The average pizzeria can produce its own successful videos
We’ve all heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but did you know that a video is worth one million? A recent study concluded that one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words! Video has quickly become the No. 1 medium used for interacting with your customers. The reason is that video is able to combine and leverage the benefits of imagery, music and message to create a moving and dynamic piece that evokes emotion in a way that would be difficult to accomplish on their own. This year alone, video content will account for 74 percent of all online traffic, with 55 percent of people watching videos online daily. The question is, will it be your video content they are watching, or your competitors?
Until recently, video has been met with warranted levels of anxiety by many in our industry. Historically, video has been difficult and expensive to produce due to specific skillset requirements and equipment investments. But the proliferation of digital technology has brought with it the ability to shoot, edit and produce high quality video at a low cost, and you no longer have to be a professional videographer to create engaging video content. In a seminar that I presented at the International Pizza Expo last March, I highlighted the ways your pizzeria can and should be producing video on a small budget. These are the key takeaways from that seminar:
First, let’s talk about filming. You are going to need an HD camera. SURPRISE, you already have one… it’s your phone! True, phone cameras can be limiting but with some attention to detail, they can produce exceptional video. With any camera you need to be mindful of the following when filming:
- Stability. The idea with video is to invite the viewer into the video, beyond the screen they are viewing it on. If the video is shaky and unstable, they will inevitably be stuck on their side of the screen and unable to engage fully with the piece. There are many affordable stability devices sold for every kind of camera, ranging from tripods to selfie sticks with gimbal mounts. Choose one or several that suit your needs.
- Lighting. Natural light is best but too much natural light can overexpose your shot. You also want to avoid backlighting the subject. The best results are created by diffused natural light, such as a pizza you are filming near the windows at the front of your restaurant where the light is cascading down onto the pizza through the window. When that is not an option, auxiliary lighting is necessary and the goal should be to create the same result of natural light by illuminating the subject and reducing shadows. Auxiliary lighting does not need to be expensive. We’ve used a Verilux HappyLight as a solution which can be found on Amazon for $39.
- Movement. If stability is paramount, then movement is the key that turns your piece into a work of art. Movement can be accomplished in many different ways such as zooming, panning and changing focal points. There is a lot of equipment that can help you accomplish movement in your filming from drones to Ronins, or you can simply move your body while keeping the camera trained on the subject. However you do it, just make sure to incorporate movement in your shots to increase their effectiveness.
- Content. Shoot more content than you need. By shooting B-roll footage (shots that are not directly related to your film) you will be able to tie your piece together into a well-rounded production. For example, if you are making a commercial for a special pizza, consider getting a few shots of your pizza maker tossing the dough or of the exterior of your storefront that can be used in the intro or outro of your piece.
Next let’s talk about audio. You’ll need to decide if the video will include music, narration or both:
- Music. If the film will have a song playing through the piece, you won’t need to worry about background noise, which can be a distraction for viewers. You will want to secure the rights to any music you use in your videos to avoid copyright infringement. The best way to do this is to use royalty-free music, and Audio Jungle is a great place to find a wide variety at a low cost.
- Narration. There are two ways to incorporate narration to your piece, either by speaking in front of or “on-camera,” or by including the audio afterwards in the editing process, “voice-over.” With either option the goal is to amplify the voice audio of the subject and reduce the background noise. If “on-camera” is the choice, you’ll need a microphone to capture the subject. Directional camera mics can be effective at closer range but can also pick up background noises. The best mics we’ve found are lavalier mics that plug into our phones to record voice audio that we marry to the video in the editing process. You can buy them on Amazon for $10. If you are doing voiceover audio, give thought to your recording space to minimize any ambient noise when recording. We use Garageband on Mac to record voice audio.
- Both. If you are going to use a mix of voice and music, just make sure to adjust the music volume during the speaking segments so that you can hear the message clearly.
Now that you have the raw video and audio, you’ll need to cut them down to size and combine them in the editing process. There is a lot of editing software out there. Choose one that is easy to use. We use Cyberlink PowerDirector ($70), but prior to that we used Windows Movie Maker which is free. Both can accomplish the same or similar results. The idea is to cut your piece down to the shortest duration possible and to create a flow in the shots through transitions in both the audio and video files. This will ensure that your audience stays engaged through your entire video. A tip to make the final piece really pop is to align the video transitions to the timing of the music you selected for a professional result.
The final step is to export and share your video. Make sure the video is properly formatted for the intended destination (i.e. proper file type, formatted for the right screen resolution in HD) and upload the video directly to the location where you want the video to be viewed. So if Facebook is where you want people to watch your video, upload it directly to Facebook as opposed to first uploading it to YouTube and then sharing the video to Facebook. This will maximize the amount of people that see and engage with your piece.
My final tip is to just do it. You don’t have to be a pro, but you do need to start using video because your customers are demanding it.
Clayton Krueger serves as director of marketing and communications for Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza and is a speaker at International Pizza Expo.