Production values still matter in online video

In this world of ubiquitous digital video cameras and easy-to-use editing software why does business still need expert video producers? After all, if it’s going on the internet it doesn’t need to be cinema quality. Right?

Well, sort of. But not really.

I’m all for cheap and cheerful video production in the right context. Perhaps you are producing a video for an audience that won’t be bothered by an “authentic homemade” approach. That’s fine. But what if you ‘re just confident that your story and talent is so good that it can rise above shaky production values and resonate with audiences. I say: if what you’ve got to share is that good, then why risk it?

Internet video is a competitive business. There are thousands of videos being uploaded every second – by rank amateurs, Hollywood film studios and everyone in between. You need to make watching what you’ve got to say as easy and appealing as possible.

And of course there are also brand considerations.

Like your PowerPoint slides, your newsletter, your website, video your company produces is representative of your brand, so you want to make sure you come across looking and sounding professional.

I am not suggesting you need to call in Steven Spielberg and invest tens of thousands of dollars in production – obviously you don’t. But I personally find a logical, tightly edited video sequence is much easier to watch that’s obviously been done at home.

I watch “expert- films-self-on-webcam” videos quite often when researching stories at yourBusinessChannel. Sometimes the content is very useful, but frequently the format is distracting. People ramble. The shot set up is often terrible. And while they’re talking I usually find myself peering into the background to see the family photos on the wall behind them.

My question is do you want someone like me thinking “oh, they’ve obviously done this themselves, I’ll need to make allowances” when they start watching your video? If you don’t mind, fine. If you do, then perhaps you should think about investing in production – not just to make it look good, but to edit in the fantastic sound bites where you nail your important points. And to edit out the longwinded bits that nobody notices in a real life conversation, but which are just confusing for everyone when you include them in a video.

Overall, the point I’m trying to make is that just because you can do something yourself it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. In my book, “Production values don’t matter in web video” is right up there with “I’ll just whip up some business cards and print them at home” and “I don’t need to prepare. I’ll just speak from the heart”. It would be nice if life was like that. But unfortunately it isn’t.