Professional Video for About $300 or Less

Professional video standards will still be the best choice businesses.

The popularity of user-generated video on social media has taken off over the last two years. It’s only a matter of time before both large and small businesses begin widely adopting it, as well. The rush by consumers, though, has created a glut of handheld, poorly framed and hard to hear videos. 

To stand out from the crowd, brands will need to go back to some of the traditional production methods seen in professional video.

Why Video Has Grown

As early as 2012 you were able to do live video streaming through Google Hangouts to YouTube. But true mobile live streaming started with the Meerkat app for your smartphone in 2015. That was followed the same year by Periscope. Users jumped on and experimented with these two services very quickly.

But live mobile video exploded when Facebook made its Live feature available to everyone in 2016. Live is the best place for brands to do live streaming video because they don’t need to build new audiences as they would on the newer Meerkat or Periscope services. Most businesses already have pages on Facebook and they can market to their existing fans there through Live.

Video is also important because of the Facebook algorithm. Right now, video receives the highest reach of any other type of content. Fans of your page are notified and as long as you are live, it stays at the top of news feeds. 

Being Technically Right

As users rushed to go live, they simply treated it as a video-selfie, holding their phone and stretching out their arm. 

While this handheld look is fine for consumers, it won’t work well for brands.  Viewers are savvy and intuitively understand good production values when they see them. Because they expect good production from businesses, when they see it done poorly they will perceive that company to be cheap and develop a bad impression of it.

Poor production also calls attention to itself. Novices to video production often make mistakes because they don’t know any better. But mistakes such as a tilted frame, bad audio or exposure issues draw the viewer’s attention away from the marketing message. 

At that point, people are no longer listening to what you’re saying and instead thinking about why your video doesn’t look or sound right.

So your video presentation needs to be technically correct.

Delivering Professional Video on a Budget

The good news is that you can achieve good quality production values with today’s technology, a little know-how and a few inexpensive tools.

The technical items that you want to be sure to address include leveling your shot, making sure it is steady, having good, clear audio, making sure the picture is exposed properly and is correctly balanced for the light.

To help get these elements right you’ll need to purchase a few items. is full of video equipment that can help. Here are the four pieces of equipment you should consider:

·     A Lavalier Microphone

·     A Tripod

·     A smartphone Tripod Mount

·     Lighting

These are the basics. Assuming you’re using your smartphone as a video camera and you don’t have an iPhone 7, you can expect to spend between $100 and $200. The lightning port on an iPhone 7 makes buying a microphone more expensive. With this option you could spend between $200 and $300.

The Wrap

While you can start broadcasting immediately with your smartphone, doing so will not help the perception of your brand. Instead, for a small investment you can purchase some basic gear that will help your business stand out and improve the reputation of your brand.

To get specifics on the technical aspects of video production or equipment, contact me here on LinkedIn and we can set up a consultation.


Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio.


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