More and more companies are looking for juicy SEO payback by
persuading execs or clients to go in front of the camera and posting the results up on the web. 

But although video interviews can be a quick win, getting them right can be more difficult than you would think. We asked for a few pointers from James Smart, who makes corporate videos for ChannelAdvisor, Honda Racing and KPMG, among others.

Lighting
Make sure the location is well lit, either by natural or artificial light. But watch out for reflections. Draw the blinds if necessary.

Graphics / composition

Offices are generally dull places. So if you are filming a talking head, focus in more closely or consider adding some text and graphics during the editing process to liven things up. Include messages, buzzwords or stats.

Remember that the interviewee doesn’t have to be in the picture all the time, even if they are your boss. Check for dodgy stains on their clothing.

Preparation
If you’re the one in the hotseat, take some time out beforehand to rehearse what you are going to say. Don’t do a John McCain. Memorise certain points and if it helps, break up the filming between each answer (not during them though).

Not everyone is a natural so don’t worry if you have to have several takes. Speak slowly and concisely.

Interviewee selection
Pick someone who’s knowledgeable, a good speaker and err towards people without a strong accent.

Eyeline
Get the interviewee to look into the camera, or if that’s uncomfortable, situate someone just next to the camera and get the speaker to focus on them.

Background music
Music can be a good way to make the interview flow, but make sure the tracks you use are royalty free. There are a couple of sites worth checking out. Perhaps the best known in the industry is akmmusic.co.uk, but there are others like beatdock.com. For a ‘free’ sample music pack from Beatdock.com visit Apple.com.

If you want a unique piece of music that no one else has, then it’s a great idea to work with a composer. James works with Mark Adair.

Length

Anything up to 8 minutes is good. Any longer is probably overdoing it, especially if you’re talking about metatags.

Quality
YouTube’s file size limit is a hindrance, but still try and upload your videos in the best quality you can.

Distractions
Use common sense when choosing a location. Before you start filming, check the background thoroughly for reflections and other potential distractions.

Listen out during the interview for noises like doors creaking or closing, or echoes. If you hear something, don’t just continue – redo it. And make sure you check the video before you upload it.

Any more tips or potential pitfalls? Let us know.