If you’re looking to create professional-looking videos for any purpose, this awesome list of tips and best practices will help you improve the quality and engagement of your videos.

Let’s get started.

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1. Plan Ahead for Your Video

Creating a video isn’t just about hitting the record button. There are multiple factors that come into play to make a video stand out among others. And believe it or not, they mostly have to do with how well you plan your video before actually creating it.

This first tip can be broken down into several parts. Let’s take a look at some of these tips and best practices for planning a successful video.

Set a goal.

Before you start making your video, you need to know why you’re making one in the first place. Understanding the goal of your video will help you plan, shoot, edit and promote your video in a more organized manner, saving you tons of time and resources.

Most importantly, it will make your video more effective in terms of achieving the desired results. Below are some examples of questions to ask when setting a goal for your video:

What are you looking to achieve with your video?
Are you trying to make people laugh?
Are you trying to get them to visit your website?
Are you promoting your product?
Teaching them something new?

You can use a SMART goals template like the one below to jot down your video goals.
Customize this template and make it your own!
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Identify your target audience.

You can’t possibly target everyone in the world, because then who are you really talking to? Not having a clear vision of your ideal viewer groups will simply dilute your message and video content.

Your audience will determine the way you write your script, the way you shoot your video and the way you edit it. It will also determine where you distribute your videos depending on where your main audience hangs out online.

Think of who you want to be seeing this, and then think of where on the internet they usually “hang out” so you can know to distribute it later.

Here’s a customer persona template to use as part of your video planning process:
A marketing coach customer persona template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!
Edit and Download

Research your topic.

Next, it’s time to find the right topic or theme for your video — it’s crucial to find a topic that not only appeals to your target audience but also helps you achieve your goals.

A big part of choosing your topic is also focusing on a keyword. This is particularly important if you want to rank on Google and other search engine result pages.

If you’re creating videos for YouTube, one of the easiest ways to decide your video topic is to conduct keyword research inside YouTube. Just search for your keyword on YouTube, and carefully look at the top results and search predictions to see what works and what doesn’t.

For example, here are the search predictions that show up on YouTube when you type in “Bitcoin”:

At this stage, you can narrow down your YourTube video idea or topic based on the type of Bitcoin video you’re about to make: daily news, mining setup, predictions, etc.

You can also use tools like Ahrefs, TubeBuddy, and vidIQ to find the right keywords to target. Keep your video’s overall theme, topic or problem in the center and look for relevant keywords around them to find the best fit

Also, find a topic that fills “content gaps” and provides substantial value to the audience.

Choose the right video type.

Now that you know the topic of your video, it’s time to finalize the type of video you’re going to create. This will directly impact the tone and style of your video. And, of course, it will affect the entire process of shooting, animating or editing it.

Here are some video types you can choose from:

Screen recording
Motion graphics

It’s important to note that some video types are more suited for formal and professional videos, while others are better suited for casual videos. So, pick a video type that’s suited to your content style.

Here’s a list of video types for YouTube to give you some inspiration.

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Write a script.

Once you have finalized the topic and type of video you’re going to make, it’s now time to work on its content. This is best done by writing a video script that lays out your story.

You can either write a word-by-word script for the video or just the general topics you aim to cover in the video.

Either way, the point is to have a reference document so you don’t accidentally forget to cover an essential topic when you begin filming the video.

Alternatively, you can also create a storyboard for your video.

Microwave Lunch TVC Storyboard
Public Library Storyboard
Mobile App Pros and Cons Storyboard
Cloud Computing Services Storyboard
Web Development Storyboard
Air Pollution Storyboard

A storyboard is simply a visual representation of a story, which is made up of a sequence of images and graphic illustrations that helps creators visualize their videos and creative projects.

Don’t forget to keep your script or storyboard handy on the day of the shoot.

Pick the right location.

Another essential step of the video planning phase is picking the location of the shoot.

Picking a location is more important than you think — it gives context to the video and can considerably enhance the look and feel of your video.

You can shoot the video in-house or head outdoors. Regardless of the option you go with, the look and feel of your video will be completely different.

