Video blogging may seem intimidating, and even ridiculous from afar but with the popularity of YouTube and other video sharing mediums, it’s more easier now than ever to go from obscurity to super-star influencer.
Today, more than 50% of Marketing professionals suggest video content offers the highest return on investment. From feed-based search functions [like Facebook], algorithms, and suggestion feeds, social media is becoming a hub for massive branding opportunities for video bloggers, and companies alike. So there’s no excuse to miss out on the opportunities video blogging (vlogs) can bring.
Everyone’s Vlogs are different when we compare style, presentation, and content. Based on trends within the industry, we can isolate 15 different tips that should be the foundation to any successful vlog:
1. Invest in quality equipment
2. Create enough light for the camera
3. Familiarize yourself with video editing software
4. Pick the right camera for your situation
5. Organize your shooting environment
6. Caption, and transcribe your video content
7. Build a likable online personality
8. Add value to the audience’s lives
9. Seek out sponsorship
10. Collaborate and Network
11. Encourage engagement
12. Schedule efficiently and often
13. Consider social media sharing and engagement
14. Always seek to learn and grow your new skills
15. Consider what makes you different, and exploit it
Invest in quality sound equipment
Audiences are more sensitive to bad sound quality than they are to bad video quality. Poor recording devices like a phone, headset, or cheap microphone may echo, or pick-up too much background noise. All of these can tank your videos before they gain attention.
Microphones can be bought online, through they are expensive. Rode, Samson, Stadium, and Blue Yeti are all trusted brands that have perfected microphones tailored to video production. Other sound equipment can be noise cancelling foam, which can absorb sound waves and prevent echo.
Create enough light for the camera
Light is crucial. You can have the most expensive camera, the best lenses, and the most advanced editing software but it'll be useless without good lighting. To boost lighting naturally, open a few doors and windows to allow sunlight into your shooting space. Alternatively, you can purchase ring lamps, or light boxes that focus light onto you as you film.
Familiarize yourself with video editing software
When you have finished filming, it's time to edit! Editing software can be downloaded online, or purchased. Adobe, the Apple app store, and Microsoft all have their own video editing software for different occasions; ranging from casual, to comprehensive film style editing.
Basic edits can help remove mistakes, and help with flow. It's super important to learn quickly, as the more you edit the more you will improve your content. More advanced settings can help you add humor, appeal and style to your content, which adds to value.
Pick the right camera for your situation
Not all cameras are created equal. When starting off, you can get away with an iPhone, or cheap handheld camera as long as they support HD. But this is temporary, as your content and brand grows more powerful cameras will allow you to film longer, more professionally, and capture in higher definitions. This makes for more appealing content that viewers can share.
Organize your shooting environment
When you begin to shoot, people won't just be fixated on your face... The background as well as the foreground is just as important. Making sure the environment you're filming in, is clean and neutral, allows all the attention to be placed on you, the vlogger, and not the pile of clothes sitting in the corner.
Caption, and transcribe your video content
A new trend that's taking over video marketing, and content is captions. Traditionally, captions and transcripts made video content accessible to the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community, but now they serve a more broad purpose. Search Engine Optimization often view scripted content like transcripts more favorably, prioritizing your content online.
With social media like YouTube or Facebook, most viewers engage while traveling on noisy buses, trains, or in public so audio is usually muted. According to analysts, nearly 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound. To help boost your videos among this trend, captions allow viewers to engage with your video while audio is unavailable or muted. Also, the added bonus of having your content accessible for everyone is an advantage. The more people who can access the content, the better.
Build a likable online personality
We're all unique in the way we choose to present ourselves. When creating an online brand however, we have the flexibility to curate the way others see us. By tailoring our personality to our target audience [family content for example] we can maximize engagement, outreach, and share-ability. This makes our video content much more appealing to search engines and algorithms.
Add value to the audience’s lives
Value is measured by what you personally bring through your content. Do you educate the audience? Give them tips? Do you entertain them? Make them laugh? All of these things add value to the daily routine of the audience member. So, when considering your video content take a moment to pause and think about what value your content is adding to the viewer. This can boost your engagement and video quality in the long run.
Seek out sponsorship
Sponsors are a fantastic way to build revenue from your existing video content. Simply reach out to business's with products related to your content/ channel that may be appealing to the target audience.
You might be expected to review, recommend or provide an opinion on a product from time to time on camera. This means that only a carefully considered list of products you believe are of good quality are advertised.
Securing special deals and discount codes for your audience is another way to earn from sponsors awhile additional value to your viewers.
Collaborate and Network
Competition for viewers is fierce, but rival channels and content creators could be your most vital asset. Collaborations and networking is common, as creators who share similar audiences or similar content themes collaborate to grow their audience size. This form of exposure gets your content, and brand out there for more people to click on.
On YouTube, networks are also available to assist in channel management, out-bounding, marketing, and multi-network collaborations.
It's simple enough to want people to just view your content. Viewers alone though don't get your content far... To reach maximum efficiency and visibility with your videos, it's best to specifically request your audience 'like' and share the content with their friends. Facebook, YouTube, and even Twitter favor videos which have received lots of likes, comments, and shares so encouraging your viewers to engage is crucial.
When scheduling content, there is a 'Goldilocks' zone that is preferable to maximize viewership. Upload too often, your audience becomes burnt out and can miss new content; upload less often, you risk not incorporating your content into your audiences routines risking viewers ignoring or missing posts. Staying relevant requires a consistent schedule, not a busy one. Posting weekly at the same time, or even posting your upload schedule online keeps viewers aware and engaged with your posts.
Consider social media sharing and engagement
Your content isn't just limited to YouTube, or other video sites. Social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Reddit are also viable options to draw an audience. Remember to have links to alternative social media, and your main channel on all posts. This allows users to filter between media and find your original content.
Always seek to learn and grow your new skills
You will never be a master in vlogging. No one is. Even the best influencers in the world have their drawbacks. Rather than allowing your flaws and mistakes to drag your content down, be open and transparent with your failings. Being open to criticism allows you to grow and change continually overtime. Eventually, you'll compare your old and new content and see a massive difference!
Consider what makes you different, and exploit it
As we mentioned before, video content online is very competitive. In order to stand out to audiences, you need to exploit a major element that differentiates you from the rest. Is it your personality? accent? skills? presentation? Anything you believe makes your content different can be used to make your videos unique.
Video blogging can be a great means to spark interest in your personal brand, business or product. Like all creative endeavors, there is no guaranteed success.
These tips can assist you in visualizing the foundations needed for success, and the effort needed to get a personal brand off the ground. All major influential celebrity vloggers display nearly all of these points, which is no coincidence.
Always remember that it is crucial to optimize your style, content, and schedule based on feedback to meet the needs of your target audience; or expand your audience if need-be.