So you’ve gone live and hit all the points, delivered inspiring content with lots of takeaways. In fact, it was too good a session to miss out on repurposing live videos. But while it’s easy to go live and stream, it’s not as easy to find creative ways for repurposing your video content.
The most important thing you need is having a good basis to work from. If the source material is medium quality, you can never get a high-quality edited video.
Implement clever video hacks right from the start (even before filming) when you want to repurpose your live video later on. It helps you achieve an overall more enticing look and shows professionalism.
When your videos do not look put together at the last minute or without care, it can really elevate your brand. And branding is an essential part in consistent and coherent marketing, to achieve recognizability and brand awareness.
The overarching three mistakes to avoid when repurposing lives are:
- You didn’t film with later repurposing in mind
- You didn’t ensure a professional/clean look
- You lack strategy and consistency
So let’s dive into the 15 most common rookie mistakes when recycling live videos for your business.
You didn’t film with video repurposing in mind
Not enough space for text
If you are going to trim your live videos for a reupload, do not miss out on the opportunity to include text as well.
Remember, people are visual creatures and not everyone will watch with sound on (as is common on Facebook or Instagram) and some people simply prefer to read text rather than listen intently.
- It also helps highlight the most important takeaway points,
- keeps people interested through the change onscreen and
- overall works as a segmentation/structuring within your video.
Keeping this in mind, you want to stage your live video in advance so that you can easily include text. Use plenty of negative space for this, don’t fill out the entire screen with a busy background.
That being said, it is not the best idea to just sit in front of a white wall only. Video is a visual medium and if you are not constantly utilising the space to fill it with information such as text or photos, it can easily look bland and cheap.
Everything in your video frame needs to aid your video purpose and is part of your branding. Help people understand what you are about instantly by placing significant items in your frame relevant to the video content and your business. This could be products, frames with related photos and colours that are part of your signature look.
For a thorough step-by-step guide on how to plan your shot-by-yourself video for your business, join my video course From Bland to Brand.
An instant upgrade to your video strategy is having a recurrent intro and outro section. This aids your recognisability, sets the tone and smoothly familiarises new audiences with your branding and core message.
This can include a fully edited intro and outro section with an animated logo and jingle. It further can lead to your catchphrase, your mini pitch as a means to introduce yourself and your business and establish your specific expertise.
People want information, so keep it short. The more consistent you are here, the more memorable it will be for people who have seen your content before. And who knows, you might get stuck in their head sooner than you think this way.
As a general rule of thumb, there need to be seven touchpoints for cold audiences before they recognise a new company or brand.
A professional editor can really translate the visual messaging and desired emotion into a short intro and outro clip. As a free, preliminary alternative, you can also use templates from places like Canva or Adobe Rush. Do not forget, however, that these are not highly unique to you as they are available to a wide audience. So always tweak!
Not shot in neutral
Most people forget the power of colour correction in video. It really can turn a bland looking video into a vibrant clip. It provides an instant polish, almost like a spring clean.
If you are shooting your videos with your phone, avoid using filters, which will make later colour correction harder as the video is already shot in more compressed quality as can be achieved with a DSLR camera.
You do not necessarily need to shoot in RAW video and be an expert at colour correction to prime your video colour. The basics suffice and can already achieve an instant upgrade. Bring out the contrast for a more glossy look or reduce it for more of a vintage/old-school cinematic feel. Increase vibrancy or change single colours slightly. There are many different options.
When you know you are going to go into colour correction, always shoot in neutral mode. This way, you have more control over the footage. Avoid messing too much with the default in-camera settings on colour unless the white balance is off.
Not in line with branding
Do you have a branding kit, know your main hex codes, the style and tone that your brand should elicit in clients and customers? If not, start there and get really clear on what your first impression should be and how this can translate into every. single. aspect. of your business.
Let me say it again: be memorable, be recognisable.
As with the negative space in framing for textual cues and highlights within a repurposed live video, everything that shows up in your video needs to be intentional.
