revenues for your business with your videos, a quality video capable camera is a must-have tool!

Over the last few years, the market has seen major innovations in technology. With so many cameras available in the market ranging from low to high prices, providing high resolution formats with minimal noise, making the right choice can be tricky and confusing.

Starting with the basic camera is the key to success. Look for a camera with at least 1080p capable output, the ability to change lenses can be beneficial if you’ll be using the camera in multiple locations, and an input for a microphone is crucial.

DSLR’s like the Canon T-series, or mirrorless cameras like the Panasonic GH5 will run in the $500-$2000 range, but will provide quality video capture, and industry standard files for editing.

Moving up in the price range will add features for color management, quality (4k/6k) and stabilization, as well as better autofocus and low-light capability. These cameras come with a price-tag, but certainly provide enhanced capabilities in the future. You’ll need to decide if the extra expense is worth it when just starting out.

2. Tripod

No matter how good your camera’s stabilization is, you will still need a tripod. It isn’t practical to hold the camera when filming yourself, and though a camera may not seem heavy when you first pick it up, after a few minutes of shooting you’ll realize that you aren’t as stable as you think! Every small shake in a video will be visible to the viewer and it can affect view rates. That’s why a tripod has your back!

Tripods provide a stable platform allowing you to carefully frame your subject, and ensure jitter-free footage. While there are times that hand-held footage is the best choice, you’ll never go wrong with a tripod. As with any piece of equipment – buy the best your budget will allow. Price is closely linked to both stability and durability.

3. Lighting

Lighting makes a huge difference to the quality of your video. Every beginner has to consider certain factors of light, foreground, background, shadows, and of course the equipment.

If you are just getting started, you can use a reflector to benefit from ambient light. The angle plays an important role when it comes to proper lighting so you may need someone to hold it unless you decide to invest in a reflector holder as well. A good investment involves the purchase of a 5-in-1 reflector with translucent, white, black, gold, and silver surfaces that can solve any lighting issues in just a few minutes.

Simple video lights are available from sources like Amazon for relatively low cost, and can add a substantial amount of ‘fill’ light when needed. These lights are quite directional though, and can cast unsightly shadows if used incorrectly.

If you want to go a level above, then you can definitely use a softbox. These large boxes control the shape and direction of light providing a natural look, with enough light to capture video. Although they can take up a lot of room, they still provide the best lighting by almost mimicking the light from a window.

4. Microphone

Smartphones and DSLRs don’t generally provide good quality audio. An external microphone will improve the quality of the audio significantly which makes it easier for the audience to stay focused.

Investing in a microphone is crucial to video quality. Terrible audio will ruin the best capture and editing – so consider the options. For wireless, the Rode GO transmitter and wireless mic are ideal at a reasonable price. Wired ‘lavalier’ microphones can be purchased for as little as twenty dollars – so cost isn’t extraordinary.

At a minimum, a simple on-camera microphone upgrade like the Rode Video Micro can still greatly improve audio quality for your video shoots.

With many alternatives available on the market, let your budget and features guide your buying decisions.

5. Editing Software/Program

You don’t need to have a certification in video editing to get started. There are free video packages available like DaVinci, as well as ‘pre-installed’ video packages like Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie on the Mac. More fully featured editing platforms like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut provide more flexibility, but come with additional costs.

Regardless of the platform you choose – practice will give you familiarity and even the most basic packages can produce quality video. Avoid flashy titles and transitions, and focus on clean edits, and consistency.

Mastering editing is a long and tedious process, but with even basic editing skills, you can easily add text, photos, music, and other elements which will level-up your video and increase views.

Final Thoughts

Effective use of your camera, and lighting, a good tripod and microphone, and effective software is vital to video production.

Set the right objectives before you begin implementing a video marketing strategy. Knowing what message to convey to your audience is essential for creating videos that your audience will watch and respond to. Once you’ve figured out the message you want to share with your audience through videos, it is time to start using these five tools to create effective videos!