Record Your Own Landing Page Video Without Expensive Equipment

A video on your landing page, it will increase your sales.

You are designing a landing page for your new product. The layout is taken care of – you’ve purchased a template on themeforest. You’re copy is looking really sharp because of the advice you read on copyhackers. Now all you need to do is fill in that blank space on the right.

Should you have a product screenshot, some stock photography or a video? According to some studies a video on your landing page can increase conversions up to 80%. And yet – I’ve been reluctant to create videos in the past. Here are some of my reasons:

  • I didn’t know where to start. I don’t own any expensive recording equipment
  • This landing page was for a product I haven’t built yet! I can’t afford to hire a professional to produce it for me
  • I hate the sound of my voice. I might scare overseas visitors away with my Australian accent.

Create your own landing page video, without the expensive equipment

Do these excuses sound familiar? If you’ve ever wanted to create your own video, without expensive equipment this post is for you. I’ll show you exactly how I created my own landing page video. It took less than a day and I used as much freely available information as possible.

What is in this post?

To make your own video, you’ll need to follow these steps:

  • Writing a script
  • Animation
  • Voice Over
  • Editing

I’ll cover my method for animation in depth in this article. And provide brief explanations for the other topics.

Here is the video I made

First create the script

Miguel Hernandez:

by the way the most important thing is the script part

Without a script, you’ll be flying in the dark. Before recording this video, I had no idea about how to write a script. I mostly write Python code all day and my script writing skills are very rusty. So if I managed to write a script, I’m sure that you could pull it off.

I listened to Miguel Hernandez’ interview with Andrew Warner to get some tips about how he approaches script writing:

  • Tell a personal story first – don’t talk about ‘most people’ talk about a specific story that someone can relate to
  • Keep it short – about 60 seconds should be your target
  • Keep it simple – Don’t overwhelm the audience with a list of features

Miguel uses this advice on his hipmunk video .

The best piece of advice I got from Miguel was to rank every single sentence in my script. I analysed every sentence and gave it a 1 or 0 for the following criteria:

  • simple (speaks about the video’s single core idea)
  • unexpected (people enjoy offbeat things sometimes)
  • concrete (Talk about a specific example, rather than generic statement)
  • credibility (Is this statement believable?)
  • emotional (tied into the video’s single core idea should be a believable story)
  • story (does this sentence further the central story?)
  • smile (does this sentence make you smile?)

The total score that sentence could have gotten is 7 if it met all of the criteria. It could have gotten a 0 if it met none of the criteria. Here is the exact procedure I used to rank my sentences

The aim is to get high scores for each sentence (getting a 4 is a good score). If too many of your sentences are getting 1 and 2s then it is time to re-write parts of script.

Animate the script yourself – cheaply

My method for animating the script was based on my drawings. I used the FREE Copic Marker Sketchbook App for Mac. The App drawings look like they were drawn with real life copic markers.

I drew one picture for each important part of my script. This took the most time (about 6 hours). It was hard for me to draw nicely. An extension if you are willing to spend some money, a graphics tablet like a wacom makes it easier for you to draw free hand using your computer.

Each picture was made from up to 7 layers. I used screenflow ~$100 to record my desktop (and to later edit the video). The process for recording a picture was simple. I’d set up screenflow to record the picture, then progressively show the hidden layers in my picture (up to 7 layers in total). It doesn’t matter if you get the timing wrong. They are just static pictures, so you can edit the length of time per picture later on.

Edit the video

Now that you’ve written the script and drawn the pictures, you can easily record your own voice (or hire someone on for $5) reading out the script. Try to bring some life to your voice and emphasise different words like you would when telling an exciting story. Warning I’m not good at reading like that. It was something I found very difficult to do, but I gave it my best for the video.

Your screenflow app should have your audio and video together. While editing, keep in mind that it is important to keep the video short (~60 seconds) and interesting. That might mean eliminating 2 second pauses. Watch the hipmunk video again, you’ll notice that the timing is tight throughout so there aren’t any strange 1 second pauses between sentences.

Put it together, make your own product video

Go on, try it out. Make your own product video! Send me a link so I can see what you’ve made. All you need to do is:

  1. Write the script
  2. Draw the animation (or use a powerpoint presentation if you aren’t good at drawing)
  3. Record your desktop as you flick through each slide or picture
  4. Record your own voice
  5. Edit in screenflow (or use camtasia if you are on windows)

The total investment should be about $100 (for Screenflow) and 6 hours of your own time.

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