Online Video Content – Immediacy Versus Quality

For many veteran videographers, production quality was (and still is) sacrosanct. Any deviation from this was subject to screaming, projectiles, public ridicule – you get the idea. But part of this belief stemmed from the extreme disparity in cameras and sound equipment. The end product could look and sound horrendous or professionally done, without much for anything in between.

Over the last decade though, the average smartphone is now capable of capturing video that rivals the most expensive cameras from a generation ago. Not only that, but people’s expectations for video content has changed. Some of the most shared and popular online video content commit an array of old-school cardinal sins of videography – poor lighting, muffled sound, etc. Those sins are forgiven because of how endearing, unexpected or funny the videos are.

That’s not to say all the old rules have gone out the window. There is – and always will be – a need for high-end video content. The question boils down to one of immediacy versus quality.

When immediacy matters for online video content

Good social media content has a strong sense of authenticity to it, and social media videos should reflect this. Moments that don’t seem overly rehearsed, edited or staged. These are the things that can (and arguably should) be captured on a smartphone.

It is still important to have a list of standards for “immediate” video content, such as making sure that the subject is in focus and the audio can be heard.

These also should be relatively short – 30-60 seconds, on average.

These videos should be reserved for events and instances that have a shorter shelf life – anywhere from a day to a week.

When quality matters for online video content

When a video is going to be used beyond social media, then quality begins to trump authenticity, such as used on a website or at public events. This is when it is important to develop a storyboard, write a script and plan for adequate post production. (See our creative brief if this sounds like something you need help with.) These videos also should reinforce the overarching brand messages and style guidelines.

Examples of these videos could include informational videos about the organization’s work or service, major announcements and projects or employee profiles.

Thinking every piece of video must be immaculate shouldn’t keep your organization from getting on the video content train. Chances are, your smartphone can capture a lot of great pieces, so long as you follow the tips outlined above. You don’t want to end up on our next roundup of bad corporate videos!

Greg Surber

Greg Surber, APR, is a public relations strategist through and through. He works on a variety of accounts, leading research projects and content strategies, but he also has extensive experience with more traditional PR efforts including national and trade media relations campaigns.

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