I sat in on a session at the BlogWorld Expo led by Steve Garfield, author of Get Seen and long time advocate of video use.
Steve mostly shared the low cost set of tools he employs to create his video and it got me thinking that I should do the same.
Video use in marketing is growing by leaps and bounds and while you do need to join the movement, you don’t have to drop thousands just to get good educational videos, customer case studies and trust building video overviews.
There are thousands of passable tools that you can use in the pursuit of video and here are a few that I use.
Canon EOS 5D – This DSLR is a professional grade video and has a 21 megapixel camera and digital processor that is far beyond most of my needs, but shoots such high quality that you can create laser sharp HD shots and output the video as large as you like. – $3000
Canon Vixia S30 – Camcorder that has some great features – external mic jack (a must) twin 32 gig memory card slots (these cards go right into my mac and make it very easy to shoot and edit away.) $799
iPhone 4 – the video ability on this device is pretty phenomenal and for me erased all need for the Flip camera – the only hitch had been an external mic. I have a great little mic that plugs into the power port, which is great for audio, but not so much for video. See below for the answer to this. – $399
Sennheiser MKE 400 – this directional mic sits on top of my Canon Vixia in a mic shoe on the camera and is a great set-up for point and shoot interview settings at things like conferences. – $349
iRig – this is a stereo condenser mic that plugs into the iPhone headphone jack and makes the iPhone a great tool for doing video interviews. – $149
Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone – this is the mic I use to do my own videos for training and product videos. It’s powered by a small battery and clips right on to make sure we get clear audio. It’s also pretty good at not picking up outside noise. $29
iMovie – this program ships on all Macs and does pretty much everything I need it to do so it’s hard to recommend any other software.
YouTube – believe it or not YouTube recently added some basic video editing functionality to its service. There are time when this is all you need.
YouTube – YouTube is free and has a huge audience. There are many reasons to use this for your marketing videos. Simply upload and grab some code and run the video on your site. There are some downsides too though.
Amazon S3 – For all of my product videos, ones that are only available to my customers, I prefer to host and stream from Amazon S3. This gives me total control over size, privacy and steaming. There is a cost for this service, but it’s very low and with addition of something Amazon calls CloudFront my videos play every time no matter how large.
EZS3 – One of the nice things about using a service like YouTube is that they create the player for your videos as part of the service. Of course you have little control over how the video displays and little ability to brand your player.
I use this service so I can create completely branded, iPad and mobile friendly videos that also have thumbnail control, forwarding functionality, form embedding and fully functional buy buttons right in the video. $20/mo
So, there you have it – that’s my toolbox – how about you?