Video product test setup (what is needed?)

Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
621
Likes
449
Degree
2
We had a good discussion about Spencer Hawes and his SEO based niche site system here.
I mentioned in that thread, that I want to move towards video reviews as well. Am I mistaken in thinking we don't really have anything about that in the Digital Crash Course?
Here are some topics on setup up a video review system:
  1. Location, in your own living room/basement or get a room setup specifically for it?
  2. Video equipment, which video and sound equipment?
  3. Background and lightning, how do you set up lightning and what kind of background is best?
  4. Getting the products, buy them, ask for sample product? Resale value to Purchase value running cost?
  5. Reviewers, do all reviews yourself or hire models?
  6. Speak, live in front of camera or added later, do yourself or hire voiceover?
  7. Publishing and editing, do it yourself or hire someone?
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
62
Likes
65
Degree
0
Is your niche a 'sexy' visual topic? That is, do the items do 'visual things' (e.g. BBQ grills) or do you use them for 'visual stuff' (e.g. surfwear)? Or is there an angle that you can insert yourself into good visuals?
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
621
Likes
449
Degree
2
Is your niche a 'sexy' visual topic? That is, do the items do 'visual things' (e.g. BBQ grills) or do you use them for 'visual stuff' (e.g. surfwear)? Or is there an angle that you can insert yourself into good visuals?
I'm in different niches, but here I am mostly thinking about fitness equipment. I'm thinking that it would be fairly easy to find some younger fitness bloggers/insta types and pay them to test the equipment and film them?
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Messages
44
Likes
36
Degree
0
  1. Background and lightning, how do you set up lightning and what kind of background is best?
I don't have experience with video reviews, but I have done some product photography. Lighting is really the key. You don't need to best technical setup, as long as you can get the lighting right. This video gives a good introduction and examples.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
62
Likes
65
Degree
0
I'm in different niches, but here I am mostly thinking about fitness equipment. I'm thinking that it would be fairly easy to find some younger fitness bloggers/insta types and pay them to test the equipment and film them?
Well, in that case, it's definitely worth finding fitness bloggers and doing 'proper videos'...

(The reason I was asking is a lot of people try doing time-consuming 'boring videos' on subjects with no visual or content impact, where you could just as easily use an online video creator and do Ken Burns pans and fades with decent product images and your bullet point niche review.)
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
621
Likes
449
Degree
2
Well, in that case, it's definitely worth finding fitness bloggers and doing 'proper videos'...

(The reason I was asking is a lot of people try doing time-consuming 'boring videos' on subjects with no visual or content impact, where you could just as easily use an online video creator and do Ken Burns pans and fades with decent product images and your bullet point niche review.)
Please elaborate on this. I'm going to google both, but maybe you have more to share?
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
62
Likes
65
Degree
0
Sure.

There are a number of online video creators mostly producing stuff for usage on FB, Instagram,Youtube, etc. You pick a template and then either add your stuff manually (as you would with video software like Premiere) or start with a template and then let the service analyse page text and pick out suitable text bullet points and video and/or images (free or with additional cost like Getty). You can then edit that afterwards if the AI hasn't worked as you want.

Some of the online services also add longer videos, background music, text-to-speech, intro outro, etc. included or at various price points.

If you are interested, take a look at Animoto, Lumen5, Wave and InVideo (I started with this one as it was on a - still-running - AppSumo deal).

Ken Burns pans are the technique used when you see a photo gallery, for example, and it appears that the viewer is zooming in or out or panning across (or both) a static image. (Usually using javascript and/or css on a web page.) With that technique, animated text and fades between 'scenes' you can make a quite impressive short video from static images and, for example, a bullet point list. ('Five Reasons To Buy A .......')
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
3
Likes
10
Degree
0
  • Video equipment, which video and sound equipment?
Not sure what the best set up for this is these days. But just remember that the sound quality is soo important! And also that a nice trick is to use 2 or 3 cameras running at the same time to get them sweet multiple angle shots (some close ups of the equipment).
  • Getting the products, buy them, ask for sample product? Resale value to Purchase value running cost?
Maybe get in touch with the manufacturers/retailers first and say you will do a product review. Get in touch afterwards and send them the video and let them know you
  • Reviewers, do all reviews yourself or hire models?
I would suggest doing a mix, but over time it would be good probably if you could ease your way in to making your own videos. I think a strong site over time will come down to having a strong and recognisable brand. And you will get better at it as you keep on going.
  • Speak, live in front of camera or added later, do yourself or hire voiceover?
Also possible to do a mix here. Try a few different scenarios out while you work out your structure and find the format that works best for you.
  • Publishing and editing, do it yourself or hire someone?
What is your experience to date of editing videos? I would try it myself first and then also hire someone for a one-off video to see what works the best.

At my first marketing job I got put in charge of creating a new Corporate video for our small e-commerce business. Basically in the old one our CEO was being interviewed on the porch and magpies in the tree around her ruined the sound quality of that video. I filmed with our office iPad and cut the video myself in iMovie on my Mac. However, it took A LONG time and probably ate up time I could have spent on marketing the business, so in hindsight I would have hired someone like a media student to do that.

If there is a university or college nearby where you live, they might have a video production society or film making society. Worth a look!

