August 10 is National Vlogging Day. Vlogging is the action of posting a vlog, or video blog reporting on or discussing a product or event. Vlogs are posted to websites and most often hosted by YouTube or Vimeo.
Vlogging began its mainstream journey with the introduction of YouTube in 2005, where many took to sharing personal experiences and stories in raw, uncut video posts. Vlogging popularity has gained traction over the years as smartphone capabilities deliver excellent video capture and editing tools along with the whirlwind introduction of TickTock in 2020. Anyone brave enough to get in front of a camera today is likely to have a vlog post or two.
In recent years, vlogging has become a lucrative marketing tactic. Many professionals and organizations use vlogging to establish thought leadership and inform or educate customers. Is vlogging for you? Please continue reading for a deep dive on the topic where I discuss benefits and best practices to find out.
Benefits of Vlogging
Posting vlogs can expand your reach significantly when videos are effectively optimized. Video posts perform exceptionally well on social media channels; video posts receive the highest engagement rates across all platforms.
Vlogging can be an excellent addition to your content marketing strategy, serving as a supplemental or alternative method of promoting brand promise or expressing your brand personality.
Vlogging best practices
Look at your content calendar to find opportunities to incorporate vlogging in support of strategic goals. Vlogging can enhance existing campaigns or fill in calendar holes. Vlogging is a great alternative when traditional marketing channels don’t feel like the right fit or if a personal tone is preferred.
Michael Mackenzie Communications recommends stretching content across multiple changes rather than dumping everything in one day. We find this gives your hard-earned content a chance to gain the engagement it deserves.
Before recording a vlog, you should either outline discussion points or develop a script. There is no correct method here as some work best when reading a script while others have better success speaking freely.
Call to Action:
A critical element to include is your closing call to action (CTA). You should provide viewers with a clear next step, such as scheduling a consultation, purchasing a product or downloading supplemental content. Not only does this support your customer journey, but it also provides measurement capabilities to determine a return on investment (ROI) and assess campaign key performance indicators (KPI).
Content goals and distribution channels determine ideal vlog length. On average, informational YouTube videos should be ten minutes, but vlogs between 15 and 17 minutes still perform well. If you have plans to post to other social channels, your vlog should be much shorter, no more than two minutes. You may consider breaking longer information blogs into smaller segments for increased content marketing opportunities. You’ll be in excellent shape if you can achieve an engaging, informative vlog in sixty seconds.
A vlog’s success is dependent on sharing; plan on posting your vlog across multiple channels. Upload your vlog to YouTube or Vimeo, embed links on your website, and share across your organization’s social platforms. Include channel links to your website footer to attract followers.
Tips for getting started
Invest in a few relatively inexpensive items before filming your first vlog for best results. A quality webcam or camera and tripod and ring light are the essentials. Today’s higher-quality smartphones deliver excellent video quality. Mounting your phone to a tripod is the best practice to achieve quality footage. If you choose to follow a script, a newer iPad has teleprompter capabilities and can be held close to the camera by either a colleague or an additional tripod during filming.
Account set up:
Just like other social media sites, you need to create a YouTube or Vimeo profile, or channel that includes your company name, logo and basic about information. Make sure content is accurate and cohesive with other profile descriptions to support branding.
Michael Mackenzie Communications recommends clients set up business social accounts using a shared email address, such as email@example.com to avoid losing account access due to employee turnover. Gaining access to a social account without the account email can be an incredibly grueling process.
Look for a background with interest that won’t distract viewers. No matter what, make sure the areas in view are clean and tidy. An extra touch would be adding décor elements in brand colors.
It is best to choose a location away from reception areas where visitors frequent. Spend a few moments in the space to see if phones, printers or coworkers create background noise that would cause distraction during filming. Our clients have had to go as far as turning off the HVAC system or unplugging the Coke machine due to noise disruption.
Determining who should vlog:
For maximum success, a vlogger should be high-energy and engaging. A warm and welcoming presence will keep viewers focused on your vlog. An idea vlogger has a professional background relevant to the topic of discussion for maximum credibility, for example, an experienced developer or certified professional. If you aren’t a good candidate, consider your organizational subject matter experts to see if anyone fits the bill.
You now have all the tools you need to make your debut as a vlogger! If you have the jitters, ask a friend or colleague to sit with you and practice. Rework your script if you find certain words that have you tongue-tied.
When it comes to filming day, wear something that makes you feel confident, but stay away from polka dots or busy patterns that create distracting illusions on camera. Have a cup of water nearby, smile, take a deep breath and begin filming! You may find you need a few takes to get the perfect cut, but in time you should feel at home in front of the camera and begin enjoying the benefits of vlogging.
This post is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Jessica Brewer