If you’ve been persuaded that you’d love to have some engaging content on your site by way of videos, you might want to try it yourself. Knowing even a few basics about how to make a video with your phone can get you from “definitely-amateur” to “decent-looking.”

The smartphone camera

How to Make a VideoMost likely, you either have or have access to a pretty high-quality video camera: your smartphone. Contemporary smartphones often shoot in High Definition (HD), which means your videos will immediately look great. We definitely recommend smartphones over webcams, which typically offer much lower quality video.

If you plan on shooting a lot of video, investing (a small amount) in a smartphone tripod’s also going to make your footage look much more professional. If you’re really serious about it, there are steadicams available, too, so your video doesn’t look jerky and hand-shot.

Video shooting

There are tons of small things to consider when making a video:

Don’t hold the phone vertically. Do it like the pros and hold it horizontally. It’s how we’re used to watching things, and until TVs turn sideways, it’ll look weird to have vertically oriented videos.

Good lighting’s key. Not necessarily “the brighter the better,” but if you work in a kind-of dark office with very little natural light, it might not be the best setting for a video you want to convey high energy.

Don’t angle the camera up from a table to your subject. No one looks good that way. Aim for eye-level, or position your camera a little bit above your subject.

When setting the stage for your shoot, look behind your subject. Books and computer screens will be distracting for your viewers — or, at worst, they might see something you don’t intend for them to, like open spreadsheets with your company’s finances exposed.

Making sure you nail even these four basics will make your videos look much more professional. If video on your site is something you’re serious about or do regularly, it’s worth poking around online for other tutorials and resources.

Now you know how to make a video with your phone so start shooting and use your video content on your website to boost engagement and help tell your story.