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.
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.
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
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.
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.