Lou Bortone of Lou Bortone Video Marketing

Lou Bortone

CEO at Lou Bortone Video Marketing
Lou Bortone has 20 years experience in the entertainment industry (TV, cable) and another 10 years of online marketing experience. He built his following, grew his list and a 6-figure business using video.


The Tools You Need For Amazing Video Content

Lou Bortone of Lou Bortone Video Marketing
I’ve worked in the TV business for years and over time I’ve shifted my career into online video. I want it known that I’ve been in the video world before it was cool! It’s great to see video bursting in popularity these days and now all sorts of businesses are starting to create their own content.

A big question that comes up when people want to get into video is “what equipment should I use?” Now I…

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Video through relationship marketing
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You know, remind the clients that there’s kind of two kinds of videos. There’s the quick on-the-fly, off-the-cuff, very impromptu videos that you know, you can just use your smartphone or your iPhone. Those are great like for Facebook live off, a quick YouTube tips, Periscope Snapchat things like that.

Then there’s the more established videos that are more for brand building. And those videos typically have more of a shelf life. And maybe they’re the videos like on your home page or on your YouTube page.

So, depending on the type of video you want to do the equipment is going to vary a bit but for the most part you can use your smartphone or your iPhone or iPad. The video cameras in those have gotten really really good. Otherwise if you’re doing a video that you think it’s gonna have a little more staying power, then you may want to use your webcam.

I’m just using the webcam here on my Mac and again still the you know, I do 90% of my video on the iPhone or the iPad. So those are great cameras. It’s something that you usually have with you so it’s very convenient, and you really don’t need to go too crazy with equipment. So from camera wise, iPhone or webcam.

Microphone, I use a Blue Snowball USB mic most of the time. Once in a while, if I’m going to be outdoors, I may use a lavalier mic just because the you know, obviously it’s a little more difficult to control the environment outside when you’re shooting outside.

But you know, we keep it very basic, keep it simple. You don’t really need to go out and spend a ton of money if you’re just starting out. You can really use what you’ve got and in most cases that just smartphone.

Alright, great. So the smartphone app, is there a certain type of smartphone that works best or that you’d recommend?So, is it smartphones that have been built in the last x years?

Yeah, I mean, the last three to five years really, the cameras are remarkable. And you know, we hear things like, Oh, you know, Mercedes shot their entire commercial using an iPhone and I don’t know if that’s true or not, but you could, I mean, you really, the cameras in smartphones, whether it’s a Samsung or iPhone or whatever it may be have really come a long way. And you know, for most of the video, you’re going to do that to more than adequate.

Okay. So, if we decide, okay, we’re gonna go for the phone, we know the cameras good enough, what about audio?

As long as you’re not too far away from the source, it’s not too bad. I mean, a lot of people still do the selfie, you know, arm’s length. Otherwise, you may want to look at lavalier mic, or an extension that you can use for your phone.
Again, I try and record most of my video indoors just because you can’t really predict the sun and the wind and things outdoors. But usually, a lavalier mic will take care of that

Okay, so the lowly microphone as well as I see that you’re using the apple headphones, I’ve got my little earbuds. How’s that microphone as well?

Not bad. Billy is remarkably good. So again, it depends on the environment. If you’re going to be indoors in a relatively quiet environment, you should be fine. If you’re at a trade show or a conference or things like that with a lot of ambient noise, it may be a little more challenging.

Okay, great. So I think everyone has no excuses now the equipment is literally in your pocket. Good enough equipment to be recording. Definitely for, you know, the online video for your laptop screens, desktop screens, definitely good enough, especially for mobile as well. And a lot of video is being absorbed and watched on mobile more and waiting.

So many of the platforms now are designed to be done on mobile, on iPhone, like YouTube Live or Facebook live, where really, you know, with a few clicks of your smartphone, you can be broadcasting on any one of these platforms.

Okay, and you mentioned before about a webcam.

Yep. Again, a lot of laptops and desktops now have webcam kind of built in or embedded like on Macs. But if you don’t have one of those and you want to get an external webcam, most of the Logitech webcams are good bet. You know, probably want to spend around $50 US for a decent one. But usually anything that’s a Logitech webcam will do the trick for you.

Yeah, I spent a bit of time researching prior to recording some of these videos 12 months ago and the C 920 stood out for me, the Logitech C 920. So if that helps, it definitely gives this top quality video that you’re watching now.

And in little things like you know what, because sometimes it’s easy to forget, especially if you are using your mobile, you know, to use some kind of a tripod, I just had this, you know, little $10, it’s a selfie stick, but it’s also a tripod, and you know, keeps the camera, the phone steady, so that you get nice state shot, you know, victory shaky.

Do you have the name of that exact tripod that you’ve got?

I don’t see the name on here. But if you look on Amazon, again, it’s just an AI. This one’s an iPhone tripod. So this time it’s adjustable for the phone. And you know, it doubles as a selfie stick, I guess. But it’s got the three legs for the tripod. Unfortunately, I don’t see a name anywhere on it. But you can find that like on amazon.com if you just look under video tripod.

And how much would you be looking to spend for something like that? That one’s like about $10-15 US. Okay. All right. And that’s delivered through Amazon. I’ve seen them on eBay as well. So pretty low cost, startup cost in terms of if you are using your phone to set up why is it important to have that tripod.

I think people don’t realize especially when they’re sort of doing selfie videos, how difficult it is to keep the phone steady, and how exaggerated that shakiness is going to be. So you know, the tripod just that way you don’t have to worry about holding the camera, your hands getting tired if you’re doing that sort of thing. So it’s just going to give you a nice steady shot.

The other thing that I run into from time to time is if I lean too heavy on my desk, it’s going to shake the computer that’s where the webcam is. And it looks like a mini earthquake here. So you have to sort of be careful just to keep the computer steady if your webcam is in the computer.

All right, fantastic. And then if we decide that we don’t use webcam or the smartphone, what are our options outside of those?

Some people still use the you know, the good old school, you know, camcorders. I don’t know, you know, specific models because it’s almost, you know, not as many people using those anymore. The Canons and the Sony’s and things like that.

And again, even most digital cameras now have a video function. So chances are you’ve already got a camera that’s going to do the job for you. Some people use you know, fancier DSLR digital cameras, but I haven’t really had to go that way. Again, you know, most of what I’ve done, I’ve been able to do right on the iPhone.

Alright, perfect. And on top of that, is there any other types of microphones that people should be considering, depending on the environment or the equipment?

If you decide you’re going to do you know, podcasting, you may really want to focus more obviously on the microphone and spend a couple $100 US. But otherwise, you know, from most video, especially if I’m doing it here on the webcam, I have a Blue Snowball mic that costs about $50 US. There’s also another one called Blue Yeti YET II microphone, that’s very good. So the great thing is that the equipment has become, you know, more affordable, and you need less of it in order to do video.

Are you using that Snowball microphone at the moment? All right, very cool. That Blue Snowball, right. And if everyone was thinking about the Blue Yeti as well, that’s the one that I’m using. So that’s what it looks like.

And yeah, it gives some various options as well, depending if you’re just yourself recording yourself, the audio yourself, or if there’s two people, so it actually records from my side of the microphone, as well as the other side as well. And there’s various options that you can set up to make sure the quality of the audio is really high.

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