PosterMyWall live class: Shoot amazing social media videos with your phone
This week, special guest Monica Farber taught us how to shoot fabulous and engaging video content with a smartphone. Monica is a social media marketing expert and is principal at Hello Fancy Media – an Atlanta-based boutique agency specializing in content creation and social media curation.
You can watch the replay above, download the presentation and bonus content, or read on for our summary.
Throughout the class, Monica shared great tips on how to elevate your social media game with unique and engaging video content. “Videos are always more interesting than a still image,” she said. Monica also stressed that social media is integral to modern day marketing and that videos are an essential component of an effective digital marketing strategy.
Here are Monica’s 8 tips on how to create amazing social media videos with your phone.
Employ a gimbal for smooth shooting
If you’re going to be in motion while shooting your video, it is essential to use a gimbal. A gimbal is a support mechanism that eliminates the shakiness of holding your phone and thus enables anyone to shoot perfectly smooth videos. It is especially helpful when you want to showcase the ambiance of a location or shoot a walking tour.
“There is no learning curve here, as soon as you turn it on you’ll know how to use it,” Monica said. Just mount your phone in your gimbal, hold the handle, press record, and the motion in your videos will be effortless and smooth. Even a relatively inexpensive gimbal will do the trick. (Monica recommends this one.)
Create boomerangs to showcase fun motion
Monica said that people are more likely to stop scrolling for a video than they are for an image. Which is why boomerang videos are a great way to engage an audience.
A boomerang is a short video clip that plays back on loop. “Anything you can show in a photograph, you can show better in a boomerang,” Monica said. It’s a fantastic way to showcase a fun, sporadic movement like a cork popping off a champagne bottle, a door opening, or someone diving into a pool.
You can easily make a boomerang through the boomerang option on Instagram.
Try out stop-motion
Stop-motion, in simple terms, is an animation technique in which many individual shots are compiled together to create the illusion that inanimate objects are moving. “Think of it like a flip-book – a bunch of pictures put together,” Monica said.
You can shoot stop-motion video on your own phone using video editing apps like Life Lapse. Just follow these simple steps:
- Block all but your main light source. It is imperative that you have one constant source of light throughout shooting so that there are no sudden flashes or lighting changes from shot to shot.
- Mount your phone on a tripod, or anything else that will hold it steady. This will help prevent you from bumping or accidentally moving the phone when you tap the screen.
- Place your object in the center of the screen and tap the screen to adjust three things: The exposure, the white balance, and the focus. This will adjust the lighting, clarity, and color in your photo.
- Shoot one frame of your objects in their starting position. Then move the objects slightly slightly and take your next shot.
Continue until you’ve completed your video. Use your app to assemble the shots and your stop-motion video is ready.
Shoot video of people…including yourself
People love looking at other people — which is just one of the many reasons that posting videos of people can help build a connection with your audience. When shooting people, Monica says you’ll get the best result if you have whoever you are shooting — even yourself — controls their movement. That is to say, the subject of your video should stay still enough so as to not appear shaky or fidgety, but move enough to look natural.
It is also important to light your subject well. Placing a single source of light in front of you (or the person you are shooting) will ensure that both sides of your face are well lit. Monica suggested investing in a ring light as an easy, inexpensive way to achieve this.
Also pay attention to the quality of your audio. Most people focus on looking good on camera, and forget that good audio quality is just as important as your visuals. Monica suggested shooting in a quiet area and investing in a wireless microphone. That way your video will sound as good as it looks.
The background you use for your video matters as well. “People often aren’t concerned with what’s behind them in a video, but it’s necessary to have a good backdrop to make you look your best,” she said. Her recommendation is that you select a background that matches the tone of your video and represents your brand. For instance, using your home office as a backdrop can be fine, so long as what your audience sees doesn’t look messy or distract them from your message.
For additional tips, Monica recommends your visit the feed of Instagram influencer, Jasmine Star. Jasmine’s posts lead her followers through her video creation process, which helps them learn how to create their own engaging content.
Add a soundtrack
Monica also recommends adding music or sound effects to add life to your video. As we mentioned before, audio plays an important role in making a video engaging. Adding a fun tune, some soft background music, or a clever sound effect can make your video more appealing.
Monica illustrated her point by sharing a fun Halloween video she had created. Her choice of eerie background music added to the spooky vibe and set the mood for Halloween. She also shared the Instagram posts of The Park, a vacation rental property, to reinforce her point.
It’s easy to add sound effects and stock audio to your video with PosterMyWall. All you need to do is upload your video into the PosterMyWall editor and select a stock audio clip.
As you add audio, be sure to only use music that you are licensed to use or royalty-free music, such as the stock audio on PosterMyWall (or other online audio services) or the music Instagram makes available to you in Reels. If you use music that you don’t have a licence for, you are violating the owner’s copyright and breaking the law. If Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube believe you are using unlicensed music, they will block or mute your content. And the copyright owner could take legal action.
Edit your videos
Monica is an advocate of editing your photos to make sure that everything you post adheres to a consistent overall aesthetic.
She shared examples of some of her favorite photo editing apps, and talked about how each one supports a unique aesthetic. For instance, 8mm is an app that allows you to add a vintage feel to your video, while A Color Story is brighter and more modern. Monica’s recommendation is that you experiment to find the app that best fits your brand.
Use Reels to grow your Instagram following
“In my opinion, right now, Reels are the only way to grow organically on Instagram,” Monica said. Reels are 15-60 second video clips set to music or audio, similar to the video content on TikTok. You can either film a Reel directly in Instagram, or upload a video that is saved on your phone.
Contrary to popular opinion, you do not have to dance or perform a trick to make an engaging Reel. You can create Reels that showcase your product in action or promote your business. You can also choose an audio track from the Reels audio library or record your own voice or music.
Elevate your videos with PosterMyWall templates
Monica likes to enhance some of her posts by adding her own videos to PosterMyWall templates. It’s fast and easy to swap fonts and colors to create a dynamic, on-brand design.
Monica concluded by encouraging everyone to create videos that are unique and impactful to spice up their social media presence. “Creating your own video content is a fast and easy way to stand out from the crowd,” she said.