Ready for your close up?

Building homes means building emotions, and to move emotions you need moving pictures. One thing is for certain, video content is more likely to be remembered – and shared.


Anne-Maree Brown

From creating a sense of ‘who you are’ to showcasing your latest project, video is a powerful tool to connect with your customers. But how do you get started with capturing and producing video footage for your business? You may (or may not) be surprised the answer is in your hand or your pocket right now, and it’s your smart phone. 

While your next video doesn’t have to be like a Pixar film, it does need to have a hook, a story, a purpose – a way to create a reaction in the viewer that is more than emotion. Think for a moment about what you do when you scroll through social media, flick through Netflix or turn pages in a magazine. Why do you choose to stop on one thing? The key is eight seconds. It takes only eight seconds to grab you, hold your attention and make you curious for more. Yes, we are goldfish. 

Some may say that this behaviour is a reflection of our fast-paced world, and our impatient need for instant gratification. But maybe we are just more ergonomic with our attention? We ruthlessly eliminate all the fluff and look for something that connects with us personally. Marketing today is no longer about the stuff we make, but the stories we tell; and when it comes to video content, you are more likely to hook more (gold) fish than the written word alone.


Don't tell me – show me

User generated material is big on trust and connection. For those who want to start off small, you may be asking yourself the question: how do I create phone video content that is relatable but professional enough to be worth sharing? 

One company that is high on impact when it comes video content and are experts in event design and property styling is Valiant

‘When it comes to video content, all you need is a mobile phone, a tripod and a transformation story,’ says Valiant’s head of marketing Adelaide Durandet. 

Believers in creating a connection that may just make you want to partake in the party of the year, or open your wallet for your biggest investment – your next home – Adelaide says video is about showing, not just telling. ‘What helps us with video is really being able to present what the home looked like before we work our magic. Our team do a walk-through of the home,’ she says. ‘The viewer can see how the rooms flow, their size and how the light comes through the space.

Adelaide Durandet, head of marketing, Valiant 

‘We then show a walk through with the designer after it’s styled for sale. This way the viewer can really visualise their home going through the same change, and how all the little details come together to create the impactful end result.’

‘By using time-lapse videos in one room, you can show the progress really powerfully from start to finish. This works for events and styling,’ Adelaide says.  

But she adds the key is to practice. ‘Even our most confident stylists have improved over time with experience. Our team vary and it’s OK that not everyone is not at ease on camera, if they don’t appear comfortable it’s doesn’t make for good content,’ she says. ‘So we use time-lapse or even their voice over instead.’


Hook me quick

HIA’s own Regional Executive Director WA, Cath Hart, is an advocate of video content and could not agree more. ‘It felt so weird at first – but the trick is to think about talking to a friend or family member so that you’re relaxed,’ she says.

For the former journalist and communications director, creating engaging content has always been in her blood, and she is aware that people still like to consume differently.

‘Some people like reading emails from a desk, others want to have something they can watch or listen to, so it’s really about having a complete toolkit so we can reach all of them effectively,’ Cath says. 

‘The bottom line is that all HIA members want timely, accurate and insightful content. They rely on our updates to make important decisions in their businesses so it’s my job to deliver that.’

But, referring back to the need for an instant hook, Cath points out: ‘This kind of communication needs to have the main point up first. People won’t stick around for you to spend three minutes introducing yourself and giving lots of background; you just have to crack on with it.’

And when it comes to being in charge of your own messaging, Cath has observed that there is a chance for reach not capable before. ‘Consumers’ appetite for content has changed so much over the past 15 years – people need things to be really impactful and succinct. Video is a great way to do that, particularly during a big event or crisis,’ she says.

cath at table
Cath Hart, Executive Director - WA, HIA
Photo courtesy Valiant

It's a set up

As for Cath’s set up, it’s a fairly simple one. ‘I use my iPhone on a small tripod, and a Bluetooth lapel mic. Depending on the time of day I also have a small LED video light on a tripod. I edit using iMovie or Adobe Premiere Rush.’ she says.

Her message is to start simple and have a clear objective for your project. ‘If you want to invest in an extra kit, start with a microphone because good sound will lift an average clip, but bad sound will let down even the greatest video. It’s a killer!’

Cath suggests giving yourself plenty of time for the first video you make, so that you can get familiar with the equipment, and when it comes to editing, keep it really tight. 

So what about guests? ‘We’ve had some great results using online platforms like Skype or Zoom that let you record each participant in the interview,’ she says.

How do you prepare your guests? ‘We work out 2-3 questions we want to cover,’ she explains. ‘The big test for our experts is knowing their stuff so well that they can explain it really simply; so we always look for experienced sources.’


Your smart phone video starter pack

Stabiliser stand with microphone – for example: Shure MV88+ Video Kit with Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

The results are in

And as for the results, both Adelaide and Cath agree video far exceeds expectations. 

For Adelaide and the team at Valiant it’s about tapping quickly into someone’s imagination, carrying emotions and creating those “WOW” moments, a dopamine rush. Something builders and manufacturers alike can tap into.

‘With a lot of events and product launches entering the online space it’s the immediacy that comes with platforms like Facebook Live that shows live engagement. You need to create a build-up, beautiful visuals and keep the pace consistent.’ 

Cath adds that it is about feedback. ‘The greatest compliment is receiving members’ feedback because its means they’ve found it really useful and we are on the way to making a difference.’

Look out for the next in our video series: from phone to feature


How a professionally produced video can really tell the world who you are, not just what you do. 


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