Unless you’re already a filming pro, you may be on the lookout for some basic tips on making better videos. TikTok content creators don’t necessarily have to commit to polished video content; in fact, less formal videos can actually make them seem more relatable. However, there’s a difference between “relatable because they’re a little messy” and “this is too disorganized to really enjoy”.
If this describes the situation you’re in, have no fear – you aren’t alone! Even better, it’s easy to apply a few basic techniques, and see immediate improvements in your video quality.
#1: Do some planning ahead
A lot of TikTok creators (even successful ones) don’t put much planning into their videos. In some cases, their account could be centered on off-the-cuff opinion videos, in which they simply talk to their phone for a couple of minutes. This works for some people, especially the ones with fans who follow them for their personality more than anything else. However, a lot of creators in other niches would really benefit from more structure in their videos.
What type of structure could this be? You don’t have to create a storyboard for a 30-second video, but it would help if you wrote an outline. For longer videos, a loose script might be a good idea. The main point is to do more than just decide on a general topic, and then turn the camera on and assume that inspiration will strike. Again, this works for some people, but not for most of them.
#2: Develop your camera presence
Maybe you’re naturally comfortable in front of a camera; if so, this tip isn’t for you. However, a lot of people unconsciously act stiff and awkward as soon as they know they’re being filmed. If you aren’t sure which one is the case, watch your own videos as if you’re a total stranger. Do your facial expressions or movements seem artificial, or do you seem natural and at ease?
If you could afford to improve this, just remember that practice makes perfect. You could research different psychological tricks to help you be more comfortable in front of a camera, just like people do for public speaking. Or, maybe the issue is that you just need a bit more time to get used to the concept. In that case, make some videos specifically for the purpose of acclimating yourself to the experience. One way or another, you can learn how to improve your camera presence.
#3: Use your phone correctly
It’s fairly common for TikTok creators to film on their phones, rather than using a camera. There are several good reasons for this, but the main one is that it saves them several hundred to thousands of dollars when they don’t have to buy a camera.
You can definitely make high-quality videos with nothing but a decent phone camera, but it’s important to follow a few key tips.
- If your phone lets you put a grid overlay on the screen as you’re filming, turn that feature on. This can help you avoid crooked footage.
- Use landscape mode! Portrait mode (vertically oriented) just isn’t ideal in almost all cases; horizontal videos in landscape mode are preferable.
- The average smart phone has two cameras – one on the front, and one on the back. The one on the back typically has much better quality, so use that one for filming.
#4: Avoid making shaky videos
The problem isn’t just that shaky footage can make some viewers feel nauseous; it’s also that it’ll make your videos look unprofessional and lazy. A video where half the shots are unsteady is hard to watch, and will probably have a negative impact on your view counts.
A simple solution is to make sure your phone is propped up on a stable surface or mounted on a tripod, rather than holding it yourself. If neither of these are an option, try using video stabilization software to fix the issue. It may not be perfect, but it will still be better than before.
#5: Prioritize audio quality
Did you know that bad audio quality is actually worse than bad video quality? Just think about it: the average viewer won’t have too much of a problem with a slightly grainy video. However, if they realize that they can’t hear much of what’s going on, they’ll click off almost instantly.
If you only invest in one piece of equipment for your TikTok videos, get a decent microphone. Fortunately, you won’t have to break the bank for good audio quality; a budget of $100 to $200 will get you a mic that lasts for years, and performs well. Even if you have less than $100 to spend, there are some budget options that will get the job done.
#6: Clean up the background
If you tend to film on the move, this won’t always be possible. However, many TikTok creators film in one spot, but they don’t seem that aware of the impact that their background has on video quality. If the background is distracting or messy, this will reflect on the quality of the video itself.
You don’t need professional studio conditions to make a great video; just make sure you’re shooting in a relatively clean, pleasant-looking environment. Also, make sure you don’t have any windows directly behind you. They can catch the reflection of the camera or other things that you don’t want in the video, and it’s also a bad idea to have a light source from the back.
#7: Use good lighting
Speaking of lighting, this can make or break the quality of your TikTok videos. Avoid any light source that’s harsh or too direct. Ring lights can provide an instant, easy lighting setup, but you could also use lamps that are to the front and slightly to the side of you.
Improving your TikTok videos really isn’t that difficult; it’s just a matter of knowing which details to pay attention to. By changing a few small details in the way you film, you and your followers can enjoy major improvements in video quality.