Creating Videos on a Budget


8 Apr 2020     |    Blake Ng

First off, why video?

How many hours did you spend last week on Netflix? What about YouTube? I’d bet that it was quite a few hours. In today’s age, video is king. It’s the most effective way to communicate information while building an emotional connection. 

In fact, according to Unbounce, having a video on a landing page increases conversions by as much as 80% and according to Hubspot, 50% of consumers prefer videos over any other forms of content. Furthermore, Google loves videos. This means that having videos on your site will help you rank better on Google’s search result pages. 

If that’s not enough to convince you, another study by Wyzowl found that 68% of customers would like to learn about a new product or service through video. If you still need convincing, check out these 50 Must-Know Stats About Video Marketing.

But video marketing is expensive. That’s why you haven’t started creating videos right? 

Well, truth is, you probably have already started. 

Don’t believe me? Jump onto Instagram and look up the location tag for your business (or check all the posts you’ve been tagged in). Chances are, your customers have already posted videos of your tours and activities online.

User-Generated Content

Think about all the customers who have been on your tours and activities, how many of them brought cameras along, or were using their phones to take photos and videos? Truth is, there’s already a large bank of videos of your tours and activities that exist. All you need to do is access it. 

So how do you access it?

Ask

It’s that simple, most people LOVE getting featured. If you tell them you’d like to use their videos for a promotional video, most of the time they’d be onboard. 

  • Jump onto Instagram and send a direct message to any accounts which have posted videos of your tours and activities. 
  • Send an email to your past customers and ask them if they have any videos they could share with you, you’d be surprised at the amount of content you might receive as a result. 

Offer something in exchange

If you’d like to increase your likelihood of receiving videos from your customers, you could also try offering something in exchange for the videos, for example:

  • A free upgrade on their next trip.
  • A gift card they can use on their next tour with you.
  • 20% off their next tours.


While it’s a win-win for both parties, this could be an exceptional win for you. Especially during this time where bookings aren’t where they usually might be and tour operators are offering discounts on early-bird bookings and gift cards anyway. 

This exchange will increase the likelihood of conversions because your customers will feel like they earned the perk through their own work, thus valuing the perk more greatly. A person is highly unlikely to waste a discount they’ve earned versus a discount they were given. 

Not enough user-generated content? Use the camera in your pocket.

Film With Your Phone

“The best camera is the one you have with you” and with the way technology has been shifting, the camera you have with you is extremely powerful. Camera’s on your phones are no longer what they used to be, they are now capable of shooting extremely powerful content. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below that was shot on an iPhone.

Of course, that was shot on the latest iPhone, however, with a quick search on YouTube, you’ll find an abundance of amazing travel videos shot on various older phones. 

Are you convinced yet? Great, in that case, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your phone cameras. 

#1 A vs. B-Roll

B-roll is any sort of secondary footage, that’s purpose is to supplement/ reinforce a message or story, it looks great visually but doesn’t deliver its own message. A great example of this is footage of scenery. 

A big mistake many people make on their first few videos is an over-reliance and in some cases, total reliance on B-roll. A compilation of scenic shots isn’t going to cut it, it gives viewers nothing to focus on. Most viewers would get lost before the 10-second mark and shut off the video. And yes, even drone videos are considered B-roll if there is no subject of focus in the video. 

Notice the frames above, the one on the left is a lot more powerful because there is something to focus on. Use clips with a focus on a subject, for example, a person doing an activity. If you want to show the scenery, film a person walking through the scenery and focus on them, then fit your scenic b-roll clips in to show what else the person is seeing as he/she walks through the scenery. 

#2 Stabilisation

One thing you’ll notice in almost any high-budget movie, commercial or video is that there’s almost no camera shakes. Shakes are the biggest turn off for videos. It’s distracting and it breaks the concentration of the viewer. 

Look at the two frames above. Try concentrating on each frame separately, you’ll notice that it’s a lot harder to focus on the one on the left. Also, these shots were both taken on phones, so yes, phones ARE also capable of stabilisation. 

