What do the top social media influencers have in common? Aside from millions of adoring fans, they all film their videos with a backdrop that makes viewers feel comfortable.
The scene is different for everyone. Some people film in casual environments and others go for a more professional look. For PewDiePie (94 million subscribers), it’s often a dual screen showing him and whatever he’s commenting on, so there’s not much of a natural background. For Jenna Marbles (19 million subscribers), it’s her home and whatever happens to be going on. For Roaming Millennial (350k subscribers) it’s a wall-mounted electric fireplace set into a faux brick wall.
Are you looking for the right backdrop to launch your channel? Before you copy someone else’s setup, here’s why you should make sure your background supports your content:
People will judge you by the backdrop of your videos
Regardless of how many times everyone chants the mantra not to judge, people still judge. If you’re promoting marketing advice, you’re not going to be taken seriously by filming at your kitchen table wearing a onesie.
If you’re attempting to become a social media influencer, you need to think about the background you’re going to film against before you get started. There isn’t a standard backdrop that’s better than the rest. As the above examples show, it doesn’t matter if your background is clean-cut or messy as long as it’s in line with your content.
If you’re making casual videos, people will expect to see you in your pajamas snuggling your dogs. If your content is about how you’re single-handedly raising five kids, people will expect to see a messy house with dirty laundry in the background. If you review toys or games, viewers will expect to see perhaps a bookshelf full of toys and games. If you’re providing marketing advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, viewers will expect to see a professional and tidy background.
Your background can tell people more about who you are
You can only say so much about who you are. The rest can be done with subconscious imagery.
Have you ever randomly blurted out the answer to a question you didn’t think you knew the answer to? The answer came from your subconscious mind’s storage bank. The subconscious mind essentially stores everything occurring in your awareness, even if you’re not consciously focusing your attention on it.
Your background will influence a viewer’s perception of you in either a positive or negative way. For example, if you’re speaking to budding entrepreneurs, you probably want them to perceive you as successful. Placing items in the background that symbolize success is a way of subconsciously influencing that perception. Placing crystal figurines in your bookshelf, filming from an executive leather chair, or wearing designer clothing can greatly influence people to perceive you as successful.
Less noticeable backdrops are best
You don’t need to put extensive time into coming up with the perfect backdrop for your YouTube channel. With backdrops, less is more. The less your viewers actually notice what’s going on in the background, the better.
If you look at the more popular YouTube stars, they usually film in a room they’ve created to look like a studio, or they have a natural background that looks like an office. It’s usually a section of the room they’ve dedicated to filming.
The golden rule with backdrops is not to distract your viewers and make them try to figure out what’s going on behind you. You want a backdrop that embodies who you are but doesn’t distract people from your content.
Get a backdrop stand to create an artificial image
If you don’t have access to a tidy room to film in, a backdrop stand can help. With a backdrop stand, you can make a piece of fabric your entire background. You’ve probably seen YouTube influencers use these artificial backdrops without realizing it. Some fabric backdrops are better than others. Solid colors are usually better because they’re less distracting, although many people prefer to use brightly colored, glittery fabrics.
Keep your backdrop stationery
Moving backgrounds are distracting. Keep your backdrop focused on something static. If you have kids or pets running through the house, film your videos against the background of a corner where nobody can run behind you.
Prioritize your backdrop
As a social media influencer, you want to do everything you can to make your viewers enjoy your channel. Next to publishing amazing content, make your backdrop a priority. It will become part of your brand whether you like it or not.