Video is one of the best ways to connect with your audience.
There’s a reason we’ve talked so much about how to master video on the ARCH blog! It’s a step that so many businesses hesitate to make (after all, putting yourself out there on video can be scary!) – yet, if you truly want your business to reach its potential, it is a medium you must adopt.
And a growing form of video is vlogging. You’ve probably seen or heard of vlogs before – maybe you’ve even considered starting one but just haven’t gotten around to it.
A vlog is more or less a video version of a blog. With it, you can show your own life and personality, and also provide valuable educational (and entertaining) content to your viewers.
Why You Should Start a Vlog in 2017
You Learn to Tell Better Stories
Storytelling allows you to create compelling content and build a stronger relationship with your audience. Whether you’re creating powerful story-based emails or filming a compelling story on Snapchat – stories will draw your audience in. And as you film more video – and vlogs specifically – your storytelling ability will get stronger.
Cover Your Content Bases
Your audience is bound to like different types of content. Some will love video, while others will connect with podcasting, and others still will enjoy sitting down and reading a blog. By starting a vlog, you diversify your content and reach a bigger audience.
When you’re speaking in front of the camera, you show a different side of yourself and your business. This allows you to get more exposure. If you just wrote a blog or books, you might get a speaking opportunity if they grew big enough. But with video, people will know how you speak and interact behind a camera, and be more confident to offer you speaking gigs (or accept your speaking applications).
Video isn’t Going Away
Video will continue to grow – from Instagram Live streaming, to Facebook Live, to Snapchat and more – video is getting bigger and bigger. It’s a trend you can’t afford to miss, and there’s no better time to jump on board than in 2017.
How to Start a Vlog in 2017
Check Out the Top Vloggers on the Web
Before you start your own vlog, check out some other vloggers on the web and see how they do it. And not just the vloggers in your industry, but also those who are trying unique strategies that you can implement.
I’ll write a post about the top vloggers to follow (and why) in the next few weeks – but here are some to get you started:
Casey Neistat – shows personal life and provides inspirational advice.
Sean Ogle – documents the journey of quitting your job, working online, and traveling the world.
How2Beast – newer fitness vlog that experiments with different strategies (I’m also in some of the videos!)
Maxx Chewning – fitness vlog that covers daily life, offers fitness tips, and more.
Choose Your Theme and Topics
If you already have a blog and/or business, this will be a little easier. Your theme and topics will probably center around that blog and/or industry.
Whatever the case, here are some questions to ask yourself:
What does my target audience want to watch? (to discover this, look at search trends and questions asked on social media)
What is my target audience already watching? (to discover this, you can research competitors with popular vlogs and see what is working for them.
Choose Your Platform
While YouTube is the most wildly popular platform for vlogging and the one I suggest, you should be aware of the other platforms available. You can also run your vlog on Vimeo, Viddler, Facebook, and Daily Motion.
Do your research and decide which will work best for you – but know that it’s probably best to get started with YouTube, as this will give you the best chance to reach a big audience that loves to consume video.
Choose Your Equipment
You don’t need to drop $1000 on a camera when you’re just getting started. If you have a smartphone with a quality camera, you can use that. In fact for most vloggers, smartphone camera will be the best option to get started. They allow you to validate your vlog and build it without dropping a ton of money to get started.
With this in mind, here’s some other equipment that can help you with the process:
Gorilla Tripod. This is a small, flexible tripod. You can hold it out in front of you while you’re speaking into the camera, and you can also wrap it around wall fixtures. It makes vlogging a lot easier.
Video editing software. If you have an Apple computer, you can use iMovie to get started. If not, you have other good options like Cyberlink Powerdirector, Adobe Premier, and Sony Vegas.
iPhone tripod mount. This is basically a small attachment that allows you to mount your iphone on your tripod (whether it be a gorilla tripod or a normal-sized tripod).
Make Your Videos Stand Out
Just because you put out videos doesn’t mean people will watch. There are millions of videos on the web – yours need to stand out in some way.
Here are a few tips for creating high-quality videos that stand out:
Don’t be a perfectionist. Vlogging is a bit more personal, and so it doesn’t need to be perfect. You can and should plan out the videos and content beforehand, but don’t get caught up in everything going exactly the way you want it to.
Hook people in at the beginning. Like any form of content, videos require you to hook people right from the beginning (so they keep watching until the end)! You can tease them about what’s to come in the video to get them excited. For example, if you’re going to the store to review a new Nike shoe, you can tell them what they’re about to see, as well as why they should be excited about the shoe.
Add effects. Effects like slow motion and music (like when you’re traveling between places) can make your video flow better and also make it more interesting.
Put your own unique spin on education content and/or current events. The Charisma on Command YouTube channel has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers in the past year with this strategy. They’ve discussed the election, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and more – and people love it.
Keep Building – And Stay Consistent
Consistency will be the key to your vlog’s success. The more frequently you post videos, the quicker your vlog will gain popularity. So, you should always be thinking of new topics, and always be prepared to film interesting parts of your day.
Video will continue to grow in 2017, and by starting a vlog now, you can stay on the leading edge. It will help you connect with your audience, grow your business, improve your storytelling, and may even get you some public speaking opportunities.
Use the strategies I listed here to get started!