One minute of video is worth 1.8 million words.

Admittedly that stat is a little questionable, but there’s no arguing against its message: video content is powerful stuff.

So powerful that it has fast become my favorite form of content.

Here’s why.

It shows my real personality

As much as I try to show my personality in my writing, there’s only so much I can do to get it across – especially when writing informational or instructional articles (it’s a little easier when I’m writing “personal” pieces based on my own life and experiences).

Video, however, makes it pretty much impossible not to show my personality. My passions, emotions, and vulnerabilities are exposed when I’m on camera, whether I like it or not (thankfully I do).

This is a huge help when it comes to lead nurturing. When I talk to leads, they often already know what to expect from me. They know my core values, that I’m probably going to curse, and that I will always be upfront and tell it like it is.

It makes me a better communicator

Brevity is really important in online video (more on that shortly), so the practice forces me to condense topics and explain them as clearly and concisely as I can.

That’s a really valuable skill to have, whether or not you use it in video.

It builds better relationships with my audience

Being able to see my face, watch my expressions, and hear my tone of voice helps my audience connect with me on an emotional level. It’s the closest you can get to meeting someone in real life and shaking their hand.

It’s easy to make an impact

Most of my videos get between 100 and 400 views. That’s a tenth of the visits my written content tends to get. Despite this, the engagement I get on videos is through the roof – about 25-30% of viewers respond to my videos in some way.

It’s easier to stand out

YouTube is becoming more crowded every day, but competition in video is nothing compared to the fight we have for readers of the written word.

Getting in front of a camera, and putting the results online, takes guts. It’s not something everyone is willing to do, and it’s something even fewer people can do well.

That means if you can put together a half-decently produced video that contains genuinely useful content, you might be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to gain traction.

It’s a great way to build an audience

Video has had a huge impact on the careers of people like Neil Patel, Peep Laja, and Rand Fishkin. If I have one regret about video, it’s not jumping on the bandwagon and joining these guys sooner.

It makes me feel famous

Yeah okay, I know deep down that 100 to 400 views on a video makes me a long way from being “famous,” but watching myself on screen, and seeing the response I get from people sure makes it feel like I am – and who doesn’t find that fun?!

Creating a studio

Setting up a studio in your office is much easier than you probably think. It doesn’t need to be big or flashy – you just need a quiet space. Bonus points if it’s windowless (you need full control over the lighting in the room). If that’s not possible, a blackout curtain or blind should do the trick.

My studio pretty much consists of:

  • Two studio lights.
  • A white backdrop.
  • Two cameras affixed to tripods – one directly in front of me and one off to the side.
  • An iPad pro – I use this to display my notes. It’s attached to and sits directly beneath the central camera.

Once you’ve sorted out your setup, there are three fundamental factors you need to consider if you want to create high-quality video for publishing online.

  • Lighting – the space you’re shooting in should be bright and evenly lit. There shouldn’t be any shadows visible on screen.
  • Sound – it doesn’t matter how good your video looks if the sound sucks. Invest in a microphone – you can get a cheap one that you pin to your lapel for less than $20, but if you can afford to spend more, it’s probably worth it.
  • Brevity – the longer your video, the harder it is to retain viewers’ attention until the end. Keep your videos as short as possible by only including critically important information.

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How to get more out of your video content

Everything I know about video content I learned from Wistia and Leadpages. I strongly suggest you check them out. In the meantime, here are four of the most important lessons I’ve learned about how to get the most out of video.

1. Write a blog post to accompany each video

I don’t mean write a transcription – I mean, you can do that if you want; it adds some value for SEO which is important – but it’s not ideal for your audience.

Instead, write a blog post that’s based on the best bits of your video, and that is strong enough to stand out as a content piece on its own.

2. Republish that blog post to Medium and LinkedIn Pulse

These platforms give you the chance to tap into huge audience numbers – far more than you could ever hope to reach with your own blog.

3. Turn your video into a slideshow

Use a tool like Canva, Powerpoint, or Slideshare to turn the key points of your video into a slideshow that you can embed on your website and/or onto Slideshare itself.

4. Break your videos up into smaller parts

Not all platforms are suited to longer videos (and when I say “longer,” I still mean pretty short – five minutes or less).