2. Use a High-Quality Camera

Another essential tip to improve your video quality is to use the right camera. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an expensive or professional camera to make good quality videos.

There are two main camera options to choose from: your built-in mobile phone camera or a professional camera. Let’s take a look at each option in more detail:
Mobile camera.

The camera quality of almost all top mobile phone brands has seen considerable improvement in the past few years.

So, there’s a high chance that the mobile phone you currently have in your pocket is capable of producing 4K videos at 60 FPS — enough to match the quality of any competitor you may have.

Here’s a video that’s entirely shot on an iPhone 13 Pro:


The video quality is easily on par with some of the more expensive professional cameras out there.

Professional camera.

Sometimes, to create professional-looking videos, a phone camera might not be enough. In that case, you’ll most probably have to invest in a professional camera. This will give you much more control over the quality of video you’re producing.

Plus, you’ll get features that a phone might not be able to offer, such as built-in image stabilization and the ability to swap lenses. Also, the superior color science of a professional camera will considerably boost the production quality of your videos.

So, if you’re looking to invest in your camera gear, we suggest you pick a camera that’s packed with features you’ll need for your type of video.

For example, if you’re going to make in-house videos, purchasing a DSLR may be a good option. But if you’re going to create vlogs, then a mirrorless camera may be more suited to you, as carrying a bulky DSLR may be too much for your arms.

3. Make sure you have enough lighting

Lighting is another essential part of any professional video. If your video is too dark or too bright, it obviously won’t look good, and you’ll run the risk of people skipping your content.

There are two primary light sources available to any video creator:

Natural lighting.

For beginners, natural light is an excellent option. It doesn’t cost anything and is fully capable of making the subject of your video look good.

To use natural lighting to your advantage, remember to shoot outdoors on a cloudy day or during the golden hour. At these times, natural light is super soft and cinematic — it won’t make your subject squint and no harsh light will be hitting their face.

Studio lighting.

As you scale your production capacity, you’ll probably want to invest in lighting equipment to boost the quality of your videos.

Here are some lighting equipment you may want to add to your production gear:

Key light
Rim light
Triggers and flashes
Softbox or shapers

Check out this excellent video by Ben Johnson, who’ll walk you through all the steps you need to take to give your videos a nice, cinematic look:


4. Upgrade the Audio Quality

The audio of your video can make or break your content, and there are a few simple things that you can do to save the integrity of your video’s audio quality.

The best way to capture audio from your subject is to use any microphone other than your camera’s built-in mic. Because no matter how good your camera’s built-in mic is, it’s still not enough to replace a dedicated external audio recorder.

There are generally three types of microphones you can use:

Condenser microphones
Dynamic microphones
Lavalier microphones (or, lapel mics)

Each is ideal for different uses, so invest in one that gets your work done.

Check out this video by Think Media if you’re looking for budget mic options for your videos:


Before filming, always test the sound to ensure you’ve got all of the above set up correctly. For someone with no prior audio experience, that’s usually the only way to make sure you’re getting it right.

5. Use a Powerful Video Editing Software

Using video editing software is an essential part of the production process.

This will enable you to add transitions to your videos, color grade them, add titles, subtitles, intros and outros, and stitch them in a way that’s easy to understand for the audience.

There are several video editing software to choose from, both free and paid. Here’s a list of some of the most popular ones:

Visme Video Maker
Adobe Premiere Pro
Apple Final Cut Pro
DaVinci Resolve
Adobe Premiere Elements
Corel VideoStudio Ultimate
CyberLink PowerDirector

Pro Tip: Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro have several free and paid plugins to choose from, which will cut your editing time in half.

6. Avoid Using Shaky Footage

Stabilized footage is essential for the success of any top video. Because shaky footage not only looks unprofessional, it also strains the eyes of your audience.

We suggest you either get a hold of a camera with built-in image stabilization or purchase a tripod to fix this. Tripods usually work when the subject is still, but that may not be the case for all video types.

For example, if you’re creating vlogs, you may need to walk around the city, and a tripod might not do you much good. In that scenario, consider investing in an external stabilizer.

Many video editing software also has a built-in feature to stabilize shaky footage, but the results may not be perfect each time.

