In this third part of a series of marketing video tips, let’s ‘focus’ on content and staying legal.
Content can be your footage or still images, (professionally shot footage or images), library footage or images, (purchased, usually online from a stock library) or simply graphics and text. This maybe supplemented with some music and a voiceover.
First off: stay legal. There are plenty of stock libraries to buy still images and video that you may need, i.e Shutterstock. You try before you buy with a watermarked version and then replace with a purchased high quality version when you are ready. ‘Borrow’ them from Google Images at your peril!
Music licensing is a minefield of confusion best described as a total mess! You cannot simply use copyrighted music (except specific library music) legally without hideous expense not to mention dealing with MCPS and PRS.
So NO, you cannot use anything you just fancy without at best risking your video being taken down from YouTube, Vimeo etc who have sophisticated detection software and at worst receiving a letter from a hotshot firm of American Lawyers.
YouTube has various arrangements in place for using some copyrighted music on non commercial pieces (Skateboarding Cats) but not on commercial (business) content. There are many exceptional collections of very good library music tracks, that can be used on web video for a modest fee £25-£100 and you can then “sleep at night”. There are also collections of royalty free tracks that can be purchased as single tracks or CDs. Some of them are quite good but some are not so. Most video producers will have access to these libraries or have collections of music tracks.
Voiceovers: a good voice can make or break a programme – even a short promo – but the type of voice is going to be personal choice. These days v/o’s are done online and there are endless websites where you can listen to voices of all flavours. Even if it’s a programme you are appearing in, doing a PTC, it may be better left to a pro voice.
This need not cost the earth and many except the top guys are open to negotiation for short pieces. A good v/o artist will give you variations of expression and often if asked advise on script tweaks to make it sound better. As with the auditions on X Factor, many of us think our voices sound better than they are, so unless you have a clear voice and can pronounce clearly, a good v/o could be money well spent. I have used a variety of voices in all “shapes and sizes” and happy to offer pointers.