If you are interested in taking your web site to the next level, you may be interested in starting a video blog for your business. A video blog, or vlog as it is commonly known, is like a combination of a blog and a podcast. Essentially, you can use a video blog as a visual interpretation of a blog, which is usually written.
Before you start a video blog, you will need a few pieces of equipment. If you have already established a written blog with an rss feed, then all you need is a webcam or digital video recorder, a microphone, and some sort of editing software. If you are planning on making just a few vlogs to start, then some sort of freeware will fill your software needs. If you are planning for your vlogs to be a major part of your website, it may be worthwhile to invest in a program like Quick Time Pro.
If you do not have a blog, then you will need to establish one. You can either do that through your own website, or use a blog hosting service such as WordPress or Blogger. You can then establish an rss feed from your blog, which alerts your subscribers whenever you upload updates or add content to your blog. With these two items in place, you will be able to easily add vlogging to your blog.
Creating a Vlog
Once you have the equipment you need, you can create an edit a vlog. Basically, all you need to do is film a video file, upload it to a hosting service like YouTube, link to it from your blog, and wait for your rss feed to send out your updates to subscribers.
Of course, you cannot create a vlog without having some sort of content. So, brainstorm all the ways in which you can use a video blog to promote your business. You can use it to demonstrate a new product or explain how something you sell works. You can make a Q&A format, answering questions from your customers. You can interview someone who is highly-regarded in your field. You can also use it to simply put a face on your business, establishing a persona that "brands" your business and creates a following.
Benefits of Vlogs
Like podcasting and blogging, vlogs take your website to a whole new level, creating fresh content for your customer base. You can use vlogs to educate, inform, and entertain your customer base. Since customers choose to opt-in for updates, you also have a built-in audience eager to hear news from your company. Vlogs are an innovative way to stay in touch with your customers, helping you to build loyalty over time.
Vlogs are cheap and easy to produce, and take your web site from static to dynamic. They are an efficient marketing tool that helps you to really build a rapport with your customer base. If you are intrigued by the idea of vlogging, simply go to the vlog site on google or peruse YouTube for some great examples. You may be inspired to try it yourself!
Sarah Baker is a documentary filmmaker and writer currently living in New Bern, NC. Her first book, Lucky Stars: Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, will be published December 2009. Read more about her.