A few weeks ago, I decided to record a video of myself making a potato, corn and poblano pepper chowder. I channeled my inner-Millennial and sourced the recipe ingredients from my local farmers market. I roasted those poblanos and let them rest while I set up my phone and halo light to record.
As I recorded, I popped some of those chopped poblano peppers into my mouth.
Turns out, poblano peppers are hot. I don’t handle hot foods well at all.
My phone captured ninety seconds of waving hands, watering eyes and me sucking on an environmentally-friendly metal straw like eternal life was at the bottom of my cup. (I’m not being dramatic. I uploaded the clip to YouTube if you’re curious and want to watch here.)
I posted the original video to Facebook. In just a few hours, it had over 1,000 views, dozens of comments from people that never engage with my page. I posted that same clip on Instagram the next day with similar results.
Many writers prefer to sit behind their screens and send their written words to do the talking. However, we don’t need to limit our written words to a page, we need to convert our writing to video content as well.
When it comes to connecting with our audiences and growing a new audience, video content is the train that audiences are addicted to riding. If your writing goals include engaging your audience more, growing your platform or increasing book sales, then you’ve got to run like heck for that video content creator train and scramble aboard. Here’s why:
- Video Content Builds Trust
- More Video Content = More Time A Person Engages at a Website
- Video Content Creates 1200% More Shares (important for platform growth and book launches)**
Creating video content doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive or exasperating. I’ve curated a list of ten ideas and solutions to help you create video content that will increase your engagement with your current and future audience.
- Work Smarter, Not Harder – You don’t need to create new video content. Your best video content is already done! Search your blogs or social media posts for your most popular content. Then, choose the most popular sections, snippets, stories or sticky statements to record as content on video.
- Getting Ready for Your Close-up – If you’re stressed about how to look good on camera, here’s a video that I watched a few months ago with simple, practical advice so that you can record yourself with confidence.
- Fake Out Your Facebook Live Fear – Does the idea of being on Facebook Live feel slightly more appealing that getting stabbed with a sharp stick to the eye? Here’s a helpful tip: You can set up a secret group on Facebook. In that secret group, no one but you will see your Facebook Live. Therefore, you can practice going live in that secret group until you’re comfortable with streaming to your public or professional page.
- Rock Your Reader Engagement with StreamYard – This is my favorite! StreamYard is a simple livestream platform that integrates with Facebook Live and YouTube. StreamYard enables you to create a fabulous audience experience by posting questions, featuring their comments on screen, inviting guests and more! It took me five minutes to learn how to use StreamYard and it’s been a game-changer for me.
- How Do You Do? – How many of us loved watching the painter Bob Ross teach us how to paint, even though we were never going to pick up a brush? Of the nine best types of social media videos, tutorials and how-to videos rank first. Tutorials build trust and connection. If you’re a novelist, can you make a video about your main character’s skill or hobby? What if you don’t know how to do that skill, wouldn’t it be a fun for your audience to see someone teach you how to do it? Non-fiction writers, can you teach an inspirational illustration or prescriptive element from your work?
- Behind-the-Scenes Videos – This type of video ranked seventh on the list of most effective social media videos. Consider these ideas: record a brief video after writing your newsletter to tease your audience or imagine how much anticipation you can build if you record the last ten minutes of you writing your book. As you share your fresh thoughts and emotions, your audience will feel connected to you in that special moment and they’ll be invested in celebrating the launch with you in the future.
- Script, Don’t Stress with BigVu! This platform is on-screen teleprompter that equips you to look at your device and read the screen so you don’t forget what you want to say. Upload your content as a script (see #1 again) to BigVu for a simple, yet high quality video product that will save you time, stress and money.
- Canva now creates videos! Canva is a popular, user-friendly graphics creator, but did you know that you can now upload and create videos? Not only that, but Canva has video templates so you can record yourself and upload your video into their pre-designed templates for a finished and professional look.
- It’s Hip to Be Square…If you’re already using video, you may want to know that square videos receive 30% more views and 80% more engagement over standard 16:9 landscape videos.
- Story Time is Still Effective – Authors reading their books still works! It’s like a mini-Audible session + audience engagement. Ask a question at the end of the video for the viewers to answer in the comments. You can even ask your readers to record their own videos reading your work and share that as story time, too.
COMMENT ON ANY OR ALL OF THE FOLLOWING: What has been your experience with using video with your audience? What keeps you from using video more often? Are you curious about trying any of the ten ideas or solutions in today’s post?
** I found this statistic on YouTube. I’m not sure where they sourced that data. That percentage seems high, but even if it was only 25% true, video content still creates 300% more shares.