Is there an item that has absolutely nothing to do with what your brand stands for? A plant that looks off (or dead)? A colour that is distracting?
Get rid of it! Even if it is subtle, you need to consciously place what is in your frame just as you would in a physical shop window. Intent is key.
This goes just as much for your background, to your wallpaper and the way you dress. Are loud colours your personal style but not that of your brand? Work out something that feels comfortable for you but on brand for your business. There is no need to play dress up, but it really should make sense for your brand.
You are its representative here! Most people do not even think too much about the connection of fashion with branding. So take advantage of that and stand out with this simple trick.
What good is it to trim and repurpose your live video when it is just too short? For Facebook and YouTube, it is recommended for videos to be a minimum of three minutes in length. If you really want to deliver value, you need to pack your videos full of good takeaways, invaluable advice and inspirational content.
A super short video can be a great segway into more of your long-form content, such as on social media. However, if you are posting just little snippets, you are missing out on truly showcasing your expertise. People love free stuff. It does not always have to be bite-sized.
On top of that, the more short videos you shoot, the more videos you have to produce. Shoot a long video and you can get more out of live video repurposing: get more snippets, more takeaways, etc. This ultimately means more content for less shooting. (Because setting up for a new video shoot already takes time. So be smart about it to save time for your business!)
You didn’t ensure good looks
I often hear the argument of authenticity in live videos as an excuse to not put in more effort into your videos. True, there is no need to play dress up, to create expert lighting or a professional set up to look professional. And authenticity does not literally mean to show up as you are in that very moment.
You can, but you also have to take into consideration that people are visual creatures and draw instant impressions from anything they experience. That does not always have to be to your liking. But you can take back some control in being mindful of how you present yourself and your business.
This starts with basic lighting.
- If you are sitting in a dark room or directly in front of a window and become some dark shape: stop.
- If you are right by a window and use a lamp to illuminate the shadow on the other half of your face: stop.
- If you are standing outside in the bright midday sun for better lighting: stop.
Acquaint yourself with three-point lighting, the best time for natural light in your room and what light colours work for you. Again, this does not have to end up in an elaborate set up. You mostly already have what it takes to achieve a better look. Just let people see you in your best light. Literally.
Head cut off
It is a no-brainer but just because it is so obvious, it is often overlooked. As always, mentally crossing this step of your checklist helps as opposed to assuming you will do it right.
When you are framing your video – be it in your webcam, your phone or camera – you need to centre yourself in such a way as too leave enough space to move without parts of your head getting chopped off.
It is entirely natural to move around, to shift in your chair and to gesticulate, which can move your position so you are no longer entirely in the original position. That is no problem. But if you do not account for that or do a test run, you can end up with a head crop.
When you repurpose a live video, you might need to option of zooming in. If your head is already glued to the end of the screen or already outside, that option is gone.
Angle not flattering
Sometimes I want to reach through a live video and push the laptop screen just a tad. It is another obvious video tip, but makes a world of a difference. Perspective is essential.
Depending on how your camera is angled, at what height it is placed and from what side it is shooting, the results are entirely different. This can also mean you showing yourself from your literal best angle or looking somewhat off.
So many people complain of wanting to look better in live videos and on camera. But they disregard this step. They place the laptop too low and shoot upward, giving a good look at nose hair or creating a double chin, where there is none by having to look down.
Then there are people who shoot from awkward side angles. Everyone has a preferred side of their face. Know yours and play around with your camera to see what flatters you most. This also goes hand in hand with lighting. Know how to angle that as well.
If you are using different lenses for your camera, then you have encountered this problem. A lens shows the exact same object entirely different from the same location, sometimes closer, sometimes farther away, with more details or more of a blur.
Depending on the distance and camera lens, your face will look distorted or natural. The physically closer to the camera you are, the wide the lens has to be. And the more your face looks cartoonish. Just take a selfie (without a filter) and have someone take a photo of you. A world of difference!
This step also helps you with placing your person in frame better. Win win!
