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4 videos you can create with a webcam

How good are webcams, really, when it comes to making videos? Can they hold they’re own against proper video cameras? The simple answer is no, but only if you’re looking at technical resolution and image sharpness. You also can’t really compare a £100 webcam with a £2000 video camera, it’s not a fair fight.

Webcams however do offer something that video cameras just can’t, a universal accessibility to all with a very low barrier to entry. You don’t need to be a technical IT wizard or creative filmmaking ninja, you pretty much just need to know how to plug it in and press record on whatever software or application you’re using.

There’s a lot you can do with a webcam, so here’s four of the most useful types of videos you can create to elevate your business.

#1 – INFORMATIVE VIDEOS

Informative videos go by many names, some call them educational videos, some video blogs or vlogs, some simply social media videos. To simplify it lets just classify them as this…if you have something you want to share: a thought, an opinion, a story, tips and advice, then that is an informative video. They’re also the most common type of video you’ll see on social media right now. If you spend any amount of time on LinkedIn, you’ll see people from all industries, across the world, of all levels of seniority, recording short videos and sharing they’re thoughts online. The reason for their popularity is this – they’re really easy to make.

Now there are two ways you can approach making these videos, there is no right or wrong approach, just whichever you are most comfortable with. Either you can plan what you want to say and script it out in its entirety or in note form, or you can simply talk off the cuff. If you’re happy to just start talking, then you simply need to hit record and go.

If however you’re someone who likes to plan in advance, then the first thing you’ll want to do is either write a full script that you can read from, or write yourself some notes to help you remember what you want to say as you go through recording the video. Once you’ve done that, you can have the script loaded up on your computer screen as you record the video. Autocue’s are a popular piece of equipment in professional video production because it allows those who aren’t comfortable just talking, to still create the feeling of a one to one connection with the viewer. With you being sat at a computer looking into your webcam, you can achieve exactly the same thing.

#2 – INTERVIEW VIDEOS

By interview videos I mean using video to interview others. Interviewing other people is a great way of creating content and reaching new people very quickly. Let’s say you interview someone for 30 minutes, from those 30 minutes you might be able to create not only a long 30 minute video, but also break it down and create 10x 3 minute video clips, that’s 10 pieces of content you now have to share online. Not only that, but the person you interviewed will likely share the videos as and when you post them, which gives the video further reach as it extends out into their network and allows you to connect with a whole new audience that you would have otherwise have had to pay for.

These videos are very simple to create, and again you only need a webcam. Using a platform like Zoom, you simply need to setup a shared meeting and hit record to get started. It goes without saying that both you and your participant will need webcams so that you can record both of you simultaneously.

There are plenty of video conferencing platforms available, however Zoom seems to be the best at creating these kinds of videos. You can organise your viewer screen to show both you and your participant side by side so that you can record both feeds simultaneously. Now you don’t have to do this, you might not want your face in the video, in which case you can simply just record the full screen image of the person you’re interviewing, just bare in mind that you won’t be able to insert yourself into the video at a later date if you change your mind.

#3 – WEBINARS

Webinars and online training are very popular right now, webinars in particular are used a lot by marketers to capture leads and build sales pipelines, and some businesses are using them as additional revenue streams and making them part of their lineup of products and services.

There are two ways you can run webinars, either you can run them live, or you can pre-record them. The benefit to live webinars is that the audience gets a more 1-2-1 personalised experience, where they can engage with the presenter and ask questions. The downside is you have no room for mistakes. The last thing you want on a live webinar is dead air time.

The benefit then to pre-recorded webinars is that you are in complete control of the content and have the time to think about what you to put in and how you want to structure it. You’re also able to run through it as many times as you want to get it just right. The downside for the audience is that they won’t be able to engage and ask you questions in quite the same way.

Whichever option you choose, you can record both with a webcam. If you’re running the webinar live, then the platform you’re using, Zoom for example, will automatically find your webcam (assuming it’s plugged in to your computer) and assign it as the camera and microphone of choice.

For a pre-recorded webinar, you naturally need to film the webinar in its entirety beforehand. Many webinars run by companies across the world are recorded simply with webcams and so people are used to that level of production quality. Once you’ve finished recording the webinar and are ready to release it, the webinar platform you choose will allow you to upload the video and setup the rest of webinar in the same way you would a live production.

#4 – DEMO VIDEOS

This type of video isn’t relevant to all, but for anyone who either sells, uses, or has any reason to educate others on how to use a piece of software or application, then this is a great video you can again create with a webcam.

Now in order to capture the recording of the software itself, you actually don’t need a webcam at all. You can record the software using some kind of screen recording program such as Quicktime or Camtasia (there’s many others as well). Where the webcam comes into play is the audio capture. I’m sure you’ve all seen demo videos before, they’re usually made up of two parts: the screen showing the program, and a voiceover that talks you through whats on the screen. If you’ve got a professional microphone than you can use that instead, but if you don’t, the webcam is perfect to use.

Good practise is to record the screen first, checking that you’re happy you captured everything you wanted to show. You can then watch that back whilst you narrate and record the voiceover. This will allow you to ensure that what you’re saying syncs up with the part of the software thats on the screen at the time. It’s a little bit back and forth, but if you need to create a demo video and don’t have all the bells and whistles technology, or a video production company to work with, then this is how you can do it yourself.