How can I get better at filming videos on YouTube?


6 min read

How to Film a YouTube Video: 12 YouTube Filming Tips

Table of Contents

What is one tip for filming a YouTube video?

To help you film YouTube videos, we asked content creators and social media professionals this question for their best tips. From using TikTok as your YouTube filming guide to avoiding shaky videos, there are several strategies that may help you film a YouTube video. Here are 12 tips for filming YouTube videos:

  • Use TikTok as Your YouTube Filming Guide
  • Keep it Personal
  • Use a Quality Microphone
  • Don’t Overthink It
  • Deliver a Quick Hit at the Start
  • Shoot the Video in 16:9 Landscape
  • Capture Viewers’ Attention with a Good Title, Thumbnail & Story
  • Edit with the Correct Software
  • Create a Professional Looking Video
  • Put your Best Face Forward
  • Don’t Forget About Sound
  • Avoid Shaky Video

Use TikTok as Your YouTube Filming Guide

The TikTok narrative format has completely reshaped the world of viral video content, so when filming your YouTube video it’s important to adopt its native content style. No matter the medium, there is demand for content that is lo-fi, authentic and entertaining.

Therefore, incorporating techniques such as quick transitions, text-to-speech narration, and custom music editing will allow you to better mirror the style of TikTok. Also, increasing the pacing, as is common on TikTok, will further enhance user engagement.

By following the lead of TikTok-creative style in your YouTube videos, you will be better able to mimic the native content style that’s redefining content as we know it and drive viewership of your posts.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix

Keep it Personal

When filming your YouTube video, talk to your viewer as if they were sitting in front of you. In other words, use “you”. Research shows you should say the word “you” right away to boost engagement and stop people from leaving right away. Some YouTubers believe in the concept of a video letter. Pretend you are composing a letter. Your content would have a personal tone and use the word “you”. Follow the same methods when making your YouTube video.

Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging

Use a Quality Microphone

People focus too much on the hardware they “need” to produce a good YouTube video, spending way more than necessary at first. But it’s not all lies, as one of the most important technical aspects of a good video is sound. People will always choose a bad-looking clip that sounds good instead of a nice-looking one with muddy audio. This is how our brains are wired.My conclusion is that you should invest in a nice microphone, not necessarily a high-end one, just good enough to sound clear. Then you can focus on the production value to gain followers.

Ionut-Alexandru Popa, JPG MEDIA SRL

Don’t Overthink It

When you first start out as a creator on YouTube, you might think you need the perfect camera, lighting and other tools, but all you truly need is a phone. All the fancy stuff can come later. YouTube’s production values range from professional to downright terrible… and that’s great!

YouTube is all about making videos accessible to anyone and everyone. The production quality of your video is not important. Many creators never upgrade beyond a basic setup, and can amass a following of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people with what you already have.

Sam Browne, HARO SEO

Deliver a Quick Hit at the Start

Crafting a YouTube video is much like crafting a news article: Hit them with a strong lede. Induce the audience to stick around. Comedians who host podcasts (and post the videos on YouTube) understand this well. And it’s not just comedians with podcasts. I listen to a trio of guys who rank albums and songs every week. At the start of every video, there is a sample of a quick statement that’s usually opinionated and/or funny. Even though it’s devoid of context, it sets the tone of the episode. You get a sense of whether one or more of the guys loves the album list or hates it.

Give your audience a taste of what’s to come at the start of the video. Give them a small appetizer that makes them want to consume the entire meal.

Trevor Ford, Yotta

Shoot the Video in 16:9 Landscape

Make sure to shoot the video in 16:9 landscape. This is a no brainer, but for those shooting video with their cell phone, it is ergonomically more convenient to shoot in portrait mode. For those shooting on the fly or a once in a lifetime moment, one can easily get caught up in what’s going on in front of the camera and not what’s on camera.

Will Gill, DJ Will Gill

Capture Viewers’ Attention with a Good Title, Thumbnail & Story

The element of a good YouTube video is having a high CTR title and thumbnail, and a high watch time. Without a good title and thumbnail, people won’t click on your video. If you don’t get clicks on your video, you’ll get no views.

A good way to test how your title and thumbnail fits with other videos on YouTube is to take a screenshot of your YouTube homepage. Then “photoshop” your thumbnail and title into the screenshot and see how it looks next to the other videos on the homepage. Does it stand out enough to make someone want to click?

Then, once someone clicks on your video, you need them to watch for as long as possible. This is where storytelling comes into play. Think about your story in this framework:DO: What do you want someone to DO after watching your video?FEEL: What does someone need to FEEL to take action?KNOW: What does someone need to KNOW to feel like they should take action?That’s it!

Omid Ghiam, Marketer Milk

Edit with the Correct Software

On one hand, the right editing software can cover any gaps that the filmmaking process may have left open. On the other hand, the wrong one can make even a perfectly shot video look shabby. While you may be tempted to change your editing software, a lot of it comes down to mastering the many techniques that make videos shine. Once you’ve achieved this, exploring new software that offers a wider range of features makes sense. Always be patient throughout the process and realize that the ultimate aim is to make the video better than it is, not aim for magical over-the-top transformations.

Kris Harris, Nootka Saunas

Create a Professional Looking Video

There are so many great content creators out there today, so you want to ensure that your video stands out and is impactful. The first step is to ensure you have a professional setup with high-quality video. That means using a good quality camera, which most smartphones have today, a tripod, good lighting, and a clean background. Set yourself up for success by putting your best foot forward with these professional touches.

Sumeer Kaur, Lashkaraa

Put your Best Face Forward

The most important part of a YouTube video is the host. So get yourself in a heightened emotional state!Much of communication is non-verbal. So if you want to come across as friendly, get yourself in a happy mood. This might include listening to upbeat music before recording or watching something funny, or talking with friends. Your viewers will see your mood on your face and in your posture. They will hear your mood in your tone of voice. Prepare yourself emotionally to communicate!

Scott Lieberman, Touchdown Money

Don’t Forget About Sound

Pay attention to your audio. So many content creators focus on the visuals when they’re filming and forget to take the extra step of cleaning up their sound. If your audio is scratchy, hard-to-hear or has distracting noise in the background, it drags the quality of your video down with it. As a beauty brand, our content focuses heavily on how-to videos. When we’re explaining something, we want to be sure that our viewers can hear everything we’re saying and aren’t distracted by poor audio. No matter what type of video you’re filming, keeping your sound crisp and clean will always improve it.

Rachel Reid, Subtl Beauty

Avoid Shaky Videos

Personally, I think it’s best to avoid using shaky footage because it gives the impression that the video wasn’t shot by a professional (and it can make your viewers feel motion sick, to boot). When taking photos, try not to hold the camera at all if you can help it, since this will assist ensure the image is clear. If you want stable shots, use a tripod or other stable base.

Keep your camera in the same place as long as possible once it’s been set up. A video’s credibility takes a hit whenever the camera is constantly moving around the frame.

If you need a different viewpoint, rather than moving the camera, try switching to a different shot. If despite your best efforts, your footage is still unsteady, video stabilization software can help. If you’re using a camera that doesn’t have built-in stabilization, you may want to consider getting one that does. You can also lessen the impact of camera shake by slowing down your footage.

Scott O’Brien, PPC Ad Lab

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