Today I am blogging again from the Collective Bias Social Fabric conference in Arkansas. Despite Belle being a bit of a natural behind her diary cam, I don’t often use video in my blog and so went along to the session with Danielle Smith to find out how to incorporate video more into my blogging.
First up then, why should you use video as part of your blogging? Well…
- You can make money from it
- You can learn new skills and reach new audiences
- More and more people are watching videos and watching them via mobile
- Youtube is the world’s second largest search engine
- You get to develop your own voice, showcase your presenting talents and create opportunities in traditional media
You can use video in all kinds of ways:
- To tell a story and convey a wider range of emotions
- For show and tell, demonstrating DIY, crafts and recipes
- To communicate and help people to get to know you and your personality
You might even create a video in partnership with a brand to be used externally, like this one from a series I did for Hyundai and Tesco. Being able to include video content as part of your media kit gives you something above and beyond what other bloggers might be offering and helps you stand out from the crowd.
A lot of people are scared of video as a means of communication, partly because they worry about not having the skills, but also because of that thing of seeing yourself in camera, which can be a bit squeamish. As with most things though, it’s all about practice. As you make more video, you will learn about what works and what doesn’t work, even if it’s just about what colours you look good in you on camera. You don’t need fancy equipment either. You can take perfectly good quality video on your phone, simply holding it out in front of you, or propping it up on a surface or using a mini tripod.
There are a few basic things you should include in your video to encourage engagement. Firstly, include your name. This could be as a caption, but you can also introduce yourself at the beginning as part of the video and then sign off at the end. Make sure you include a way for people to find you by mentioning your blog address or Twitter handle. You should also treat a video like a blog post and ask questions that encourage people to leave a comment. For example, if you’re doing a make-up demonstration, tell people you’re struggling to find the perfect mascara and ask them which brands and products they love.
Keep your videos simple and short. Danielle recommends 2.5 – 3 minutes as a maximum. Pretend like you are just talking to a friend and no matter how nervous you are or how much information you have to convey, DO NOT READ! It looks lame. If you are still feeling shy, experiment initially with other forms of video such as filming friends or family, doing a voice over or an interview.
Here’s an example from Danielle. Watch it and have a look at how natural and relaxed Danielle is. Watching other people’s videos is a really great way to learn, as you can get a good feel for what works well, what makes for interesting content, and what is just dull or distracting.
Danielle’s 7 day video challenge
If you are new to video and want to increase your confidence, how about taking Danielle’s 7 day video challenge? Here’s what you have to do:
Video yourself every day for 7 days in a row. You can pick any topic, be anywhere, wear anything – all you have to do is talk for 1.5 – 2 minutes as though you are just chatting with a friend. DO NOT watch the video back at the end of each day.
And the end of the week, watch all of your videos in a row in one go. This way, you learn two things – firstly you get to see how your confidence and comfort levels have improved even just in the course of a week. You should be able to see that after 7 days you seem more relaxed and that your conversation is more natural. You will also be able to pick up on blanket quirks or mistakes that you are making, such as hair twiddling, fidgeting, or other little bad habits. Danielle gave the example of noticing that she started every video with the word ‘so’. This is only something you notice if you watch several videos back to back.
Do you have a Youtube channel or use video in your blog? If you have a video you’re especially proud of, please do leave a comment with a link and I promise I will watch and share it for you.
Photo credit – popturfdotcom