Have you ever watched part of a horror film with the volume turned off? Not very scary, right?

Many underestimate the power of audio in film. Yes, videos are a predominantly visual medium, but that doesn’t make the audio any less important. Sound can make or break your video marketing strategy. Provided below are 4 tips to keep in mind for your next video:

  1. An “okay” video with a great soundtrack can in fact be a great video. If for some reason your footage isn’t strong and there’s not much you can do to fix it, music can save you. Use it to guide your audience’s emotions. You choose how they feel through music. You can make them feel inspired, teary-eyed, happy, nostalgic – anything you want.

The tone of a video is expressed through the music. However, the music doesn’t have to match the footage perfectly. You can make a stylistic choice to create friction between audio and visual. For example, a scary film with happy music can actually make it scarier because it’s unexpected. Or a sad song in a comedic video can make it funnier if it’s overly dramatic or sarcastic.

Whatever music you decide on, make sure there is logic and reasoning behind it.

  1. Yes, music is powerful. But so are sound effects. Adding in sound after filming is called “foley.” Sometimes you may not capture a sound as well as you would have liked and will need to recreate it. This doesn’t necessarily require a super high budget and unlimited resources. Look no further than your home to see what you can use to recreate a sound. More often than not, you’ll find something. If you do choose to make your own sound effects rather than using cheap online ones, keep the microphone at least a meter away to avoid unwanted noises creeping in, such as loud breathing.

If sound effects are incorporated well, your audience won’t know they were added in post-production. This is crucial to creating a believable video. Plus, the right sound effects can add flare and excitement to any scene.

  1. Ambiance is also an important part of creating a believable atmosphere in your video. Natural background noises can bring a scene to life. Imagine two people having a picnic on a grassy field. Viewers may feel more invested in the scene if they can hear birds chirping, cars honking and the rush of a nearby river. All the sounds you would actually hear while sitting on a field. Having a high quality microphone on hand to capture those noises while you record is crucial for post-production editing.
  2. Voice-over narration can be tricky. There needs to be a healthy balance between letting a story unfold on its own, and letting off-screen voices give context. Under the right circumstances, narration can be very helpful and necessary. However, it should typically be a supplement to the story, not the foundation of it.

When it comes time to actually record the voice-overs, ensure the script reads smoothly out loud. Consider investing in a “pop filter” – which is “a shield that sits between the speaker and microphone.” This softens the blow on harsh letters that make a “popping” sound into the mic, like S or P.

Sound is the beating heart of any video. Don’t overlook its power. Keep in mind having the right music, sound effects, ambiance and voice-overs will make a huge difference in the overall quality of your video. Take these simple, but helpful tips into account to avoid walking the fine line between a good and bad video.