As those of you who know us and/or have read Penny’s Community Blog about us, prior to building a portfolio of property and a portfolio of web content and contribution, Vanessa and I previously worked in the TV industry.
Vanessa was a former MTV VJ turned Producer/Director of music based programming and I was a camera-man.
We were used to working on 16mm film pop and rock video shoots that required significant budgets, so it’s really rewarding to be able to come full circle and use our past skills to self-publish our home-produced videos on-line pretty much for free!
However, we still approach our video production with the desire for a professional and polished outcome.
It is worth bearing in mind that everything you publish on line is a reflection of your personal brand and it remains on line in perpetuity. Therefore, any videos you produce must be professional and commensurate with your brand to avoid being perceived "amateur".
Video is a great media to help you to stand out from the "noise" of the on-line world. It allows you to express yourself in more dimensions that just the written word. In a sea of text like ecademy, a video blog can shine. I believe that in five years time, everyone will have their own TV channel. You can do it now on YouTube as some forward-thinking people like James McBrearty have already discovered.
According to comScore, almost 70% of the online population has watched online video and the average consumer watches 73 minutes of online video a month. YouTube claims that viewers are now watching over 100 million videos per day, proving the popularity of bite-size chunks. (The maximum duration of a video on YouTube is 10 minutes). It should therefore come as no surprise that videos can assist in shortening the process of Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me.
With the launch of my new training workshop "How to create great web video content", I thought I would share with you my thoughts on top video blogging mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Poor lighting: This is a real no-no in video production and there is no excuse for it! You have but a few seconds to capture someone’s interest and they will soon go elsewhere if the video is poorly lit. Modern digital cameras can work well with limited light, but make sure you are in a naturally or artificially well lit area, or film outside in good daylight. We use a small lighting rig indoors to ensure a well lit video.
2. Poor sound: Almost worse than poor pictures! Record your video in a quiet area with as little background noise as possible. Either use a lapel microphone or ensure you are close to the camera microphone.
3. Too long: We are living in an attention-deficit world and people have a short attention span so do not bore them with long rambling videos. Most videos should not be more than 3 – 4 minutes long. Before recording your video, ensure you know what you want to achieve from it. Create bullet points of what you are going to say in advance and make sure there is a flow to your presentation that takes the watcher on a journey through your content. Avoid repetition.
4. Lack of passion or energy: Being on TV can sap the energy out of your voice, meaning that you need to inject some extra energy into it to keep it lively. There is nothing worse than someone droning on with a monotone voice that does not express any passion or enthusiasm for the subject. A "natural" presentation is more authentic than aiming for perfection, and becoming wooden as a result. Do not practice too much in advance, just go for a "live" take and try and keep the energy level constant throughout. End on a strong point rather than fade out at the end.
5. Lack of eye contact with the camera: Many people understandably find it hard to maintain eye contact with the lens, which can dilute the communication. Try and imagine the camera as a person and talk to them, not at them. Maintain eye contact as much as possible as this is important body language for building trust.
6. Too business orientated: The social web is called "social" for a reason! Share other insights apart from just business ones to give people more of a chance to get to know you and like you. Everything in business starts with a conversation, and that conversation may not initially have anything to do with business. Sharing gives people reasons to connect with you and start a dialogue and who knows where that could lead. Also try injecting some humour into your video blog, if appropriate.
7. Boring background: Business videos are mostly filmed in offices, which is fine. However, break some rules occasionally and do something different and eye-catching. I recorded a video blog while driving up North recently. (Vanessa was on the camera! ). We were in the car for three hours so took the opportunity to use this time to make some recordings.
8. It’s always about you: Most people use video blogs for their own messages which can be monotonous. Try thinking how you can use video blogs in more creative ways to generate content, such as interviewing someone who you would like to advocate, or using a video blog to reply to someone else’s blog.
9. Unedited with messy start and finish: This looks amateur-ish. Ensure that you top and tail your video blogs in an edit suite for a professional production value.
10. Hosted on an amateur platform: Low picture resolution videos (as seen on YouTube) do not give a professional edge to your productions. It is important to host your videos on a professional platform like Infinovision to ensure the resolution of the picture remains high quality.
To summarise, videos are a creative way to add another dimension to your social media content. With YouTube being the second biggest search engine to Google, it makes sense to include videos as part of your social media mix.
Thank you for reading this blog. I hope you have got value from it. If so, you may be interested in attending some of my upcoming events:
On the 23rd February, Vanessa and I are hosting our monthly (and re-branded) Surrey Tribal Gathering in Guildford which is a networking event dedicated to property, social media, and general business development. I will be presenting "Business blogging mistakes and how to avoid them". Further details and registration >>>> here.
On Friday 12th March, I’m running another of my ground-breaking "How to implement a social media strategy for your business" training days. This training will help you kick-start your social media engagement in 2010, and save you a huge amount of time from doing non-productive activities. Full details >>> here.
On 20th March, due to the previous event now being fully booked, I am running an additional "How to create great web video content" training day. This does what it says on the tin, but each delegate will walk away with a professionally shot video for their own use. Details >>>> here.
However you decide to leverage the social web, make sure that you follow the three golden rules of leadership, authenticity, and consistency, as advocated by Seth Godin.
If you have any misconceptions about using social media, then please have a look at my series of blogs: