On Saturday I attended the Nuffnang Winter Workshop. I was quite excited as the three speakers that were included in the workshop were; 1. awesome and 2. were covering three topics that I wanted to get into more, perfect!
I always have high expectations with events like this. I put so much time and energy into my blog that I really want to be blown away and come away with so many ideas. I was not disappointed! It was brilliant and I want to share as much as I can with you today. It was the best event I have been to this year, if not the best event I have ever been to. Seriously fabulous! Oh and it cost £15, what more could you ask for. So, I am going to jump straight in as there is a lot to cover, seriously A LOT – you may want to go and get a brew and make yourself comfortable… Ok? Ready? Here we go.
I met the lovely lady (who blogs anon) from The Happy Flat as soon as I arrived and she is the most gorgeous person, with a stunning blog (so make sure you check it out after you have read this). We chatted to the other bloggers, munched some awesome doughnuts and then it was time to get started.
Jess Dante, from Socially Jess / Love and London / The Abroad Guide
A Practical Guide To Getting Started With Video
Jess is a Freelance social media and content marketing consultant. Founder of three blogs and ex manager of Citalia Holidays You Tube channel.
Why you need to start doing video
- Brands want video content
- Videos are more interactive than blogs, so helps you to build relationships with your audience
- YouTube is the largest search engine after Google – think about it!
- Facebook favours video content that is easily consumed
Everyone’s awful when they start out, so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll NOT suck
- You don’t need fancy equipment
- YouTube isn’t just for 18 year old beauty queens
- Doesn’t have to take a bunch of time
- Get in early, as early adopters are popular with brands
What you will need
- YouTube channel or Facebook page to host your videos on
- Camera – Your phone is probably fine or your camera
- Editing software, iMovie on Mac (also iphone/ipads) and Movie Maker on Windows
- Few bits of pieces of equipment
- Content strategy
Your YouTube channel
- Use software such as Canva to create your channel art and check this on the other previews to make sure it looks o.k on tablet, mobile, desktop etc
- On you channel art tell people what they will find and when on your channel
Jess uses an Olympus PEN E-PL7, which I believe is between a point shoot and a DSLR camera. She also uses an iphone and Drift camera.
Sound is SUPER important, so buy an inexpensive label mic.
Connect it to your camera or smartphone.
- No need to invest in lighting just yet. Sit next to a window and make the most of natural light
- A tripod can be useful
- Large memory card (at least 16mb)
Jess has a great list of the equipment she uses on her blog.
- Define your audience and think what videos would add value to their lives
- Value-Adding content is usually either – Entertainment, Educational or Inspiring
- Create search friendly content, such as how-to’s and tutorials
- Use YouTube Insights, YouTube Autofill feature (this will bring us actual searches) and Google Keyword Planner with your channel’s analytics to plan your content
- Be consistent – at least once a week. Create a publishing schedule
- Create video series to increase watch time (and put into playlists)
- Create thumbnails for your videos
- Put text on them, a short version of the video title. Some people just scan pictures so helps you stand out
- Make first few seconds of your video count
- Be extremely succinct – no details intros, just get stuck in
- Use short clips i.e 2 seconds, from different angles for active vlogs
- Include B-roll. For example, if your a talking about the correct way to pack a suitcase, you could cut to a clip of you packing a suitcase
- You tube favours longer videos. If you haven’t got enough content to make it a long video then 3 minutes is a good length.
- SEO – Title/Description/Tag + watch time
- Improve SEO of a video by annotation cards, suggested videos to keep people watching even the videos of others, will improve your videos SEO and YT will rank it higher
- Jess believes 100% in using music in videos. Free music from Soundcloud or YT Audio Library
- Facebook is loving those time lapse videos
- Host your vlog on a blog post then link on Facebook
- Make the first 15 seconds amazing and then you can use this clip for IG/FB saying find full video on YT. Less editing if you make the first 15 seconds stand alone within the vlog.
Options for Monetization
- Hosting video
- Sponsored videos
- Producing video for brands
- Affiliate marketing
- Digital and physical products
- Footage licensing
- Nigel Camp’s The Video Effect – General Assembly class 12th Jan
- Savvy Sexy Social and Video Creators YouTube channels
- SociallyJess.com – social media and content marketing advice for bloggers and small businesses
- YouTube Creator Academy (London office + YouTube channel)
Kate – Story Telling & Podcasting
Kate started with a creative blog and then progressed to Podcasting. Now has a hugely successful podcast.
The Power of the Podcast
- Holds the listeners full attention
- Become part of their routines
- Engage an audience in detailed discussions
- Tap into the need to learn and develop
- Another place to share your voice
- Gather meaningful feedback
- Gently explore hard sell ideas
Things to consider:
- Where will your audience listen?
- How will they access your podcast?
- Who are you talking to when you record?
