YouTube Channels For Dummies, 2nd Edition
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An immediate side effect of watching bad video is that you no longer want to watch it. But what makes a YouTube video truly good? Sometimes, that answer is a little harder to figure out. The more obvious indicators of a good YouTube video are that it’s informative, depicts compelling situations, and, of course, makes people laugh.

Alternatively, if you're an expert in a subject matter, such as photography, you can create videos to inspire and inform people. And making them laugh or smile while they learn is an excellent way to make sure your videos stand out from the huge amount of content on YouTube.

All these factors certainly contribute to the success of a YouTube video, but you have more pertinent issues to consider that deal with the technical aspects of making these videos enjoyable.

Keeping the camera steady provides a good start, as does making sure the lighting effectively represents the scene and that the audio is clear and pristine for the viewer to understand. It’s also important to have a mix of shot types to keep things visually interesting — in an interview, for example, cut between the subject and a scene of what the subject is discussing.

Though these attributes are somewhat “below the radar” when people are enjoying the video, they lie nonetheless at the core of an enjoyable experience.

Here are a few of the components that make a good video:

  • Good lighting: “Let there be light” remains one of the oldest phrases ever. And for good reason. Without light of any kind, people clearly wouldn’t be able to see anything — though good video depends on more than just seeing the subject.

    Good lighting — as opposed to merely adequate lighting — needs to bathe the subject in a flattering way, as shown. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a sophisticated light kit or ambient illumination or depending on the sun, as long as the final product looks good.

    If you create YouTube videos from your office or home, consider purchasing a lighting kit from your favorite camera retailer. There are many lighting kits available. Your camera retailer can recommend the right kit to create a well-lit video.

    The peppers come to life as the sun bathes this outdoor market in late afternoon light.

    The peppers come to life as the sun bathes this outdoor market in late afternoon light.
  • Top-quality audio: The better a video sounds, the better it looks. Less‐than‐stellar visual elements can easily be accepted when the sound is clear. But the opposite statement rarely applies.

    Good quality microphones are available through many sources. If you’re shooting video with a smartphone or a digital camera, don’t rely on the built-in microphone. Quality auxiliary microphones can be purchased from Amazon, or an online camera retailer. Before you purchase a microphone, make sure the device has plenty of good reviews.
  • Steady camera: Using a tripod or another means of stabilization clearly makes it easier to maintain a steady shot, but if you’re stuck without a tripod, at least try to keep your handheld camera as steady as possible so that you can avoid that annoying herky‐jerky motion.

    If you don't have a tripod, you can improvise. Set your camera on a flat surface, such as a table. Make sure the table is not in the shot.

    Neither tripods nor cameras need to be big now, as proven with this GoPro mounted on a Gorillapod. Neither tripods nor cameras need to be big now, as proven with this GoPro mounted on a Gorillapod.

  • Shot structure: If you’re editing video, you should strive for a nice selection of shot types and angles in order to keep your viewers engaged. You can also add still images to your video. If your video-editing application lets you zoom and pan still images, you can create a reasonable facsimile of the "Ken Burns Effect." Think about it: Nobody wants to see the same exact shot and angle for 10 minutes.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Rob Ciampa works with worldwide brands, agencies, and business leaders on sales, marketing, and YouTube strategies. Theresa Go is vice president of platform partnerships for Pixability. Matt Ciampa has been a professional YouTube video creator and producer for more than a decade. Rich Murphy is a product manager at Pixability and an expert on YouTube advertising and analytics.

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