Over the years I’ve watched thousands of youtube clips of metal detecting and arrowhead hunting videos. To those who take the time to make them, you ROCK. I thought on this page I would share my opinions about what makes great metal detecting videos that seem to spread and get a lot of views. I welcome your ideas as well of course and look forward to seeing your videos!
The reason I even feel remotely qualified to talk about this is that I’m involved in video marketing and have some concepts that apply to live dig videos also. I’m Google certified in video advertising and have looked at hundreds of videos’ analytics/stats and learned many of the patterns that most people never see. So here we go…
My ideas for better metal detecting videos
- Consider keeping your metal detecting videos under 3 minutes and making more of them. While we all love the quiet time swinging the coil between signals, it’s not so good on videos. In my profession, I see lots of people stop watching at around 2 minutes 30 seconds. If you’re aiming to show the videos on Instagram, they currently have a 1-minute limit.
- SKIP LONG INTROS or leader clips. Make yourself a 10-15 second intro leader clip and use it every time (e.g. Chicago Ron.) An ending clip can have all of your contact information on it.
- Let us hear the machine! Pull your headphones aside so the camera mic picks them up and sweep over the target with the coil or in-line probe. We can usually hear other pinpointers fine. Tones make us all happy.
- Please don’t video finding Wheaties unless you’re demonstrating a technique, etc. Oh my goodness they get old.
- Let us see the object close up! When you pull an object, take the time to hold it in front of the camera for a moment, or superimpose it later on if you’re good at editing.
- Close-Up Focus: f you’re using your cell phone to record video, touch the screen on the artifact. Most phones will then focus on that spot. Cell phones usually have what’s called matrix focus, meaning that the object to focus on has to take up most of the screen before they’ll shift. They’re getting better.
- Include some context – show the site a bit – but not enough to break your privacy requirements to the property owner. Show your hike to get there and something about the soil. But remember to keep this very short.
- Context – If you feel comfortable, include a bit about how’d you found the site, its history, why are you hunting it. You don’t have to give away the specifics or show a map. It can get boring looking at a patch of grass the whole clip.
- If a site sucked: Don’t publish metal detecting videos just because you took them. Clear the card and try again next time. Publishing them will hurt your video reputation.
- Let us hear dialogue between you and your hunting buddies about a site, find or technique. A little humor goes a long way.
- Skip hole digging – we have seen a few thousand. Just pause the video and restart it with the hole open.
- What are ‘ya swinging? Include the metal detector in the description and the tags so others with the same machine can find your clips!
- Tell people who the video is for right up front. Beginner video? Pinpointing video? New hunt video, concept, explainer. You get the picture. (PS: Pondguru does a great job of this!)
- Be Yourself! Let others see how much you love the hobby! Dance that happy dance!
I’m sure that some of you will say … “but Scott, some of your metal detecting videos don’t follow those guidelines either!” You’d be right. My videos are getting better all the time and these tips are the reasons.
[EDIT: 10/27/16: In the time since I wrote this post, lots of things have changed – with the introduction of Instagram videos, Facebook Live, Periscope and other tools. And as of this writing, there are some new, inexpensive high quality video editing tools coming out. In addition, virtual reality and 3d are going NUTS (I’ve just tested a few out) and I see 3d video recording making its way to lightweight glasses. Big stuff coming!!!!]