Video Camera (2)It’s no secret that video is hot news in marketing – and growing fast, says Carl Reader.

We’re all seeing more and more video content on our social media news feeds, with more and more users producing – and watching – more video at higher rates than ever before.

And with social media giants Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn all offering Live video functionality, it’s clear the demand for instant easy-access content is growing stronger and stronger. Live videos allow you to share thoughts, ideas and experiences literally as they happen, with nothing but the camera in your pocket.

These videos can have potentially huge audiences – just look at the success of Buzzfeed’s famous watermelon live video. Many people shy away from the thought of speaking to a live audience, but in a world increasingly dominated by video, Live video is an incredibly valuable tool.

Here’s my top tips:

  • Look at the camera, not at your screen.
Honestly, for such a small change it makes quite a difference to the professionalism of the video. Don’t look down at your phone, or up at it, either. Hold it at eye level, look into the camera, and you’re on the way to looking like you know what you’re doing.
  • Ditch the notes.
You shouldn’t need them. If you can’t think of something when you’re speaking live, it probably isn’t that important. Have an idea of what you’re going to talk about beforehand, and go with it. If you really need to, have a practice run through first. Then you don’t have to do that distracting thing of glancing back and forth between your notes and the camera (or at a Post It stuck up behind the camera). Maintain eye contact and be confident in what you’re saying, and you’ll have a much slicker finish. NB – don’t be tempted to hide behind sunglasses to beat this one –the reflection of a post-it ruins the effect!
  • Keep them short and sharp
Have a clear vision of what you’re going to talk about, and keep to that. Videos should be as short as possible – I usually keep mine at about 2 minutes, with some up to 4 minutes. Keep it snappy and relevant to your audience.

Carl Reader is the author of The Start Up Coach, co-owner of