Lights, camera, action! Vlogging for your small business

Customers these days are pretty savvy. They can smell a fake from a mile off.

That’s why businesses big and small have discovered the power of authenticity — the ability to look your fans and customers in the eye, say what you mean and mean what you say. And what better medium to look people in the eye than video?

While blogging has been a great way to feature your expertise, give your website an SEO boost and give your customers insight into your business, many people are turning to vlogging (yep, video logging) on social platforms to achieve the same goal.

More and more social media platforms have added video into the mix, leading businesses and entrepreneurs to experiment with using video to communicate.

For example, many entrepreneurs have used LinkedIn’s new video capability to showcase the work they’re doing.

Vlogging itself has evolved from a person talking to a webcam (although that still happens a lot) to people using their mobile phones to, well, get mobile.

There have been all sorts of vloggers, from people livestreaming themselves eating to the likes of Casey Niestat who mixes vlogging with filmmaking every day.

READ: Casey Niestat on hustle

But you don’t need to go that far in order to experiment with using video to tell your or your business’ story.

What can vlogging do for my business?

Vlogging can be a great way to offer a ‘behind the scenes’ look at a business than regular blogging.

Blogging is great for exploring issues, posing questions and answering queries, but vlogging gives a personal touch.

Vlogging can humanise your business and create a degree of empathy from your viewer (and potential customer).

If you’re in the hospitality business, vlogging about your crack-of-dawn trip to the market for the freshest ingredients helps your customers understand your desire to get them the best product despite the effect on the crow’s feet around your eyes.

READ: Get the maximum value from your content marketing

If you’re a contractor, why not vlog about some of the great jobs you’ve done for clients. Again, giving people an insight into the quality of work you do, and also giving your business a human face.

We may be living in the Amazon age, but people still prefer to buy from a human rather than a website.

So if you’re thinking of giving vlogging a crack, here are some top tips to get started from our very own Senior Video Producer, Phil Tascone.

Top tips for getting started

Know your audience

Before you even pick up a camera, think about type of person you want to talk to.

Why would they be interested in what you have to say? Are you trying to solve a problem for them? Are you just trying to bring more laughter into their lives?

Make sure you’re always providing some sort of value in the hope that they will follow or trust in you (and your product/service).

Any camera will do

Vlogging is all about being raw and candid.

Don’t get too hung up on what camera to use. Instead, focus on your content.

Good content shot on a bad camera will always trump bad content shot on a good camera.

Some amazing films have been shot completely on camera phones. Your camera phone in selfie mode is very much the easiest and instant way to record yourself talking.

Don’t neglect audio

Audio makes up around 70 percent of the overall film experience, so always consider background noise.

You might want to do a test run in the conditions you are filming and listen back to how your voice sounds over any background noise.

Bluetooth headphones with microphone could be a great option for recording your own voice when using a camera phone.

Learn to edit

Editing is by far the most important skill to have for a vlogger.

This is where you can shape your story however you like – adding music for energy, titles for context and trimming the fat.

Try and make your vlog as short as possible. When reviewing each edit, constantly ask yourself, “If I got rid of that bit would anyone miss it?”

You’ll be surprised how much of it can go in the bin.

Google “free editing software” for either Mac or PC and go from there.

Have fun!

Quite often your energy and abandon is what your audience will buy into.

Vlogging is all about showing authenticity and being candid, so just be you.

Don’t overthink it.