Most people will endure a terribly looking video if it is entertaining enough and the audio is of a decent quality. The reverse means that people will stop watching a video if the audio is terrible, no matter how amazing your video looks. (Unless you are on Facebook and people do not turn on the audio.)
I cannot stress this enough: invest in a microphone. You have no idea how different and much clearer you can sound with it. This is regardless of with what gadget you are filming, phone, camera or computer (especially computer).
There are various microphone types and for various budget, figure out how much mobility and distance you need and invest accordingly. For a list of microphones I personally use, join my free newsletter with the freebie.
You lack strategy
Content all over the place
Do you produce live streams that do not follow a clear structure and are more stream-of-consciousness? That is a legit format and can be very valuable. Still, even here it is good to have an overarching theme and topics that work with your branding and current business focus.
For later live video repurposing, you need to be able to isolate clips and content pieces that can stand on their own. If they are just information skeletons and do not have enough “meat on their bones”, they might not work in your favour.
Your video should entice people to get to know you more. Shallow snippets do not cut it.
Likewise, if you are not posting with your ideal customer in mind and do not have a clear focus within your business as is, you will end up confusing people. What is it that they are supposed to take away, to do, to feel? What do you actually do? Who do you serve? What problems do you solve?
You can be great at many different things but people will not give you a chance to prove yourself if they do not see it. Keep in mind that on general people have an attention span smaller than that of a goldfish!
Content too niche
In the same vein, if you are too strict with the video content you provide, you might end up being too repetitive, too constrictive and too specialised. Your audience might be too small or your field of service might appear too limited.
What is the point of repurposing live streams when you have nothing new to say, when you lack variation and only focus on the nitty and gritty but lack the overall picture?
Not everyone is so well acquainted with your field of expertise and might be put off, not even knowing that you could solve problems for them because they exactly are overwhelmed with even starting to tackle the problem. When they are lost and you only zoom in on the map, they cannot find their way out.
You have a live stream and repurpose it by posting it everywhere as is. To save time? Sure, but what is the gain?
- Instagram audiences will not bother watching a small horizontal video in their ever-changing feed. Do not assume they will take a chance on you. Their fingers are twitching enough as is.
- Making people flip their screens to watch your horizontal video on Pinterest or TikTok is not user-friendly either.
Think like your specific audience on each platform. How are they used to consume content? What are the standard dimensions and formats? Work with that, work with them in mind. Your business should serve and this extends to sharing properly formatted content online.
Your video needs to be able to get cut into horizontal, vertical and square formats. Before you film your live video and knowing you need enough space for potential text, animations and gifs, you need to shoot with enough negative space. This also helps you with zooming in later if you need to.
I have said it before but I will say it again: people do not always watch video with sound. It is a shame because well edited video works seamlessly with music and the beat. But if it is indeed edited well, the visuals and their pacing need to stand out on their own.
For platforms like Instagram and Facebook, where it is known that people commonly watch with sound off, support their viewing habits and provide text.
Include captions (in various languages) to help the visual impaired and people who speak another language than your own. Use text as a means to highlight key points. Embed subtitles into the video or link to a full video transcript on your website.
Audio copyright infringement
Before you plan your video edit and repurpose your live stream, do you know what sound and music you are going to include? As I said, the musical component can heavily inform the editing process. It can easily underline clip transitions, bring out emotions and tie in with the style of your business.
But do not make the mistake and just take a song that evokes all of this. I should not say anything new here but I encounter this too often. Companies take popular songs to which they do not have the copyright or they fail to disclaim it properly. This can end up a costly mistake in the long-run.
There are various free resources online, music where the copyright has expired or music libraries for social media that can be used with and without disclaiming. Do your due diligence and research in advance, clarify what you can use, how and where and act accordingly.
Which of these tips for repurposing live videos for business spoke the most to you? I’d love to hear about your experiences and recurring struggles in the comment below.
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I am a video editor and coach, helping entrepreneurs and small business owners level up their video marketing through fresh and creative video concepts and edits.