One of the most accessible ways into video marketing for your business is via video blogging.
It’s inexpensive, effective and if you plan properly, doesn’t need to take up much of your time.
With this in mind, this is how you quickly get a video blog up and running.
Step 1 – Decide on your topics
If you want effectiveness, it is worth putting a bit of time in upfront to plan out the content ideas for your video blog. This will save you time in the long run as once you get into the flow of idea generation, coming up with 10 ideas is much faster than doing it on an ad hoc basis and starting from scratch every time.
It’s worth asking:
Who is your persona?
What are their main challenges?
What are their main goals?
What are they most interested in?
Jot down a bunch of ideas, whether you think they are good or bad – mind-mapping is often a good tool to take ideas further. Then from the list in front of you, cherry pick what you deem to be the best ones. If you can plan 2-3 months ahead, this is excellent.
Aim to publish a video blog every 1-2 weeks.
Step 2 – Get Your Gear (but keep it simple)
There absolutely is a quality threshold that your videos must be produced above, otherwise you risk the content being a poor reflection on your brand. Not good.
Having said that, I’m not an equipment snob. There’s no reason why you need to spend a lot of money on kit, film in 4K and in surround sound. It won’t make your content any better.
We’ve made blogs on an iPhone, webcam as well as our more professional kit. But when it comes to speed, I think that a good quality HD webcam, filmed in a well lit room can provide ample quality. Also, don’t forget a quality mic – sound is the unsung hero of video production and poor sound is just as bad as poor video quality.
The success of your video will come down to the relevancy of the topic to your audience and how well you deliver on camera. Being on camera can be daunting at first, but with practice you will feel at ease. Do some practice runs first – make a few but don’t publish them. Remember when you do, you’ll be amongst the few that managed to fight off the resistance and get your video content out there. It immediately puts you ahead of those that don’t – so it’s well worth the effort.
Step 3 – Bullet point, don’t script
Following on from the above, if you want to sound natural, do not read from a script!
To engage your audience, you need to come across as yourself – being natural, not reading – that’s a sure fire way to bore your audience.
The best approach is to write out a few bullet points that you can follow and that get across your core message.
Bullet points are much easier to remember, plus you’ll be able to speak more naturally, which will mean better delivery and more engagement.
Step 4 – Record in a well lit, quiet area
The beauty of making video blogs is that you don’t need an expensive studio to make them.
If your office is quiet enough, make them there. Too noisey? Book a meeting room. Don’t have one? Make it at your home office. I once shot a micro video blog in my car, on my mobile phone!
Turn the lights on and sit next to a window so the daylight hits your face. That’s your crash course in lighting!
Now hit record.
Don’t worry about making mistakes because I have news for you… you’re going to make lots! But that’s a good thing because when we do anything new, we make mistakes. It doesn’t mean you should quit, it just means you need more practice. So practice!
Step 5 – Upload and distribute
Once you’ve made your blog (hopefully keeping it short – think 2-3minutes) you’re ready to upload.
Before you immediately upload it to YouTube, consider an alternative video marketing platform.
YouTube has a lot of merits, but even if you embed your video on your own website, the chances are that the YouTube version will outrank your website. Which means potential lost traffic.
Ask yourself this: Would you rather your content watch on your own website, your environment, where a viewer can easily find out more info after… Or YouTube where even on your video page, the viewer’s attention is trying to be captured by ads and other related content?
If it’s the first then YouTube isn’t going to be your best bet.
There are alternatives, but we use Wistia.
Aside from having a free version that you can try out, they ensure that your content is only watched on your site. Plus you get a host of useful analytics and extra functionality, like clickable links on your videos and the ability to capture email within the video player.
It’s well worth giving it a whirl.
Once it is uploaded, take the embed code and pop it on your blog. Now you need to distribute it.
You can expect an increase in organic traffic over time, if your content is based on in demand or evergreen topics. You’ll also want to share your video blog link via social media and with your email list.
So there it is. Our quick guide to starting a video blog. If you get one set up, get in touch and let us know. We’d love to see your handy work!