7 tips to make a great YouTube video

How to make a video for YouTube

Creating a video (or video series) to help market yourself or product or service on YouTube is easy.  YouTube videos increase the chance of a purchase by 144%.

At the time of this writing, I have been working with YouTube for 5 years. I have 25 years of video production, audio engineering, photography and music production EACH. I also run this blog and am a tech geek.

I can help you out a lot.

Like many companies, you might not have the in-house resources to create a clip or much time to waste on learning video editing software yourself.

You may also just have an iPhone or iPad and that’s fine. Many of the large YouTube channels started out filming with just an iPhone, and a lot of them still do, including me.

1. Craft a production plan.

When you enter video production, it’s good to plan as much as possible before you start rolling. This will make the production and editing process flow smoothly.

Personally, I don’t do this step. I have been in video production, photography and audio engineering for around 30 years so it’s 2nd nature for me. I also just start filming and talk as I go. Since I know the material I talk about, I can talk forever, but that’s me.

If you’re just starting out with YouTube, I recommend using notes or cards, your iPad or phone, to read from if you get stuck. You can always edit the parts out when you pause, need to think while on camera, or just aren’t feeling it. Just keep filming. You can always edit any video out later.

How to create content for your YouTube channel

Identify your goals and mission for making a video and make a plan that aligns with them. Create a script or use your notes highlighting major points you’d like to get across to your YouTube audience.

Share this with team members involved in the making of the YouTube video so everyone can contribute. This will help your team stay on the same page and track your progress if you’re on a deadline. More heads are better than one.

A lot of YouTube channels have one creator who does everything so don’t worry if you don’t have a team. I am the only one creating content, filming, editing and promoting my YouTube channels. It can be done with just one.

how to make a video for youtube. always be yourself when filming a video for your youtube channel. your personality is the most important thing next to content.

2. Showcase your personality.

This is very important! Whatever it is you’re producing, you’re likely not the first one to do so. You need to stand out. Be yourself in your YouTube videos. No one else can do this better than you. Don’t worry what other people think and don’t question yourself.

What sets you apart from the pack? Just because someone has 1 million YouTube subscribers to your 10, doesn’t mean they’re better than you.

Making YouTube videos takes hours of work spanning over weeks or months. This is why you hear people say, only make YouTube videos if you enjoy the content you’re producing. NEVER do something you don’t love. It will get boring and you will hate it.

Have you ever watched someone’s YouTube video just because you loved their personality? Chances are, it was a piece of visual content—perhaps a video—that you instantly connected with because it was likable. Maybe they made you laugh?

If people like you, they’ll become subscribers to your YouTube channel.

How to do it

Be honest with yourself about your on-camera skills. Is someone else in your group more charismatic? Put him or her in front of the camera, instead. If it’s only you, you’ll get over it in time. I used to be very camera shy years ago. Now, I don’t care if a camera is on me. There is no one else in the room when I film and that helps. I also don’t care what other people think so I film what I want.

If you really don’t want to be on video you can film your content and speak over the video either while filming or afterwards during editing. Many YouTube creators do this.

how to film a great youtube video that gets viewsTalking into a mic and speaking to an unseen audience may seem easy, but it often isn’t for those starting out. You might freeze, thinking what to say next. You may feel your info doesn’t flow. You may have a lot of doubts. Get over that.

The key to filming yourself is pretending you’re talking to a friend. You don’t second guess everything you say to them do you? Just talk.

Do several takes, keep them all, and edit out awkward pauses. Practice trimming and splitting clips until your transitions look natural. The human mind is incredibly fast. Having shorter quicker clips that get to the point will make your videos much better.

No one wants to watch you unboxing a product for 2 minutes while you look for scissors, accidentally knock the camera, look for your script, etc. Simply keep the first 3 seconds of you opening the box and that last few seconds before you take the product out. Everyone will get that you are opening a box. They don’t need to see the entire process.

If you’re making a physical product, some footage of the manufacturing process is an excellent way to make your product relatable. You can show this footage while talking about it into a microphone.

Don’t be afraid to whip out your cell phone if you’re missing a moment, be it putting the final touches on a great-looking product or your lead developer falling asleep at his desk.

3. Clearly explain your product or service.

You know your product better than anyone else. That’s great, but you may make the mistake of assuming everyone else knows the ins and outs of your product, too.

Don’t jump right to marketing “Awesome Thing About My Product Number Five,” just because you assume Things one through four are obvious.

Look at your product as if you know nothing about what it is, what it does, or what kinds of problems it can solve. Tell yourself the story of your product as if you know nothing. Then, take that story and tell it to everyone else.

I hate watching how-to videos and they say, “take the K49 valve.” What the hell is a K49 valve?! What does it do? Is there a K50 valve, and if so, would I want that one”? Explain it like, are there any other valves available? Why do you use this one and what does it do? Explain everything whether you think they know about it or not. Don’t go overboard with these side explanations. Let your viewers know you can make more videos on that topic in the future.

4. What camera to use for YouTube videos

The better the video and audio quality, the better your YouTube videos will be. Most iPhones and iPads and other devices all film in 4k so they will be fine. Most of my YouTube videos are filmed and edited on my iPad pro. For larger production videos I use Final Cut Pro video editing software on my iMac.

Here’s a tutorial I made on how to edit videos.

Here are some of the more popular cameras used by YouTube creators in vlogging or standard YouTube video creation.

best cameras to use for making youtube videos


5. Add entertaining and informational value.

Not everyone will want to sit through your video, even if it is short. Why should they? There are millions of other videos on the Internet.