- How will you balance all your content?
- Do you have the time to podcast?
- Where is your podcasts home?
Well established formats:
- 20 minute focused insight
- Peer to peer conversations – hearing shared experience is very powerful. Can use Skype.
- Sneak peeks
- Diary Style updates on your progress – lessons learned.
Building a Community
- Feature people who speak to your audience
- Keep it regular
- Aim for the best sound you can
- Choose sponsors wisely
- Ask people to share where they are listening from
Tools and Tricks
- A proper mic is a great investment
- Give yourself time
- Embed the podcast into a blog post
- Various places for podcasts – itunes/Player FM
- Guest readiness/timing
- Last week’s comments
- Preparing guests & sponsors for engagement
- Podcasts are usually 25 mins – 1 hour
- They do suck up content
- Use podcasts to point to courses/blog etc
- Create a flow from podcast to blog and blog to podcast
- Podcasts are evergreen content – reuse old content, for example Christmas content, reshare annually
- Provide show notes over on the blog – bullet points
Sara – Me and Orla
Instagram for Bloggers
Sara started with her Instagram account and then branched into blogging when she felt she had too much to say for Instagram. Her IG account has 115k followers and also coaches people to IG success.
- Over 75 million daily users
- 50/50 male/female
- 26% of adult internet users
- 21% of entire adult population
- Over 90% under 35
- 75% of users outside of US
You are only ever as good as your top 3 lines – Sara
- A different type of audience
- Time poor or short attention span. One picture, short caption.
- Needs as much thought and dedication as your blog.
Instagram isn’t a tool to promote your blog: it’s a whole separate blogging platform.
Benefits of Instagram
- Improves your photography
- It is fun
- Connects you with a new audience
- It’s profitable (av 115k followers = £100-500 per picture)
- It’s a ready made community
How to grow an engaged following
Look your best
- Only use your best images
- These images should represent your blog/brand visually
- Develop a workflow for consistent/professional imagery
- Gallery view
- Be chatty
- Like and comment outside your niche
- Get involved
- Use hashtags
- Reply to comments
- Follow back if you like their account
- Don’t be mysterious
- Don’t be a catalogue
- Tick the box
- Use 11 hashtags, more may seem spammy
- Make sure the tick box (on the desktop version only) in your profile allowing you to be included in recommended users list.
- Sign up for Me and Orla’s emails
- Hashtags are constantly evolving
- Choose specifically for each post
- Find tags for your target niche
- Top posts
- Tag competitions and projects
- Consider launching your own
- Set aside time each day to post and interact
- Optimise post times
- Stay on brand
- Do what works
- Change what doesn’t
- Don’t pigeonhole yourself
- Get involved in the weekend hashtag projects
- Instagram pick suggested users on the basis on the interaction they see and how involved in the community you are
- Getting to one of the top posts (at the top of the hashtag feed) will boost your likes and follows. So pick a relevant hashtag that is not too big (i.e over 8k).
- Future proof your account, by keeping a mix of pictures as your account grows, so people are suddenly surprised if you start posting flat lays when you have only posted pics of your kids before.
- Don’t use it to promote your blog every day.
- Use VSCO grid to plan how the images look together and move them around until you are happy.
Referrals and Traffic
Instagram like to keep users in-app
‘Nobody ever clicks over to my blog’ Common misconception
However, when you click it launches safari and asks open in Safari. So when people click yes. The referral will come from direct internet search not IG. So people probably do click from IG.
How to remedy this;
- Have an Instagram-specific landing page, which you link on you IG profile, that way you know all hits to that page have come from IG
- Create a campaign link
- Segment data in analytics
For more in this Google ‘Instagram blog referrals’ for guides.
Promoting your IG on your Blog
- Use widgets – maybe more than one – side bar + footer
- Embed IG images
- Instagram round up posts
- ifttt.com for social media sharing of IG images
Sara went on to talk about Steller, which I had never heard of before Saturday.
What is Steller?
- Storytelling platform (pronounced S – Teller) /app
- Combines photos, videos and words to create stories, like little books.
- Super mobile friendly
- Embeds and shares easily
- 112k IG followers, 18k on Twitter
- 3k growth over last 12 months
- 60% female
- Global audience
Essentially, Steller is a content marketing platform in which you can create a high impact piece of mobile-friendly content that can live anywhere, in Steller, on your blog, as part of an email campaign, etc.. This means you can create once and repurpose many times.
- You can use hashtags in comments and also within the text of a story
- Some categories are busier than others
- Weekly hashtag projects are the best way to get featured
- Engagement is rewarded
- Ideal is most attention in shortest time to potentially get on recommended users.
- Share your stories on social media to get into the ‘most viewed’ top chart
- Link away!
- Great to use for emergency Pinterest graphics!
I adore Steller and have already created my first story.