Estimated read time: 5 minutes
I’m a fan of throwing content a parade. That could include doing a video blog. Some may call it a vlog. Is that still a thing? Is it worth doing? At the very least, it’s worth exploring. Let’s dive into that topic.
What is a video blog?
A video blog is basically a video segment where somebody tells a story. For example, think of this blog article in that context. Instead of me writing out the content, I would talk about it on camera and share my experience and tips verbally while being on-screen. I might also share my screen to show things worth sharing or add graphics to the screen that illustrate a point.
Vikram Rajan of VideoSocials.net said on my podcast that he looks at a video blog as a message from somebody’s desk. “Updates from Christoph’s Content Corner,” for example. With that in mind, as long as you have a camera and can record audio and video, you can start doing video blogs.
Here’s an example of a video blog of me discussing the topic of this article.
What types of video blogs work best?
Video expert Emmy Wu said two content formats work well as a video blog:
- Educational – i.e. let me show you how to do this
- Behind-the-scenes – i.e. here’s how we created something that is out in the market
So video blogs can work well for some brands but not necessarily others, she said.
How to create a video blog
At the most basic level, you can record a video blog from your phone or your computer. Vikram also has a Video Bloggers Group where people exchange ideas and learn from each other.
There is some equipment and tips that I use now to create better videos, including:
- What is the best podcast microphone of these six reviewed?
- How to secure my webcam so the video doesn’t shake
- Makeup tips for men when going on livestreams and video podcasts
- Video backdrop ideas: Will this work for my live stream?
- How to improve your body language on video – like Zoom calls
- How to start a video podcast simply
And while these are techniques I use today, I didn’t start there. If you are brand-new to creating video blogs, just find a camera, know what you want to talk about, and record. Learn as you go.
A bit of an outline wouldn’t hurt:
- The beginning (what’s your hook and/or intro?)
- Share examples, stories, and more.
- Wrap it up
It’s okay to record a video blog with an iPhone – even when it’s handheld – but try to keep things stable. A tripod or stabilizing selfie- stick could work. Your laptop camera might also work to start. Audio is super important, so make sure to be near the mic or consider buying an external microphone. We discuss the importance of good audio in this podcast episode.
I prefer to use Restream to record my videos. It allows me to record in full high-definition and then download the video file to edit – as necessary – and upload it to other channels. I can also run pre-recorded clips – like an intro inside the Restream Studio.
Where to use video blogs
Just like a regular blog, I would recommend finding a place on your website. Follow best practices for SEO. At the very least, you can upload your videos to YouTube and then embed them on your website, as I did in this article.
Also, consider using them on all your social channels. Keep in mind that every network has its own time limit for videos. One way to get around that is to use software like Restream and live stream your video blog. Then they can be longer on all the networks, including Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Basically, they can be as long as you want and need them to be.
Emmy said to be strategic about where to use video blogs. Where are you currently focusing efforts and where is your audience? Those might be good places to start.
How long should a video blog be?
I know many ask this question for all types of content assets:
- How long should the live stream be? (Amazon says over an hour is a good goal.) LinkedIn says at least 15 minutes)
- What’s the appropriate length for blog posts?
- And more…
But the answer probably – as is often the case – is: It depends. How much do you have to say about a topic? Will people be interested in all of it? Where can you summarize content? In other words, determine what your story is, make an outline – even if it’s just in your head – and give different lengths a try.
How to make video blogs part of your integrated strategy
One reason I’m excited about video blogs is that it’s another way to get thought leaders and executives in a company engaged and participating in sharing stories that are worthwhile for the target audience and the business.
For example, one strategy currently is to interview internal leaders and experts and then write articles from those interviews. Some companies have internal podcasts that then can be turned into written content. Other teams write articles from podcast interviews.
Recording a video blog can fit into this model and could simply be done like this:
- Determine what the topic should be
- Draft up questions the executive should consider answering on the video blog
- Then simply record the executive answering those questions
- From there use the video asset but also turn the answers into other content – like written blog posts.
So there’s definitely an advantage of using video blogs in a content strategy, especially if it’s an integrated part of the overall program. At the very least video blogs are worth considering. They could even help us get better stories.