Etsy recently announced that you can add videos to your shop’s About page.
They’re called “Shop Videos” and it’s a nice way of showing your visitors (who are interested in checking out your About page) a little video of your work, products and your shop in general.
Some sellers think this is cool and some others think that this is not very useful (very valid reasons too). However, if you’re looking to know more about Shop Videos and get some help creating one, here’s what you need to know:
1. You can record videos with Etsy’s Sell on Etsy app.
If you update the Sell on Etsy app (Android, iPhone), you should notice that you can add videos for your shop directly on your smartphone.
- Open Sell on Etsy
- Go to Shop Settings
- Tap on Shop Video
You’ll be asked to add three short clips. The app will then mix them together for you.
2. Shop Videos play full-screen on the phone
A lot of shoppers on Etsy are viewing your shop on their mobile phones. We tested how the videos look on the Etsy app.
The videos are shown in the “Shop Info” part of your shop. When you tap the video, it plays in full-screen. Pretty cool.
So it makes sense to record your videos in landscape orientation to take advantage of the full length of the screen. Also, landscape videos look better than portrait ones.
3. The max file size is 300 MB.
HQ videos – even if shorter than 3 minutes – can run into several hundred MBs in size. Etsy’s limit for the shop videos is 300 MB so try to keep your videos to less than this size.
Etsy supports all 4 of the popular video formats (mov, mp4, avi, m4v).
4. You can use / reuse videos from elsewhere
If you have made videos for your shop already, you can use them for your Shop Video. In fact, Kevin (who is featured in the announcement post on Etsy) uses his YouTube video as his shop video.
Conversely, you can also use the video you upload on Etsy elsewhere. Basically, no rule that says you cannot use pre-existing videos for your shop or you can’t use what you uploaded to Etsy on other places like YouTube/Vimeo.
Of course, you’ll have to make sure that the content you produce is all yours (or you have the permission to use – in the case of a music track for the video).
5. Timelapse videos are your friends!
The recommendation of a timelapse comes straight from Etsy. The thing is, your Shop Video has to be short (see #9) but it makes most sense to show the process of how you make your items. A timelapse video combines both!
There are a bunch of apps that you can use to create timelapse videos right from your phone. (Pro-tip: you’ll need a good camera stand for this. See #7)
6. Here’s a bunch of apps that will help you create cool videos
If you own an Android smartphone, apps like Camera MX, HD Camera, Z Camera etc. come in handy. Some of these are paid apps that will set you back y $2-$3 but it’s worth it. You can take DSLR-quality videos just with your smartphone and the right video app.
Here’s a list of some of the best video recording apps for Android smartphones. And here’s one for iPhone/iPad (iOS).
If you’re thinking of something better than smartphones, pick up a good digital camera along with mini tripods.
7. Use a tripod for professional-looking videos
One of the simplest things that differentiate an amature video from a professional-looking one is “stability”. All you need is a simple tripod for this to happen.
When you’re recording a video, always make sure the camera / smartphone is atop a tripod, firmly positioned. This way your videos will look stable and nicely-done. If you record a video holding the camera/smartphone in your hands, the discernible “shake” will ruin it.
Here are a few affordable tripods for smartphones:
The AmazonBasics mini tripod is an all-purpose mini tripod which you can use for digital cameras and if you have an adapter, for smartphones too.
The RIF6 is a favorite. For just about $10, the RIF6 is one of the most compact and highly flexible smartphone tripods in use. The flexible legs of the tripod are a piece of work.
Alternatively, if you want a taller tripod, this one from eCostConnection is great. At its maximum height, the tripod stands about 4-feet tall.
8. The right kind of a music track levels-up your video
Music plays a fabulous role in videos. Interestingly, the right kind of a track can set the pace and the emotion for your video.
Want your videos to look quick and peppy? Use a fast-tempo music. Or want them to feel artfully slow? Use a track that has very few instruments (like just a piano) and has a slow rhythm.
If you record the Shop Video through Sell On Etsy app, you get to pick a music track from a bunch of them that’s available already.
But if you’re recording a video separately, you might need some music to spice up your video. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources where you get royalty-free music that you can use for your Shop Video.
Here’s a bunch of places you can get free music tracks (that you can use under a variety of creative commons licences).
- YouTube’s vast music library where you can pick from many genres and moods
- Vimeo’s music store
- Freestockmusic where you select from ten different categories each having hundreds of collections.
9. Keep it short, simple.
The keyword is “a glimpse.” People looking at your about section want to know more about you and your work. A video is a quicker way for them to do this – instead of reading a lot of text. (which is why videos work so good).
Keep your video short. But not too short (30-second videos are not really enough). Typically, 2-3 minutes is fine. Etsy recommends keeping your videos to under 3 minutes which kind of conforms to study results.
10. Take cues from these examples
Etsy mentions a few shops that have Shop Videos and they are some good examples to follow (if you’re looking for some creative inspiration).
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