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How to make a good interview video

Videos interviewing sales and technical experts at your company are a really cheap, easy to create marketing asset. They make your YouTube channel look interesting, they bring dry product pages on your website to life, and they can be terrific for SEO if you transcribe what’s said. There’s also increasingly less need for high end equipment, as the quality of smartphone or DLSR video increases at the same time as user expectation is probably dropping. Here are some of the things to consider when making a video.

Get the background and framing right. It can be a little more interesting if the subject is a third of the way across the frame, looking across the camera line (search ‘long sided composition’ for more tips). Ensure the background isn’t moving – this can degrade online video quality as the streaming rate tries to keep up.

If you’re not able to set a white balance to your video, at least make sure the lighting is reasonably neutral, and consistent. Strongly yellow fluorescent lighting isn’t great; daylight is fine, but be careful it doesn’t change. If in doubt, test things out with a dummy run.

Finally, if you spend money on just one thing, make it a microphone. Modern cameras, even on smartphones, can perform miracles, but if you’re using them to record the audio, they can’t overcome the contradiction of the camera needing to be two or three metres away and the microphone needing to be ten times closer. All you need is something like this; I usually record the sound independently using the mic connected to an old smartphone which can go in the interviewee’s pocket, and replace the camera’s sound with this afterwards. That saves having cable trailing around the place.

There’s loads of great advice online about making corporate talking head videos. It’s well worth spending an hour getting tips. Then get yourself a schedule for making your own, throughout the year.