Tools You’ll Need for Video Marketing

| August 28, 2017

Why Video Over Other Types of Content?Here is where a lot of marketers get caught up in the process. They worry that since they don’t have thousands of dollars of video recording and editing equipment, they should not get started. This is a mistake. The cameras on many smart phones these days are more than acceptable for recording video. You will of course want to upgrade your video marketing tools eventually so you can release the highest quality content. For the time being, just get started.

Listed below you will find free and paid tools which have been successfully used for video marketing. Before you spend a bunch of money building a video creation studio, understand that content is everything. The most professional looking video, with great audio and lighting, engaging music and paid talent, will probably not do much for your business if your content is poor.

The Camera

Here is the starting point for any attempt at creating video. Remember, a lot of mega-successful video marketing campaigns were the product of nothing more than an iPhone or Android phone camera and good content. That having been said, you will probably want to eventually purchase a quality DSLR camera, so let’s take a look at some shooters that come highly rated by their users.


Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras are not as cost-prohibitive to the low-budget marketer as they used to be. Still, you’re going to have to spend some money on a good DSLR shooter. Forget all the technical jargon on for a minute and just understand this… DSLR still images and videos are head and shoulders in quality above many other cheaper options. They are now versatile and affordable, and you simply have to purchase the correct lens kit to get the effects you are looking for.

High End DSLRs

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm L IS & 70-200mm f/2.8L USM Lens – $4,200
  • Nikon D610 24.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Bundle with 24-85mm and 70-300mm Nikkor VR AF-S Lenses – $2,500
  • Sony A77II Digital SLR Camera with 16-50mm F2.8 Lens – $1,800

Middle-Of-The-Road DSLRs

  • Canon EOS 77D EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit – $999
  • Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera & 18-55mm VR & 70-300mm DX AF-P Lenses – $670
  • Pentax K-50 16MP Digital SLR Camera Kit with DA L 18-55mm WR f3.5-5.6 and 50-200mm WR Lenses – $540

Budget Price, Good Performance DSLRs

  • Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR with 18-55mm STM Lens – $350
  • Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens – $350
  • Canon EOS Rebel T1i 15.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 3-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens – $250

Top Rated Entry-Level Digital Cameras Under $200

  • Samsung WB350F 16.3MP 21X Optical Zoom
  • Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant
  • Nikon Coolpix S7000 16 MP 20x Optical Zoom
  • Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX220
  • Sony DSCW800/B
  • Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS
  • Samsung WB350F


If you start out using a low-end camera or your smart phone camera, experiment with the lighting. Much of the time you can use any natural or available lighting to your advantage. Since digital cameras, DSLRs and smart phone cameras provide instant feedback, you can quickly see what available lighting, angles and focus create the best videos. If you want to build a studio where you can consistently benefit from perfect lighting, the following tips will help.

Remember the 3 Point Lighting Technique

The traditional 3-point lighting technique has been used for so long because it produces great results. The key is to get even lighting on your subject, and to remove deep shadows. This means a key light, fill light and backlight.

Key Light

“Key” to good video, this is the main source of illumination. You will find the best results if you position your key light at a 45° angle from your camera.

Fill Light

This fills in shadows created by the key light, and should be at a 45° angle from your camera, on the opposite side of your key light. The light should be a lower intensity than your key light. This lower intensity light than the key light still leaves shadows, but they are natural and normal looking rather than deep and intense.


The backlight makes your subject “pop” from the background. The backlight, so named because it comes from the back of your subject area, adds a more realistic, 3 dimensional look. This light should be set off at an angle behind the subject, above the subject and out of the frame. The light is aimed on the subject, and not the camera. This should almost always be a lower intensity than your key light and fill light.


Your audience needs to hear you, or your on-camera talent. The following microphones come highly rated by video marketers, webinar hosts and both audio and video podcasters.

Lavalier Mics

These are tiny mics that clip onto your shirt collar. They come as either wireless or wired, and can connect to your smart phone or the most expensive DSLR camera.

