Vlogging, short for “video blogging,” has always been popular amongst online creators. Many businesses are discovering the usefulness of the format for marketing purposes. Read on to learn how starting a vlog can promote your business, and best practices for doing so.
What vlogs can do for your business
Combining the power of videos and blogs, vlogging offers many benefits to your business, including:
- Shows a human side: Seeing the faces of your brand talking on the screen will make it easier for customers to relate with you. DigitalRev, a photography store which sells cameras, has certainly shown a human side with their immensly popular vlogs:
- Great for SEO: Videos have increasingly become an important part of a business website’s SEO. Vlogs enhance rankings and increase your site’s searchability.
- Easily introduce products: Vlogs go beyond the usual promotional videos by making your product introductions fun and engaging. They can also be used as an entertaining way to introduce your business team to the public.
- Cost-effective: It doesn’t take a lot to produce your own vlog. When coupled with social media, you can reach out to more people faster than you would using regular promotion methods.
The points above should convince you to think about starting a vlog of your own for your business.
Planning your vlog
Having a niche to cater to should be the starting point for your vlog. Know what you want your vlog to be used for and how it relates to your business’ branding. Reviews? Tips on use? Customer support? Find your niche and run with it. You can’t do everything.
Your audience will play an important role in carving your vlog’s concept. That audience will largely be shared with your other forms of content. Sort through the data from these other content sources to determine which topics to choose for your vlogs from your current audience, and which new audiences your vlog can attract.
Branding is also something to consider when planning your vlog concept. Tie it in with your overall branding, while giving it its own unique identity. Wine retailer Gary Vaynerchuk, for instance, has a distinct vlog hosting style that still shows the branding of his company during the intro.
Think about the elements, like your logo and color schemes, that make your business’ brand recognizable. Look for ways to incorporate them into the vlog presentation, by way of the profile and banner images. You can also incorporate the elements within the videos themselves by using them on the look of your “studio,” for example.
Deciding the specific topics for your vlog episodes
Once you have a general concept for your vlog, you can then begin brainstorming for specific topics of each episode. A good starting point would be the common questions and issues your customers have about your products. Tiege Handley focused on such questions in one of their early vlogs:
Competitor research also helps in choosing topics for your vlogs. Watch their content, see what is successful, and find topics that they haven’t covered. You can also use the opportunity to see how they create and use their own vlogs. Think of ways to improve your own presentation based on what you learn. Your goal should be to add more value to draw the attention of potential viewers.
To better manage all the topics and ideas you have prepared, create a content calendar. Arrange the topics on your calendar such that each week or month reflects a particular theme that you want to tackle. Make sure that each episode flows into the next one to get your audience to eagerly await subsequent episodes.
Producing your business vlog’s episodes
A great thing about starting a vlog is that you don’t need lots of resources to produce it. You can get started with a smartphone and the editing software on your computer. Vlogs aren’t about high production value, they’re about people sharing experiences.
What you need to focus on when filming is how to present the topics to be tackled in an engaging manner. One way to go here would be to avoid sticking to a full script. Instead, talk about the topics in an impromptu manner. This adds spontaneity to your on-screen discussions. Use a simple outline to guide your host. Here are some ways to spice up your vlog presentation:
- Make it useful: Insert some useful tips and bits of information relating to the main topics being talked about. Find new information that your viewers would want to share with their friends.
- Use humor: Being funny always draws the attention of audiences. Be sure that the jokes that you throw in are relevant to the overall discussion to keep your audience engaged.
- Cross the line: Go beyond the usual jokes and add a bit of relevant risque humor. Just be ready to face a possible backlash.
- Add a twist: This could be anything from unexpected announcements, to surprise guests, to enormous explosions. Just be sure that the crew knows, at least…
The whole point of this is to be human. Make jokes, go a bit too far, and be unexpected. Like an actual person would do! Classic product vlog Will It Blend by Blendtec is well-known for employing some of these tactics for its skits, humor is huge for them.
Just like your other video content, ending in a clear call-to-action (CTA) helps get your viewers moving in the direction you want. In the case of vlogs, typical calls-to-action include asking viewers to subscribe, share, or leave comments. These CTAs can be incorporated within the video itself or added at the end. Make sure they are more effective by using the relevant Devumi service to boost your videos. For instance, use our YouTube Subscribers Service if your CTA is meant to attract more channel subscribers.
