When most people think of timelapse video they see blooming flowers, changing seasons or the Northern lights dancing in the sky. Urban dwellers picture construction happening at lightning speed, watching a skyscraper appear in 20 seconds.
Perhaps you’ve watched these incredible videos and wondered why this fascinating technology hasn’t been put to better use. It’s a mystery as to why timelapse videos remain surprisingly underused by organizations around the world. Smart businesses now have the opportunity to be at the fore-front of using this eye catching technology in their marketing and promotion.
The History of TimeLapse Video
Most people will be surprised to learn that timelapse video has been around since 1877. An argument over whether all 4 legs of a horse are ever off the ground at the same time spawned the invention of a series of tripwires linked to the shutters of 24 different cameras in order to prove a point. Englishman Eadweard Muybridge won his argument and invented a new form of photography all at once!
The average attention span of humans is a mere 8 seconds. For better or worse, we want our information to come in tiny, bite size packages.
The key to working with short attention spans instead of working against them is to use what we know to your advantage. Take anything you want a customer to see, the must see moment should come in the first few seconds of your video – after 15 seconds there is a sharp drop off in viewership.
To keep viewers engaged make sure that the information you’re providing in the first 15 seconds of your video is specific – this isn’t the time for generalities or platitudes. If your viewer has seen it before, they’ll turn it off so get specific and get personal to keep viewers hooked!
Benefits to TimeLapse Video
Fast forward to today’s era of mass media and using timelapse video is a highly effective way of captivating your audience, the benefits are endless.
Timelapse video can allow you to:
- Quickly supply information to potential customers
- Showcase a speedy and efficient workplace
- Provide a unique view of your company
- Create a distinctive documentation of an event
- Keep employees up to date about ongoing projects
- Provide a visually interesting update on extended projects
Now that you’re eager to add timelapse video to your organization’s portfolio – how do you get started? Here are some guidelines to get you started on the right track!
First things first, you’ll need the right equipment. For a timelapse project, not any old camera will do – you’ll need a high resolution camera that can be used wirelessly. We recommend using cameras that have wireless access capabilities – because with any set up, wireless access is key as it’s unlikely you’ll have easy access to your camera while shooting.
2. Consider Power
Your camera will need to be running for hours at a time and you will want to make sure to pick up a quality battery pack or find a way to run power into your camera via an electrical outlet. If you’re working outside, consider a solar powered battery pack. It’s key to remember that your internal camera battery will not last more than a few hours. Ensure you have enough power to get through the shoot. Equally important is having enough storage – it’s worth purchasing a large data card (64GB or higher). Being prepared at the outset of your shoot will save you time and money in the end.
If your budget doesn’t allow for dedicated timelapse equipment, many newer cell phone cameras can now create slightly lower quality time lapse videos that can work in a pinch.
3. Speed vs. Clarity
When it comes to timelapse video’s the never ending question is how to balance speed, with clarity. How do you make a video that is fast paced, but also comprehensive? As in any marketing the key is to end up with a final product that is both striking and informational – without it your marketing is doomed.
Angles are key to a successful timelapse video – make sure that you place your camera in an area where it won’t be obstructed and is at a wide enough angle that the entire scope of the scene can be captured.
Additionally, consider adding easy to read, concise captions to the video. Keywords and important statements can be a catchy and bold way to provide additional information to your viewers. Similar to the tactics employed by social media giants like Snapchat and Instagram, eye catching images are made stronger with eye catching captions.
4. Keep an eye on your settings
Imagine capturing a year’s worth of content only to discover something wrong with a setting at the end of the process? In order to effectively be able to edit your footage together and minimize the changes to the picture that might distract the viewer. Changes in natural light day to day will be inevitable and some can be tweaked in post production. A good rule of thumb is to disable your auto settings and make sure to double and triple check your setup over the course of filming.
Building Trust with Clients
Many companies have ongoing priorities to make their projects and processes as transparent for customers as possible. Timelapse video can allow for incredible transparency between customer and client while also promoting your project and capturing awe inspiring visuals. Property clients are flocking to timelapse video as a way to both monitor and market their projects. Asking clients to sit around and watch a crew build a property all day isn’t realistic, but timelapse video can do that job for you and get you caught up in under a minute. Construction companies are also moving deep into the timelapse video territory because it offers supervisory and promotional support to the company while saving time for supervisors.
Create a Lasting Impression
It’s tempting to think that a flashy timelapse video is all that’s needed to satisfy viewers but the most effective strategy is to use the video to spark curiosity. A timelapse video on its own will not be enough to satisfy viewers – luckily there are a number of easy additions that can help you overcome this challenge.
Shake it Up!
The key to not only life, but timelapse video is variety! Record multiple situations on timelapse and splice them together, jumping from shot to shot will keep your viewers engaged and interested in trying to unravel what is happening in front of them.
Remember that your content needs to have substance and consider one of the following ideas:
- Do you have an employee who has a particularly active and interesting work day? Follow them for their entire shift!
- Don’t be afraid to try various formats of timelapse to find the one that works best for your subject matter
- Ask your viewers questions – get them thinking about your organization
- Is the production of your product intriguing? Can you video it from start to finish?
- Don’t forget to appeal to their sense of aesthetics – make your video beautiful as well as informative
- Remember that timelapse videography can be used for research as well – if you have a client looking to learn about a roadway or anything that moves, timelapse video can be an effective way of understanding the movement of an area.
- Consider a hyperlapse video – which is a timelapse video with longer distances between each shot. This is achieved by setting up the camera on a tripod and moving it a few feet to take a different shot.
- Follow the customer fulfillment process from the warehouse, to choosing packaging, to shipping the order directly to the customer – if your company delivers their product themselves consider including delivery to a front door with a smile!
Know When to Get Help
It’s possible to create eye-catching and engaging timelapse videos on your own but if you’re overwhelmed at the prospect a professional video production team can help execute your ideas! Whether lack of equipment or know-how is the issue, a professional team can use their expertise and equipment to do a powerful timelapse video production for you and your team with the right budget.
Timelapse is relatively new to the marketing scene making it possible for you and your organization to set the trend instead of following it. This speedy way of sharing information is still a novelty and that can be used to your advantage. Timelapse videos are a cost effective and simple way of sharing an incredible story with images and video for your audience. Promotion of a product or cause and analysis of a project’s progress are only two of the many options that timelapse video provides. Timelapse video is a simple and easy way to promote your products, business and organization in a new and fresh way.