With the exponential growth of video and social engagement, Vlogging and life-sharing is skyrocketing. Business owners and marketing managers can learn a lot from the engagement tactics every successful blogger uses. Here are the top 10 secret tips vloggers don’t want you to know.
But first, what is vlogging?
Vlogging is short for video blogging. Vlogs are a visual form of blogs, usually watched on YouTube. Vlogs are typically shared through social media channels more than conventional blogs due to their highly-engaging and easy-to-view style.
As video content continues to grow, we’re sharing with you the TOP 10 secrets from the vlogging world, so listen up!
1. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RICH
Are you are eager to start vlogging but lack the technical know how and bank account to get started?
Vlogs are popular for their transparency – people want the nitty-gritty your personal life. Do you own a smartphone? Are there video options on your camera? You don’t need much else!
You don’t need expensive equipment for vlogging. The quality of your content is far more important than a fancy set up.
Sure, a tripod or camera stabilizer can improve the overall visual quality, but you can get a similar visual output simply by propping your phone against a stack of books. I’ve used old textbooks, my stairs, and even a drying rack to record videos before! You don’t need high costs for high quality. The essentials for vlogging come down to SOUND and VISUAL.
Go ahead and create a test video and LISTEN BACK to it – Is it muffled? Too loud? Is there a baby crying in the background? Dogs barking?
LOOK at the video quality – is it in focus? Is it blurry? Are there take-out containers strewn across your table in the background?
2. YOU DON’T NEED A FANCY LOCATION
Once you test your SOUND and VISUAL, the next step is to START.
Success begins at home!
Your video quality depends heavily on a setting with good light – simply changing your angle or opening your curtains can make a big difference. Here’s a photo I took in the same room from two different angles just seconds apart.
This required no filters or editing, all I did was change my position in the room. A noticeable difference, right?
In Image #1 you will notice highlights around my hair. My back was facing the window meaning the natural light came from behind me. The harsh light from my kitchen beat down on my face from above. Artificial lighting is not flattering for photography.
Most artificial lighting in your home is ‘yellow light’ and gives a yellowish-orange tone to the subject. This can distort skin tone and eye color. The subject in the photo isn’t sharp or clear.
In Image #2 I faced my window and used the natural light, also known as ‘white light.’ White light gives skin a clearer look, reduces shadows, and emphasizes natural colors.
While white light occurs all day, early morning and evening sometimes produce effects similar to the yellowish-orange of artificial lights during sunrise and sunset.
If you want similar lighting in all your videos regardless of the time of day, lighting set ups aren’t too expensive nowadays if you are interested in investing a little money.
If you want a change of scenery and decide to film outside, remember these lighting tips (and don’t forget your visual and audio quality).
If you are going to film in public spaces, such as while on public transport, at a restaurant, or for a concert or other major event, understand the rules for filming – sometimes places like airports or malls need prior approval.
3. TELL A STORY
Any video you make needs to tell a story. Have you ever watched an advertisement or video and thought, “What am I watching?”
No matter if its for a client, your business, or just a personal video, create a plan for your story. It may be best to jump right in at first in order to experiment with your tone and what you want to say. If speaking on camera seems awkward at first, just give yourself the time to get use to it. You can always delete your first cuts. No one needs to see those!
…Or do they Dave… (throwback time)
With time, a pattern should emerge in your videos. (This is important for consistency!) If you’re making tutorials, for example, they may go something like this:
- intro focusing on a new technique or equipment
- ease in with some simple tricks
- continue with more advanced techniques
- show an example of one of your creations
- end with a call to action asking viewers to subscribe
The most common mistake I see business owners and marketers make is they forget to “tell a story.” If the message you are trying to share is not interesting, people will not listen. Make sure to adapt your message into story-telling mode.
4. GROWING YOUR CHANNEL
While creating for yourself is highly respectable, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off what you’ve made to more people.
Vlogging means putting in the time and effort to GROW your channel. You can’t sit back and simply hope subscribers will appear.
You can gain thousands, if not millions, of followers in less than a year. It’s not just possible, it’s becoming more and more common on sites like YouTube.
