Video Blogging: Vlogging for Authors by @K8Tilton
Last month BadRedhead Media contributor Naomi Blackburn covered one method of using Youtube in a book marketing plan, but how can authors use YouTube in their author platform? Welcome to vlogging, a combination of video and blogging.
Reasons why you may vlog:
- It is a break from writing. Although writing is a passion of most authors, even you sometimes need a break from all that typing.
- [share ]A vlog can be more personal than a blog[/share]. By seeing the author and hearing his or her voice, readers can feel a deeper connection with the author than they may get by reading a blog. Think of a Skype conversation versus a letter.
- It gives readers a new way to connect with you. Readers already have your words from your books, Twitter, Facebook, and other text based platforms. Giving readers a new medium to connect with you keeps them engaged.
One of my favorite author vloggers is Heather Brewer. Heather has a great mix on her channel of personal updates, author updates, and insider information that makes each video special. Here are some top tips you can learn from Heather’s videos:
- [share ]Offer exclusive content readers can only get from watching each video.[/share] Heather offers readers the name of the next song in the soundtrack of her latest release in each video. Note how she waits towards the end of the video and does not repeat the other songs but prompts readers to watch the other videos to collect all the songs. This is a fun way to encourage more interaction with your videos while giving readers something of value.
- Have a closing with a link to your website where readers can get more information about you and your books. Remember one goal of social media is to get readers to your website (your main online presence) where they are more likely to make purchases.
- Try fun ideas to promote your work in addition to trailers. Heather invites her son Jacob to come up with some cover ideas for her new book, The Cemetery Boys. This fun video serves as a way to promote her book without feeling like an ad.
Maggie Stiefvater is another author with some great videos we can learn from.
- Your videos do not have to be long to be good. Don’t stretch your content to hit some magical number, give it the length it requires and no more than that. Maggie’s last name can be difficult to pronounce, so she made a song. It may seem silly but it fits Maggie’s branding and audience. Plus, I still remember it almost a year later. And it accomplished all this in twenty-eight seconds.
- Your videos do not have to be all about books. Maggie is known for her love of cars. Here is one of her videos where she spray paints her car. I love how this video showcases Maggie’s love of cars and art while also intertwining some information about her book.
- Answering questions from your readers is a great way to provide interesting content. Check out how Maggie does this in an out of the box Maggie way. Notice how she included the bloopers at the end? Pure gold.
There are a lot of things you can do with video. If it is a medium you feel comfortable working with or are willing to learn then it is a perfect option to connect with readers. And YouTube isn’t the only place you can use your video content. According to Business Insider, “in November 2014, the number of videos uploaded directly to Facebook overtook YouTube videos on the network for the first time.” So with many great reasons and places to share your videos, what are you waiting for?