These days, the Internet is all about interaction. Simple, text-only sites have fallen by the wayside in favor of catchy videos and graphics. You need to engage your audience in order to keep them from skimming over your pages or leaving your site altogether. How? One word: video.

You might think that it takes lots of expensive equipment or training to produce functional and attractive videos for your website. No way! In fact, you probably have all the tools you need to create presentable content you would be proud to display online. You most likely have one of those tools in your pocket now.

Smartphone Movie Studio

Almost everyone owns a smartphone—and there’s a good chance it’s no more than a year old. So it’s a safe bet that you’re carrying around a high-definition camcorder capable of taking breathtaking and creative videos. Why not put it to use?

Smartphone cameras offer a higher video quality than webcams and are more portable, too. Out of the box, a smartphone is capable of taking some pretty good videos. But with a little extra investment, you can take your video shoots to the next level. Invest a small amount in a tripod for your phone, or make one from spare parts, as long as it is level and stable. Peruse the app marketplace for some good video editing and camera programs.

Once you have the basic upgrades, simply follow these five easy tips for making a great video:

1.  Hold the phone horizontally, just like any other video camera.

2.  Check your location. Where are you going to shoot, and why? Indoor and outdoor environments both pose different opportunities… and different obstacles. Take these into account before choosing.

3.  Check your lighting. Good lighting is key, but it is possible to wash out your targets with too much light. Try to shoot your video in a well-lit (but not overly bright or dark) environment. If shooting outdoors, you don’t want the sun to be visible through your lens as it will blind out everything else on the screen. You don’t want the sun directly behind you either, as it will wash out your subject and background. Experiment with a few brief clips on-scene to find the best trajectory for your shoot.

4.  Check your angles. Angle your camera too high, your star will look 10 feet tall, but angle it too far downward overhead and everything will look disproportioned and small. You want to be eye-level with your subject and on level ground.

5.  Check your background. Make sure your background is free from distractions or sensitive information, such as internal information on a computer monitor, or posters and furniture that might draw viewers’ attention away from your subject. If your shot is in a public place, you might not be able to control the ambient volume or background, which can lead to a distracting finished product.

Taking even these beginning steps will produce higher quality, more professional-looking videos—and that quality will color your visitors’ perception of your site … and thus, your business.

About the Author(s)

Erik Wong

Erik is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on | Google+ | @GoDaddy | More from Erik              

Small Business/Tech Consultant, GoDaddy

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