Best Practices for Video

The quality of the university videos is a direct reflection on the programs and people at UNC.

Have a goal

Why is a video a better way to communicate than a Web site? What is the visual and message goal? Is there a call to action, such as join our program? What do you want the viewer to come away with?

Take advantage of existing resources

There may be existing multimedia content on the Web that can be linked to rather than creating a similar video.

Plan for quality

Video requires many different skills to produce; writing, casting, lighting, filming and editing at a minimum.  An amateur videographer and a low end camera may be fine for a YouTube entertainment video but will not suffice for the professionalism required for a university video. Content, lighting, audio and editing quality will be taken into account when approving video for the central UNC video site.  Audio quality can be particularly difficult to achieve and the video must have a clear and even sound quality. 

Brand your video

The UNC logo must be placed in a beginning or ending frame. Lower third graphics must meet UNC brand standards.

Add a call to action

At the end of the video, give the audience somewhere to go - add link(s).

Know your audience

What is the demographic of the viewer you want to reach? What type of video are they interested in?  Check out similar videos on YouTube. Remember a talking head video is generally not compelling.

Know the interest limit

New media understands people’s attention spans, which is why TV commercials, music videos and movie trailers average 30 seconds.  Avoid long videos; three minutes for a promotional video is a maximum length and two minutes is preferable.  Academic videos vary in length but should be kept to short segments to accommodate video attention span.

Know the shelf life

In general, videos stay relevant no more than two years. It’s better to produce a new video than to share outdated information.

Respect privacy

Remember to get permission to place the video on the Web from people identifiable in the video to protect their desire for privacy as well as adhere to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act guidelines.

Copyright issues

Make sure you have the right to use any footage of music that is not original material. For more information about copyright, visit

If the video is taken at an event open to the public, such as a football game, FERPA permissions are not required. All other video showing identifiable student images require permission of the student(s).  To include minors under 18 years old, parental permission must be obtained.