Common Mistakes Business Video Bloggers (Vloggers) Make
I am a rare person in this digital age.
I don’t watch the videos of my friends’ kids that are posted on Facebook. Or the posted videos of animals doing cute things. And I don’t watch either the professionally-produced music videos or the homegrown-Glee-type videos that people in my social media community share almost daily. Video is not my preferred method of receiving information.
I do watch videos I have made of my own child. Repeatedly. Ad nauseum.
And I’ve sat through a TED talk. Just one. (It’s really good. Click the link!)
Call me a Luddite if you like.
But if you are considering posting video for your business, please ask yourself these three questions:
Does this video make me look good?
Is it a pleasure to watch?
~ and ~
Is this information available on my website in another form?
* * *
“All right Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” ~ Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard
If you are a business person offering vital information about your services on your website, and the ONLY way that information can be accessed by your audience is via clicking play, you may be losing customers.
Or at least, you’ve lost me.
I very rarely ever want to be a captive to my video screen.
And that’s how I feel when a service provider—even one whom I am already interested in—interested enough to begin clicking around their site, even sign up for their newsletter or blog—offers me a vital piece of information, which I can only receive if I watch their video.
Do your prospects, clients, friends, and community a favor: If you have something important to communicate, make the information available in images and text.
Heck, record a podcast too. Some people love podcasts. My husband listens to several every day.
I think one mistake business people make is they believe they have to do video, have a “vlog” on their website and/or create a YouTube channel. It is becoming more the norm, in the same way that it’s practically unimaginable today to be in business and not have a website. And some kind of social media presence.
Video for business isn’t a requirement.
It is, however, an opportunity. An opportunity to communicate in a visual medium, and to tickle the fancies of the search engines for higher SEO ranking, more link juice, and clicks clicks clicks.
I have a near evangelical passion for helping people be real in their marketing.
If you want to make a video portfolio of your work, if you want to star in a video or vlog series about your work, if your clients are up for talking about you in video testimonials, that’s GREAT! Go for it. But if you are cringing at the thought of any of this, please don’t do it.
And, if you feel that video truly is the right communication venue for you, your community, and your message: Invest in a talented videographer and editor.
Here are two vendors I recommend:
(And please tell them I sent you!)
There’s nothing worse than finally being induced/forced to click “play” and the video shows the service provider in a bad light. Literally. Issues common in business videos are: poor lighting, low-quality sound, distracting location, low-resolution, cheesy background music, videos that are too long for the content—as a rough guide, a vlog should be 30 seconds to 2 minutes, give or take a bit; if you are going to get your viewers engaged in a learning experience, consider that a TED talk is exactly 18 minutes.
Another good investment would be a presentation coach, a director, or even a close friend: Find someone who can help you make sure you look good.
As a communications specialist with a master’s degree in performance art
— and more than 20 years of experience teaching and performing improvisational theater —
I can help!
Common business video mistakes include:
- Clothing that is ill-fitting or otherwise unflattering to the person’s coloring and body type
- Physical delivery and props that hinder the message (including sitting in the wrong type of chair, sitting when one should be standing, standing awkwardly, being too fidgety or too still)
- Lack of balance among participants (for example, one person talks for the majority of the time even though two business partners are in the video)
- Lack of ease in front of the camera
A few tips:
- If you’re going to make video, then watch video. See what you like and don’t like about what your colleagues and competitors have done. If you view a well-produced, high-quality video, find out who made it and hire them.
- If you’re going to be in the video, get presentation training. Whether one-on-one with a communications specialist, or in a group improvisation or acting workshop, not only can this be invaluable as a tool for your video, it can also be a lot of fun.
- Have an outside-eye or coach with you at the shoot. That person can help identify and prevent problems before they are recorded.
- Have an outside-eye or coach give you feedback on how you are coming across in the final product. Ask a skilled observer to describe what your video is really saying about you and your business.
Your community, friends and fans will thank you. Your potential clients may click, play, and hire you.