Doing post production
Editing is one step that is often ignored by businesses starting a vlog. While there may be some artistic merit in presenting your vlogs raw, a well-edited video is what all audiences expect. Your editing goal is to improve the overall presentation of the vlog. Tips include:
- Cut out unnecessary parts and outtakes to streamline the whole video.
- Cut out the ‘ums’ to keep engagement high.
- Add some visual effects like pop-up graphics and text to aid in explaining various topics.
- Good background music also adds to the overall feel of the episode.
Marketing expert Shama Snyder’s vlogs are an example of how good editing can enhance the overall outlook of videos.
There are many video editing software that you can use. Most have free trials, so try a few to find the one that you would be most comfortable working with. This will make editing faster and allow you to post great new episodes in a timely manner.
At this point, you also need to consider how long your episodes will be. When you start a vlog, it would be a good idea to do a short one first. This lets you get a better feel of how your chosen topics fit into the show’s format. Once you get used to doing episodes, you can do longer videos with more content. See how your audience reacts and if they prefer longer or shorter content.
Attracting and engaging viewers
Like any your other video content, your vlog episodes need to be optimized for them to show up in search results. Research relevant keywords for your videos and work these into your videos’ titles and descriptions. To further increase visibility, you will also need to choose the appropriate keywords for the vlog channel itself.
To get viewers to actually click and watch you will need to:
- Have an appealing title: Use your chosen keywords in your titles to tell viewers what the vlog is about in order to draw interest.
- Write good description:s Provide useful information about your video to help viewers. You may use several keywords to increase visibility, but don’t go overboard.
- Include a custom thumbnail: Take time to create a unique thumbnail for your vlog episodes. They will increase the recognizability when they appear in search results.
All these tips will help draw the interest of viewers when they see your videos in the search results. Hobby Link Japan use these elements a lot in their vlog channel.
Promoting your vlog
When it comes to promoting your vlog, social media is going to be an important tool for creating hype. As such, you need to use all of the accounts that you have including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. YouTube makes this easy for you as you can immediately share your videos on the various platforms.
— MT Worlds (@MTWorlds) June 24, 2017
But, that doesn’t mean you should share links as they are. Find new ways to incorporate them into your social media posts rather than making them the sole focus. To encourage sharing, use calls to action which asks for shares and retweets. Boosting your vlog’s prominence using our YouTube views service also works to entice your viewers into sharing your videos. This is especially beneficial when you’re trying to connect with social media influencers who will only work with the best.
Outside of social media, your vlog should also be seen on your business website. You can either create a dedicated page for it and your other video content, or put it on a sidebar. It is also beneficial to put them in a blog post. Share behind-the-scenes photos and other information about the episode.
Engaging your audience
Engaging your vlog’s audience runs in much the same way as you would engage the viewers of your other videos. Aside from responding to comments in the comments section, you also should engage them within the videos themselves. Respond on-screen to some of the comments you had gotten from earlier episodes. Gaming vlogger DanTDM does just that in this installment of his online show:
Refer to your commenters by name to get their attention. This personal recognition will encourage others to engage as well. Use the opportunity to direct them and your other viewers to your businesses pages by posting interactive YouTube Cards throughout the episode.
You would also want to get your audiences talking about topics that range beyond the content of your blog episodes. For that, you can create complementary blog posts that answer some of the loose ends in these episodes. You can also entertain more questions about the episodes on social media.
Boost your business by starting a vlog
A vlog can add a new dimension to how you promote your business online as it combines videos and blogging into one medium. To really harness the potential of the new content format you need to:
- Have a great concept: Think not only about how effectively your vlog can promote your business but also how each episode can be useful and engaging to your audience.
- Have great production values: Give your vlog episodes the same love as your other video marketing content to produce a professional-looking result that will hold the interest your audience.
- Promote your episodes the right way: Use all your social media resources to get the word out about your new episodes.
- Engagement: Don’t forget to engage your audience further to get them eagerly waiting for the next installment.
Use all the points we have raised here and you can have a potentially popular online show. Don’t hesitate – get to work on starting a vlog today. We will be eagerly awaiting your first episode.