Good luck with the videos :smile: I am thinking of getting into this video making thing as well for my product reviews and will keep checking back in this thread to see what other tips are coming in.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
151
Likes
118
Degree
1
Ken Burns pans are the technique used when you see a photo gallery, for example, and it appears that the viewer is zooming in or out or panning across (or both) a static image. (Usually using javascript and/or css on a web page.) With that technique, animated text and fades between 'scenes' you can make a quite impressive short video from static images and, for example, a bullet point list. ('Five Reasons To Buy A .......')
I think I know what you're talking about, and I've seen a couple of videos like that on Youtube going for extremely low competition keywords. They all looked bad, though, and were far from impressive. Do you have an example of this being done well?
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
62
Likes
65
Degree
0
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
3
Likes
12
Degree
0
Necroposting, I know.

Location, in your own living room/basement or get a room setup specifically for it?
As @ToffeeLa said, it depends on the subject. Fitness? I'd go with your own idea and outsource the reviews to someone that knows how to shoot them.

Otherwise check with a local gym so you get a proper location but beware of who you put on camera. Doesn't matter if (s)he looks good, someone that's stiff on camera kills the engagement.

Also, ask someone qualified about model & location releases (and insurance).

Video equipment, which video and sound equipment?
Speak, live in front of camera or added later, do yourself or hire voiceover?
Today smartphones are more than enough. Two smartphones are better than a single DSLR or pocket cinema camera as you get 2x shooting angles.

As @Graytuna said, sound is paramount. Spend more for sound than for anything else (and never, ever, use sound from the camera(s) -- sync HQ audio in post).

Either lavalier (body mounted) or shotgun (distant, pointed to the subject).

Unless the talent / model / reviewer can also deliver convincing lines, doing a voice over would be a better choice and a $30 chinese condenser can do miracles while a cheap lavalier or a cheap shotgun are useless.

And unless you have some experience shooting video & doing post work I'd suggest to start small, try, test, and see what works and doesn't.

Background and lightning, how do you set up lightning and what kind of background is best?
Broad topic and specific to the results you are looking for.

Are you aiming to Instagram's "fake everyday life" style or a BigCorp look that exudes confidence and trust?

I have no direct experience with fitness, but am reasonably confident a photo background or a green screen wouldn't be appropriate.

I'd expect the reviewer to interact with the widget, not just show it.

This means moving around, and makes lighting a lot harder.

Anyway, a white room setup could work: lots of flood light and everything evenly lit from every angle. Wouldn't be cheap and is quite hard to do "at home" unless you have a large empty room with decent ceiling height. Hence the local gym suggestion (but be wary of mirrors).

Reviewers, do all reviews yourself or hire models?
If you match the look of the target market try doing it yourself.

It would be quite an experience and (I think) would answer a lot of your questions better than any written reply.

You may have a natural talent, or look exactly like your target audience. So try, you never know.

Publishing and editing, do it yourself or hire someone?
Editing, if you have time and want to save money, do it yourself. Anybody can edit a video today (iMovie or the free DaVinci plus a couple hours watching free YT tutorials -- then it's just practice and a tiny bit of aesthetic). Usually it's such a trivial and boring task that it's best to let someone else do it.

Audio post is still somewhat easy, but requires a lot more practice. Make sure to always record a couple of seconds of silence (i.e. noise) so you can fingerprint and remove it later. Prepare to spend a bit on software.


Not a direct answer to any of your questions, but how often do you plan to shoot a video and how likely is to have a ROI? Cost (and effort) can escalate quickly.

Hope this helps.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
49
Likes
32
Degree
0
1. Location, in your own living room/basement or get a room setup specifically for it
I have a room with my PC setup and enough wall space on one side for doing video. Good thing it's opposite window.
Having a space that is always semi-setup is great. Always setup is ideal.
Being able to just walk in, turn on a few switches and press record is the way to go for a busy video producing operation.

Don't forget some cool backdrops that you can get on ebay.

2. Video equipment, which video and sound equipment?
I would suggest some decent cameras though an iphone or good hi quality phone camera is still good to start.
I'm a fan of Sony. You can get a cheap NEX 5,6 or 7 on ebay or one of their handycams (sensor <1.2 recommended).
Nikon D3300 or better is also good.

Rode smartlav is the best cheap lavalier. Cheap Chinese shit not recommended.
A boom mic is good though bad room acoustics will become obvious.

Easiest way is to record the audio on your phone (in your back pocket) with smartlav and then insert it on the video. Room acoustics no longer a problem.
Give the cable some slack so it doesn't get stretched when you move around.

PS you don't need a hi quality condenser recording mic (or boom )unless you have properly setup the acoustics in your room.

3. Background and lightning, how do you set up lightning and what kind of background is best?
This is one of the most important aspects of getting a decent video. You need lots of lighting but the key principle is always indirect or diffused, and coming from all directions.
White reflects light. Sheets, paper and ideally white walls (the wall behind you can be diff) are great for this.
Work lights at home depot can work great for this. Never direct , put a white tshirt in front of them or a paper sheet.

4. Getting the products, buy them, ask for sample product? Resale value to Purchase value running cost?
I would suggest buy, borrow, beg to start with unless you're reviewing cheap Chinese items for which you can request samples on alibaba or aliexpress.
When you have some authority it will be much easier.

5. Reviewers, do all reviews yourself or hire models?
Do it yourself, become your own brand.
Of course if the subject is fitness and you are not fit and overweight is not a good idea.
Unless you are doing a weightloss plan and documenting, which is a great idea.

6. Speak, live in front of camera or added later, do yourself or hire voiceover?
Speak live. Prepare you script, have it in front of you. Practice it a few times. Then do it live.

7. Publishing and editing, do it yourself or hire someone?
Easy to do. I use an old version Premier elements which is not subscription based.
Only updated because it stopped working on windows 7


...this could be my next niche
 
Last edited: