Vlog and Vlogging – what is it all about?

What is a Vlog

A ‘Vlog’, sometimes referred to as a video blog or video log, is simply a blog but in the form of video or web TV content – or indeed a video element within a normal regular text blog or website article.  I personally hate the name, but the value of vlogging within marketing, and its ability to develop a strong website following, is well documented and accepted.  People love watching video content as it’s the simplest and quickest way to gather information and discover the identity and culture of the vlogger and their business.

Whilst you can host your vlogs on any suitable server, most vloggers use the likes of YouTube or Vimeo as it is very easy to add tags and metadata to enable your content to be indexed and found within search engines. Once you start building a body of vlog content you can also group all your content within your own YouTube or Vimeo channel – giving viewers the chance to see your entire vlog library and share it with others who share similar interests.  Further syndication is made possible through channel subscriptions so that your audience can choose to be notified of new content as and when you post it – which in turn anyone can then share through their own social media platforms.

So what can you Vlog about?

The subjects and motivations for vlogs are virtually endless and can be seen as a way to diary your thoughts and feelings and to share news about your business that you think your audience will find of interest – and content that hopefully they find interesting or entertaining enough to share with others.  For this reason the most popular vloggers are those who use humour, share specialist, valuable knowledge or a strong viewpoint on topical matters.  This might sound like a challenging proposition, but if you can’t say something of value or interest about your business or products then no one else is going to be able to.

Here’s just 10 ideas which flew into my mind, but the list is actually endless…

  1. A great customer experience story
  2. A new product launch
  3. An anniversary of the business
  4. A new office being opened
  5. A new member of staff joining
  6. A long-term member of staff retiring
  7. Results of a customer survey
  8. A version update on a piece of technology
  9. Comment on a new piece of legislation which affects your customers
  10. A report on your attendance at an exhibition

To aid and encourage syndication always try to include third parties within the message in the hope that they will want to share your content too.  Each of the above suggestions have the potential to include others…

  1. The customers themselves
  2. The manufacturer, distributor or reseller of the product
  3. The founders of the business or the town where it was founded
  4. The estate agency who rented/sold the property to you
  5. The employment agency who found the employee
  6. The family members of the retiring person
  7. The survey software that was used
  8. The software manufacturers or supporting hardware
  9. The politicians involved in the legislation
  10. The exhibition organisers   

The frequency of your vlogs will be determined by the stories you have to tell.  Some vloggers will be adding content almost hourly, whilst others will add just a handful of vlogs each year.  As with all video content, the secret is to keep your vlogs short and sweet.  Viewer’s attention span has become shorter and shorter, which is why video aps like Vine have become popular in recent years.  Vine has a maximum video duration of 6-seconds which might seem impossibly short for a vlogging platform but many users prefer this time restraint as it keeps your mind focused on the message.  The other benefit of the 6-second limit is that the viewer will know they don’t have to invest much time in absorbing your content and are more likely to share – especially if it has entertainment value.

Vlog skills  

One of the key qualities or skills that you’ll need is to develop your own on-screen presence.  Whilst a vlog doesn’t have to be made up of someone presenting to camera, your viewing audience will want to develop a rapport or relationship with the person creating the vlog.  Some will find this easy and it will come naturally – but for those who would struggle with this it’s probably best that you gain some professional on-screen training.  The video camera is quite revealing, and engaging with your audience through it will require practice.

Presenting a video review
Developing your vlog presentation skills

Finally, the technology used to create a vlog is generally very basic.  A great deal of vlog content is created using a mobile phone and very basic video editing software – which is all totally acceptable if you are trying to create a video diary kind of look and feel to your content.  However, if you are trying to create a very professional image or augment an already polished premium brand, then your vlog content will need to reflect this with high production values and slick presentation skills.  This might be beyond what you can achieve in-house.

If you would like to talk through your vlogging ambitions in more detail, please feel free to contact us for more details – 020 3602 3356.