The first-ever YouTube video, a 20-second vlog about the length of elephant trunks, has more than 230 million views. The vlogging medium has come a long way since those early days, developing into a multi-million dollar industry.
Vlogging is such a widespread, versatile medium, that it can be hard to get a good idea of what it is and how it works. Many people aren’t sure about the benefits of vlogs and whether it’s a suitable medium for their business.
If you’re wondering “what is a vlog?”, read on. We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you learn all about the medium and how to create a video blog.
So What Is a Vlog?
A vlog, as the name suggests, is a blog with a video element. Originating in the mid-2000s, it’s now one of the most popular forms of digital communication.
Many vlogs are DIY affairs. Created with minimal resources, often for fun or as a way of interacting with friends, they often have low production quality, with a focus on communication.
Others are more elaborate. They might have a big budget and a dedicated team of people producing weekly or even daily episodes!
Perhaps the best example of a good vlog is the Vlogbrothers series created by writers John and Hank Green. With almost three and a half million subscribers and hundreds of thousands of views on every episode, this vlog series covers everything from daily life and thoughts to political discussions and overseas journeys.
Famous YouTubers like PewDiePie and MrBeast are also sometimes considered vloggers. Although their content is more elaborate, featuring multiple camera angles, special effects, guests, and other features, the core of their videos still focuses on communication with their audience.
Travel vlogs are also an increasingly popular format. Many vloggers film on the streets of far-flung cities, from Delhi to Dresden. Audiences love the opportunity to feel like they’re walking the streets of a foreign country with a trusted guide.
Benefits of Video Blogging
There are lots of good reasons vlogging has grown so quickly in popularity. Key among them is the fact that vlogging offers its practitioners so many benefits.
Vlogs are easy to produce and distribute. The overheads of creating blogs are often minimal. Lots of successful vlogs are made using a simple cell phone camera or Go Pro!
One of the key benefits of vlogging is the opportunity to nurture your personal brand. A good vlog post is somewhere between making a speech with your thoughts and ideas and a conversation between friends. Done right, a vlog post can allow you to express your opinions and show off your knowledge while entertaining your viewers.
Perhaps the key benefit of vlogging is the medium’s unique capacity for quick communication with a large number of people. You only have to look at the numbers pulled in by some of the big-name vloggers to see how lucrative the medium can be.
Vlogs are versatile, so you can choose from a wide variety of formats. While sticking with the same format every time is a good way to create a consistent identity, it’s a good idea to experiment with lots of different formats.
The Daily Vlog
This is the classic and best-known form of vlogging. The vlogger keeps a video diary, allowing their viewers a brief peek into their lives. The vlog could feature details of the creator’s daily life and work, or just list some of their thoughts.
These vlogs can be scripted or off-the-cuff and production quality can vary depending on facilities and personal preference.
Although this is a format primarily used by individuals, it can work well for organizations too. By giving outsiders a glimpse of life inside an institution, it can make an organization seem more open and accessible.
Think how this could apply to your trade school. You could show off classes, events, and even simple things like lunch in the cafeteria. Try to build a positive atmosphere and let potential students know about all the great things they can enjoy when they study at your school.
Micro vlogging is becoming ever more popular. With the advent of apps like TikTok, publishing videos under a minute in length is in vogue. It’s a great way of communicating with people in an increasingly busy, on-the-go society.
By producing short videos, perhaps 30 seconds or so in length, you can reach your target audience while they’re brushing their teeth or walking between classes.
Be warned though, it can be tricky to create effective microvlogs. The best TikTokers make it look easy, but conveying a message in under a minute is a fine art.
Vlogs don’t have to be scripted. Many vloggers love to deliver their vlogs off the cuff, giving an exciting and creative edge to their content.
This is especially beneficial for vlogs centered around an event or a visit to a different place. Giving yourself the freedom to react to events around you is liberating and can create an authentic viewing experience.
Even if you’re vlogging live and don’t need a script, it’s a good idea to plan things out in advance. Make some notes on the topics you’d like to talk about, or try rehearsing your vlog in advance.
Do a dry run through the area you’re planning on vlogging in. If you’re filming at a busy event, like an open day, think about the people and events you’re likely to encounter and think about how you’d react to them.
