In the last few years, I've seen video take off in ways we didn't used to understand. Now, I'm putting together a videoblogging educational product, and it got me asking a lot of questions about how video has changed and how much people actually consume. My conclusion is that videoblogging will become more and more important to your business communications methods. Here's why.
I use a variety of tools to make video. I use my iMac and my Macbook Air if I'm shooting interviews on Skype, and I use Screenflow for screencasting. For things in high definition, I use my Canon Vixia HF S200 and lastly, I use a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 for shooting things on the go (it's a point and shoot camera with remarkably good high definition video built in). People ask about the tools more often than anything else and that's my little, varied toolbox.
Your phone probably shoots video, especially if it's an iPhone. But if not—and if you don't have any of the above—you might look at the Kodak Zi8 (which is being phased out but is still the best of the handhelds for balancing simplicity plus features that you'll want) and the Kodak PlayTouch or Sony Bloggie. All of these have their pluses and minuses, but let's just stop at this.
The gear is only what most people focus on. It's what we do with it that matters.
I use video for a few purposes:
- Screencasts give me engagement, especially if I'm helping someone understand one of my projects and how they can interact.
- Behind-the-Scenes gives me more audience, which lends itself to engagement and then more interactions.
- Testimonials help me a great deal, because a video testimonial, with a little bit of text pull-quoting underneath it, is far more compelling than just a text review.
You might see from the above-mentioned list that there are a few ways you can use video in your business. I recommend a blend of the four (three if you don't have anything that needs screencasting).
I'm a Mac person, so I use plain old iMovie and I upload mostly to YouTube—you might prefer Final Cut Pro, if you want to do more indepth work. If you're a PC person, you can use Windows Media Maker and Sony Vegas.
For posting, there's always YouTube, but you should also check out vimeo.com, viddler.com, and blip.tv. And if you want to publish to multiple places, then use TubeMogul.com.
Don't forget, video is getting powerful inside of Facebook and Google+, as well.
Here's a simple workflow to follow:
- Decide on your topic.
- Secure the people, setting and other parts you need.
- Decide on the length of the shoot and its intent.
- Record the video.
- Edit the video (adding captions, transitions, etc).
- Compress the video (if necessary).
- Upload the video (again, if you use TubeMogul, this step is easier).
- Publish the video on your blog/site or wherever you want it to go.
- Promote the video via social channels, to your e-mail list and to wherever else it should be promoted.
That's about as simple a workflow as I can think of.
Is it necessary?
Absolutely not. You don't need to get into video production. However, the click-through rates on video are much higher than without it. YouTube is ranked as the #2 search engine in the world behind Google. People respond to short form video much more positively than they do straight text or text with a picture.
So, it's up to you.
Me? I love using video and I'm seeing a lot of business value in it. I hope you give it a shot.