I’ve been creating (almost) daily video lately on YouTube as part of an impromptu “challenge” with Joel Comm. The process is interesting because video is at once the hardest and also the easiest kind of content to create. I don’t necessarily love making video, but it’s what people consume these days. Far more than any other type of content. And so there I am, uploading video to YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Why? Because I want my ideas seen and absorbed.
You Don’t “Have” To Make Video (Yes, You Do!)
At this point, you do. the US Department of Labor & Statistics reports that people on average spend a total of 19 minutes reading per day. That 19 minutes includes texts, email messages, internet memes, and so on. Precious little of that time is spent on reading blog posts and newsletters (though, of the two, I’d pick newsletters to be more read, if they’re worth it. Mine is worth it.)
By contrast, people consume over 1 billion hours of YouTube each day. 100 million of those hours are on set-top boxes instead of TV. 300 million hours (and rapidly climbing) are consumed on mobile. And while maybe you aren’t going to YouTube daily yet, you’re already into Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime, and you’re sliding more and more towards consuming even more video daily. The numbers are out there.
So how are you going to produce video if you don’t love it?
By the way, here’s a video I shot recently just to show you I’m out there eating my own dogfood:
Tips to Producing Video
There are so many ways to make video. #1 and easiest is to just take your smartphone, open the camera, and push record. It’s so easy. If you can do your recording in one take, you might not even need to use editing software. If you’re like 99% of the universe and want to edit your piece, run it through something simple and free like iMovie or Microsoft Photos (both free).
The video I shot up above is from software called Ecamm Live (Mac only, I’m afraid). It’s the best video software I’ve ever bought. I can do Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or just record a file for my desktop to upload to everywhere later (this is what I do 99% of the time). It’s inexpensive, lets me use multiple cameras, do screencasting, and much more.
My tips for video? Here:
- Good audio trumps bad video. Get a nice mic. I use the Blue Yeti Nano.
- Lighting doesn’t hurt. I use two of these.
- Editing IS something useful. The more you can trim the fat, the better.
- 30 seconds is a great length.
- 1 minute or 2 are great.
- 10 minutes to 15 works, too.
- That space in between? Seems to be the worst length ever for a video. (Yes, the video above falls into that “dead” area.)
- The best way to stop saying “um” is to practice saying nothing while you wait for your brain to catch up.
- Make eye contact with the lens.
- Address one person, not “you guys”
- Practice recording and delete the files for a while before you publish. Takes the stress off.
I could give you more, but you probably have enough to start with right there, true?
But What Will People Want to Watch?
All humans, B2B or B2C, want to be entertained and informed. We’ll take entertainment without information if you’re super creative. We’ll hate every minute of being informed if you’re crappy at being entertaining.
Look to shoot videos more creatively and in more spots. Steal ideas from professionals like movies and TV producers and use those skills to make your videos more watchable in the longer run. Hey, I do talking head but I still make it visually appealing as I can.
Topics can be “how to,” or interviews with staff, or instructions, or frequently asked questions. There are countless videos that you need to produce, actually. Welcome videos. Summaries of your differentiation might be nice. See?
Don’t plan. Don’t fidget. Don’t worry. Don’t think you are missing the right equipment. You have a smartphone. Start there.
Trust that you’ll get better with good practice.
And if ever I can help, contact me. I’m here to serve. Plus, I want to see your videos!