Would you benefit from a vlog?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 by Richard Howe

A video log (or ‘vlog’) is simply a blog through the medium of video. Think of it as type of internet TV, where your customers or clients get to see you and hear what you have to say in person.

There are many advantages to using video as a means of reaching your audience. Firstly, and most importantly, when a viewer can see your body language and hear your voice, there is immediately a greater sense of interaction and personal connection. 

When your customers see you on video, they feel like they already know you and begin to trust your brand – you are building a long-term, emotional connection with each customer individually.

Secondly, when sitting alongside a written blog post or article, a vlog caters for a different type of learner (both visual and auditory), and is more likely to be watched, shared and remembered. 

Some people digest the written word easily, whilst others prefer to watch video or listen to the spoken voice; it’s a matter of preference. Vlogging simply widens the net.

Thirdly, with today’s technology, vlogs are cheap, easy to create and don’t require any fancy software or special technical skill. You can host and administer your own vlog, which can also be automatically distributed to subscribers, stored and played back on a variety of mobile and desktop devices.

Vlogging for business

Although the most popular vlogs on social video sharing sites like YouTube are comedy-based diaries or general musings, there is a huge potential for vlogging in the business arena, and this is an area that many companies are only just starting to tap into. 

Some types of vlog that might be suitable for your company include:

Educational

One of the primary uses of a vlog is educational, and there are many business applications for this, from corporate training to instructional ‘how to’ videos. The way to decide what will work best for your company is to do your market research. Find out who your customers are, what they’re interested in and what they want from your brand. 

So if you run a local garden centre, it’s likely that in autumn your customers want to know how to plant spring bulbs, or if you run a gaming company, your consumers might want information about the latest gadgets and gizmos to hit the shops. 

Give them what they want and you’ll be rewarded with likes, shares, follows, greater brand loyalty and ultimately new customers.

Behind the scenes

Depending on what your business is, ‘behind the scenes’ vlogs can be fascinating stuff, especially where your viewers have no idea what goes on behind closed doors. Your videos might include tours of your headquarters, interviews with members of the team, footage of the manufacturing process of your products or film that shows your services in action.

Announcements and speeches

If you have a new team member, corporate event or product launch, including a special announcement in your vlog gives a more personal touch than a standard press release, assuming you don’t make it sound too much like an advertisement for your business. 

Speeches (or selected excerpts) from company events can also be shown in this way, so that your viewers get to see what life is like inside your company and what makes you tick.

Things to remember

If you’re planning on starting a corporate vlog, there are some things that it would be wise to bear in mind before you begin:

  • Prepare your vlog posts in advance and don’t start posting until you have at least ten in the bag. This way, you won’t get behind schedule and disappoint your viewers.
  • Think about who is going to be vidoed on your vlog. If you are going to outsource your vlogging, you’ll need to make sure that your vlogger is a suitable match for your company and understands exactly what your brand is about. If you or a member of your team is going to do it in-house, you will need to make sure that you have the time and commitment to make it work long-term.
  • Be consistent in terms of when and how often your vlog is updated. Your viewers will begin to expect your posts on particular days.
  • Make sure your vlog looks professional (unless the ‘homespun’ look is an intentional marketing ploy!). If this means using editing software or hiring a professional, consider doing so.
  • As with a regular blog, communication and interaction is key. So make sure you respond to any comments or messages as soon as you see them, and encourage conversations to follow.
  • Don’t use your vlog to advertise. Whilst it might seem like a good use of the medium, your viewers are looking for valuable content, not a sales pitch.

Planning and executing a vlogging strategy can help to set you aside from the competition and turn your website into something more memorable, sharable and engaging. So why not take a look at what other companies are doing in the realm of video logs and think about using vlogging as a way of creating a loyal social network and boosting your brand? 

In the right hands, it can be a powerful tool for creating that extra something special.

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