Video & alternative media
As it happens for photography, video is very out there: it implies some degree of exposure and pretty much a conscious willingness to risk your face. Risking face is a concept I learnt when I studied English linguistics in university. A quick search on Wikipedia tells us this: the term face idiomatically refers to one’s own sense of dignity or prestige in social contexts. In the English-speaking world, the expression “To save face” describes the lengths that an individual may go to in order to preserve their established position in society, taking action to ensure that one is not thought badly of by their peers. It is a fundamental concept in the fields of sociology, sociolinguistics, semantics, politeness theory, psychology, political science, communication, and face negotiation theory.
In a business environment, face is mostly an Eastern concept most likened to the Western concept of respect and dignity. Making people feel they are losing face occurs more easily than we might expect and can seriously damage relationships. This cross-cultural aspect of ‘losing face’ can for instance play a role when you are responsible for leading a complex change project involving people from other cultures. If you think of the current panorama, most bloggers, influencers and speakers use now video and clips (even Snapchat as we mentioned last week) to create engagement, stir things and reach their audience keeping that element of storytelling alive. And what is more up close and personal that putting your face and your voice and your body language in a motion media? At a personal level, with The Freelance Box my colleague Marta and I have recorded some promotional short videos that can help invite future attendees. It’s short and compelling, and it shows you care. Of course, speaking in public is something you may not be born with – but you can (and should) learn how to do it.
What makes a video worth recording?
What elements should it feature?
Record if you…
- Have a great message or something to say/promote
- Want to be remembered as a person AND a business
- Want to show you’re trustworthy
- Want to show your voice and social skills
- Want to engage more
- Duration: unless it’s a screencast or a tutorial, normally short and to the point is the way to go. Anything from 1 to 4 minutes is bearable.
- Register: suitable for anyone, yet knowledgeable. If it’s a tutorial, remember your audience.
- Body language: natural and spontaneous.
- Setting: make sure there’s light and that the camera is stable. Create harmony of colours (what you wear, what’s around you…) and also try to record with the same layout and at the same venue to create continuity and trust.
- What channels can you use?
Vimeo, YouTube or even upload a file onto a platform like Facebook or Twitter. You choose! And if I feel like it, maybe I’ll record you a video on this 😀
Other alternative media: what’s out there?
The frontiers of broadcasting are being torn down: bloggers are live-streaming events they’re attending via their Snapchat accounts as we speak and thousands are sharing their activity with people around the world on Periscope just now.
What can you use them for?
Well, it’s up to you to find the medium that most suits your purpose – of course it takes just a bit of common sense to understand what you can pull off or not esp. in the case of videos, have some non-biased person watch it for you and get some honest feedback. It can be harsh but it does make you see a bigger picture and tweak the performance.
I have used video in the past for:
- Promos of courses or events
- Tutorials & How-Tos
- Invitations and teasers
- Feedback to supplier (this is easily done in audio files too)
- Training to colleagues and/or clients (esp. nice to explain the workflow for your business)
Some of the alternative media I can think:
- Apps – of course you need to have an app built by a professional developer and it takes times and money to invest but apps – also demo ones, usually free – are becoming increasingly common to promote your visibility.
- Prezi / Slideshare – short visual presentations can be done with Prezi, a cloud-based software or Slideshare, a platform to upload and share publicly or privately PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios.
- Podcasts – you can colleague
- Camtasia / Screenr – Camtasia allows you record videos that you can then edit and save and add effects to. It’s a paid-for software but I have been using for a while and it works wonderfully. Screener is just one of the many options to share a recording of yourself using a computer. In short, you can create a simple tutorial with the tasks you’re executing.
- Soundcloud – a platform I explained in previous posts, but it’s great to upload and share short audio files – both existing and created by you – and it’s easy to embed too.
- Ebooks / Medium – certainly the least animated options of the list, yet a good writing solutions to share meaningful content that also looks impeccably chic and professional. Medium is great for that.
- HangOuts OnAir – the public version of recorded HangOuts is a good way to increase visibility. You simply invite participants and you start recording. It’ll be on air for the public to enjoy and it’s Google so it’s always worth considering.
- Audiobooks – why not? An audio book would be an interesting option to explore. Imagine you can guide your clients with your voice whenever they want.
- Telegram or audio notes on your device – especially good to send audio files. I’ve used this recently with a large project for which it was the most immediate and quickest option to communicate in a large group of suppliers. Still, it’s also an idea to share content.
What is the bottom line then?
As they say, pictures of kitties and puppies always engage more that anything else on the Internet. And so does video and alternative media! Jokes aside, it’s proven.
“Video is the future of content marketing. That is, if it’s not the here and now.” -Chris Trimble, Axonn Media
As read on Single Grain:
93% of marketers are using video in their campaigns
84% are using video for website marketing
60% are using video for email marketing
82% confirmed that video had a positive impact on their business