Video Essentials

Five Tips for Making Videos that Don’t Suck — on a Budget

Creating compelling online videos for your business doesn’t have to cost a fortune. That was the message of Jules Watkins, video producer and founder of Pocket Video Power, at the recent Online Video Strategies conference in London.

Presenting a one-hour crash course called “How to Make Online Videos that Don’t Suck — Without Breaking the Bank,” Watkins, a TV producer who’s worked at 15 different production companies, said that he sees a shift taking place, with companies creating their own online videos in-house, rather than hiring someone. Having basic video skills is now important for more than just video professionals.

For companies looking to create their own non-sucking videos on a budget, here are five tips from Watkins’s talk. Scroll down for a video of the full session.

1. Keep an Eye on the Competition

As companies set out to create their own online videos, their competitors can be their greatest inspiration. See what videos the competition is creating. Copy their successes and learn from their mistakes.

2. Let Google Suggest Topics

For those not sure what to create videos about, Google has the answers. People regularly type questions into Google like “What brand of toothpaste works best?” Find questions that pertain to your field and create video answers. Use the original question as the video title, for extra search engine traffic.

3. Don’t Wait for a Budget

How many business proposals die on the vine because the funding doesn’t come through? Don’t let that happen with online videos; a pocket camera is good enough, and they don’t cost much. Neither do simple lights, mics, or backdrops.

4. Let Creative Staff Be Creative

For managers that have young underlings brimming with creativity and confidence — let them run with the online video project. Even if they don’t have a background in video, today’s cameras and basic editing programs are simple enough for anyone to pick up.

5. Work Big and Small

Get twice as much out of any video project by balancing big and small. Use most of the video budget to create a big glossy event — such as an awards show or a customer training event — and capture it with professional cameras. Then, use pocket cams and junior staff to create behind-the-scenes videos. These might even be more compelling than the main videos, since they’ll capture real reactions from participants at close distances.

For many more tips on creating videos that don’t suck, watch the entire session below. Skip to the two-minute mark to get past the introductions.

How to Make Online Videos that Don’t Suck – Without Breaking the Bank

Jules Watkins, Video Producer and Founder, Pocket Video Power

The cost of video technology has fallen dramatically. Your iPhone, iPad, or mini-camcorder can create stunning videos that would have needed thousands of pounds of kit to produce in the past. In this crash course, a veteran reality TV Producer/Director breaks down the basics of making authentic, quality videos using minimal equipment that will make your business stand out from the crowd.


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  1. Excellent tips here, like the one that basically says just do it and don’t worry about having a big budget! Jump in and learn!

    Posted by Jeremy Campbell | January 20, 2012, 11:49 am
  2. Don’t forget that they should expect some failure. None of us get it right all the time, much less int he beginning.

    Posted by Jen Knoedl | January 22, 2012, 2:10 am
  3. Good post, Troy!

    Posted by David Murdico | January 24, 2012, 1:19 pm
  4. I present on this same topic. Anyone can grab a camera but quality should be key to your product. Remember that what you produce or post is representative of your organization. You don’t want to be perceived as a company that doesn’t value quality. You can have quality, professional videos produced without crushing your bottom line. I could go on and on with this topic but caution what you use the phone camera or flip camera for. I’d welcome the chance to present this topic at any venue. Please feel free to contact me anytime at

    Posted by Brad Gentile | January 24, 2012, 4:14 pm
  5. Sure I produce my own videos. I perform my own dental work as well.

    Posted by RC Wieser | January 26, 2012, 8:34 pm
  6. Great video tutorial! Clear audio and video quality. Having good video tutorials are very useful for the learning here are fun and exciting. It catches the attention of the people faster and longer. The better the video tutorials are the more the chances it will capture the interest of the viewers.

    Posted by andrei | February 16, 2012, 12:48 am
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