You, “I’m not reading a second more of this if you don’t explain what micro-vlogging is”
Me, “Ok, fair deal…”
You, “Firstly, what’s vlogging?”
Me, “You’ve heard of blogging, right? It’s the video format; a video blog, a vlog.”
You, “Ok, so what’s micro-vlogging?”
Me, “It’s the short-form version of vlogging. Platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories = Micro-Vlogging, because they are sequences of short videos which only last 24 hours before they go.”
This new form of video content is enabling people & businesses to build their brand online. These accounts allow you to show off who you are, what you know and what you do to huge numbers of people. And not only that, they allow you to engage in a more personal way than many other social media platforms.
However, there can be a big barrier to vlogging . That’s because in order to do it well you need to get comfortable with being in front of a camera and that can be about as appealing as presenting to an audience of 100 people.
In fact, it’s likely that there are the same reasons why people are as reluctant to vlog as they are to present to a large audience. Fear of judgement, fear of making a mistake, fear of being boring.
But if you can put these fears to one side and get going, you’ll realise that there are a wealth of positive outcomes you could get from vlogging. As an old boss once said to me, “feel the fear and do it anyway!”.
There is a multitude of ways in which people and businesses are using micro-vlogging platforms like Snapchat & Instagram Stories for their own benefit, such as:
- Meeting & connecting with potential customers
- Meeting & connecting with like-minded people
- Meeting & connecting with people who will help you improve what you do
- Meeting & connecting with people who’ll become advocates of your brand
So, let’s look at 5 things you can do to improve your micro-vlogging game.
If you’re using vlogging as a way of growing your personal brand it’s absolutely essential that you show the real you to your audience. People want to connect with people (and people do business with people) so you’ll find people are more responsive to you if you let them see the ups & downs of your life or business.
You’ll also get lots of engagement from others if you are yourself. Communicate with people in a natural way, tell them when you’re feeling good, let them know when you’re feeling sad. Talk to them as you would your friends and you’ll build new relationships with people across the world.
From a business perspective it’s important you don’t just use these platforms to sell to people. Show them what your business values, who your employees are and what goes on behind scenes. Let people feel the company and give them opportunities to engage with you.
You need to think about all forms of vlogging like you do your favourite TV show. Think about your favourite TV series for a minute… Let me guess, you watched it on the same day, at the same time, for as long as it ran, right?
But if the first episode had been on Sunday at 9pm, the next one two weeks later on a Wednesday at 1pm and the one after that was three days after at 7pm, and only lasted 30 minutes, you probably wouldn’t have finished the series, would you?
Vlogging is the same. It doesn’t have to be daily, but people want consistency. They want to know you’re going to be present on the platform regularly because if you’re not going to be creating content regularly, they’re not going to engage with you or become a loyal audience.
So, make sure you commit to the platform you choose (Snapchat, Instagram Stories etc) and stay consistent on it. Some days you might post a short story and another you’ll do a longer story but if you stay committed you’ll give yourself a better chance of building a bigger audience.
If you want to use micro-vlogging to grow your brand as an authority in a particular domain then you’re going to need to add value to those who follow you. What does this mean? It means you need to share content which your audience learns from.
This could be in many ways:
- You share your experience
- You share knowledge
- You share how to do things
- You share useful tools
- You share informative articles or videos
- You conduct surveys, and share results
There are many forms of content you can share with your audience and the more you experiment with the different content the more you’ll learn what resonates with them.
What matters here is the context in which you set your online presence, your position. If you state “I’m a marketer” then people are going to follow you to talk marketing and learn about what you’ve got to say. If you state “I’m a marketer” but none of your content is about marketing that’s not going to help you build an audience.
So, think about the context in which you’re using micro-vlogging. If it’s personal and you’re building your brand in a particular domain then you need to add value because people will follow you for that very reason. That’s not to say you can’t show other forms of content – you absolutely can. But people will expect marketing knowledge (using the above example) as well as the story of your day out in the country, or meal with friends. They’ll want both. The get the value, they get to see the real you.
If you’re a business then you can use this as an opportunity to share what you know. You don’t have to give away so much content that it makes buying your product or service redundant but by giving away useful content for free you’ll build an audience who become your fans and advocates and at some point, your customers.
There are lots of ways you can be creative with your micro-vlogging and you’ll need to utilise these resources to keep your content fresh and your audience engaged.
If you were to appear in the same seat and with the same background in every snap or story then, irrespective of your message, it’s not going to be very interesting to your audience. You want to make sure your audience don’t know what to expect and to deliver content in different ways.
Ways in which to be creative with content:
- Mix up video and images
- Use sound or music
- Film from different locations
- Use emojis
- Use lenses
- Use filters
There are many ways you can be creative and my advice is to see how other people use these platforms and then trial with the ideas you like. It’s not uncommon for people to ask another vlogger, “How do you do that??”, so feel free to reach out to people.
You also need to consider the length of your content. Maybe one day you post a lot of material so the next you produce something shorter. If it’s always going to take people 5 minutes to watch your Snapchat or Instagram Stories they might find it a turn-off – they need variety.
The final and most critical of all the things you need to do to be an effective micro-vlogger (vlogger and blogger) is to engage with people.
What does this mean? It means being interested in other people, genuinely. This doesn’t mean automating responses to people on Instagram! (Pet hate!)
Watch people’s stories, comment on them, create dialogue, build relationships. This is social media and you absolutely get out what you put in.
Whether you’re a person or a business building a brand you will need to engage with other people to create a loyal audience and the kind of relationships which create advocates of your brand.
Invest time in these relationships and they pay dividends for you – you may learn from these people, create advocates of these people or they may become customers.
Here’s an example of a Snap story from January / February 2017 just to bring it to life if you’ve never seen Snapchat or Instagram Stories.
I’ve covered a lot for your to consider here, I appreciate that. Micro-vlogging is a massively enjoyable place to be and it can also be time-consuming if you want to do it right, so you have to find the right balance.
My advice is to get started, watch as many others as you can and learn from them. Then, jump in. People need to see you so don’t be afraid to get behind the camera and talk to it.
Think of topics and deliver stories of 3-5 videos where you talk to people and here’s a bonus tip; when recording a video look at the lens and not the screen (a great tip @ gave me). If you look at the screen you will be looking down when people watch the video but if you look at the lens it’ll be like you look at the person when they see your video so it’s more personal.
So, now it’s over to you to get started but if you’d like to ask me some questions on the content above or vlogging in general just drop me an email.
You can find me on Snapchat and Instagram using the usernames below:
- Snapchat: @godders9
- Instagram: @SimonSocialMedia