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Eighty-seven percent of businesses use videos as a marketing tool. If you haven’t embraced the power of videos yet, you can take the first step by starting a vlog for your business.

We’re not talking about makeup tutorials and unboxing videos. Instead, we’re talking about videos that inform and entertain your customers — pushing them towards making a purchase. 

Your customers are craving video content from you.

As with any new venture, vlogging can feel overwhelming when you’re just beginning. By learning from the mistakes of others, you’ll more easily set your vlog up for success. 

In this guide to starting a vlog for business you’ll learn:

  • What vlogging is
  • What the benefits of vlogging are
  • What vlogging equipment you’ll need
  • How to set up your vlogging set
  • How to promote your vlog
  • Common mistakes to avoid while starting a vlog for your business

What Is Vlogging?

Vlogging is a portmanteau that combines the words “video” and “blogging.” It’s the art of regularly creating and sharing videos with the public.

Vlog content is typically less polished than other kinds of corporate videos. However, this doesn’t mean your vlogs should be sloppy. Instead, think of vlogs as an opportunity for you to show off the human side of your business.

Like a blog, a vlog is a medium through which you can share your expertise, make a connection with customers, and promote your products and services.

The Benefits of Vlogging

Why should you be vlogging in addition to blogging? Vlogging helps you reach new customers, and connect with existing customers in a more memorable, more engaging way that keeps them coming back to your business.

According to a report by GlobalWebIndex, 44% of internet users watch vlogs every month. If you’re only blogging, you could be missing out on reaching new customers who enjoy consuming information and entertainment through vlogs.

Vlogs are more memorable than blogs. After watching a video, people can recall 95% of what they saw, compared to only a 10% recall rate after reading content. 

Vlogs are also more engaging than blogs. A study by the University of California San Diego found that images are more powerful than words when it comes to affecting human emotions. It’s easier for people to make connections with moving images (like a person’s face in a vlog) than with text.

Add vlogging to your marketing mix to reach new customers and stay atop existing customers’ minds.

Tools to Use for Vlogging

Yes, you will need to invest in several tools to launch a vlog. Fortunately, there are options for all kinds of budgets. Here’s the basic equipment that you’ll need for starting a vlog:

  • A video recording device. A smartphone is a perfectly acceptable tool to start with. Eventually, consider purchasing a DSLR camera with video recording capabilities.
  • Audio equipment. Lavalier microphones help you get crisp audio in separate channels, and are therefore ideal for pinning on your host or interview subjects. Add a boom microphone to your toolkit if you record a lot of ambient sound.  
  • A tripod. Anything that can hold your recording device steady will do. The Joby camera tripod offers an affordable solution for getting started.
  • Lighting equipment. If you don’t have access to a filming location with ample natural light, invest in a lighting kit.
  • Video editing software. Start with free software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker and upgrade to Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro X when the time is right.

How to Set Up Your Vlogging Set

Before you roll your camera, you need to decide where and how to film your vlog. Keep these considerations in mind as you set up your filming set to save yourself from making rookie mistakes: 

  • Choosing a location – Select a filming location that lets you control light and sound as much as possible. Your vlogging set should receive ample natural light and be relatively quiet. When you think you’ve found a good filming spot, close your eyes and listen for buzzing lights, humming appliances, and cars passing by. 
  • Selecting a background – Your set’s background plays a major role in establishing the aesthetic for your videos, so choose it wisely. A simple, solid-colored background (like a green screen) gives off modern, minimalist vibes and serves as a blank canvas for adding graphics to. A background that shows an organic environment (like an office, a kitchen, or a library) is more cinematic and reveals more about the people or business featured in the video.
  • Framing your shot – Rather than placing your subject in the center of your camera’s viewfinder, use the rule of thirds to frame your shot. The rule of thirds involves placing your subject slightly off-center to create a shot that is aesthetically pleasing and balanced. Avoid making your subjects so small that it’s difficult to read their lips, or too large that the tops of their heads are cut off.

How to Promote Your Vlog

Film a video and people will watch it…right? Not necessarily. Promote your vlog through these media to get maximum views:

  • Social media – Your social media followers may not know that you have a vlog, so it’s your job to tell them about it. Promote new videos with several social media posts across each of your networks. Use social media to give your followers bonus vlog content. For example, you could share behind the scenes shots via Instagram Stories. 
  • Email marketing – Announce the launch of your vlog to your loyal newsletter subscribers. Send email updates about new videos that you create. Include a call to action in each email to ask your email subscribers to become vlog subscribers.
  • Your website – Amplify your vlogging efforts by making the vlog a part of your business’ website. An easy way to do this is to write companion blog posts for each video. Repurpose video content by translating video to text with a transcript, formatting the text to create a blog post on the same topic, using information from the video, and embedding the video into the blog post.

Confused about how this cross-posting technique looks in practice? Check out an example of a vlog-turned-blog post on a Bluehost blog article about web hosting.

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Vlog for Your Business

While experimentation is encouraged in the vlogging world, a considerable amount of experimentation has already been done by vlogging pioneers. 

Give yourself the best chance of making a good impression on customers through your vlogs by avoiding the mistakes that others have made while starting a vlog for business.

1. Thinking You Need to Spend a Fortune on Equipment

Many entrepreneurs stop vlogging before they even begin because they’re afraid that they can’t afford the proper video equipment to do it justice. The truth is, you don’t have to spend a lot to create quality vlog content. 

Your ability to create a compelling vlog isn’t about the equipment you use but about your ability to tell a story. Start with the equipment you already have, add some affordable tools to your arsenal, and upgrade your equipment after you see a return on your vlogging investment.

If you’re on a budget, we recommend starting with three essential tools: a video recording device, a tripod, and video editing software. When your vlogging efforts are well under way, you can eventually add lighting and audio equipment to the mix. 

2. Ignoring Your Customers

Vlogging isn’t a vanity project. Rather than creating vlog content that you want to make, make vlog content that your customers want to watch. Pay attention to the comments on, reactions to, and number of views on your videos to uncover the types of content they’re most drawn to.

Need to solicit feedback? End each video with a call to action asking viewers to leave  comments about what they want to see more of. 

If you haven’t yet built up enough viewership to solicit meaningful feedback, ask customers what video content they’d like to see from you through other means, like your email newsletter.

3. Focusing Only on YouTube

YouTube is the vlogging hub. However, you can’t just upload your videos to YouTube and hope that people will watch them without any further action. Boost your vlog’s views by:

  • Crossposting vlogs to your website and blog
  • Sharing vlog content on social media
  • Telling your email subscribers when you’ve uploaded a new vlog
  • Playing your vlogs at your office or shop (if your business has a brick-and-mortar location)

Vlogging is becoming an increasingly important marketing tool for small businesses. It lets you connect with customers in a more engaging and more memorable way, which keeps them coming back to your business. 

Fortunately, starting a vlog isn’t as intimidating as it may seem. All it takes is several pieces of equipment and some good ideas. With some marketing efforts via your website, social media, and email newsletter, your vlog could help you reach many new customers.

Every vlog needs a website to accompany it. Grow your business’ marketing efforts with a website hosted by Bluehost.

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