There are several ways to improve stabilization on your phone:

  • Turn it on. For a lot of phones, especially iPhones, stabilisation options have already been built into the phone, so turning it on in your setting will drastically improve your stabilisation. 
  • Use a tripod. Use a tripod when you don’t need to move, minimising movements will minimise the chances of any camera shakes. If you are moving, use a tripod, use both hands, one on the tripod, another on the phone. Increasing the weight of the phone and your points of contact with the phone will help significantly in reducing any shakes arising from hand-held movements. 
  • Slow Motion. Slow-motion is by far one of the easiest ways to minimise shakes in videos. As slow-motion reduces the speed of your movement, it also reduces the speed of any shakes, making them less noticeable. Some phones will have a slow-motion setting, in others you’ll have to do it manually.

    This can be done by going into your settings and increasing your video’s frame rate to 60 fps and above. A regular video uses 24-25 fps, so filming in 60 fps will allow you to reduce your speed by 2.4x. This involves a little bit of maths, but once you get it done, slow-motion videos will be your best tool!
  • Get a Gimbal. Gimbals are definitely the best way to get that smooth buttery footage. If you have some cash to spare, you can get really good gimbals from Amazon for $100(USD).

As you can see, there are plenty of easy ways to stabilize your footage. You could even use a combination of methods, such as attaching a tripod, using slow-motion and your phone’s in-built stabilisation. I guarantee that the results may surprise you. 

#3 Music is key.

It may sound strange, but sound design plays a larger part to how visually pleasing your videos may be. This is one of the many reasons that TikTok has been blowing up.
Check out the video below:

This was a Nike ad done by YouTuber Casey Niestat. It has one of the most powerful engagement rates of any video to date. And if you noticed, the camera he used was pretty…. well… bad. What made this so powerful was the story the video told, and the way he designed the audio and video transitions to keep you captivated in your seats.

Here’s some simple things he did that you can do too:

  • Transitioning/ changing clips with the beat of the music in the background. If you noticed, his clips were switching in and out extremely fast but not at random. By switching scenes to the beat of the music, you create an expectation for your viewers that the scene is about to change, it makes them think “something is coming, just keep watching’. 
  • Layer in sound effects. On the YouTube Audio Library, you can easily find free sounds to layer into your video. Eg. waterfalls, goat noises, skateboarding sounds, etc. These sounds add in a layer of immersion that makes each scene more believable, it becomes easier to imagine yourself in the scene, drawing the viewer in. 
  • Pausing/ silencing all sounds to build anticipation. If you noticed in the video, Casey disables all sounds just before any big scenes. This tells viewers that something big is about to happen, keeping viewers glued to their seats.

There are plenty of other things you can do with audio to improve your videos but these 3, if used correctly can drastically improve the quality of your video. 

Video Marketing is Expensive.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can put together a great video on a budget. When creating videos, the biggest cost you can incur is time. However, during these challenging times, it would seem that for many, time is all we have. Meaning, this is the best time to start working on some videos so you can fully capitalize on them when the rebound in travel comes. 

#together4tourism

Written By – Blake Ng– Acquisition & Content Marketing, Rezdy

Blake is a travel videographer with a love for storytelling. He has years of experience in sales and marketing from multiple travel startups and a cricket farm in Cambodia. He is currently a content marketer at Rezdy.

Creating Videos on a Budget

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First off, why video?

How many hours did you spend last week on Netflix? What about YouTube? I’d bet that it was quite a few hours. In today’s age, video is king. It’s the most effective way to communicate information while building an emotional connection. 

In fact, according to Unbounce, having a video on a landing page increases conversions by as much as 80% and according to Hubspot, 50% of consumers prefer videos over any other forms of content. Furthermore, Google loves videos. This means that having videos on your site will help you rank better on Google’s search result pages. 

If that’s not enough to convince you, another study by Wyzowl found that 68% of customers would like to learn about a new product or service through video. If you still need convincing, check out these 50 Must-Know Stats About Video Marketing.

But video marketing is expensive. That’s why you haven’t started creating videos right? 

Well, truth is, you probably have already started. 

Don’t believe me? Jump onto Instagram and look up the location tag for your business (or check all the posts you’ve been tagged in). Chances are, your customers have already posted videos of your tours and activities online.

