Video Blogs and Microblogs for Business

Free video blogging and microblogging sites can be used to market you and your business.

Aliza Sherman
4-minute read
Episode #20


Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.

Seesmic, Ustream, Qik spelled Q-I-K. Video on the web has moved beyond highly produced productions that are digitized and uploaded to video sharing sites like YouTube and Google Video. These days, video is on-the-fly and can be recorded straight to a web site. Online video is often being used in addition to or instead of text on many blogs. So how can you use video blogs and video microblogs for your business?

I've been playing around with video blogging recently - also referred to as vlogging - and despite the frequent "Bad Hair Days," I am actually enjoying video as a new way to blog.

Why Use Video?

Why would you want to use video on your site or even post to a video blog or vlog? Embedded video clips can bring a lot of extra value to your site. But what can a business owner vlog about? Here are some ideas for using video:

1. Provide information in an engaging way. One of my clients sells fishing gear and had videos on his web site that came from other sources. I suggested that he take a small portable video camera on his fishing trips and talk about what equipment he's using. He just got started but his short, personal videos are enjoyable and educational at the same time.

2. Demo your product. If you have a product -- particularly a product that you have to see or try out to truly understand -- a video demo is the next best thing to showing it in person. While you don't necessarily need a highly produced video for the Web, you do want to make sure the product is well-lit and that the audio is clear to be effective. Check the Small Biz Tech Girl web site for links to video lighting tutorials.

3. Demonstrate your expertise. If you want people to hire you, you can use video to talk about topics that show people you really know your stuff. You don't even need a big production crew to make a video of yourself. Just set your camera up on a tripod in front of you - or use the one built into your laptop - and start filming.

There really is no limit to how you can use video on your site or blog. Just use your imagination

Where to Start a Video Blog

If you are looking to test the world of video blogging, you need to first make sure you have the right equipment. Many laptops have a handy video camera built right into it, however, if you are still on a desktop, you can find very affordable Web cams online or at your favorite discount electronics store. A popular web cam manufacturer is Logitech.

If you have a built-in camera, don't take it for granted that you also have the proper software or camera driver on your computer. When I bought a PC laptop last year with a built-in video cam, I still had to go to the HP web site and download a piece of software so the computer recognized the camera.

Once you know you have a Web cam with software in working order, you can go to a video blogging site.

If you are looking to do short, do-it-yourself videos, a video microblogging site such as Seesmic at S-E-E-S-M-I-C dot com is easy to configure and easy to use. A video microblog differs from a regular video site because it is set up to arrange the video blog posts as part of a conversation with others - like Twitter. You can also record your video using a site such as Viddler.com which handles longer video clips.

If you want to try very short videos, 12Seconds.TV allows you to record quick video messages -- literally 12 seconds long. While 12 seconds might sound too short, imagine making brief weekly greetings for your site highlighting two or three new features, articles or products -- all you really need is 12 seconds!

If you are looking to do live streaming video, which can come in handy when you are speaking at an event or want to videotape a meeting, you can try UStream.tv or Qik at Q-I-K dot com. Both even allow you to record using the video function on your mobile phone. Make sure to hit record so you don't lose your video after you stop taping. Grammar Girl told me she used Justin.tv to live stream her book tour, so that's an option, too.

Here's a quick and dirty tip for getting video onto your blog or Web site:

Most video sites allow you to click and copy the HTML or javascript code to embed your video into your web site or blog. Some video sites make the process really easy by linking you directly to your blog with the right code ready to publish. Other sites can be set up to automatically post videos you produce to your blog.

Bottom Line: Like any Internet tool you use for your company, the video you produce and post should complement your blog or web site and help you achieve your business goals.

Contact Me

That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, email me at digitalmarketer@quickanddirtytips.com or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.

If you would like more information about keynote speeches, workshops, or other appearances by me, Aliza Sherman, host of The Digital Marketer., visit www.mediaegg.com for details.

The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com. Tune in for another business boost from The Digital Marketer, the host who's not afraid to go under the Internet's hood & get a little dirty!

Seesmic - http://www.seesmic.com/

UStream.tv - http://www.ustream.tv

Justin.tv - http://www.justin.tv

Qik - http://www.qik.com/

Logitech - http://www.logitech.com/

Light Your Video Set with Energy Efficient Bulbs - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1qYjcj4-Jg

How to light your video using pro and cheap lights - http://video.thedvshow.com/video/How-to-light-your-video-using

Image courtesy of Shutterstock