With 69% of all internet traffic expected to be video by 2017, can your business afford to avoid vlogging?
Is your business vlogging? Do you even know what vlogging is?
And just in case you’re not sure, it’s not pronounced “vee – log”, it’s “vlog” – like blog.
Vlogging is blogging, but with videos. (It’s video blogging, hence vlogging). It’s a lot less polished and produced than traditional ‘explainer videos’, and is expected to be delivered on a regular basis – maybe sharing weekly snippets or daily tips.
Many individuals vlog nowadays, but is your business vlogging? Should you be?
It’s a scary prospect for most Marketing Managers – letting your staff loose on YouTube available for the whole world to see. But customers now expect a more personal approach, and they want to see what individuals are saying – it feels more authentic; an increasingly central theme in a lot of the content we now produce for clients.
Rather than a faceless entity talking to you, people are connecting with people. It’s obvious, when you think about it.
Cisco believes that by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic (read more in this Guardianarticle) so it’s something that businesses can’t afford to ignore, and doing it now before the market is completely saturated is key.
But videos have been around for ages, so why haven’t they been delivering for you?
Well, for one thing, consumers are getting bored with the traditional video case study – the format is too familiar and we almost know what to expect before we’ve seen it. It’s become stale, and B2B customers want something more dynamic – they want to see the type of videos they are engaging with on YouTube from the brands they love. Now, I’m not saying that your favourite cloud service provider should start posting shopping hauls a la Zoella, but it may be of interest to you to see your tech provider’s Network Architect giving a tour of their datacentre and responding to an issue in real-time. Or perhaps a Facebook Live Q and A session on a new product launch?
It’s difficult to strike the balance between being company approved (or at least in line with social media policies) but without the overtly corporate overtones of traditional videos.
The other reason in favour of exploring vlogs is the fact that your buyers are now likely to be a mix of generations; with many being heavy social media users and regularly consuming videos and live streaming through Facebook and Twitter. You have to be where your buyers are. And you have to be there now, even if the buyers are only going to get there in a year or two.
So, how can your business harness vlogging?
1) Who is going to do it? As with written content, select a few key individuals within the business to focus on – or if you’re thinking of being the lead, think of why you’re the right person for the task.
2) What is the general direction for the topics going to be? You don’t have to have every video title laid out in advance, but it’s good if you can start with a clear direction so that your followers will know what to expect. What can you become a leading voice for? What is your niche topic area?
3) What kit do you need to film? You will likely already have a phone good enough for filming a vlog – the finished video doesn’t have to be polished as it’s supposed to be quick to record and quick to share pieces of content to keep you connected with users.
4) Where are you going to film? In the office? On location with a customer? In the street on your way to lunch? What will work best for your type of business? How can you best showcase what it is you do in an appropriate way for what you are selling.
5) Who else can you get involved? Vlogging doesn’t have to be a solo effort. Like podcasting, vlogging engages users when there is a sense of engagement and interaction. Who from your contact base might be up for promoting their own profile alongside sharing some insights? It could be colleagues from within your business, or perhaps customers or business partners. Maybe it could be interviewees at an industry conference?
6) Where will you share it? Promoting your blog is just as important. It’s likely you will upload it to YouTube, but what next? You could share it across your social media platforms, or even record it natively into Facebook through the Facebook Live feature (p.s. there are some great university professors delivering their lectures from Facebook which are worth checking out).
7) Be prepared for feedback. You can’t control who sees it if you’re publishing publically so just be prepared for a bit of friendly, and not-so-friendly feedback. It’s a necessary evil…
Can you envisage your company vlogging anytime soon?