Just about every blog I see these days has a series of buttons that readers can click to reach Facebook fan pages, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram feeds. If you are already using these sites to drive traffic to your blog, congratulations! If not, it’s time to sit down and plan a marketing strategy so that you can take advantage of them.
Bloggers who have found Pinterest and Instagram useful for drawing people to their sites should also consider expanding into video and podcasts. Using these forms of multimedia effectively can generate tremendous benefits for bloggers. “Effectively” is the keyword here. The concept can backfire completely if it doesn’t look professional, or load quickly enough. The video or audio content must add to your reader’s enjoyment of the site. If it’s not a positive experience, because your readers have to wait several minutes for a video to load only to be rewarded with something that isn’t good quality, you’ll end up driving people away.
You don’t need to hire a professional video crew to create a compelling video. You do, however, need to spend some time preparing to shoot your video, and editing it before you put it online. One thing you should do is practice a few times to figure out the best lighting and sound. Get feedback from friends and family on what looks best. Choose a location with a good backdrop, and declutter the area so that viewers can focus on your message. If you’re doing a how-to video, run through it a few times so that you have everything you need, and can do it in logical order. If you are doing an opinion or rant video, you can simply record it on your webcam, as long as you have the lighting figured out. Keep it short and to the point. Many people won’t even click on a video if it is more than about 3 minutes. Even though the average facebook user spends about 20 minutes during their session, most feel a sense of guilt over wasting too much time, especially since they are at work, so they aren’t going to spend a quarter of that time on a video, unless it comes highly recommended.
When you first start making videos, you can use simple editing software like iMovie to cobble together clips, edit out bloopers, add titles, music, and still photos. If you spend a little time on the editing you can create a neat little production. Later you can upgrade to a proper video camera, and a higher end Video Editing product like Adobe Premiere Pro.
Even though adding multimedia to your blog will bring more traffic, a certain percentage of your readers really do prefer to read. Catering to all readers means providing a transcript of your video so people can read the contents. There are many reasons people can’t, or won’t watch a video. One of the main reasons is that when people are wasting company time visiting blogs or facebook, they don’t want to announce it to their co-workers or boss by playing a video. If it seems overwhelming to do it yourself, send the final video to a professional transcription service where it will be transcribed within 48 hours and returned to you for only $1 a minute.