  • Road SmartLav+
  • BOYA BY-M1 Lavalier Microphone
  • MAONO Lavalier Microphone
  • Sony ECMCS3 Clip style Omnidirectional Stereo Microphone

Shotgun Mics

Shotgun microphones are directional. They can be aimed in a specific direction where they pick up only sound from that area. They’re sometimes held at the end of a boom pole just out of camera frame and directed at your subject. The following shotgun microphones do not require a boom pole, and attach directly to many smart phones and DLSR or digital cameras.

  • Comic CVM-VS08 Condenser Mini-Shotgun (smart phones)
  • Neewer 14.17inch/36cm Uni-Directional Shotgun Mono Microphone (camcorders and DSLR cameras)
  • TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone (Nikon/Canon camcorders and DSLRs)
  • Rode NTG2 Condenser Shotgun Mic (camcorders and DSLR cameras)
  • LyxPro CMG-50 (camcorders and DSLRs)
  • EACHSHOT CoMica Electrit Super-Cardioid Directional Condenser Shotgun Video Microphone (camcorders and DSLRs)
  • Neewer PRO Condenser Microphone (camcorders and DSLRs)
  • Shure VP83F LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone (camcorders and DSLRs)

Boom Poles

  • Pyle PMKSB06 Shotgun Microphone Fishing Boom Pole, Telescoping/Extending Mic Arm Mount
  • LyxPro MPL-20 Professional Boom Pole
  • Rode Micro Boom Pole Telescopic Microphone Extension

Additionally, you may need to purchase microphone stands, camera stands and lighting stands. On the beginner’s budget you can simply get creative with desks, chairs and physical objects in your recording area.

Freestanding Microphones

These microphones are exactly what their name implies. You can place them on a mic stand or a desk or hold them in your hand and they come in two types, dynamic and condenser. Dynamic mics do not pick up surrounding sound, but they need to be located right next to the mouth of the speaker. They don’t require external power. Condenser microphones do require external power, and since they are much more sensitive, they will pick up surroundings sound as well.


  • ATR2100 (condenser)
  • Samson Q2U (dynamic)


  • Rode Procaster / Podcaster (dynamic)
  • MXL990 (condenser)
  • Shure SM58 (dynamic)
  • Blue Yeti (condenser)

High End

  • Heil PR40 (dynamic)
  • Shure SM7b (dynamic)

Editing Software

Good video editing software can make a poor to average video look outstanding. It also allows you to edit out any problems with your audio. The following video editing software packages are free and paid, and are used by successful video marketers both big and small.


  • LightWorks
  • VideoPad Video Editor
  • Shotcut
  • VSDC Free Video Editor
  • Windows Movie Maker (included with Windows 10 operating system)
  • iMovie HD (included with Mac OS products)
  • Blender (Windows, Linux and Mac compatible)


  • Animoto
  • Camtasia
  • Pinnacle Studio 20 Ultimate
  • Corel VideoStudio Pro (Ultimate) X10
  • Adobe Premiere Elements
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CC
  • VEGS Movie Studio
  • AVS Video Editor
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 15 Ultra
  • Apple Final Cut Pro (Apple operating system only)

The Screen Recording Approach

Did you know it is possible to make pretty good videos without having to purchase a camera, microphone, lighting and anything other than a computer? The following 3 methods allow you to become a video marketer without spending a lot of money on external video recording and editing equipment.

Turn Slide-shows Into a Video

PowerPoint, ProShow Gold, PhotoStage and KeyNote for Mac make creating slide-show presentations of still images simple. You can use the built-in microphone on your computer to record audio.

Capture Screenshots

Free Screen Video Recorder, Screenflow and Screencast-O-Matic allow you to record what you are doing on your computer monitor. This screen capture video recording method works great for explaining a process or showing how to do something.

The Zero Tools Approach

Hire a video photographer or studio. If you don’t want to learn how to use cameras, lighting, microphones and other video marketing tools, you can always hire a local pro to handle your video creation tasks.

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