Video content can be a helpful tool in marketing your surface design business. If you are not already in the routine of creating video content it may seem like a daunting task, but as with any new creative skill, the more you practice the more successful you will be!
Why Creating Video is Important for Artists
Jessie: Over the last several years, video content has dominated social media. As it’s become more popular, companies have been trying to keep pace and stay top of mind: TikTok became mainstream and continues to introduce new features, YouTube introduced YouTube Shorts, Instagram created Reels (and later announced that they are no longer just a photo sharing app), Pinterest announced both Story Pins and Pinterest TV and Google started Web Stories. Phew!
Since social media platforms prioritize their newest features and are currently introducing new video features frequently, your video content has a better shot at being discovered than your static content. That being said, video content is not about pleasing an app or algorithm, it’s what most people look for when they view content online.
- People are 2x as likely to share video content vs. a static social media post or blog post
- 88% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service after watching a video
- People watch an average of 19 hours of online video per week, an increase of 8.5 hours per week across the last 4 years
What You Need to Film Video
Luckily, you don’t need expensive equipment to get started filming your own video content. The three most important things are a camera, good lighting and something like a tripod to hold your camera steady.
This one’s easy! All you need is a smartphone with a camera! (And if you don’t have a phone with a camera, many actual cameras these days allow you to shoot video too!)
You don’t need to purchase special lighting when getting started, just be sure to film in front of a window or door with good natural lighting. If you do decide to purchase artificial lighting, there are inexpensive ring light options starting at $35.00 or you can go all out with a higher end ring light and soft boxes.
It’s important to have a steady camera while filming to create the best viewing experience for your audience. You may try a few methods before finding your favorite. There are inexpensive options like a gooseneck phone clamp, traditional tripods with a horizontal arm for overhead filming and all in one lighting and tripod options like this Canvas lamp. Whichever option you choose, make sure it is made to hold a smart phone if that is what you plan to film with.
I personally use a gooseneck phone clamp. I enjoy that I can easily bend it to film from any angle. The one thing to be aware of is that you should avoid clamping this directly to your work surface, since bumping your table or moving it while drawing can cause the gooseneck to jiggle. I avoid this by clamping it onto my ring light which is usually positioned on or next to my work surface.
My video setup (see image below) includes a ring light, a gooseneck phone clamp attached to that ring light, and Canson drawing papers to add colorful backgrounds to my videos. I keep my stash of craft supplies on the table, but outside the filming area.
Free Tripod Alternatives
Even without any equipment, you can use what you have around the house to steady your camera and film a great overhead art video. Here’s a photo showing how I used a stool, some books and my smartphone to capture an overhead video.
To set up this free overhead filming option, position a stool next to your work surface. Add one book with half of the book hanging over the edge above your work surface and a second book on top to hold that first book steady. This should feel very secure and balanced before you add your phone. Add your phone and start filming!
Editing App Recommendation: InShot
InShot is a helpful video editing app because it has a free version and makes it easy to edit videos on your phone. The app has the basic tools you will use most, like speed, volume, trim and the ability to add voiceovers as well as more advanced tools you can use when you feel more comfortable, like picture in picture. You can add music in InShot as well, but your videos will perform better if you wait and add trending music while posting on TikTok or Instagram.
It is possible to edit videos directly in TikTok or Instagram, but I recommend editing in another app first. This way you can download your video without a watermark and post to multiple platforms. If you create and edit a video in TikTok then download it, that video will have the TikTok logo on it. Each platform prioritizes unique content, so sharing a video with the TikTok logo to Instagram can hurt your chances of being discovered.
Ideas for What Kind of Videos to Film
Here’s the fun part—it’s time to get creative and film your work! The key is to always think about the value you are providing to your viewer. In general, you are looking to educate, entertain or inspire your audience.
Educational content could teach your audience a new skill or an interesting fact. Entertaining content might be funny, satisfying or relatable and inspiring content can motivate your audience to take action or brainstorm a new idea. The ideas and examples below are jumping off points for where you can start, as the possibilities are limitless!
Educational Video Content Ideas and Examples
Educational videos can be geared towards teaching other artists or educating your customers. Some ideas include:
- How to style your products
- Tutorials and how to’s
- Quick tips
In this video, Elena Amo of elena_amo teaches other artists how to create a brick repeat. This video breaks down a complex skill into easily digestible steps and is styled in a way that is very satisfying for her viewers to watch, even if they are not artists.
Spoonflower Ambassador and Muna and Broad co-founder Leila Kelleher collaborates with Spoonflower to create a video educating makers about her favorite apparel fabrics. As an artist, sharing tips like this with your audience will help them make a decision about what products to purchase featuring your designs.
Similar to Leila’s video, artist and fellow Spoonflower Ambassador Danika Herrick of danika_herrick educates her audience about fabric options through video. By including specific details about each fabric for window treatments she is helping interior designers and customers feel more confident in making a purchase.
Entertaining Video Content Ideas and Examples
Entertaining videos don’t have to just make your audience laugh! This wide-ranging category can also share more about who you are, your work and what excites you about it, through videos that show:
- Time lapses or process videos of your art
- Unboxing videos
- Satisfying before and after videos
- Your workspace
- A design that “failed”
- Instagram vs reality/funny behind the scenes
By sharing a few clips of her painting process and ending the video with printed fabric, Shanya Bharti of the_deco_story is able to bring her audience along for a satisfying journey that also shows the process from paper to fabric.
Entertaining your audience with laughter is always a great way to catch their attention. In this video Adera Brown of aderabrown celebrates a wallpaper sale while sharing her curiosity for where such a bold design would be used as wallpaper.
It’s not necessary to plan your entire video strategy around TikTok and Instagram trends, but if a trend comes up that fits your brand it can be a perfect time for you to join the conversation, like ammiecreative does with this color palette trend.
Inspiring Content Ideas and Examples
Inspiring videos help tell your story in a way that no one else can, through leaning into your story, your authenticity and your (little or large) successes through content that shares:
- Lifestyle or behind the scenes content
- Your story as an artist
- Milestone celebrations (no milestone is too small! Celebrate your first Spoonflower sale or your 100th sale, your first time in the top 50 of a Design Challenge or launching a new collection)
Meghann Rader of meghannrader shares the opening of her Spoonflower shop with this simple video displaying fabric swatches of her designs. Bonus points for including embroidery supplies in the shots, giving her viewers an idea of what they can do with her new fabrics.
Looking for more video inspiration? Check out Spoonflower on Instagram and TikTok. We’ve collaborated with many artists, makers, interior designers and influencers and have shared tons of video that can serve as inspiration while you create your own video content. If you create your own content based on tips in this video, please tag Spoonflower so we can see it too!