Using video to engage customers is the latest craze in the world of problogging. A lot of people are using it and a lot more are championing its use. But the way in which video is being used by most bloggers is, in my view, not the best use of video.
How Most Bloggers Use Video
The talking head, or the blogger sitting at their desk talking away into a webcam, is the most common use of video. Bloggers prefer this method for a number of reasons and it certainly has some advantages over written content. These include:
- Some visitors prefer video: Many people would rather watch a video than read. This is especially true of younger audiences, who are more likely to prefer video over text.
- The video helps put a face to a name: It helps to establish rapport between the blogger and their audience in the same way a face to face conversation establishes rapport over email.
- It is easier for some bloggers to create videos than to write: Many bloggers are good talkers and / or better talkers than they are writers. For them it is useful and advisable to create videos than written posts.
However, if you do not fall in the last category and are still using the talking head as your main form of video use, then you are missing the point of using video.
How to Really Use Video
The main advantage of using video over written posts is that it allows you to do things that written text does not. It allows you to communicate your message in ways that text does not. To understand what I mean let’s look at some examples.
Use of video 1 – Things that are hard to put into words
Some things are easier to show in video than in text. Take the following video on applying makeup, for example.
It is much easier and more powerful to show someone how to apply makeup using video than to write it out.
Similarly, it is easier to show someone how to play the guitar than to write about it. As it is easier to show someone how to squat properly, do a certain dance, play an instrument etc. than to write it down.
Use of video 2 – Things that are enhanced by imagery and sound
Then there are topics and ideas that can be written about but are enhanced by the use of video. RSA Animate is a company that has taken this concept seriously. Simply put they find talks by leading speakers from around the world and add sketch based animation to accompany the talk.
This is entertaining because it adds relevant imagery to audio. It makes concepts concrete, entertaining and more memorable.
Here is an example of how Kershmedia used the power of video to communicate their message about creating good PowerPoint presentations.
Finally, I used video on my About Age of Marketing page to enhance my message. I could have easily written it out in text but using sound and imagery was a much more powerful way to communicate my message.
At the end of the day, there is nothing inherently wrong with using talking head videos. But the true power of video is in using relevant imagery and sound than to simply say things. Its power is in using sound and imagery in ways that text cannot easily match.
Next time you decide to create a video, think how you can add in things to maximise the power of the medium.
What are your thoughts on using video on your blog? Have you had any videos go viral? If yes, what are some lessons you can draw to help other bloggers use video?