Well, only trial and error will determine the answers to the above questions, but before you get to that point you need to know a few pros and cons of using or adding video to your site.
One of the first things you need to ask yourself is, will you do the videos yourself or do you have a partner that will do them? It is very crucial that you or whoever does the video feels comfortable in front of the camera. You will want to be enthusiastic but not to the point of annoyance.
What can video do for your blog? The Pros
It can effectively grab a viewer’s attention and get them excited. This works especially well if you show excitement and enthusiasm in your message.
It can offer something new to your viewers other than a mundane written post.
It can help your viewers get to know you a little better if you decide to get in front of the camera yourself. People feel more comfortable doing business with someone they can see. You become more real by showing them the person behind the blog.
What’s the downside of doing video? The Cons
Some people are annoyed by video, so make sure that your video doesn’t start automatically. If you do set it to start automatically, make sure it’s easy for the viewer to find the stop button.
Video takes time. You may record several hours of video to get a good 30 second segment.
If you don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, the viewers will notice it.
If you aren’t genuine in your video, your viewers will notice that too.
Tips for video
Practice…a lot. Spend as much time playing around in front of the camera as you can. This will help you get more comfortable being recorded. It will also show you little quirks about yourself that you weren’t aware of. By practicing and watching yourself you will probably discover that you look away from the camera. It looks easy on television, but it isn’t.
A good way to practice is to make a video to send family. It will help you get comfortable, family will be so happy to “see” you that they won’t judge your mistakes, and it will make them feel good to get a video of you.
You may also discover that watching yourself on the screen is not where you should focus your point of view; especially if you use a laptop with a build-in webcam. You can’t watch yourself and the camera at the same time.
Be silly. Get it out of the way. No matter how serious you try to be when recording yourself, you will make mistakes and have silly moments. Just get those out of the way. Make faces at yourself if you have to. The point is to get comfortable seeing yourself on screen and learning which side is your good side, discovering facial expressions you may want to avoid if possible, or facial expressions that viewers may find amusing.
Start with using free programs for recording and editing. These may not be as nice as programs you’d pay for, but if you’re just starting out with video, practice with the free stuff to make sure this is something you can utilize into your blog before purchasing an expensive program.
Remember, adding video to your site can be a great benefit, but it doesn’t have to be perfect. People will enjoy seeing you as a real person instead of a rehearsed news reporter.
Does anyone else have tips for adding video to a website? Any other pros and cons, suggestions, or stories to share?