Over the last few weeks I’ve been extremely busy with a few projects, including shooting and editing video for one of my clients, PreciseRacing.com. The racing parts supplier was looking for a way to add interactive elements to their brand and video fit the bill.
Shooting video is easy, and it can add so many layers to your racing PR program – from branding to marketing to actual, direct sales. To create videos that will make people want to subscribe to, you should have a mix of messages, not a stream of sales pitches.
What are some of the things you can do with video?
- Action Views – nothing beats on-the-track racing action, with the exception of a really good interview, for race fans. You can also show fast-forwarded material of your crew working on the car at the track or in the shop, washing it, loading it, etc.
- Interviews – ask questions to your driver, crew, owner or even fans. Or, create question slides in your video editor and answer fan-submitted questions!
- Tours – give fans an inside look at your trailer, race shop and other places that would be interesting to a race fan.
- How-Tos – show fans how you do certain tasks on the racecar that they might not know about.
To shoot the video, you can use an actual video camera like the Sony Bloggie Sport (I use a Flip for track videos, but they have discontinued it) or use a regular camera that has video capability. For the PreciseRacing.com videos, I used a Nikon Coolpix. I’ve also used a Panasonic Lumix with pretty good success. All of these choices can be found for under $200 via the Amazon links provided.
Then, you’ll need to edit it. Keep editing and added features to a minimum to maintain an authentic look and feel to your videos – a true ‘behind-the-scenes’ – and keep the viewer from getting distracted. You’re also more likely to do videos more frequently if you’re not spending hours on editing every time.
If you have a Mac, basic editing should only take you a few minutes – just import the video using iMovie and quickly add a face-in or fade-out, a logo to the corner of the screen or crop the video if necessary. You can also add transitions and text. If you’re a PC person, use the video editing software that comes with the camera. You can also use YouTube’s built-in video editor.
Some of the things I’ve learned through trial and error:
- If you can use a microphone for interviews, do it. It will always sound better. We use the hands-free Audio Technica Pro70.
- Turn your head away from the camera as little as possible to prevent your audio from dropping off. If you’re going to refer to something, try to place it in front of you instead of beside or behind you.
- Keep your eyes closed until you’re ready to start talking, then open them and begin. It keeps you from blinking right before you speak, which means your eyes will be open in the lead-in frame.
- Don’t try to memorize a script unless you’re doing a commercial piece (think: sponsor videos!). It’s hard, it probably won’t work and your viewers will be able to tell you’re doing it. It doesn’t seem authentic.
- Keep the video under two minutes unless you’re doing a long, documentary-style shoot or a commercial product. Your audience will check out after that.
For me, being on camera was the hardest part of shooting this video. I’ve been doing media training for my clients for almost 5 years now, interviewed plenty of people as a PR person, and have actually been interviewed a few times…but being on camera all by myself for more than 10 seconds was scary.
My advice if you’re nervous – honestly, just do it. Then delete it and immediately do it again – that one will be a keeper. This has worked for my clients, and it worked for me in this series. Hopefully you agree.
You can learn more about creating a presence on YouTube and uploading video in my racing social media series here.
Like it? Like it below and share it with your friends!