There is no question – video needs to form part of your content strategy, particularly if you are looking to boost your organic Google ranking (because Google owns YouTube). However, as confronting as writing can be for many business owners, video blogging can be fraught with blocks and challenges – and the results can be excruciating – for you and your viewer.
In this guide, I have listed the biggest barriers to video blogging and how to solve them.
We have put this at the top of the video blogging list because after you’ve set up your home studio or booked a videographer service, written your script and chosen your outfit – many people freeze as soon as that little red light goes on. Your speech is stilted, your stance is awkward and it is anything however professional.
It should also be noted here that no amount of fancy equipment, professional lighting and sound recording will compensate for lack of confidence in front of the camera.
Why you need to present like a boss
Too many times you see slick websites, professional head-shots, great site content … and really unprofessional videos. Substandard video can damage the perception of your brand and leave your audience cold.
Some of the world’s best presenters practiced for more than 200 hours on a single presentation. Video is no different to live presentations if you want to get it right.
How to get over it
Practice practice practice. Gymnasts do not turn up on competition day without rehearsing every single move innumerable times. Set up a camera in your office or living room and get really comfortable speaking to it. Read a book aloud, quote poetry, sing, tell a story. The more hours you log in front of the camera, the less frightening that video blogging becomes.
However, filming yourself is not the most important part of this step. Now you have to sit down and watch yourself. Every. Agonising. Minute. What is your best angle, what are your hands doing, what looks weird, sounds weird, how are your facial expressions, vocal range – really analyse yourself and find your ‘presenting persona’. And then start practising again to polish your technique.
The best presenters make you feel like they are talking to you personally, over a coffee. They are relaxed and – here is the key point – they know their content so well they don’t need a script – they can stay on topic without a prompt – they may stumble or correct themselves however it is natural and relaxed. This is what it means to know your content.
Why it pays to know your stuff
The best presenters can rattle off a ‘verbal blogpost’ at the drop of a hat – because they know their stuff inside out, they are very clear on their message and how to convey that to an audience, no matter what the medium is. They can easily repurpose their content too, for different mediums. As soon as you are not thinking about what you are saying, and concentrating on how you are saying it, your video presentation steps up from amateur to professional.
How to nail it
Again, there are no short-cuts with video blogging. Start by writing down what it is you want your audience to understand when they watch your video – the message. Then note the main points you want to use. Pin those notes to the fridge and start speaking your script aloud until you can repeat it – not word for word – however point for point, naturally and flawlessly.
*Bonus tip for nailing your content:
Get your introduction and call to action right. Find the most natural and comfortable way to say who you are and where you are from – then roll right into your main message and points – and then sign off with a call to action – be very clear about what you want your audience to do once they have watched the video.
Lights and sound
The next most important aspect with video blogging, is how your video looks and sounds from a technical point of view. This is not as difficult as it sounds. A good source of natural light (not direct sunlight) is the easiest way to make sure your video is visually clear.
The audio of your video is where the professionals really stand apart from the amateurs. If you invest in nothing else – invest in a good lapel microphone. They are not even very expensive. The mic on your iPhone – no matter what anyone says – is not good enough.
If you have good light, a good lapel mic and great presentation skills – any recent smartphone will produce high quality for video which will be predominantly viewed on the internet (not to labour a point, use a lapel mic with your smartphone). You don’t even need a tripod – a pile of books and something to balance it against can work equally as well.
Alternatively you can engage a company who can come and film and edit your posts for you for a very reasonable cost. The big advantage here is you have files ready to upload – nothing further to do!
Smartphone filming hack
When video blogging, make sure you turn the screen away from you. When you are filming you need to be looking into the camera (the camera lens on the back of the phone) and not at yourself on the screen. When you look at the camera, you appear to be looking right ‘at’ the viewer, creating a more intimate connection with them.
So, you’ve spent a week filming yourself, another week watching yourself, driven your family and friends mad by spouting verbal blog posts at every opportunity and set up a mini-studio in your home or office – and you have recorded some really great footage. Now what?
How to overcome editing issues
There are many editing programmes – both paid and free which are relatively simple to learn to use. Video Editors are also available through freelance marketplaces – many business owners find a good VE (virtual editor), have them make up a branded template and have them edit video for you.
Having a branded start and end frame will make your videos look more professional and prevent the unfortunate mid-word-start-frame that plagues many videos. Another option is FlexClip, which is great for beginners or marketers who need to edit videos quickly.
Video blogging is critical in marketing
So while there is a lot of noise about ‘get out there and record video’, if you want your video to be a professional representation of your brand, take the time to get really good at presenting your content to the camera, pay attention to light and audio and ensure your videos are full of great content.
Before you know it, you’ll be building subscribers on YouTube and becoming a well known video blogger – good luck!