User-Generated Content

Think about all the customers who have been on your tours and activities, how many of them brought cameras along, or were using their phones to take photos and videos? Truth is, there’s already a large bank of videos of your tours and activities that exist. All you need to do is access it. 

So how do you access it?

Ask

It’s that simple, most people LOVE getting featured. If you tell them you’d like to use their videos for a promotional video, most of the time they’d be onboard. 

Offer something in exchange

If you’d like to increase your likelihood of receiving videos from your customers, you could also try offering something in exchange for the videos, for example:


While it’s a win-win for both parties, this could be an exceptional win for you. Especially during this time where bookings aren’t where they usually might be and tour operators are offering discounts on early-bird bookings and gift cards anyway. 

This exchange will increase the likelihood of conversions because your customers will feel like they earned the perk through their own work, thus valuing the perk more greatly. A person is highly unlikely to waste a discount they’ve earned versus a discount they were given. 

Not enough user-generated content? Use the camera in your pocket.

Film With Your Phone

“The best camera is the one you have with you” and with the way technology has been shifting, the camera you have with you is extremely powerful. Camera’s on your phones are no longer what they used to be, they are now capable of shooting extremely powerful content. Don’t believe me? Check out the video below that was shot on an iPhone.

Of course, that was shot on the latest iPhone, however, with a quick search on YouTube, you’ll find an abundance of amazing travel videos shot on various older phones. 

Are you convinced yet? Great, in that case, here are some tips to help you get the most out of your phone cameras. 

#1 A vs. B-Roll

B-roll is any sort of secondary footage, that’s purpose is to supplement/ reinforce a message or story, it looks great visually but doesn’t deliver its own message. A great example of this is footage of scenery. 

A big mistake many people make on their first few videos is an over-reliance and in some cases, total reliance on B-roll. A compilation of scenic shots isn’t going to cut it, it gives viewers nothing to focus on. Most viewers would get lost before the 10-second mark and shut off the video. And yes, even drone videos are considered B-roll if there is no subject of focus in the video. 

Notice the frames above, the one on the left is a lot more powerful because there is something to focus on. Use clips with a focus on a subject, for example, a person doing an activity. If you want to show the scenery, film a person walking through the scenery and focus on them, then fit your scenic b-roll clips in to show what else the person is seeing as he/she walks through the scenery. 

#2 Stabilisation

One thing you’ll notice in almost any high-budget movie, commercial or video is that there’s almost no camera shakes. Shakes are the biggest turn off for videos. It’s distracting and it breaks the concentration of the viewer. 

Look at the two frames above. Try concentrating on each frame separately, you’ll notice that it’s a lot harder to focus on the one on the left. Also, these shots were both taken on phones, so yes, phones ARE also capable of stabilisation. 

There are several ways to improve stabilization on your phone:

As you can see, there are plenty of easy ways to stabilize your footage. You could even use a combination of methods, such as attaching a tripod, using slow-motion and your phone’s in-built stabilisation. I guarantee that the results may surprise you. 

#3 Music is key.

It may sound strange, but sound design plays a larger part to how visually pleasing your videos may be. This is one of the many reasons that TikTok has been blowing up.
Check out the video below:

This was a Nike ad done by YouTuber Casey Niestat. It has one of the most powerful engagement rates of any video to date. And if you noticed, the camera he used was pretty…. well… bad. What made this so powerful was the story the video told, and the way he designed the audio and video transitions to keep you captivated in your seats.

Here’s some simple things he did that you can do too:

There are plenty of other things you can do with audio to improve your videos but these 3, if used correctly can drastically improve the quality of your video. 

Video Marketing is Expensive.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can put together a great video on a budget. When creating videos, the biggest cost you can incur is time. However, during these challenging times, it would seem that for many, time is all we have. Meaning, this is the best time to start working on some videos so you can fully capitalize on them when the rebound in travel comes. 

#together4tourism

Written By – Blake Ng– Acquisition & Content Marketing, Rezdy

Blake is a travel videographer with a love for storytelling. He has years of experience in sales and marketing from multiple travel startups and a cricket farm in Cambodia. He is currently a content marketer at Rezdy.