Vlogging Over Time: Then, Now, and the Ultimate Best Practices
Video content is dynamic. There’s a reason studies show that video content drives more engagement than many other forms of content on social media.
Thus, if you’re promoting a brand online, you may consider doing so with a vlog. The following overview will explain what you need to know, covering vlogging through history and into the future, while also offering tips on how you can use a vlog to drive engagement with your audience.
What is Vlogging?
Vlogging, as the name implies, is similar to blogging, in that it involves regularly posting content providing audience members with updates or thoughts regarding a particular subject. The key difference is that a blog consists primarily of written words. Although blog entries might also occasionally include pictures, videos, and other such content, these elements supplement a blog. A vlog, on the other other hand, consists of video content.
Vlogging Through History: Then and Now
Adam Kontras is a YouTuber who has also been recognized as the first vlogger. He began recording a video diary in 1999 and started uploading its content to the internet in 2000.
Thus, vlogging isn’t necessarily as new as some might think. This form of content creation has, in fact, existed for more than two decades now.
Another early vlogger is Luuk Bouwman. While recording his post-college experiences and posting the videos online, Bouwman referred to his content as a vlog, making him potentially the first content creator to adopt this label.
However, it was in 2005 that vlogging truly took off, thanks to the emergence of YouTube. The platform offered vloggers the opportunity to reach a wide audience, essentially bringing vlogging to the masses.
The future of blogging remains bright as well. Thanks to smartphones, creating and uploading vlog content is easier than ever. Vlog trends to be aware of now include:
- Creating both traditional vlog content and live video content
- Using a vlog as a form of social media to maintain a relationship with followers
- Partnering with influencers to help a vlog attract an audience
- Generating short vlog content for platforms like TikTok and YouTube shorts
How to Create a Vlog: Steps and Considerations
To begin vlogging, follow these steps:
- Develop a concept and audience: Determine the specific reasons you have for starting a vlog, such as increasing sales or growing your social media audience. Then, determine who your audience members are, and develop a vlog concept that will serve their needs.
- Planning: Make key decisions about your vlog content, such as whether it will be animated or live-action, what types of sets and settings you will need, and whether you will need to hire actors. Then, you can start outlining and scripting your vlogs.
- Consider visuals: Visuals are what distinguish a vlog from a blog. Every step of the way, as you plan your content, think of what types of visuals could help your videos make an impression on audience members.
- Gather elements: Gather any elements you might include in your video, such as audio files, stock footage, and more, and keep them in a dedicated folder for each video.
- Produce: You may film and/or animate your video once you’ve completed all necessary pre-production steps.
- Narrate: You may need to record additional audio, such as narration. This is best done after filming.
- Editing: Finally, you can edit your video content and upload it to your preferred platform. Be aware that you can post a vlog to multiple platforms, such as YouTube, your social media accounts, and your own website.
You must also account for certain practical factors to ensure your vlogging efforts deliver a strong return on investment. For example, for SEO purposes, you must ensure your video files are the right size so that the quality makes the right impression while the video plays reliably and consistently. Check our guide on how to make video files smaller for more information.
Increasing Engagement: Tips and Tricks
There’s no shortage of video content available on the internet. On YouTube alone, content creators upload approximately 500 hours of video content every minute.
Consider this when developing content for your vlog. Tips to boost engagement with your vlogging content include:
- Stay consistent: Stick to a fairly regular video upload schedule. If your audience members know they can depend on you to provide them with valuable content regularly, they will be more likely to engage with it.
- Use strong thumbnails: Research indicates that 90% of the top performing videos on platforms like YouTube have custom thumbnails. A video’s thumbnail is the image that tells a potential viewer what a video is about. Instead of using the default thumbnail that YouTube automatically generates for your video, use a custom thumbnail, selecting an image that’s visually dynamic while accurately and honestly conveying what your video may offer.
- Add interactivity: You can include interactive elements and features (such as links) in your YouTube videos to capture and keep the attention of audience members. Interactivity may also boost retention of the information presented in educational videos.
- Know your brand: Your brand is the “personality” your videos embody. It represents your values and speaks to your audience in a language they recognize. Elements that affect branding in videos include the colors you use, the words and tone of your characters, the music you might add to your vlogs, and more. By taking the time to cultivate an authentic brand, you’ll boost your odds of finding a loyal audience.
Creating Impactful Vlogs: Key Takeaways
Vlogging can be a very effective way to grow your business and brand. You simply need to remain authentic to yourself and your audience, while also researching vlogging trends and modifying your style accordingly. If you strike this balance, your vlog could yield a strong return on investment over time.
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