4 Ways to Use Smartphone Video for Business

You’re probably already using your smartphone to capture still pictures of your world, but smartphone video is an even more powerful tool to evoke emotion and life from your smartphone.  In fact, it’s using the same smartphone camera, just a different mode – video.  And video will take your marketing and branding to a whole new level.

In Part 1 of this 3 part series, I showed you the 6 business photos your business needs.

Part 2 looked at how to take the perfect marketing selfie that you can use for marketing and promotional purposes.

In this final part of the series, I will share with you 4 very strong reasons that you need to get out of just camera mode on your phone and start cranking out some killer video on your smartphone.


Reason number one is pretty obvious, but needs to be mentioned.

1.  You’re already using the same camera!

You don’t need any additional training to start taking awesome video that will bring to life the same photos you are already taking from the same camera.

You don’t have to be a professional to snap some quick video of what you are already taking photos of to share with your audience.  Even if you are not creating anything special other than sharing your lunch meal, be creative.  If the smoke off of your steaming bowl of soup is something interesting to look at, then try it.  You would be surprised at the photos and videos that get engagement on the fan pages I have managed.  Including the pouring of honey on a bowl of oatmeal.  It takes the experience to a whole new level.

That’s why I say to take the video that you already are capable of taking.

Go into your camera setting and select the frame rate.  Your photos are obviously just one frame (unless you go Live photo on iPhone, which I am not a huge fan of as they only work on Apple devices or unless you make a GIF, but does it really need to get that complicated?)  No, just choose your frame rate.

How to set the frame rate on iPhone

How to set the frame rate on iPhone

I am suggesting that you just use the video mode on your native camera app to capture something that happens beyond 1/30th or 1/60th of a second.

Here is the other HUGE reason I rarely use the photo mode on my camera anymore.

2.   Choose your photos later

There are a couple of ways to get photos from the video you shoot on your smartphone.

a)  Screenshot

Screenshot-Smartphone-Video

Make sure you tap on the screen to remove the scroll bar and upper bars so it doesn’t appear like this.

Your screenshot will appear as the full frame photo.

The simplest way to grab a photo from your smartphone video is to grab a screenshot.

You can pause your smartphone video and scroll through it slowly to catch that special frame you want.  In your camera settings, you can choose how fast you want the shutter speed to be.  I always have it on 1/60 of a second, as space is not an issue for me with an iPhone 7 Plus and 256G storage space.  If space is an issue for you, I suggest you clean off your phone regularly, but don’t sacrifice the quality of your video by selecting less resolution and a slower shutter speed.

b) Third-party app

I use Video 2 Photo to capture my photos as still frames from my video, but there are others.

Here is the iPhone screenshot of the app, where I can scroll through my video images to hone in on that special one.

The smartphone photo actually chosen from the video using the Video 2 Photo app.

The third-party app will let you play the video very slowly so you can see where you want to grab a photo from.  It’s just a different dynamic that you have to play around with and see what you want to get comfortable with.

The other advantage of using a third-party app is that you can preserve the pixels and dimensions of your video.  If you want to blow up this picture for larger viewing or for a poster, a screenshot will not cut it as it is compressed to what fits on the screen.  You will preserve the quality of your photos this way, but if you just need a quick social media post, go ahead and just grab a screenshot.

3.  Facebook Live

You can’t do Facebook Live with just a photograph.  This is another reason you MUST have video for your business.

Live video is very different than video you shoot on your smartphone and upload.  It is YOU in the selfie cam, or rear-facing camera.  You also have the option to switch the screen around to shoot video away from you with the front facing camera.  The one difference between already-produced video and LIVE video is that:

You can have engaging conversations with your followers with Facebook Live.

Facebook Live lets you connect with the people who care most. Your followers can receive notifications when you go live so they know to tune in to your broadcasts at just the right time.

You can find out more about Facebook Live and its rules.

 If Facebook Live doesn’t show you that people want to see video and engage with you, then I don’t know how else to convince you that video is really important in engaging with your audience.

Limitations:

The two major limitations are:

a) Video quality.

The quality will suffer as you are broadcasting over wi-fi because the video’s quality will depend on the connection you have while you are going live with your video.

b) Portrait Orientation   Facebook Live only records in a portrait orientation at this time. Never hold the phone sideways as you will will broadcast sideways, and don’t ever switch orientation halfway through any smartphone video and expect the camera to understand what you want it do do.  Keep it locked in portrait mode for Facebook Live, and any other Live broadcasting method.  Hopefully at some point in the near future this will change, as even YouTube has recently supported Portrait video orientation for uploads and viewing.  It isn’t better than landscape mode at this time, but for Facebook Live, you’ll want to keep it portrait.

Don’t worry too much about video quality for purposes of shooting a LIVE video.  Reserve those videos that you absolutely must have the best first impression for, because people are so hungry for live video and seeing something that vert few people are privy to is enough to keep their interest and keep them coming back for more.

I encourage you to try Facebook Live for your business, and see where it goes for you and your brand.  You have nothing to lose if no one knows you’re broadcasting and doesn’t see it, right?  You don’t even have to post it after you record it and you don’t have to download it if you don’t want to save it either.

NOTE:   I could have mentioned Smiletime or Periscope in this section, but I feel that Facebook has the power as it has already congregated the masses and is using its already powerful platform to boost its service with Facebook Live.

4.  YouTube

Do not underestimate the power of YouTube to serve your content to interested potential clients, when they search for the answer to their question on Google.  Use your smartphone videos on you blog, on your website and in social media, but build your brand with the awesome free platform that we all have access to, YouTube.  It is a social media platform that is even more powerful than Facebook in terms of being engaging, because Google owns YouTube, so if you want to come up in search and be seen and heard, you need to be on YouTube.

A great way to build your audience is to answer common questions on a topic of interest to you, particularly your area of expertise.  By using video, people will get to know the real you and begin to understand that you are an authentic expert on your topic.

Your response will come up number one as a search result, with a thumbnail to your video.  That is way more valuable to your brand than a snippet on a second page search result, isn’t it?< And by repurposing your Facebook Live videos, you get the multiplied value of your video content, 24/7 on the web.  Here is a YouTube video I created, reusing the Facebook Livestream video I created.  The topic is on repurposing, so it is very fitting for this blog post.  If you have any questions on how I create it and how you can create yours, feel free to post a comment below, or on the YouTube video and I'll be happy to help.

On Smartphone Video:

You don’t have to be a professional videographer to take some awesome video from your smartphone, and you don’t have to be a professional photographer to get some really engaging smartphone photos from your camera either.  The best camera is always the one that’s with you, so I encourage you to use what your smartphone already has that arms you with some really powerful tools to capture your world and engage your audience, 24/7 no matter where you are.

Smartphone video is available to us all.  Practice makes perfect.  Now let’s get practicing!

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