5 Tips for Creating Impactful Video Backgrounds
Whether you publish videos on your website, YouTube, Vimeo, or other video hosting platforms, you need a compelling background to retain viewer attention. While most viewers don’t make a conscious decision to bounce if they don’t like your background, your background contributes to their overall first impression. You only have a few seconds to capture a viewer’s interest before they decide to stay or move on.
Just like channel headers, backgrounds can make or break a channel. Backgrounds can also help brand you and your channel. For example, fans come to associate YouTubers with their studio backgrounds and would likely recognize their studio in photos and even at trade shows.
Do you need a new background? Are you just starting to create a background for your studio? The following tips will help you make a positive impact on your viewers.
1. Create A Background Relevant to the Topics You Discuss
Your background should complement your content rather than distract people from your content. For example, if you unbox toys, it would be appropriate to have shelves full of toys in the background. However, if you’re a political commentator, toys aren’t the best match no matter how cool they look. Commentary channels do better when the studio looks like a casual sitting room with a modern fireplace or a library in the background.
Causal and neutral backgrounds can be used in any niche. However, niche backgrounds should be reserved for niche content with some exceptions.
Just because a color or pattern is related to your content doesn’t mean it’s a good background choice. For instance, no matter how much you love lime green, it’s not a good choice for a background unless your channel has something to do with the color green. Even so, lime green would be obnoxious to stare at for long periods of time.
2. Hang A Flat-Screen TV on the Wall Behind You
One of the best ways to create an impactful background is to hang a flat-screen TV on the wall so you can display clean graphics. This is the perfect solution if you can’t afford to decorate a full studio or if you just don’t have the space.
You can also use a flat-screen TV to display ads, thank your patrons/viewers, or run a video of a roaring fire.
3. Master the Green Screen Before Going Live
Green screens are the perfect way to create a professional background no matter where you film. You could technically film in the bathroom with a green screen and nobody would know (except the acoustics might give you away).
If you’re going to use a green screen, make sure you perfect your footage before your videos go live. Mastering the green screen isn’t hard. In fact, most of the work is done by your software, but making it work requires a little bit of knowledge and skill you can only gain through experience.
Start with a DIY approach to learn everything you can about setting up a green screen. You can find green screen tips and tricks on YouTube that will help you troubleshoot just about every issue you may encounter, including how to livestream with a green screen.
4. Make Your Background Unnoticeable
There are two types of backgrounds: backgrounds that stand out and backgrounds that blend in and go unnoticed. If you can’t come up with a background that stands out without distracting users, try making a simple, plain background.
You can make a simple background with a green screen or a solid colored piece of cloth. You can also film against a brick wall, a plain wall, or an area that looks neat and clean.
Backgrounds that blend in without distracting viewers are impactful because it puts viewer attention on you rather than on your set.
5. Use a Tapestry Clipped to A Stand
Many popular YouTubers use a tapestry clipped to a frame for a background. This type of background works well, but you have to be careful with the tapestry you choose. Many tapestries are loud and distracting. However, for YouTubers with loud personalities, that doesn’t seem to get in the way.
Get a tapestry between 80-90 inches wide, and you’ll have more than enough room to play with wide shots that still encompass the upper half of your body.
Try Not to Change Your Background Frequently
If you’re experimenting with backgrounds, by all means, keep changing it up until you and your viewers are happy. Otherwise, try not to change your backgrounds frequently. Your fans will get used to seeing you in your studio ‘habitat,’ so to speak. When you find something that works, stick with it, and let your fans get used to your choice.