Three Ways Social Influencers Can Start Using Video

Not only can you say more with video, but video content is typically more engaging and creates a deeper audience connection.

It’s no secret that video is a growing medium. In fact, one-third of all online activity is spent watching video. Social feeds are packed with clips of cats, stunts and makeup tutorials. In the next four years, spend on mobile video is set to grow by 700 percent—and it’s making influencers like yourself rethink your content strategy.

With Facebook users watching more than 100 million hours of videos each day, you need a way to step up the game and stay relevant in crowded social feeds. Here are a few ways to get over the intimidation factor and use video to gain more fans and advertising dollars.

Go for a test drive

A camera in video-recording mode is much different than one snapping photos. One of the biggest issues with video that many influencers discover is that they’re camera-shy. If you’re new to the medium, you will need to play around with video to find an onscreen personality that reflects your brand.

Start small with something familiar. For example, grab an old product you’ve previously covered and verbally go through the review as the content for the first video. Because you already know the ins and outs of an old post, it’ll be easier to talk about it on camera.

Given that many applications give users the ability to cut and revise clips, feel free to take as many shots as needed and piece it together afterward, and take comfort that you don’t have to publicly share test videos.

Platforms like YouTube and dubdub allow users to save their videos as private. This gives you the option to share the link directly with a small group of people to get feedback, instead of enabling strangers to search for it with a few keywords.

It can be hard to start, but the key is not to overthink it. Try, learn, try again. You went through the same process honing your craft for writing and shooting photos, so you will also need to do it for video. Don’t let your first efforts sour you. You will get better.

Diversity differentiates you

Some of the most popular YouTube channels feature a talking head. The format usually starts with the online celebrity sharing a funny experience or debating current news onscreen, peppered with scene cuts and ending with a call to action such as, “If you like this video, click here to check out more,” or, “Love this? Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel for more.”

While the format is well-received, it may not work for everyone. Videos on Facebook, Instagram and Vine include diverse styles ranging from Hyperlapse cooking videos to a compilation of the best pet clips. This means you can develop a presentation that works best for you and add in your signature flare.

It is that unique signature that attracts an audience, not following the crowd. Do you really want to compete with a crowd?

Be true to the brand–and your brand

Authenticity is a key benchmark. Your audience can tell when you actually love the brand you’re talking about–and when you don’t. That’s all about authenticity and credibility. Without those, you’ll never grow a following.

Most influencers focus on a specific topic or area they’re comfortable with, like parenting, tech or fashion. Since you’re already doing product reviews or sharing tips with photos and detailed captions, it’s easy to turn a 300-word blog post into a short, digestible 60-second video. The same can be done with fashion shoots, diaries of travel adventures and homemade recipes.

This conversion helps you stay true to your digital persona and doesn’t alienate loyal fans with an unexpected topic. Both advertisers and fans expect a certain level of authenticity from their favorite influencers, so it’s important to remain on brand.

Not only can you say more with video, but video content is typically more engaging and creates a deeper audience connection.

There is also the issue of timely content. Typically, it takes a few days to document travels or create a post. With the right mobile video tools, you can record, edit and publish quality video content across all social channels, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, within minutes of the experience. More immediate and timely content means more fans and followers, which ultimately attracts the eyes of advertisers.

Video is the next frontier. Considering the fact that social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images, it’s a crucial medium for growing bloggers like yourself. By starting with a few test videos, finding your own voice and staying true to the brand, you can catapult your audience reach and attract the attention of key brands and advertisers.

Zbigniew Barwicz is the CEO of video-creation application dubdub.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.