Using Videos To Beef Up Your Blog
In an effort to help you enhance your content marketing, I’ve published posts on creating listicles and writing interview posts. Today I want to talk about leveraging video to give your readers something new and interesting to glom onto with your blog.
Why Videos are Worth Your Time
The fact that 1/3 of all online time is spent watching videos should tell you that the medium, no matter how you feel about it personally, is a viable marketing tool. And when you sprinkle your regular blog posts with videos here and there, you provide variety that keeps people coming back to check out your blog’s content.
Some people absorb information from reading (me). Others prefer auditory information, like in a podcast. Still others want to see and hear the information presented. That’s where having videos comes in handy. By diversifying the ways you disseminate your knowledge and expertise, you’re effectively reaching a wider range of people with that information.
Consider What Kind of Video You Want to Produce
The great thing about videos is that there are so many types you can create. And choosing multiple types and publishing them over time creates even more diversity in your content!
You can create a product review video that highlights the specs and features of your product. Or a how-to video that shows viewers interesting ways to use your products (for a great example, see Sugru’s videos). You could interview people in your office or your industry, like at a professional conference. You could be a talking head and share tips or insight on your subject matter. You could take a video of a company event to make people feel like they were there.
Or, if for example, you run a tech company, you could create a video using screen shots to demonstrate a particular process in your software.
Over time, you’ll learn which types of videos and subjects people respond to positively and create more of them. In the beginning though, experiment with them all.
Set the Scene
The great news is: you don’t need a professional camera to take great video. Your phone will suffice. But there are a few basics you’ll need to improve the quality of your photo.
First, decide where you will take the video. If you’re doing a talking head video in your office, find a space with good natural light so that you are easy to see on camera. Remove any distraction from behind where you will sit, like plants that appear to sprout out of your head or a painting. If you need additional light, skip the fluorescents and find a lamp that can cast more light your way.
Consider what you plan to wear for the video. Stripes and plaids tend to look odd on camera, so instead aim for solid colors that complement your skin tone.
If you’re filming at an event, scope out the area for the best shots, and also look out for what you don’t want to record, like a giant pile of cords right by the stage.
Do Some Prep
Write out a script, even if it’s just notes for you to refer to, so that your video is natural and you stay on track with what you want to discuss. Run through your script a few times. If you’re interviewing, give your subject the opportunity to reflect on what his answers to your questions will be.
When you practice, take into consideration your hand movements and facial expressions, because they can either stress the points you make or distract your audience from what you’re trying to say. Avoid vocalized pauses, such as “like” or “you know” when you speak. After a few videos, this will come more naturally to you.
Once the Video is Recorded
You’ll need a home for your video, and you might be surprised that your blog isn’t it. I recommend uploading the video to YouTube because it’s easy to get embed code to put the video in a blog post, but also because YouTube gets over 1 million users a day. There’s huge potential for your video to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t have found it. When they watch a related video, yours could appear among the similar videos that appear alongside that video. It’s also easy to share the video to other places like Facebook or email from YouTube. So start with it as a platform.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to host your video on YouTube, there are alternatives, some of which cater to specific industries, which could be helpful if that’s your niche.
Add the Video to a Blog Post
The goal with your video is more about driving traffic to your blog, not YouTube, so here’s what I suggest when creating a blog post specifically for the video: write an engaging title with [VIDEO] at the front of the headline so people know that there’s something great for them to watch.
Then write an introductory paragraph before embedding the video. This gives them a sense for what to expect in the video. They’ll quickly decide whether it interests them enough to click Play. Then after the video, write a recap. For those of us who don’t have the patience (ahem) to watch a long video, this gives the gist of what it covers. If it’s a long video, you could even include a text script. This is helpful for those of us who learn by reading, but it also pleases Google because you can use keywords in this text.
Promote it Far and Wide
Just like you would any blog post, make sure to amplify it across social media channels. You might consider creating a teaser video and posting it directly on sites like Instagram and Flickr with a link leading to the blog post with the entire video. This entices people and makes them want to see the whole video, which they will click to do.
Adding videos to your content marketing mix helps diversify your blog and attracts people who prefer to learn from videos.
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