5 ways businesses can enrich stories with video content
This is a guest blog post by Neil Davidson.
Neil Davidson is the Founder of My Web Presenters, who are a leading web video production company specialising in video spokesperson videos. They work with businesses of all sizes to create and market compelling and emotive videos. They also write a video marketing blog regularly so please check it out.
In this article I am going to share some of the best ways that bloggers and businesses can leverage video effectively and to their advantage.
At MWP, our approach is rooted firmly in a belief that creating online video is about having an impact and creating measurable business benefit. Whether a small start-up or a multi-million dollar company, a strategic approach is completely appropriate. Bloggers can benefit from embarking upon the creation of new content with strategy in mind.
Don’t let the word ‘strategy’ intimidate you. The following tips are accompanied by examples of businesses that have used the particular video types meaningfully, rather than simply as a token gesture. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I hope the cases illustrated give you some inspiration for using video in your blogs.
1 Using video to compliment text based posts
Embedding video in text-based blogs can compliment your story or your argument. It may be that you use video you have created, or you may want to use videos created by others. Either way, it will add another dimension to your post and is easy to do – simply cut and paste the embed code.
The Simply Business Guide to Wordpress has creatively integrated video into their guide. If a visitor clicks ‘no’ to any points on the flow chart, they are offered further advice – sometimes video based advice, sometimes text based (signified by icons representing the different media).
If you are still too afraid to leave the comfort of your desktop computer, screencasting videos are a great way to create videos without even leaving the room.
Screencasting software such as Screenflow or Camtasia allows you to capture all, or a combination, of the following: your screen, a video camera (connected to your computer), a microphone and your computer audio. This facility can be used to demonstrate how to use particular software, a website or an application. You can also use it to create presentations and training sessions.
Here is a screencast walk-through of Google presentations:
3 Using smartphones
One of the biggest barriers to creating video content has always been the need for professional equipment. This no longer applies in a world where you can record HD video on your mobile. There are a range of ways that bloggers can utilize smartphones to create blog content. Impromptu interviews at events are a great example. Maybe you are networking and meet someone who is of interest to your audience. This is the perfect opportunity to ask a question that you know your audience will want the answer to. Record. Upload. Easy.
My Web Presenters created this ‘vlog’, which includes interview footage that was recorded using a smartphone:
4 Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts are another example of how you can create valuable video content without leaving your desk. However, this time it will need to be in collaboration with other people.
A Hangout is a particularly special form of video conferencing. Special for the following reasons:
- You can have up to 10 people involved at once
- In addition to your 10 people, you can broadcast your video live to people all over the world
- Hangouts are recorded as they happen and are immediately saved to your YouTube channel
- You can edit your recorded Hangout in YouTube or in your own editing software
Hangouts can be used for meetings, product demonstrations, live music events, promotional events with celebrities to name but a few possibilities. As a blogger, you can maximise the usefulness of the content generated by your Hangout by creating a podcast, a text transcript or a blog post based on what happened at the Hangout.
Max Minzer has made name for himself in the SEO community through a series he has created using Google Hangouts. He organizes weekly Hangouts (Max Impact) about SEO, social media, online marketing and other related topics. He invites experts from all over the world to participate in the Hangouts, making for very informative Hangouts for viewers.
Vine is a recent addition to the world of online video. It is an app which creates what can only be described as ‘video tweets’. Each video lasts for six seconds because this is supposedly how long it takes to read the average tweet. It is simple to use. You can record six straight seconds of video or you can record in fractions of seconds to create a sequence or animations for example.
Cavendish Hotel (London) caught on to a creative way to use Vine. They launched a competition asking followers to create a romantic themed Vine video in advance of Valentines Day. The prize was an overnight stay at their hotel, a romantic meal for two, pre-dinner cocktails, and a full English breakfast the next morning. See the winning video, which was announced via Facebook, below.
See VinePeek for Vine videos as they are being uploaded to the net, in real time.
Marketing and distribution
Other than technical skills, the other skills needed when dealing with online video are things that the average blogger should be familiar with. Marketing and distribution are the main areas to think about and bloggers have an advantage because they already understand the Internet and how to share, swap and be seen.
In terms of maximizing the reach of your video content, the same techniques used for sharing traditional blog posts will prove useful. Collaborating with other relevant video bloggers widens audiences immediately. Sharing content on social media platforms, with interested parties is essential to getting it shared. Tricks of the trade include using platforms such as Oneload where you can upload once to many different platforms.
The opportunities for video are growing all of the time. Especially as video is becoming an even bigger part of how we use the Internet. In fact, 51% of Internet traffic is viewing video. Bloggers will do well to jump on board the video train and use it to their advantage.