edit Scott Olson on March 11, 2011
edit Attract new followers with video interviews
Creating compelling videos is one of the best ways to attract more visitors to your website. Video interviews of people who are interesting to your customers - and prospective customers - can be easy to make and very effective. For one thing, you know that the person you interview will be as interested as you are in promoting it!FounderBuzz, simply wasn’t an option. So I turned to an inexpensive and surprisingly good quality alternative: Skype.
Skype does not provide any built-in video or audio recording capabilities, but there are a number of products that add recording capabilities to Skype. I use the iSight camera that's built into both my Apple iMac and MacBook Pro, along with eCamm’s Call Recorder.
If you run Windows, I believe you can get a video recording plug-in for Skype from Pamela, but I haven’t used it myself.
edit Video Recording Equipment
- Computer: iMac running OS X Snow Leopard
- Software: Skype and recording software - for example, eCamm Call Recorder or Pamela
- Accessories: Desktop lamp or other lighting; background (optional); external microphone
edit Video Interview Process
Step 1: Download and set up Skype. If you haven’t already done this, download the latest version of Skype from the website and create an account. I have found that almost everyone I've interviewed or want to interview for FounderBuzz already has both Skype and a webcam.
Step 2: Download and install eCamm Call Recorder. This is pretty self-explanatory. The software costs $19.95, is available at eCamm's site and is worth every penny.
Step 3: Choose recording options. There are a number of recording options for eCamm, and for the most part, I use the default settings. The one option that I do change regularly is how my image will be shown along with my interviewee. I have used three different recording options and think they are all good for different scenarios:
- Split screen. In this case your own image will be shown side by side with your interviewee's image. It's best to use this format when you will be having a very lively exchange, with both the interviewer and the interviewee speaking a lot.
- Picture-in-picture. This is the format I use the most on FounderBuzz. It's a good choice when you'll be asking questions during the interview, but your interviewee is going to be doing most of the talking and you want the viewer's focus to stay on the interviewee.
- Remote interviewer. Use this format when you won’t be asking the questions during the interview itself, and plan to have the video consist solely of the interviewee's responses. I have seen this format work well when the questions are inserted as text before clips of the interview subject's answers.
- Multi-track. In this format, you record the local and remote images as independent video streams. Obviously this just about doubles the size of your recording, but it gives you more editing flexibility if you want to switch between clips of the interviewer and interviewee. I don't use this option.
Step 4: Set up lighting. One of the most important parts of recording your video is lighting. Bad lighting can ruin the quality of your video, but there aren’t many great desktop lighting solutions out there. I know, because I searched for one. I have settled on the super-low-budget option of taping printer paper to a desktop lamp to diffuse the light. It doesn’t look like a professional setup, but it works like a charm.
Step 5: Use a good external mic. After you have good quality video, you need to ensure people can hear you. Usually the microphone supplied with your computer isn't the greatest. Use an external mic to improve the quality of your audio. I use a desktop mic, as I don’t like wearing a headset for a video shoot.
Step 6: Conduct and record your interview. Once you have decided how you would like to record your interview, go for it! Connect via Skype video chat and click "record" whenever you are ready. Edit your movie and post it to your site, YouTube or wherever else you want it to appear. With any luck, your video will be picked up and linked by other people, and send more visitors to your website.
- Promote your brand in your videos: Learn How To Add Your Logo to Your Video.