An entrepreneur wrote me recently wanting to know which blogging approach was better, video blogging or written blogging. She also wanted to know how to get started. Here is her question....
"I am seeing more and more videos and articles about the popularity of videos. I personally like learning through watching videos and also find them easy to listen to when doing other things. However, how do I learn the preference of my target market. Also, how do I get started with video blogging? I have tried a few videos on my computer and they don't look high quality. I don't want to spend a lot of money, but I know they need to look good."
Video is definitely growing. It's a messaging vehicle that many people prefer but it's not always the right vehicle for every communication opportunity. When it comes to blogging, your audience may or may not prefer a video. They also may not see the benefit of watching a video blog from you. Sounds harsh but it really goes to how your audience likes to absorb the content you provide.
Take a look at what kind of content you offer. Is it educational with lots of research and insights to offer? Is it an opinion piece? Is it a how-to style delivery or is it mostly for entertainment purposes. The more detailed your blogs get (assuming a conveyance of learning something) the more your audience may prefer a written blog. Then again, depending on the age of your audience and the type of work or interests they possess, video might be a better way to reach them.
Try this approach over the next couple of weeks (depending on how frequently you post) and see which media vehicle your audience prefers. Select 2 sites that allow written and video posts. One could be your own website if you have a good number of followers. The other should be a general social site like Facebook or Google+. Write a blog post and post it to each site. Then, do a video post using the content from your written blog to talk about the topic and post the video. Some of these sites allow you to directly upload your video. Others want you to upload from sites like YouTube or Vimeo. After doing this 5-6 times, look at the numbers (views, likes, and comments). You'll see what people prefer. You might also find that both do well. Creating videos that are pleasing on the eye take time so make sure you really want to go this route.
Now, if you want to create a pretty nice looking video very cheaply, go buy a good webcam like Logitec. It comes with software that allows you to shoot your own video. Here's a few tips for creating good video:
1. Make sure your appearance is professional.
2. Make sure you have good lighting. This is huge and can affect the clarity and color of the final product.
3. Position yourself and your camera so that you have more space behind you (between you and a wall or whatever) than the space between you and the camera. More depth behind you looks better.
4. Find a way to deliver your content that is comfortable for you. Reading a script can be stressful and it will show up in your video. If you want to capture the exact content of your written blog, consider telling it as if you would be explaining it to a friend.
Finally, get comfortable talking in front of a camera. The first 10 'takes' will probably be unsatisfactory to you. Don't worry, keep practicing.
Ultimately, you may find that writing blogs or articles have more distribution versatility than videos. After all, without making a robust attempt to get your words out there, neither method will do much for you.
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About the Author
Steve provides leadership, management and marketing coaching to business owners, executives and entrepreneurs worldwide. Considered the Catalyst for Change by the California Business Journal, Steve has coached over 400 business professionals to date.