Last year I started experimenting with video content through Snapchat, it is the first time I have created video content and I didn’t do it because it was fun or because I think I am good looking. I did it because I know that we are going to have to get familiar with creating video content whether we want to or not.
The data is there clear as day, we want to consume video. We prefer it to text. The longer you hold off the harder it is going to be. Text based content is not going to vanish overnight but video is surpassing it, given the choice we prefer to watch video as opposed to reading a blog post.
What do people want?
If you are a blogger or a freelance writer, what kind of content are you writing about? Social media, business, marketing, tech reviews, internet security…whatever it may be…create video content around that.
People want video to be entertaining and educational, people who search for videos on YouTube are more often than not looking for an answer to a question. That is what you need to be. They also want videos that are the right length, nobody wants it to be too long and overbearing so you need to find a sweet spot that works for you and for the audience.
Trying to walk before you can crawl
Take small steps, I have started with video content on Snapchat and Instagram for a reason. I can see a lot of people out there trying to walk before they can crawl. Perfect example is live video, streaming is hard. It is not easy to pull off a live stream and have it engaging with the audience, things can go wrong all the time when you go live. Many people out there are trying to live stream and the content is shit to be honest because they haven’t nailed the basics of just video content yet.
Starting with Snapchat and Instagram stories has been great for me because it gives me the chance to get used to the video platform. It gives you a chance to adapt to the awkwardness of pointing a camera in front of your face and talking. It helps your confidence because the platforms by nature are expecting off the cuff video, not a big well produced clip. Also the content vanishes after 24 hours so you know its not sticking around forever.
Work your way up
From here you can work your way up to something bigger and greater such as YouTube video. Start with something that is small and easy to get a grip on and then go big. You don’t need all the fancy equipment, people have given me the excuses in the past that they haven’t got the money to invest in video content.
You can use your camera phone, you can use a simple point and shoot. You don’t need to make a big investment to start creating video content, the equipment can be upgraded over time. When you start out you don’t need an expensive camera or fancy editing software, start by shooting and uploading for people to see and give feedback.
Its not easy, it is a foreign language
It is not easy to get a grip on video, it feels foreign to us. It feels awkward and we are putting ourselves out there for others to judge. The thing is, we have always been visual, why do you think video is popping now? Why is Instagram making such big gains in user numbers? When it comes down to it we always go with visual content over written content when we have the choice to do so.
Print is not going away but if you completely neglect any form of video based content, be it Snapchat, Instagram or YouTube then you are leaving yourself open because while text is not going away it will decline in comparison to what it has been over previous years while visual content grows.
You start by doing, start by creating the video content and uploading it somewhere. You will get better over time, you will get used to doing it over time and it will feel less awkward, fear is what holds a lot of people back when it comes to video.
Stop making excuses, you don’t need to invest heaps of cash in video, text is not the only way you can communicate your message, Twitter is not the only platform that can work for you. Those are choices you make, not constraints. Struggling with video content and want to stay in the safe zone of text? Fine, but understand that doesn’t mean the platform is wrong – that means you are wrong.