Using video can be an engaging, creative and accessible way of sharing your story, and you don't have to be an expert to do it!
You can share videos on numerous platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Bear in mind that different platforms have different limits on video length. Sprout Social keeps an up-to-date list of the correct formats and lengths for each platform.
Why share your story as a video?
- It's powerful - The meaning and impact of your story can be even more powerful when your audience can see and hear you telling it.
- You don't need to be an expert - All you need is a mobile phone which has a camera. Anyone can get their message across effectively, as long as the picture is clear, and your voice is loud enough to be heard
- It's accessible - video is a great platform for sharing your message and experiences if you find it tricky to write blogs.
Top tips for recording video
It's really easy to make video content - all you need is a mobile phone which has a camera.
1. Setting up
When you're setting up to film a vlog, make sure you think about the following things:
- Sound - Ensure that your voice travels and you can be heard clearly. Choose an area with minimal background noises, echoing and interruptions.
- Lighting - Whether you're indoors or outdoors, make sure the light is behind the camera and not behind you; otherwise you’ll become a silhouette on the video
The best way to check these things is to do a short test before you start recording properly - film yourself talking for a few seconds and check to see whether the sound and picture quality is what you expected.
2. Making your content engaging
- Keep it brief - Aim for between 1-3 minutes in length, keep it short and sweet with one main message
- Prepare - Drawing up a rough script, or some bullet points of what you want to say, will help guide you through your recording.
- Be yourself - it doesn't matter if you trip over a word, lose your train of thought, or show some emotion. Your video doesn't have to be perfect, and it'll be more powerful if it shows you as you really are.
It doesn't have to be perfect and wear what you like. Real content showing the real you is more powerful.
- Hope, Time to Change Champion
If you're making longer videos, you might need to edit your clips.
If you're filming short clips for Twitter or Instagram stories, you might be able to post the video straight after filming. But if you're making longer videos for YouTube, or for your blog, you might want to use some editing software to put your videos together.
The best app for editing will depend on what device you are using, but there are lots of free ones available.
- For Mac, iMovie is a free programme that you can use to edit videos.
- For PC, Lightworks is a popular free video editor
- For Android, check out this list of the best video editing apps
- And here is a similar list of free video editing apps for iOS
Top tip: if you're making video content for Twitter or Instagram, you might want to use an editing app to put subtitles on - research shows that most people watch video in their social feeds without sound.
Developing your skills further
If you decide that video is your passion, there are lots of ways to build your skills.
Your first port of call should be The YouTube Creator Academy, where you can find lots of great tutorials about creating video inside and outside of YouTube.