Blogs have been an Internet mainstay for years. From sports to politics to entertainment, blogging has been a convenient way for content creators to engage with their audience on an accessible level. Video blogs, or ‘vlogs’ for short, are no different; it’s simply the medium that is different. Instead of text, vlogs use video as the means of communication.
Vlogging for business is no different. The vlogger is still promoting their brand, only the brand is the business rather than the vlogger themselves.
Business vlogs follow the same elements as a regular vlog: they should be direct, focused, and informative. Vlogs should also be relatively brief in length, given our limited attention span while browsing the Internet.
“We find that having a vlog really opens up a lot of opportunities for businesses,” says Robert DePalma, co-founder of Azure Stages, a 5,500 square-foot facility in Scarsdale that provides space for clients in the film/video production and photography industries. “Vlogs not only deliver info like a blog would, but also capture the audience’s attention because they hit on two senses, audio and visual. Makes it much more effective than reading an informative article.”
DePalma says vlogs are a versatile way for businesses to create easily consumable content that suits today’s fast-paced social media world. Vlogs offer numerous ways to keep viewers engaged. Business can use vlogs to share updates on new hires, current business strategies, and future plans, for example. They also help put a face to the company and tell stories in ways that written pieces often cannot.
“[Businesses] can put infographics in vlogs,” DePalma adds. “[They] can have a visual of a person talking and cut away to some b-roll that still has an overlay of graphics. The audience is still reading it but there’s something really interesting that’s keeping their attention.”
So, how do businesses go about creating vlogs? Many vloggers might use their cell phones to record vlogs, but a safer bet is to use a good-quality camera, microphone, and tripod. Of course, the proper mix of lightning, sound, and presentation is key.
“I can’t stress the importance of the production value being as high as possible,” DePalma advises. “You can have a great camera but the lighting is wrong. You shoot in front of a window but the person becomes a silhouette. The sound may be crisp, but the sun streaks across a person’s face.”
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As for where to host a vlog, many companies will choose to upload their vlogs on a YouTube or Vimeo channel or on their website. WordPress, Weebly, Wix and Squarespace are all popular website builders with various templates designed for vlog creation.
Instagram TV (IGTV) is another tool that businesses can use for mobile vlogging. IGTV videos are not limited to one minute, as is the case with regular Instagram videos. Most user accounts can post videos of up to 10 minutes in length. Verified accounts and accounts with large audiences can upload videos up to 60 minutes long, although files of this size must be uploaded from a computer. Best of all, IGTV videos can stay on the user’s channel indefinitely, as opposed to regular Instagram stories, which disappear after 24 hours.
Many companies have social media teams that can promote their vlogs, but the quality of the video itself ultimately determines how many eyeballs it gets.
“It’s not how much content you can out there, you really have to cover the entire gamut,” DePalma says. “We’ve had people that say ‘we’ve noticed that there’s a big jump in the time that people are viewing these videos. We’re holding attention longer because it’s more professionally produced and polished.’ We know that’s the case because they keep coming back.’