One of the hardest things I have started for my business is creating engaging video content. It has been a bumpy journey to say the least, and I have learned a lot in the short time I have been involved in this space. I share with you some great tips on why you should begin – NOW!
Engaging Video Content
Actually, the hard bit was creating online content in general. It began in my world in 2007 with my first comment on a forum, although online forums were already active for donkeys years. Do you remember the first time you ever put yourself online? In 2008 I wrote my first blog post, and procrastinated about putting my writings / articles online for all to see (and potentially criticise.) I then moved on to recording audio. That was even harder than exposing the written word – so much more to be criticised for. Then I got over myself!
Video was the hardest, and I believe for similar reasons for most – looking at oneself in action is very hard initially. The ONLY way past this is to do many videos and look at yourself until you get over your own inhibitions. There are great tips online for looking good on camera.
Barriers to creating video
Equipment is too expensive – An iPod or smart phone can take adequate video and audio footage for your initial (or on the move) needs. Some basic rules and knowledge will help you improve your stance and steady footage
Technology is too advanced – Point and shoot anyone? Check out Mr. Bean’s video style from the movie Br Bean’s holiday:
It takes too much time – If you learn off by heart, your intro and ending, it will be easier to shoot the actual content of your video. I have created a standard intro and ending for each of my training videos here
Videos must be of top professional quality – I have huge admiration for anyone that simply turns on the camera, hits one take, and publishes! So what if the lighting isn’t perfect, or there’s background noise, or it’s not edited within an inch of its life. Eoin McCabe does this on most of his video posts, and it makes me smile, every time J
No-one will want to watch me on camera – Back to basics! People buy your products or services, right? How do you think they will receive a “how-to” video of one of your products or a “testimonial” of your services? Viral videos become viral for a reason – they connect emotionally and provoke people to share. I remember 6 years ago a young Irish red-head posted a video of herself dancing in her garden, this video is now at nearly 6 million views:
Sophie Merry became the face (or dancer) of French Etam the following year.
TOP 10 Tips to get video-casting and create engaging video for your website or blog
# 1. Start with a test (quality & length)
Video is easy to create, starting with basic equipment. Record yourself for 1 minute talking about something (anything) you are passionate about. Remember, video is easy to consume, and is more interactive than text, as more of the senses are being stimulated.
# 2. Watch yourself
We are always amazed at how different we look, when watching ourselves on video (similarly with voice recordings). It’s never like what we see when we look in a mirror. We are looking at ourselves for a long time, with our own perception of how we look. Watch your test video and get comfortable with the fact that what you see now is what others see always. They like it, so it’s time you did too!
# 3. Practice breathing and posture
Exaggerate expressions, tone and volume slightly and watch out for body language. Practice how you look with your “default” face (the way a person’s face naturally falls), and make efforts to lighten or lift your basic expression. There is always an element of acting while in front of a camera, and you want your personality to shine, not your forehead.
# 4. Get comfortable making mistakes
Video can be re-recorded again and again but small mistakes show that you are human too. Exposing your human side will only prove to connect with the viewer emotionally, and that can increase conversation and engagement. You can also become a pioneer and use video to establish yourself as an expert in your field, even with a few mistakes!
# 5. Get inspired
Watch videos of others in your field and emulate what you like about them. Why are they doing video? Because video can increase web traffic. Video is a content multiplier. The stats are growing exponentially as this medium becomes increasingly important.
# 6. Be prepared
Have everything in place before you record – it will save on takes and editing (test your equipment, check the camera is recording!) Video can be used as an excellent marketing tool, not to mention the interaction it can create between you and your customer base. Keep these positive outcomes in your mind and you’ll be smiling your way all the way to the last second.
# 7. Don’t be on camera
If you think (and please seek feedback on this) you have a face for radio, you don’t HAVE to put your own face on camera. You can use your voice very effectively to narrate an animated presentation of images or even a movie.
# 8. Interviews
Put the focus on others, it shows you are sharing other people’s stories, and it can help reduce the focus away from yourself! You become the connecter, rather than the focus. And with good quality interviews, you will be remembered for doing a good job.
# 9. Research and get help
The Internet is full of quality online tips, whether about marketing, editing or presenting – get ‘googling’! Experiment and discover your strengths – perhaps you are adept at marketing your videos, and perhaps it’s more time effective to outsource the editing process. You won’t know until you work with the different elements.
# 10. Do it already!!
Another huge benefit of creating video is that you can create a blog post (transcript & screenshots) and a podcast (audio only) from a single video. You can also create video from slideshows and images with appropriate music. Talk about content multiplying!
So do ONE video today, just set up your smartphone and introduce a topic you are passionate about. Then watch it knowing this it simply the worst it can be. It does gets better, easier and faster with every new take. And you may just find that it wasn’t really as hard as you expected. Good luck!
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