Some people really hate the idea of being on camera. For people who don't crave the limelight, appearing on video can feel more like a prison spotlight.
Believe me, I hear you! I, too, don’t enjoy being on camera very much. Despite that, I’ll grin and bear it, hopping on Periscope (@SarahRedohl) most weeks for mini webinars and being a “face” for StoryLab when I need to be.
But for a lot of video newbies, the idea of appearing on camera is enough to make them never try video at all. And I think this is the wrong way to approach things.
Yes, it’s super easy to shoot a Twitter video reply, hop on Periscope or shoot a “talking head” expert video. But there are other ways to create video content without the need to put your face in it. Here are a few options.
I don’t literally hand puppet videos, necessarily. I just mean a video in which your hands are the only cast members. These are just as easy—if not easier—as hoping on Periscope! All you need to do is have a concept. One brand that uses these types of videos a lot is Google.
Paper cut-out videos
They print out images (that of course they have the rights to use) and basically use them to illustrate a story, like this one above.
Other times, they’ll just write out a story on a white board or a piece of paper:
White board videos
To shoot a video like this, all you need is to write out your storyboard and decide the best way to tell the story. Prepare your materials, set up your camera facing directly down on your “stage” and record your story and voiceover on your Smartphone. Of course I suggest using a microphone if you have one available (even if its just the mic on your earbuds).
Since you want to keep your videos short anyway (about a minute or so), it will be really easy for you to repeat your video a handful of times and choose the best take.
The act of just doing the video a few times and choosing the best option will save you loads of time trying to edit everything together from bits and pieces of video clips.
Estimated time, from story concept to clicking ‘Share’: 30 minutes
These videos require NO filming. None. You can create one with nothing more than a story to tell.
There are also all sorts of resources that make production super easy for people who’ve never created an animated video before in their lives.
(Or PowToon, Moovly, or Animaker)
Probably the most well known video animation option is GoAnimate. Using the service is exceptionally easy.
You can add text, icons and charts to illustrate your point without ever picking up a camera and clicking ‘record.’ The GoAnimate library comes with a handful of pre-built templates, customization options, and thousands of icons, so you can really make each video your own.
They offer a 14-day free trial to the service to see if it works for the types of videos you want to create. After the two-week trial, GoAnimate costs $39 per month, but if that’s too steep for you, there are a ton of other options.
PowToon is a free option, but there’s also cheaper options like Animaker and Moovly. I’ve used GoAnimate and PowToon, and while I like GoAnimate’s interface better, I do think $39 for the benefit of a prettier interface is a little much.
The best option? Create one animated video in each before you decide which star to hitch your wagon to. If, after it all, you don’t choose a favorite, you’ll still end up with four animated videos to start sharing!
This is a super sweet app you can use to create animated videos on the go. Although the amount of information you can put on one video slide is limited, the interface is so easy to use it’s perfect for beginners. It’s so easy most people may not even need to write a storyboard before getting started on production.
Simply choose the type of story you want to tell and narrate your story sentence by sentence, choosing one or two of hundreds of available icons (or your own original photography from your phone) to illustrate your points.
In just a few short minutes, you’ll be able to explain abstract ideas quickly and directly, using just your phone (and hopefully a microphone if you're narrating)!
Estimated time, from story concept to clicking ‘Share’: 20 minutes
Another option to add some motion to your social feeds without appearing on camera is to turn your photos into a photo slideshow. This is a great media type to show off an event or other photos that may not necessarily tell a story on their own.
Often, you may not even need to narrate the slideshow; you might just be able to add some music and you’re done!
With more than 100 photo slideshow apps, you’re sure to find one that has themes you like and a simple workflow.
I’ve used Flipagram, Animoto and PicFlow, but Flipagram is probably my favorite for the control the app gives you over changing layouts, timing, music and narration (and it’s free).
Estimated time, from story concept to clicking ‘Share’: 10 minutes
Even if you hate being on camera, hopefully these three ideas will give you enough of a push to get started with video. If you do, I think the benefits you’ll see will make you see how worth it video can be!
About The Author
Hey, I'm Sarah!
I love teaching online business bosses to create better content and incorporate cool tech and tools into their content marketing machine so they can get better results (more traffic, more customers, more money) in less time. After all, isn't that what content marketing is for?