producing youtube videos

Producing YouTube Videos like a Pro

When it comes to producing YouTube videos, it might feel like you have to have an entire crew behind you. If you’re a one-person shop or a small operation, YouTube viewers are more likely to let you grow as a content creator. But, when you’re a medium to large business, there are higher expectations for the quality of your content.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you think about producing YouTube videos.

What is the video’s purpose?

If you’re creating a video specifically for YouTube, then you have to consider the interface. First, think about how YouTube got started. YouTube was about people capturing and sharing footage. Many of the folks who uploaded videos didn’t have formal training. What many did have was a webcam. So, they sat directly in front of their computers and looked at the camera.

Many good producers pull at their hair when faced with creating a video for YouTube precisely because the interface is not friendly to aligning the subject to the right of the screen. What makes for a good rule of thirds does not always align with the user interface.

The overall purpose of the video will dictate the framing of the subject matter.

What is the video’s platform?

If the video is meant to live on different platforms such as an embedded video on a website, then the placement of elements within the YouTube platform will matter less.

However, if you want to optimize for producing YouTube videos, then you want to think about where card teasers roll out, end screen elements show up, and subtitles appear. Plan your blocking to avoid those areas if you know you want a video that will appear seamlessly on YouTube.

These days, lots of built-in elements are on the right, which is where professionals like to place subjects for framing. Now, it’s nearly impossible to determine what YouTube’s user interface might look like in the future. However, given its history, the lower third and right third are most often used for overlays.

Quality matters when producing YouTube videos

While everything looks better in high definition (HD), you don’t need to have a RED or Scarlet camera to have a polished-looking video. If you’re on the fence about DIY or professional video production, check out my post on the topic here.

Well-done video takes away a lot of the headache. If you don’t already have an internal marketing arm with video capability, it might make more sense to use professional services rather than trying to spool up a new division.

Good lighting matters when producing YouTube videos

Quality isn’t just about capturing a clear, non-blurry Blair-witch inspired image. The setting and lighting matter as well. If you want YouTube’s official course, check out their Creator Academy series.

For more tips beyond lighting, check out our YouTube playlist with production tips.

Sound quality matters when producing YouTube videos

Sound quality matters. Too much interference with the sound can have viewers bouncing faster than a basketball. One of the easiest ways to improve sound quality is to use a microphone. There are several quality options. Many mics are not as expensive as you’d think. Also, a good microphone is worth the investment. When you can capture good audio the first time, the less time you will have to spend sweetening and mixing in post production.

Use a microphone when filming. Make sure that your subject doesn’t have anything rubbing or brushing up against their lapel mic. Keep boom mics out of the shot.

It doesn’t take much to improve audio quality. The more work you do in pre-production, the fewer things you’ll have to fix later.

For a more detailed description on what type of microphone you should use, check out this Tech Smith article.

Before making more videos, double-check your audience retention

Use data to drive future content choices. Within the Creator Studio in YouTube, you can observe at what point audience retention drops.

See what was going on. Was it a jump cut? Did the speaker imply the video was wrapping up? Maybe the sound quality dropped? Perhaps the setting changed?

When creating new content, keep in mind and plan for the future. Check out our video on the topic.

Think of your thumbnail as part of post-production when producing youtube videos

The thumbnail is a key part when producing YouTube videos. Thumbnails drive eyeballs, which in turn improves views from organic search and suggested video views. When you’re filming, capture images that might not make it into the final cut, but could still be visually compelling for a thumbnail.

One of the biggest misconceptions with thumbnails is that they have to come directly from the video. As long as the thumbnail evokes or references the content, you’ll be fine. Think of it like the cover of a book or DVD. It’s meant to entice viewers to click.

Wrap up on producing YouTube videos like a pro

Think of the video’s purpose. Place your subjects with the YouTube interface in mind. Record the highest quality video you can, and don’t skimp on the sound. Choose your thumbnail carefully and review your audience retention metrics.

For some more things to keep in mind when producing YouTube videos like the pros, check out the biggest problems you might face and how YouTube-specific tools like Director Mix might help your overall strategy.

If you’re interested in having a professional produce your YouTube videos, drop us a line or call us at 503-595-5901.