How Rand Makes Those Split-Screen Videos You See on LinkedIn and Twitter

Several times a week, I post videos that look like this on (usually) LinkedIn and Twitter:

They tend to get a lot of engagement (in this case, 10,000+ “impressions” which translates to a respectable 2,880 “viewers” according to LinkedIn). And inevitably, I get comments, DMs, or emails that ask “how do you make those split screen recording videos?”

It’s easy as heck: I use free software called OBS Studio, which lets you control multiple input sources, and takes literally 5 minutes to learn.

Here’s an 85-second video (made on my camera phone) showing my setup and how I make these:

The biggest challenge by far is the lighting 😅😓 . Seasonal Seattle sunlight really messes with how I show up, and artificial light can only do so much given the office shed’s position.

Here’s the step-by-step breakdown of how I use OBS:

What’s in the Studio?

  • In the bottom-right of the screen are my “Scenes” aka the different ways I’ve set up OBS’ inputs to provide video and audio output.
  • The “Split Screen” option I created (you can give your scenes whatever name you want) has a “Window Capture” which I set to my Chrome browser (you can also use an entire “display capture” if you want to show your whole screen)
  • The “Camera” uses my Sony A6100 as the input; it connects via an Elgato Cam Link to my USB port
  • Then I’ve got my microphone (an AT2020) as the audio input
  • Using the mouse, I can drag, zoom, and reposition the the two inputs to fill any combination of the viewing space. I could add a SparkToro logo on the bottom, or branding at the top, but choose to keep it simple and amateur/authentic-feeling, as this reinforces the brand we’re aiming for (i.e helpful > promotional).

Here’s a recent example of a video, filmed in just a couple minutes using the steps above, and uploaded to our Wistia account:

Because they’re so easy to make, and relatively fun/easy to watch, I do a lot of them, and we see a lot of impressions/views, though the attribution of any actual signups is nearly impossible to know. My guess is this exposes a lot of people to the idea of what SparkToro does, but rarely converts someone directly from viewer to buyer. It’s also very useful for helping existing customers get more from the product; and that’s my bigger goal.

Happy filming!