BY TJ Walker
Anything you do in a text format, you should also do in a video format. You don’t have to hire Spielberg or Lucas to direct; just talk to a webcam and put out your ideas.
The phrase “video blog” means a lot of different things to different people, in the same way blogging means different things too. I am using the phrase here to mean any video you create yourself and put up on the web that is not a part of some bug, huge traditional media company like ABC or NBC. So video blogging could mean trivial reflections on what you had for breakfast, but it could also mean doing slick, highly produced hour-long training videos.
Video blogs can come in many different forms. Here are ten big categories:
- Video reflections of a personal and/pr professional nature, similar to anything you might currently write in a blog now.
- Video press releases where you simply restate the facts of your press release.
- Commentary on top news stories of the day. This is what I do every day on my video blog and on YouTube.
- Pitch videos where you send producers your best sound bites on a subject in the hopes that they book you on their show.
- Re-purposing media videos, i.e. if you are on CNBC or the Today Show, showcase your video in a place where everyone can see it.
- Re-purpose your speeches. If you give a speech, why not video record the whole thing and then release the whole video or edit it into interesting chunks and put on your video blog.
- How-to videos; present straight forward information on evergreen topics in a simple talking head video format. (I release these every day too, though some are recycled)
- Produced video segments. If you have the time and inclination, create a traditionally produced and edited video on a subject matter of importance to you and make it look as if it could be on the evening network news or even 60 Minutes.
- Endorsement videos. Video can be a great way to give a reference for an employee or vendor. Testimonial videos for friends, colleagues and associates can be easier and faster than text version and can have much more impact and lasting impression.
- The so-called “viral video.” This is mentioned last because it is the hardest to do and is highly confusing to people. But if you have a concept for a video that is outrageously funny or wildly provocative, then you should perhaps spend the time to produce it with the intention of making something that people will pass along, thus helping you reach a large audience.
I personally use all ten versions of video blogging options myself. Also, you will find there are sub-versions for many of these categories. For example, instead of creating a pitch video for the news media I might create what I call a supplement media video. IN this case, a reporter has called me up to interview me in a particular subject, say, how a politician did in a major debate or campaign speech. I set up a mutually agreed time to do the interview in one hour. Next, I quickly formulate my thoughts on the topic. Then, I shoot a quick 90 second video where I dump all of my thoughts in a concise, sound bite fashion. Next, I email the video to the reporter. I still do the interview as planned at the scheduled time. But I tell the reporter that I have created a video just for him or her and it can be used exclusively for the online version of their story. Now, instead of getting just a couple of quotes, I get twice as many quotes because the reporter can pull more out of the video AND I get the video attached as a link (often with a large thumbnail photo) on the web page where the story is located. This can’t be guaranteed every time, but it does happen and it’s a simple thing to try.
Over time, you will come up with your own uses for your video blog. There are few hard and fast rules except for this—if you can do it in text, you should likely be doing it in video format as well.
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