Video for Beginners: Tips for Shooting Your First Ad

But, video is intimidating!

  • You may feel uncomfortable or unnatural on camera
  • You may feel you have too many important things to say – and be unsure of how to prioritize them
  • You may be concerned you lack the skills to produce a quality video
  • You may feel overwhelmed by not having knowledge or experience in the scripting, shooting and editing process.

We hear you! And we get it. Traditionally, video hasn’t been the easiest foray for a small business or entrepreneur. But times – and tools have changed!

Read on for our starter tips for creating great video for creating great ads on Facebook.

Keep It Simple.

Here are the simplest tips for a starting point. From there, you can check out some advanced posts on video production (coming soon!).

Tip #1 – Start With a ONE Single Concept

As a business owner, you have many important things to share with your audience. You may want to provide an overview of your business, share what makes you different, explain the different service offerings, etc.

However, this does not work for a video ad.

Think about what you want the viewer to do as an action. Is it “learn more” about your business by clicking through to your website?

Is it “Getting Coupon” for an introductory offer, where they will test out one of your products?

Your objective is likely not to tell your business story in the video, but to get some kind of conversion (action) that allows the viewer to indicate their interest and then experience your brand on a deeper level at the next stage.

Given this, think about a single concept that sets up and supports the step you want them to take after watching – AND, think about how your concept addresses a problem or need in the customer’s world.

Build your concept around this strategy.

Tip #2 – Practice Strategies for Getting Comfortable on Camera

We’re serious – shoot yourself upwards of twenty times to get comfortable being on camera, testing out wording, the flow of your message, etc.

Here are some strategies to getting comfortable on camera:

  • Record yourself and send one or two clips to a trusted friend for feedback
  • Deliver your script, pretending you’re speaking to someone off-camera – OR don’t pretend, engage a friend, who asks you a question, and then answer it in the video.
  • Practice live-streaming on Facebook – knowing that you are LIVE will force you to go with it, and help you move past second guessing yourself.
  • Don’t worry about shooting multiple takes and/or breaking up your message into many smaller clips. If you mess up, keep going – You can edit the best portions together afterward.

Here are some strategies for delivery and confidence:

  • Laugh, jump around, get relaxed and loosened up.
  • Pretend you’re a broadcaster. Modulate. 
  • When you make a mistake, really dig into it… 
  • Express!  Increase the energy! Get really excited and speak to the camera with lots of energy. 
  • Speak to the camera, pretending you’re speaking to someone you really love. Show warmth.
  • Be yourself.  It doesn’t have to be over the top.   
  • Celebrate what went well in each take. This will keep the confidence-building and focus your brain on repeating positive aspects in future takes.

Tip #3 – Focus on Getting To the Point Quickly

Users are frequently looking for something to catch their interest, and cause them to stop, click and watch.

Given this, it’s important to get right to the point when creating video for social media ads. This means, within the first 2 seconds, the viewer will decide if they’re going to stop and watch, or not.

Catch your audience quickly with these strategies:

  • Stack your most important messages in the front of your video.
  • Depending on the purpose of your video — for example, in the cast of an ad, it’s best to generally keep your messaging short.
  • Practice trying to build messaging that can fit in a 15-30 second clip. And when you write important sentences, write them with short, simple and direct wording, centred around your single concept.
  • Keep the beginning, attention-grabbing and high-energy. Watch videos that catch your own attention from the beginning and ask yourself why.
  • Remember to speak directly to the viewer, keeping their challenges, pain points and needs in mind. If you can provide an easy, appealing solution – let them know to catch their interest ASAP!

The bottom line: Producing a great video comes down to two main elements – PRACTICE! And being authentic with your audience and message… (which improves through, you guessed it, MORE PRACTICE!) Get shooting!

Want to put your video to work in a lead gen ad? Read this beginner guide on Lead Gen campaigns.