3 Easily Avoidable Mistakes in Communications Videos


In the last few years, video content has proved to be one of the most effective channels of internal communication. It has been used more and more within organizational communication. Video registers higher employee engagement than other mediums, is easy to digest, is more memorable, and encourages higher information retention from the content being both audio and visual. Many organizations have heard of video’s effectiveness, but do not know how to start. Or worse yet, start without understanding how to properly capture quality video content.

Here at Ignite, we help clients implement video communications as a portion of their overall communication plans. We have learned both what works and what doesn’t. Today, we want to share the three critical mistakes that can be easily avoided and help you begin to deliver video content successfully to your organization.

1. Camera

In today’s world, viewers expect high video quality. Everything they watch online provides it, so the audience expects the same from their organization. Fortunately, this essential has become more and more simplistic and accessible as technology and smartphones have improved. We still recommend a professional camera for advanced videos, but modern smartphones are perfectly adequate for quick corporate communications. Using a smartphone does come with its issues though. One that absolutely must be avoided is vertical video. Many users are conditioned to shooting video vertically with today’s social applications, but this is a terrible mistake for full-width video. Shooting vertically causes black bars on the side of a full-width image and will look unprofessional and lazy when placed within a communications video. The only way to edit this type of video is to zoom in so far as to eliminate the bars. Typically, this can’t be done without ruining the original framing of the scene and also reduces image quality. Always turn your phone horizontally and you will have eliminated the number one, and most difficult to correct, error.

2. Stability

To put it simply, shaky video is distracting. It distracts from the speaker, takes more effort to watch, and looks lazy and unprofessional (you’re probably noticing this as a theme with these common mistakes). Holding the camera as still as possible will NOT solve this. The movement still shows up. Stability is easy to get right. You either need to pick up a tripod (many even have smartphone holders) or even just find a solid surface to set the camera on. If you plan on making more than one video, you are better off purchasing a tripod. Basic ones don’t cost much, and they will guarantee you will never make the mistake of shaky video.

3. Audio

This is where you can really start to differentiate the levels of professionalism. Using just your built-in camera audio will likely capture a lot of background noise unless recorded in a nearly sound proof location. Using a microphone solves this mistake instantly and will really add that extra production value to your video. Typically, for an interview we recommend using a lavalier microphone that can be plugged directly into your camera. External recording devices used with a microphone are even better, but for the average video, plugging directly into the device will be satisfactory. If you want to capture additional surrounding sounds other than the voice of the speaker, we recommend using a shotgun microphone. Be careful though; this can cause more background noise than desired. Both types of microphones can be purchased without breaking the bank as well. Clear audio takes a little more work than the other two mistakes but will make a massive difference in the professionalism and clarity of message in your videos.

The above 3 mistakes are hard to excuse. By just doing the bare minimum to avoid them your video will instantly look and sound more professional and help you deliver your message clearly and without distraction. The solutions only require easy setup adjustments or making a low-cost purchases of proper equipment. There are certainly more actions that can be taken to take your quality even further such as editing, animation, and visuals but the advice above covers the basics and must not be ignored.

If you have questions about communication videos, the tools used, or full workflow of a video production, let us know. We can provide you with insight from our personal experiences, answer questions, and point you in the right direction to producing successful high quality organizational communications.