Video Best Practices
A video is an effective tool to support your campaign or program. It's great to host on your website, share on social media or play on screens in your building.
Video requests should be intended for outward facing audiences. Requests for videos for use in a course, academic offering or to assist pedagogy should be directed to the Creative Academic Technology Solutions (CATS) office on campus. For people recording their own footage (usually just on cell phones), we have created a video with some tips.
If we are unable to accommodate your request, we may be able to recommend alternative resources.
Due to limited resources, all requests for in-house video production will need to adhere to these terms and conditions.
- All requests must be received from WSU employees. Students requesting a video must have a WSU faculty or staff sponsor who is a contract employee of the university.
- All video projects must have a direct tie to Weber State University, its departments, colleges, programs, divisions, etc.
- Entities requesting videos must have budget available to cover the hourly rates of videographers.
- Marketing & Communications reserves the right to decline video requests that promote or publicize third-party messages for companies, nonprofits, other organizations or agencies, political candidates or parties, etc., even if those entities are partnering with Weber State University.
- Please try to provide at least three weeks advance notice for your request. Clients must meet all agreed upon deadlines. Failure to do so will risk the video not being completed on time or not completed at all.
- Video requests will be declined if they represent a conflict of interest for the university and the individual making the request. Videos cannot be created with the intent for direct/indirect personal financial gain or benefit (e.g., videos promoting a course or textbook that would result in personal gain for a WSU employee).
- Video project requests will be honored on a first come, first served basis. A pre-existing commitment may result in a subsequent request being declined.
- Like any other visual material, your video should align with the Weber State University brand. Use the branding guide to ensure your video upholds brand standards. The branding guide also provides downloadable assets you may use in your video.
- Who is your audience? Answering this question will help you better develop the content of your video. It can also help determine appropriate length (shorter is usually better) and tone of the video.
- Is your content suited for video? Consider this question to determine if you need to re-write, re-script or re-think how your material should be shared. Videos should typically have a conversational tone. Avoid jargon or acronyms that the lay person wouldn’t immediately recognize. Also avoid “talking heads,” which are long, uninterrupted segments of an individual speaking. Video is your opportunity to be visually creative; take advantage of that.
- Music almost always elevates your video. YouTube’s audio library provides free options that you can use (some of their music files have additional requirements such as attribution, so be sure to check). Other sites such as Premium Beat, Epidemic Sound, Artlist, Music Vine, Soundstripe and Pond 5 are great options to purchase royalty free music for your video.
- Include a call to action, which will direct viewers to take a next step after watching your video. Your call to action could be anything from visiting a webpage to registering for something. The goal is to keep viewers on your desired path of action. We have a university-wide subscription to LinkedIn Learning. If you have a desire to dive deeper into any technical aspects of video, that is a great place to start. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
When Sharing a Video
YouTube: This is a good starting point, especially if you just want a link to share your video widely. If you only want your video viewable to certain people with your link, you can post your video as “private” or “unlisted.” If you want a link viewable to anyone, you can post your video as “public.”
Social Media: if you’re sharing your video on social media, it’s best to upload it natively (not posting a YouTube link). People are more likely to watch a video that starts playing automatically on their feed as opposed to clicking on a YouTube link.
Kaltura: This can be found under “Video Management” in your eWeber homepage. Kaltura allows you to upload and share videos. If you need to embed a video on a webpage, this is a great option.
No matter where you post, your video needs closed captioning.
- Follow these directions to add closed captioning on YouTube.
- Most other platforms don’t make adding CC quite as easy as YouTube. In those cases, you will need to create and upload a SubRip Subtitle file. This is a file that contains all of the captioning and formatting information. Follow these directions to learn how to create an SRT file.
NOTE: If you would like Marketing & Communications to upload a video to Weber State's YouTube page, please give us four days’ notice and provide an SRT file.
Rachel Badali, media developer