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7 Tips For Filming Video On Your Smartphone

So, you want to try out posting video on your social channels, adding video content to your website, or even starting up vlogs on YouTube?

We’ve got 7 great tips on how to get started:

  1. Get the equipment

You’ve got your phone to hand, and that’s a great start! But it might be difficult to take video of yourself talking, so our first tip is to get yourself a tripod so you can set-up your phone hands-free. There are a number of different types, and below are some examples:

If might be a good idea to get a wireless remote to go with the tripod, so you can start filming without having to jump between the phone and setting yourself up to speak on film!

  1. Film differently for different platforms

A lot of websites detailing ‘how-to’s’ will say to film your videos horizontally rather than vertically, and we say generally to stick with that – especially if you’re filming for video content to go on your website or YouTube.

But, these days, it’s just as useful to film your videos vertically. If you have an Instagram account or Facebook account for your business, this way of shooting is key, as not only can you post videos on the main profile pages, you can also film videos – and film live – for Instagram and Facebook stories, which are vertical posts.

This is a good thing to think about if you’re wanting to post video on different platforms, but perhaps want to create the same content across the platforms – it might be worth doing two lots of filming the same content!

  1. Use the rule of thirds

If you’re unsure how to set-up the shot, a good idea is to think of the rule of thirds. Some phones allow you to activate a grid on the camera app while you’re filming to help with this. This doesn't always work in video mode, but you can flick to 'photo' while you get your shot set up.

Where the lines cross in the frame are all good places to put something of interest, or if you're recording a person, position their head over one of these points.

  1. Record good audio

Bad audio can ruin a great piece of video, and just because your smartphone can record a decent voiceover in a quiet controlled environment, it doesn't mean you can rely on it when you're outside.

If it's a perfectly still day, go for it, and if you want to video someone talking, get as close to them as possible so you can to make sure they are heard above any noise in the environment. Another good tip is getting a separate microphone that you can plug into your phone to record the audio.

  1. Music and Rights

If you’re thinking of adding music to your videos, one thing to remember is that you need to use songs with appropriate rights. YouTube and Facebook are pretty strict on taking down videos that contain copyrighted music.

Many websites offer royalty-free music, so it’s not difficult to find alternative tracks that suit your video. Read the terms properly, though, to be sure you’re permitted to use the music the way that you want to. Or if you know anyone who is a musician, they may be willing to give you permission to use their tracks.

  1. Know Your Phone’s Limitations

You want to film better video on your smartphone, so before you start filming, it's good to know what the limitations are. Check the amount of available memory and battery life, as you can't just slot a couple of spare batteries into your smartphone, and you don't want to waste valuable time scrolling through photos and videos deciding what to delete to free up space!

Smartphones also don't have zoom lenses, and any digital zoom features will reduce the quality of the image, so aim to find a position where you are close enough for your subject to fill the frame.

  1. Edit and share your videos

An obvious tip perhaps, but you definitely want to share your videos! But before sharing, you may want to also edit the videos.

Some edits you can do when uploading them to social media – especially adding text, music etc. to Instagram Reels or Stories. But otherwise, you can check out Editing Apps for your phone.

Here are a few to start off with:

  • Apple Premier Rush
  • iMovie
  • Quik

There are great videos on YouTube on editing videos, so it’s a good place to start your video journey!

If you want to learn more about video content and marketing with video, we have regular events around the subject – as well as other digital marketing topics.

Check out all our upcoming events here.