Breaking your videos up into smaller parts is a great way to boost visibility by getting your content in front of different audiences on platforms that aren’t designed specifically for video.

The optimal length for a video shared to Facebook is between 30 and 45 seconds, while you should try to keep videos shared on Snapchat to just 10 seconds.

Have you started using video in your content marketing? It’d be great to hear about what you created and how effective you found it to be. Comments are below – you know what to do.

Comments
  1. Some great tips. Good that your standard for views is not super high. It seems like you get more satisfaction. If my vid doesn’t hit at least 1k views I’m disappointed!

    About to get my first 100k views on a vid though, which is awesome . Just a question about how to do that on more vids.

    Video definitely helps to connect with my audience. I’ve gotten clients directly from videos, including interviews like the one we did.

    The one thing I need to start doing, as you suggested, is to create a content piece based on the vids. I’ll be getting someone else to do that for me though.

    1. Congrats on the success! I think videos are like blog posts in that you don’t know which ones are going to take off, and you can’t just “record and pray”, you have to do some promotion. That’s where writing a piece of content based on it comes in; a blog post is easier to promote and giving people the option to read the blog post or watch the video opens up your audience.

  2. Sujan,
    I strongly agree about video being king of content going forward.
    I just started Facebook Live videos. I speak on resilience and I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. So I started sharing my story but with video I also shared how I was dealing with it so I could bounce forward and keep positive. My first video got 6k views and 11 shares. My second video got 11k views and 100 shares with over 110 comments!
    I repurpose these videos and add them to YouTube and my website.

    1. Wow, congrats on the success with your videos and with your resiliency fighting breast cancer! A good point on repurposing as well, I do that with blog posts to videos and it makes them much easier to write and record.

    1. Hi Roland, I actually have a professional videographer who has equipment, and I’m not sure exactly what kind of cameras he uses. I know that many YouTubers record professional-quality videos with their smartphone and a stand to keep it steady. There are whole setups that are based around recording with a smartphone. You don’t have to break the bank on recording equipment to get started with video!

    2. Hey Roland,

      I have just recently purchased a Canon EOS 600D which can record in Full HD and has a very reasonable pricing.

      The big advantage is that you caneed easily expand this equipment w/ new lenses cheaply.

  3. Excellent post. I’ve just recorded 8 new videos to get 2017 rolling along nicely as far as video content is concerned.
    Another point I believe video helps with is in reducing the average time it takes to close a sale. You touch on many key points above that all assist in helping reduce the sales cycle. By being on video you are now much more accessible and people feel more confident in doing business with you.
    Interesting point on the avg time for a Facebook video. I might look to try that in 2017. Shorter vids that get to the point quickly without any fluff. Nice one.

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Great to hear you’re trying out video for yourself! Definitely agree with you on how it helps move folks down the funnel. And yes, Facebook video is a totally different game than your YouTube channel.

  4. A few tips: 1) Get a conservative hair cut and a clean shave before filming.
    2) Wear a dress shirt, and if possible a coat and tie.
    3) Prepare powerpoint slides to interweave with the camera video output.
    4) If you flub a line, take it over from the start until it is perfect.
    Thanks,

    1. Great tips, Bob! With some of them it definitely depends on your audience. Some groups want to see buttoned-up professional and some want more laid back relaxed. Just have to know your audience.

  5. Thanks Sujan

    Great piece once again. Do you think, videos which include text labels/bullet points (highlighting the key points) tend to fare better than the ones which just focus on the actual message through the video.

    Regards

    1. Hi Vicky,

      I don’t think it matters directly. You don’t want to approach your videos like a powerpoint presentation, but I have a few non-intrusive ‘bullets’ that pop up next to me in my videos. The focus should still be you talking, though.

  6. Hey Sujan,

    I would support your statement by 100% and am really thankful for your tips how to make video better.

    The only question I have is: why haven’t you created a video version of this blog post? 🙂

    Best,
    Phil

  7. I tried a combination of Youtube videos and companion blog posts for writing fiction, and I found that the posts got far more views. The videos hardly ever got a reaction at all. I wonder if that’s because writers are more inclined to consume written content?

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