In my years developing networks and growth hacks for brand accounts and influencers, I’ve learned a few important tips.
[P.S. Want to learn more about influencers or growth hacks? Email us and let us know – we want to write content YOU’RE interested in!]
5. CALL TO ACTION
A ‘Call to Action’ (CTA) in your video (or other content) prompts the viewer to act. Maybe you ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel, follow your other social media accounts, download an app, or click a link.
There are many social media templates available. No matter your vlogging style, Call2Action has great ways to draw attention the CTA in your content.
You can put links in your content or below your video. Tools, including animations such as Arrow Fold Down, can be used to emphasize the location of your link whilst you are talking about it in your video.
Emphasize what you want your readers to do. Make your callouts simple to understand and visually easy to see. Tell them what the next step is and what you’d like them to do.
Say you’re going to post everyday? Post everyday. Dedicate as much time as you can but don’t overload yourself.
By developing a schedule— say, posting every Wednesday or the first of every month— you not only have a deadline but your audience knows a specific a date or time to visit your channel!
Don’t let down your viewers!
Consistency isn’t just about WHEN you post, but also WHAT you post.
Need help producing consistent intros and outros? Call2Action has you covered!
We have templates for every style! Consider the tone of your channel and overall visual theme. Then choose a set of templates that you will use IN EVERY VIDEO.
Slap dashing 20 templates together doesn’t look professional – instead pick key animations that compliment each other. There are many lower thirds, intros and outros that actually belong together in a set.
Don’t have Call2Action? Make vlogging easier! Click below on the little blue button and we’ll take you to a special page to check out how to join our family.
7. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
The most successful YouTubers I’ve worked with understand their audience. They stick to guidelines for making content to please their fans.
One struggle I saw with young talent was their transition throughout their teenage years. As they changed and grew, their content began to change with them. These young vloggers had to decide whether to stay PG-13 or warn their audience that more adult-themed content may begin creeping in as they aged.
Likewise, I worked with YouTubers in their 20’s still catering to young teens—they largely kept their channel voice the same. This was mostly for brands rather than personal vlogging. Companies want ‘brand safe’ influencers, meaning they’ll stick to the tone of the product and be appropriate for the target audience.
Swearing, drinking alcohol, or telling inappropriate stories for children are all key reasons a big brand will turn down a vlogger.
In one stressful week in my life, which I call ‘Crisp Gate,’ a huge talent decided to go vegan. They dropped a contract with a giant crisp company worth hundreds of thousands of pounds because the brand no longer aligned with their ‘image’.
That’s some kind of dedication!
8. CROSS-PLATFORM PROMOTION
There’s strength in numbers! Keep this old adage in mind as you start vlogging. Do you have other social media with engagement? Start promoting your new vlogs there! Even if its just to friends and family, use the platforms you have!
Give your viewers a taste of what’s to come by posting a little intro on your other sites but keep all your actual videos in one place (like YouTube).
Consider reaching out to people you know with a large audience to help promote. Just make sure to repay the favor when you get famous!
9. BE A SPONGE
If you’re a new vlogger, or starting off in anything new, sponge up the knowledge of your peers.
This doesn’t mean copying; it means looking around you, and especially to those who are above you, and getting a sense of what things are working.
But just because you are a health vlogger doesn’t mean you should only watch health vlogs.
Influencers can benefit from studying other topics. For example, an influencer in the cosmetic industry can enjoy huge success with an introduction into the video styles from the fitness world.
Applying successful components from other industries can make you stand out in yours.
Not sure what to look for? When watching successful vloggers, look for:
- camera angles
- length of video
- interactive elements
- structure of topics
- tone of voice
10. GET GOING!
Here it is, the big one! This is THE secret to vlogging.
There is NEVER a ‘right time’ to start. You just have to dive in! Don’t put it off for tomorrow.
Also remember that I love seeing how these posts have inspired your work and how you’ve incorporated your Call2Action templates into your vlogs!
Please, please reach out and show me what you’ve made! (You could feature in our monthly showcase, too!)
Let’s see what you’ve got!
Till next time, Call2Actioniers!