Most entrepreneurs and companies recognize the power of video on their websites — after all, what better way is there to tell your story and connect with people in an authentic way? Videos convey complex information in a really rich way, helping to boost time on site as well as conversion rates.

Nonetheless, it can still feel daunting to actually produce your first video. There’s a lot of “gear fear” (pro tip: your iPhone works wonders if you have a tripod or something to stabilize it!) as well as concerns about how the footage will look. In reality, you can make your footage look great without much time or money by getting the set-up and lighting right. Here’s how:

1) Use a Backdrop

Your backdrop matters! Always try to find a solid wall to shoot against with no distractions in the shot (like those random office plants). If possible, avoid shooting against a white wall by hanging wallpaper which is affordable, easy to use and can be found anywhere. We use this in all of Wistia’s videos.

2) Use Studio Lights

Don’t trust the overhead lights in your office. They’ll fill your videos with dark shadows and distracting lights. Instead, consider using low cost, high quality lights that can be set up by anyone in just minutes. Lighting makes a big difference: it adds energy to your subject’s face and makes him or her look years younger.

3) Amp Up your Audio

If you’re recording in a big room with lots of empty space, your videos will most likely be filled with echoes. These echoes negatively impact overall sound quality, making it harder for your audience to focus on the most important part: your message. Stop sound waves from bouncing off the walls by hanging up sound-dampening panels. If you’re in a pinch, moving couches or pillows into the room can help to “deaden” the echoes.

4) Leave It Set Up

Once you’ve set up your video studio, leave it up! Not only will you save yourself future work, but we’ve found that teams with dedicated studio space are more likely to shoot video consistently and perfect their process. If nothing else, once you’ve initially set up your video studio, try leaving it up for a few weeks and measure the impact it has at your company. We wager that you’ll never take it down.

5) Use It for Webinars, Video Conferencing, and Social Video

Start using your “studio” space for more than big production videos like product launches or “about us” content. If you do webinars or video podcasts, shoot them there. Take advantage of the space when you have video conferences with important clients or partners. You can even use it for more casual, social video to post on twitter and Facebook. You’ll look far more polished and professional in these contexts for very little extra work!

Takeaway: Finding a good location to shoot videos can be challenging, but it makes a huge difference in your final product. Fashioning your conference rooms for dual purposes — both meetings and video shoots — doubles the value you can derive from your office space. In addition, having a dedicated and consistent video studio set up increases spontaneity and notably improves video planning, shooting, editing and efficiency.



About Kristen Craft

As the Director of Business Development at Wistia, Kristen Craft enjoys helping people use video more effectively in their market. She loves working with Wistia's partner community: building connections with other companies that care about video marketing. Kristen holds advanced degrees in business and education from MIT and Harvard. In her spare time, she brews and drinks a variety of beer.