3 Mistakes to Avoid When using Text in Videos

The most important decision you make in creating a video is the story. It’s more important to pick a subject or angle that will elicit an emotional reaction than to know how to make sophisticated technical edits. But there are still some stylistic choices to keep in mind that work better than others.

Let’s take a look at some common mistakes in video-making that you can easily avoid to ensure your video looks great.

Mistake #1: Too much text on screen at once

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Adding text to your video is a great way to capture viewers who are watching on mobile and without headphones.

Reading a lot of text on screen can be tricky – in particular if the user is on mobile. So make the sentences short and cut them to appear in even shorter pieces.

If you are using a Voice Over, you can turn your script into automatic subtitles using the Closed Caption tool, but we recommend that the ‘text script’ be optimised for social reading.

Here are a couple examples to help guide you, the first illustrating the pitfalls of having too much text on-screen at once. The second shows a much more effective approach:

Wrong: Too much text

Right: Text boxes are sufficiently spaced out

Mistake #2: Poor text placement

You don’t want text overlay to get in the way of your visual assets. Try and use natural empty spaces in the imagery and place your text there.

Let these examples guide. Again, the first shows what not to do, and the second offers a look at well-placed text. Also, notice how the text flows naturally with the music in the second example:

Wrong: Poor text placement

Right: Well-placed text

Mistake #3: Going overboard with color in text

A great way to draw the viewer’s’ attention is the highlight keywords and phrases in a different colour, but be careful not to overdo it. If you overdo it, the viewer will lose the thread of what you want to highlight as most important.

The same goes for any text boxes that you use. They can be a great way of creating a distinct style and making text pop out. But, as the saying goes: less is sometimes more.

Below you can see what to avoid in highlighting text, as well as how to do it best:

Wrong: Overdoing with the highlighting

Right: Highlight only for emphasis

Once you’ve created a masterpiece, be sure to save the style as a template and share with your team. Consistent use of the same or similar templates helps create a consistent look and feel to your videos that your audience will come to identify.

For a deep dive into using text check out our Straight-forward Guide to Text Overlay.

Video creation isn’t available through mobile

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