Figure out what value your video is going to offer to your audience. Does it tell a great story? Does it explain how to solve a problem? YouTube videos I have created that show how to solve a problem get the most views. Even if you think it’s stupid or you think everyone already knows what you have to say, make a video for it!

Add value to your video, be yourself, and watch it get shared beyond just your inner circle of friends. Believe it or not, most people are altruistic—if they see a clear benefit to be gained from watching your video, they’ll want to share that benefit with their friends and connections.

How to do it

Think back to the last video you shared. Why did you share it? Chances are, if you’re like most people, you wanted to establish your authority on the topic. You wanted to be the first to present that piece of information to the people in your circle.

You can give people the social credibility they want by creating smart, informative videos for them to share. If your product solves a problem, present the solution in a way that sounds revolutionary.

For example, if your product speeds up a task that your target customer must perform often, use picture-in-picture editing features to demonstrate how much quicker they can accomplish the task using your product.

It’s great to tell someone they can save 30 seconds searching for the best rate on their next flight, but if you can show the typical process side-by-side with your innovation, you can actually make them sit through those 30 seconds.

how to make a viral videos

6. Tell a story that engages the customer.

Think back to high school English class, when you learned about the components of a story—there’s an introduction, conflict, climax and resolution. If you leave out any of these crucial parts, you’re left with a collection of sentences that have been smashed together for no apparent reason.

You need to tell a coherent story (and this will require some pre-planning, writing, and editing), but you should make sure it goes somewhere. A nice, tidy ending is great, but building suspense is better. Are you going to produce another video to continue the story? If so, why should your viewers be excited to watch it? Let them know in your video you will be making other videos like this.

How to do it

Make a plan for your video content, and look beyond video number one. Think of the story. What do you want to accomplish? Think of a grabbing intro, middle and end. Make it short. 3 minute YouTube videos on average do best.

Rather than one explainer video, is your product suited to a series of instructional videos? Can you help people create something with your product? Break that “something” into pieces, and create a series of short videos.

You can even record the entire series in one go, and use an easy editing tool to break the footage out into logical sections. Keeping your audience waiting for more (as long as it’s great content).

If you’re more of a storyteller, you can keep a video series looking cohesive (and cut down on your workload) by reusing clips.

Remind your viewers of the product benefits you explored last time, and build on the story you’ve already told. Just be sure to store your edited video somewhere safe—the cloud is your best bet—so you don’t have to repeat all your hard work each time you make a new video.

Even if your story doesn’t end at the end of the video, that chapter does. Make sure you leave your viewer with something concrete to do.

There should be a call-to-action at the end of every video, even if you set an expectation that another video will follow. You never know when a viewer will disengage from your content, so give them opportunities to become a customer or subscriber while you have their attention.

A call to action is having the viewer of your video do something such as subscribing or leaving a comment. Remind them to subscribe to your YouTube channel and to leave comments. YouTube loves subscribers and people leaving comments. This shows YouTube your videos are liked, which means YouTube will start to promote your videos over time.

The more videos you make, the better chance you have at being seen.

7. Title and promote the video.

You’ve created a great piece of video content that showcases your personality, explains what you’re doing, has a clear benefit, and tells a great story. What do you do next?

It’s time to promote the heck out of it.

How to do it

The best way to ensure people watch your video is to give it a great title.

After Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. Google now owns YouTube by the way.

You put a ton of research and consideration into your video. Do the same for your video title.

The same goes for your description and tags. Try using hashtags in your title to ensure you’re getting found with the right keywords. You’re also going to want to put some time into selecting the right thumbnail for your video.

This is all the potential viewer will see before they decide whether or not to hit the “play” button, so make that thumbnail image extra-compelling.

great youtube thumbnails. how to make a great youtube video

Making Marketing Videos

Regardless of the topic of your video or your amount of resources, be sure to follow these simple, but vital best practices when making a marketing video:

  • Clearly explain your service or product, as well as why it might be valuable to the customer. For example, if you sell a technology, you should use this video to explain what this technology does and why it might save a customer time and money. You could also use this video to show a demo of the product.
  • Be sure your video looks professional. Film in a properly lit environment with low background noise, if any. If you work in an open office, move your production into a quiet conference room or hallway. If the lighting is poor and it effects how the film subjects are seen on screen, try moving around lamps, or consider purchasing an affordable light at a home-goods or hardware store.
  • You don’t need to buy an expensive video camera, but try to use a lower-priced video camera, a digital camera that takes video, or a newer smartphone for a crisp image.
  • Make sure to get great audio in your video!
  • Hold your film device on a tripod or another surface to limit shakiness. Nothing ruins a great video like an unprofessional, unsteady image. Too much movement can also cause blurry visuals as a camera tries to auto-focus.
  • Use a video editing tool to put the video together so it looks clean and professional. When it comes to finding software, there are plenty of affordable options. Some computers, like Macs, already come with an easy-to-use program called IMovie. I do most of my video editing on my iPad using pro editing software called LumaFusion.
  • Export your finished product in high-definition. Exporting to HD allows your viewers to see a crisp clean image, rather than a blurry one, on most devices. Here’s a quick guide to editing Youtube videos.

That’s it! With these tips in mind, you can market your business like a seasoned video producer. Go forth and convert!

I write about anything techy, music, photography, artsy and whatever I think you may find interesting.


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