Using video for fun and profit
from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here)
How often do you watch videos online? And which websites/apps do you use to watch them?
I know I do, and here are some common places they appear:
Google search engine results (near to the top of the page show YouTube results);
Embedded in news articles;
Facebook posts (personal profiles and professional pages);
Instagram stories (and live);
Select artist and gallery websites;
A Hubspot article* published in January 2017 compiles fascinating and compelling data on Visual Content Marketing today, including these highlights on the use of video:
> By 2017, video content will represent 74% of all internet traffic, which is set to increase to 80% by 2019.
> Four times as many consumers prefer watching a video about a product than reading about it. (Susan note: Think about art or doing commissions as a product in relation to this figure. Rather than having written words to tell the story of a piece or a series, consider the impact of a video in which you give the viewer insight. You'd get much more information into the piece, using the spoken word with visual impact to boot.)
> Using the word "video" in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
> 51% of all video plays are on mobile devices (representing 15% growth from 2015 and 203% growth from 2014).
And yet, how many artists and galleries regularly create video content, or have a video at all?
The way that video has been evolving reminds brings to mind the evolution of websites. Whereas flash-tastic websites with complicated design that resulted in slow pages and baffling usability was all the rage a few years ago, today it's all about simplicity and enjoyment by the user ("viewer"). Similarly with videos, gone are the days of long introductions and the necessity to have fancy editing on every clip. The focus is the creation of content that gets to the point, resulting in an informative and enjoyable user experience, potentially followed by a purchase, enquiry or sign-up. And in the case of 'live' videos on social media platforms, users have the opportunity to engage with comments features, too.
As someone who enjoys creating video content (carefully scripted and live alike), here are 5 tips to help you jump onto the video bandwagon or increase frequency of video creation:
1. Use your smartphone as a video camera. The quality of video produced on the iPhone continues to blow me away. Any concern should be swept away with this article on '5 Movies Filmed With an iPhone' (it's impressive, including one I watched and had no idea!).
2. To make stationary recordings (for time-lapses in a studio or gallery, or for whatever other reason), get a smartphone tripod adaptor and a little 'spider tripod.' This enables you to place the smartphone into the slot on the tripod adaptor, and record without any movement of the device. .
3. For embedding video into your website (such as the homepage or in a blog / vlog post), create your own YouTube channel for free (you'll need a gmail account to do this). You can directly upload from a smartphone to your YouTube channel, and you can even set up your channel to automatically tweet the news that there's a new video to watch. There's more good news: when putting a smartphone recording onto YouTube, you can shoot the video as many times as you'd like until deciding you're happy with a clip. Upload the one you like and delete the others.
4. Frustrated with sound quality? This is most often the case when filming in noisy environments such as exhibition openings. Get a lapel (otherwise known as lavalier) mic that is designed to plug into a smartphone and carry it in a protective case. (I always have one with me made by Rode, and it's the reason that my voice comes across fine in a live tour of the Young Masters Art Prize** opening reception.)
5. Just do it! It's tempting to come up with reasons that it's not a convenient moment to make a recording or that you're not ready. Coach yourself through that thinking and give video a go. Take for example that tour I gave at the Young Masters Art Prize 2017. There have already been well over 600 views.
Video is no longer the future, for it's the present. You will benefit from using it as a form of content marketing, including pre-recorded and/or live forms alike.
And needless to say, be sure to maintain professionalism and use language that's suitable to the 'brand' of your creative enterprise.
Who knows, maybe you'll even find yourself enjoying it! The results of consistent use of video are set to put a smile on your face :-).
* Read Hubspot article: 42 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2017
** Watch my video tour of the Young Masters Art Prize opening reception.
p.s.: Which of the two above links are you more inclined to click? The one with an article to read or the one with a live tour to watch? Think about your natural response in relation to this blog post.