Back to all

The Dangers of a Do-It-Yourself Corporate Video

If you were thinking about using the company’s iPad to create your latest corporate video, don’t do it. Just don’t.

The Dangers of a DIY Corporate Video

It’s true that in 2013 video is a must, but a DIY corporate video could seriously damage the reputation of your business, creating the opposite effect to the one you intend. The reason? You could make some of the following mistakes that video professionals KNOW how to avoid.

1. Identifying the Audience’s Needs

Just like any other piece of content, your corporate video must be tailored to the audience. And it’s not just about what you want to tell them, but about the information they are actually searching for. You probably have the data you need on this scattered around on social media profiles and buried in web analytics stats. A professional video producer will help you to use that information to create a video you can use to explain and grow your business – and deliver what your customers need. Here’s an unusual example from a taxidermy business:

2. No Script

One of the features that distinguishes a professional video from a DIY attempt is the script. You may think that you know what you want to say but when you sit in front of that camera the umms and ahhs come out – and that isn’t very professional. If you want to make a good impression on your video then you must script what you want to say (and I’ll let you into a little secret, professionals even script some of the ad libs). This is not more than jotting a couple of notes on a card. A professional video producer will help you script the words, gestures and actions – just like if you’re making a Hollywood blockbuster!

Check out this blog post from Wistia or the video below for tips on scripting your video.

3. Who’s Holding the Camera?

Ever noticed how professional videographers come into a room and set up a tripod, or more than one, so they can cover the room. There’s a reason for that – camera shake. I work with a non-profit and have tried to video events for them, but my hand always shakes. And even my rigged up tripod (don’t ask) doesn’t always hold the camera as steady as I’d like. DIY corporate videos where you get Bob from accounting to hold the camera while you speak will suffer from the same thing – and they won’t do your image any good. The professionals also know exactly where to place the camera to get the best shot – do you?

4. Lights, Camera …

On a related note, one of the hallmarks of a professional video or explainer video is great sound, great voiceovers and great lighting. DIY jobs tend to lack all of those. That’s because your handheld amateur camera won’t filter out the background noise you can’t even hear, which will also prevent your voice from coming across clear and strong. And professionals know how to work with even the worst lighting conditions to create a video that shines. It’s all about having the right equipment to make sure your business looks its best at all times, so unless you have high end video production equipment lying around and know how to use it, avoid the DIY approach.

Here’s an article from Wistia on down and dirty lighting kits, and a tip from Grumo on getting the sound right:

5. Lack of Practice

You’d be surprised how many people just get in front of the camera without knowing how their script is going to come across. I did this on my very first video and it was a disaster. Since then I’ve learned that practicing before the final take is the best way to get a video you can be proud of. The more you practice, the more natural your script will seem, and the more natural it seems, the better you will look on camera. And think about what’s in the background of your image and whether you are looking straight at the camera. When you produce your video professionally, you could spend hours prepping for a 2 minute final cut.

6. Poor Editing

There’s one final thing that distinguishes a DIY corporate video production from a professional one – editing. I’ve tried editing videos myself and it isn’t that easy. Sure, there are lots of tools, many of them free, to do the job, but in my experience, as a video amateur, there’s only so much I’ll be able to achieve. I’ve done some passable videos, but nothing great. In contrast, the professionals have the right tools to get the best from your video footage.

So there you have it – six good reasons why you should avoid DIY approach and get a professional corporate video done instead. And there’s good news – you don’t even have to be on camera if you don’t want to. Today’s video technology means you can show off your business in a fun and friendly way using animated characters – that’s a great way to boost your company while avoiding the DIY headaches.


If you want to make sure your corporate video shines, here’s what you need to do:

  • Figure out who you are creating the video for and what they need.
  • Write a script before you start making the video.
  • Get a professional to do the camera work.
  • Pay attention to sound and lighting.
  • Do a few takes before the final shoot.
  • Spend as much time editing as you need to get it right.


Here are a few articles that will help with creating a great video:

Image credit: Scott Beale/Flickr

Written by Sharon Hall
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.