Make video production easier than ever with Visme.

Choose from our fully customizable templates
Customize fonts and colors to match your brand
Access animated design elements that tell your story

Sign up. It’s free.

7. Improve Your Video Composition

Composition is how you choose to frame your subject in the video you’re about to capture.

The most popular way to frame your subject is to follow the Rule of Thirds, which divides the frame into a 3×3 grid, creating intersections that are ideal areas to place your subject.
visual advertising techniques – the golden mean

And the best way to frame your subject is to place them at one of the intersections in your viewfinder, and their eyes should line up along the top line in the frame.

You can also place your subject in the middle of the frame, but the downside of that is you’ll end up with a lot of space in the top third of the frame.

Another important thing to keep in mind while shooting is to mind the head of your subject. Don’t have too much space above the subject’s head, but don’t cut off the top of their head either.

If you must cut something off in big dramatic face closeups, let it be the top of the subject’s head, not their chins.

Here’s are 4 framing and composition techniques you can use for your videos:


8. Be Comfortable on Camera

If you have a human subject present in your video, such as in a vlog or video podcast, their camera presence can significantly impact the quality and effectiveness of your video.

If the subject looks comfortable, has a friendly smile on their face and is wearing nice clothes, then the audience will like to see what they have to say or do.

While camera presence may come naturally to some people, others have to practice how to control emotions so they don’t look uncomfortable or nervous in front of the camera.

To improve your camera presence, we suggest you sit/stand up straight with your shoulders back so you look professional, focused and relaxed.

You should also try to speak slowly and enunciate each word clearly so your message is easy to understand.

As you continue to create more and more videos, you’ll get used to being in front of the camera, and your camera presence will improve in time. So, don’t be shy and keep practicing.

Here is Cathrin Manning talking a few tips on how to become confident in front of a camera:


9. Film in Small Segments

Filming videos in small segments is a great way to keep yourself focused on the topic you’re discussing. And it also becomes easier to edit the footage in post-production.

Let’s say that you’re making a video discussing the 12 ways to become a better leader. You can hit the record button, talk about one point, then hit the stop button and repeat the process for each point.

This way, your thoughts won’t get jumbled up, and all you need to do is stitch up smaller videos to create your final product.

10. Promote Your Videos

Regardless of the type of video you create, whether educational, business-related or simply an artistic video, make sure you properly share it with your audience to maximize its impact.

Here are some of the ways you can promote your video content:

Social media.

Depending on your goals and audience, you can distribute your videos on different platforms.

For example, if video marketing is what you’re after, you can push your videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube as regular posts or targeted ads.

Here’s how we (at Visme) share our YouTube videos on LinkedIn:

Groups and forums.

You can also share your videos on different groups and forums, such as Reddit, Quora and Facebook groups.

To make this work, start by looking for groups and forums that discuss the problem you have a solution for. Then, find people with genuine problems and respond to their issues.

Once you have built a relationship in the group, you can then share your video content related to that topic, and other members will be more than happy to click on your content.

But if you start spamming groups with your videos with no context, then nobody will take your content seriously, and you may even get reported or kicked out.

Email marketing.

Many businesses maintain email lists to share weekly content with their audience.

If this applies to you, we suggest sharing your videos with email contacts since they’re already your subscribers and want to hear from you. Plus, this is a great way to notify the audience you’ve produced fresh new content.

Alternatively, you can also include your latest YouTube videos in your weekly or monthly newsletters. Or, gather up relevant videos to share on a specific email newsletter topic.

Create High-Quality Videos to Engage Your Audience

Creating professional videos sounds intimidating, but it doesn’t really have to be.

All you need to do is follow the tips discussed in this article, and you’ll see a considerable increase in your video quality, engagement and results.

Remember, don’t rely too heavily on purchasing the best equipment before you shoot your videos. It is a process that each creator has to go through, and as you practice with a limited budget and equipment, you’ll become that good of a crater when you have the right equipment.

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your gear and start making your video.

When you have your footage ready, check out our video maker to easily stitch up your shots and make your video online. You can also create a video in Visme without any original footage by using ready-made templates, animation, stock videos, text, music and more.