Ask an MSP Expert

Q: In a recent Ask an MSP Expert post, you talked about how to incorporate videos on an MSP website. There are so many different tools and programs you can use to create video content for current customers and prospects, though. Which ones would do you recommend using?

Video marketing is a great way to give your customers and prospects an opportunity to interact with your MSP. You can use them to answer commonly asked questions, teach prospective customers about new offerings, or educate customers on how to avoid the latest cyberattacks. In fact, 89 percent of customers are likely to share a video they find educational, so video marketing creates an opportunity for your brand to reach prospective customers in different networking circles.

To get you the best advice on what tools you should use to create and develop your videos, we consulted Miguel Leonor, a marketing specialist at Intronis MSP Solutions by Barracuda. Miguel has worked on numerous video projects (including The Intronis Is Always There music video). He shared his advice on how the right tools can make a big difference when it comes to creating a quality video for your customers.

Finding the right tools to create your video

videoHaving the right tools is essential to creating professional video content for your customers. Surprisingly, you can create some quality videos using just your smartphone. In fact, the new iPhone can record 4K video. But, depending on the level of professionalism you’re looking to achieve, you might want to consider some additional tools.

A step up from a phone would be a GoPro or an entry-level DSLR camera. When using a DSLR camera, you want to be mindful of the type of lens you use to record because with some lenses you might have a tight shot. For example, if you’re using a 50mm lens, the shot will be tighter, and you might not be able to fit as many people in the shot. If you use an 18mm lens instead, you would have a much wider shot. So the lens you choose will depend on the composition of what you’re planning to record.

After deciding on a camera, your next step is to map out how you want to incorporate audio components. For some types of videos, you can add music or voiceover later on using your video software program, but for other videos you’ll need a good way to capture audio while you record the video. Most cameras have built-in audio features, but the microphone usually isn’t good. I recommend finding a good standalone microphone—for example, Zoom has an H1 microphone for about $80—that will allow you to record high-quality sound files.

Combining the video and sound files is relatively easy, especially with low-cost software programs like iMovie for Mac users or Adobe Premier for PC users. After uploading the files, you can sync up the files to make sure they are aligned properly. From there, you can edit the video and tailor it to fit your needs.

Best Practices for developing a successful video

Creating videos for your MSP might be time-consuming as you’re getting started, but taking the time to do it right will pay off in the long-run. Here are some best practices to help you keep things running smoothly and achieve better results overall:

-Create a storyboard. Develop a plan of what you hope to accomplish before you start recording. This helps put everyone on the same page before you begin the project.

-Apply the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a photography technique used to create visual interest and drama. This is where vertical and horizontal lines intersect creating a point of interest.

-Make sure you have proper lighting. Whether you’re filming inside or outside, be sure you have sufficient lighting. If you’re filming outdoors, be aware of the weather, and plan to use additional light sources to compensate for clouds, sunrise, and any dusk shots.

-Use a stabilizer or stand when you’re shooting your video. Avoid shaky shots by using a stand or stabilizer. This will help you get a clear picture and a more watchable video.

-Have a “crew.” It can be challenging carrying lots of equipment and gear, so having an extra set of hands available will come in handy.

My best advice is to start simple but have fun with it and have a story or message in mind that you want to share with your audience. In the end, the composition and content is more important than having a bunch of expensive gear. When it comes down to details, don’t sacrifice your message—because that’s what your audience is going to notice.

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Lauren Beliveau

Posted by Lauren Beliveau

Lauren is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at Barracuda MSP. In this position, she creates and develops content that helps managed service providers grow their business. She also regularly writes The MSP’s Bookshelf and our Ask an MSP Expert column.

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