It’s all about video! That’s the word on the street – or at least a line we often hear from those signing up to our media training course who seek to launch a business vlog. They are correct of course. Social media thrives on video and this month the Godfather of it all turns 13.
What were you watching before YouTube came along? It was in April 2005 that a rather non-descript video entitled ‘Me at the Zoo‘ started the YouTube juggernaut rolling and a month later it went live to the public. Thirteen years later, YouTube is the hub around which more than 400 hours of content are generated each minute and over a billion hours of content are consumed each day.
The platform has produced a new form of celebrity in the form of the vlogger, and spare room spaces have been turned into powerhouse studios that reach out to audiences of millions, generating fortunes for their owners.
The great thing about video is that it is a relatively cheap method of communication to an audience – a mobile phone and a backdrop is really all you need. However, there are inevitably pitfalls along the way and this is where some media training comes in useful in order to present a professional face to video content for business.
However, for every Casey Neistat, PewDiePie or Zoella who blazes a vlogging trail, there are thousands of aspiring vloggers that have fallen by the wayside. Rather like writing a book, most people can muster a first chapter (or vlog), but the key to vlogging success is to keep producing content that interests and engages. So here are some tips for those looking to start a business vlog.
Get to the point
The average viewing time for Facebook videos in a News feed is a paltry 16 seconds. You need to hit the ground running to keep an audience tuned in so dispense with a chummy introduction or an explanation about your organisation’s background.
The biggest mistake made by those new to the camera is to try and emulate screen personalities they like. It shows. Successful vlogging involves content and personality, but you need to come across as being comfortable with being you, while using a natural voice will give you authenticity.
What is the point?
Just as with public speaking, overloading the viewer with dry content will turn your viewer off with you being turned off soon after. Remember you’re up against dancing cats, cute babies and your competition. If you want to stand out give the viewer a reason to come back for more. There is a lot to be learnt from the likes of ‘how to’ bike videos that demystify a problem and supply a quick solution.
Find a way of presenting what you do in a way that is going to connect with a wider audience. Unlike Casey Neistat you probably don’t have many supermodel friends prepared to do a walk on cameo and add a little spice to your vlog. That means you’re going to have to let your content do the talking! If you have niche knowledge, share some of it.
Do some planning. Script your vlog with short paragraphs or bullets, each one making a distinctive point (and try to keep it under 2 minutes). You want it to flow. Once you have prepared your script practise out loud and edit the bits that sound clunky. When it comes to filming, use an autocue app. And think ahead! Popular vloggers are consistently creating content, so before your first goes live, have at least one or two more in mind to follow up with.
Get a Cat
If all else fails bring in a feline. In the world of video content, a funny cat trumps all!
Luan de Burgh
Luan de Burgh is a speaker, writer and founder of de Burgh Training – a specialist business communication training provider dedicated to helping people perform at their highest potential.