Technical vlogs are a surefire way to bring in a loyal audience. Many people go online to look for ways to fix household items or to find out how to build something. This group of hands-on people naturally gravitates to technical vlogs.
A technical vlog could focus on a specific area like plumbing, carpentry, or mechanics. Or they could focus on a wide range of technical topics.
If you’re promoting a trade school, this could be a great format for you. By showing off your teachers’ expertise in technical areas, you’ll build up a strong reputation for your technical skills and appeal to an audience with an existing interest in these topics.
How to Create a Video Blog
Learning how to vlog is easy! All you need to do is film yourself talking about something, find a place to upload it and you’re good to go! Popular video-sharing sites like YouTube and Facebook are ideal homes for your vlogs.
But mastering the art of vlog creation is another matter! You’ll need to carefully script and plan your vlog, think about lighting, sound, and other technical elements.
Another key aspect of starting a vlog is to find a subject you’re passionate about. You can talk about daily life at your school, different courses on offer, or events at your school.
Whatever you talk about, try to find an interesting spin to put on things. Vlogs have a lot of competition in the digital world, so it’s important to try to find a unique selling point for your product.
Since you’ll be promoting an organization, it’s a good idea to strive for professional standards. This is especially important since you’re promoting technical learning. Potential students watching a poorly-produced vlog with no editing might be put off attending your school.
Finding a Target Audience
Since you’re promoting a school, you already have a target audience in the form of potential students for your school. Ensure your vlog caters specifically to your target market.
Use the right language and visuals. Delivering your vlog like a Victorian gentleman is unlikely to appeal to a younger audience. Be sure to post your vlog on relevant platforms.
You can conduct a little informal market research by asking for student engagement. They’re perfectly placed to tell you if your vlog might appeal to people in their position. Also, watch similar but popular vlogs to get an idea of the kind of content that appeals to people in your target demographic.
If you can find students who want to help in the production process, even better! They’re the ideal candidates to appeal to your target audience since they form part of your target audience!
Vlogs are all about communication. For a vlog to be successful, it needs to be fronted by someone with plenty of charisma.
Try to find a presenter who feels comfortable on camera and is a great communicator. Perhaps one of your teachers is known for having classes in stiches with their humorous manner, but they’re also beloved for their knack for explaining complex topics.
Whoever you choose, ensure they’re enthusiastic. If you pressure someone into the role and they’re not giving it their all, they’re unlikely to grab the attention of your viewers.
Remember, there’s no need to stick with one person as the face of your vlog. Bringing in guests is often a great way to keep viewers interested. Invite students, visiting experts, and other interesting people to participate.
A small investment in equipment can help your vlog look more professional. There are a few things you should buy to improve the quality of your vlog.
- A camera (a top of the line camera isn’t necessary, but you need something a little higher quality than a cell phone camera)
- A tripod or selfie stick to give you better options for filming
- Clip-on microphones
Spending even a few hundred dollars on some basic equipment can drastically improve your vlog standards. It’s a small investment that will pay dividends in the long run.
If you really want to push the boat out, you could consider purchasing some more advanced equipment. Some quality editing software, lighting, and sound equipment are all used by the top vloggers and you might want to consider investing in some of these too.
As experts in video production, we have high-quality equipment we can use to make your video a success. You’ll save money and get a quality product!
How to Turn Your Blog Into a Video
Maybe you already have a text-based blog. It could be quite successful, with a core of regular readers. But perhaps you’re thinking of turning that written content into video form.
You can use some of your existing written content as a base for vlogs. Choose some of your most popular content and try to distill the most pertinent information.
A long blog post that goes on for several pages may not work well if read out as a whole. Try to cut the fat and make blog posts as fun and snappy as possible.
Remember that blogs and vlogs have a lot of differences. Don’t just write out a blog post and then read it as a script. You’ll need to pay close attention to how words mesh with visuals, allowing you to create content that’s great to watch as well as listen to.
Let Us Help
We hope you now have an answer to the question “what is a vlog?” But mastering the art form takes some time. You might need a little extra help to get up and running.
Whether you want to market your vlog or let us make it for you, we can help. We’ve got the marketing expertise to help you excel in the world of business.
Even if your marketing has gone a little off the rails, we can help you get back on track. Contact us today and find out how we can promote your organization.