Saturday, October 20, 2012

Using Video To Engage Community

Recently, a friend of mine, small business coach Stephanie Ward, posted this great pitch for getting all her readers and clients involved in making more video for their Websites and online communities. There are a couple of reasons to do this. Video is helpful for Search Engine Optimization, social engagement, and mobile engagement.

Here's a video I created earlier this year to help build engagement for a business intelligence and analytics community sponsored by SAS, a leader in business analytics and business intelligence software.

A couple of notes about making video here that you should keep in mind:

  • Be yourself. In the post linked to above, Stephanie suggests that practice will make you more comfortable in front of the camera. I'd add that making video doesn't require tightly scripted preparation. I generally use a short typed script as a guide but don't put much pressure on myself to stick to it. Be natural.
  • Silliness is OK. I know! I know! You've probably heard the advice about avoiding humor because some of your audience might not find your attempts funny or, worse yet, might be offended by your efforts. I'd refer you to point one. I tend to be a kind of silly guy at times, so trying to do video too seriously can feel a tad unnatural. Whatever makes you feel comfortable (and seems appropriate for your audience) can work just fine for your video, even if it ends up being a bit goofy.
  • Think visually. Though a simple video of you speaking directly to your audience can be quite effective, it doesn't hurt to think a bit further in terms of visual variety. Change backdrops. Think of ways to illustrate your points visually. Use different angles, long shots, closeups, and cutaways (perhaps of graphics and other related images) to add interest.
  • Add value. Simple improvements in your video can add dramatically to its value. If you know someone experienced in graphic animation, ask them to design a title sequence and see if you can find royalty free music online. You'll be surprised at the improvements these elements will make to your video.
  • Are you using video on your blog or in your social media content? Why or why not? Leave your comment below.

    4 comments:

    1. I'm giving video a serious thought because the authenticity that shines through video is often key to increase the engagement rate towards content. Thank you for sharing the video and tips, Shawn. :)

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    2. No problem, Wayne. Thanks for commenting. Video isn't as hard as people seem to think, and the technology is making it easier all the time. The key is to let your own personality shine through. Don't imitate others. Be yourself!

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    3. I love it! You are totally authentic! I enjoy your writing, but video totally takes it up a notch.

      And thanks for the useful tips.

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    4. Thanks, Jacqueline. So nice to hear from readers.

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