Are vlogs the future of brand video?
Video marketing is incredibly diverse. Think about all of the brand videos you’ve been, either traditionally on TV, or across social media.
There’s just so much content out there, from commercials to short vertical videos on Instagram and everything in between. Not all brands have stuck with traditional ways of advertising and storytelling, and there’s been a shift in recent years for more authentic and raw business videos.
One example of these raw, personable videos is the vlog. With its sudden rise in popularity for both businesses and creators, are vlogs the future of brand video?
We’ll examine that question and look for examples to illustrate this idea. Let’s get started.
What is a vlog, and how did vlogging start?
Even if you haven’t heard the term vlog before, you’ve likely seen one. Vlog stands for video blog, and it's the biggest trend for creators on platforms like YouTube.
Still, the term is rather broad. Many videos claim to be a vlog, yet they’re so different from one another. That’s one reason why vlogs are so appealing: they’re all unique in their presentation while still holding the same authentic and casual feel.
People have been vlogging for more than 20 years, even before the term vlog was coined. Early vlogs were often daily diaries or a recap of the day’s events without much editing or flare.
When YouTube began in 2005, many vloggers started creating on the platform and developing a following. LonelyGirl15 quickly became the most popular YouTube channel in 2006, featuring fictitious daily vlogs. Once it was revealed to be an act, the channel lost popularity. However, many new vloggers would replicate the format of talking directly to the camera and speaking from personal experience.
Vlogging didn’t become a widespread trend until about 2014 or 2015, when the number of vloggers and vlog content skyrocketed. Even then, according to a Google Trends chart the number of mentions in 2015 for the term vlog had less than half the current number of mentions in 2021.
The biggest catalyst for vlogs becoming popular might have been smartphone cameras. As phone cameras improved, more people were enabled to create vlogs about their own lives and upload them to YouTube.
Cameras also became more affordable to people, as did editing software, and the number of popular vloggers exploded.
The style of vlogs also started to change. Rather than being just clips of creators speaking to the camera at a desk and recounting the day’s events, vlogs started to take on cinematic styles with heavy editing.
Casey Neistat helped push vlogs into the mainstream for millions of viewers, being one of the first daily vloggers to use a professional DSLR to film videos and edit them professionally. This led to the rise of many creators trying to emulate his style.
Today, vlogs are one of the biggest driving forces on YouTube and other platforms, and I don’t just say that as a vlogger myself. A quick YouTube search will show you how common vlogs are.
But, what does this have to do with business and marketing? We’re getting to that, don’t worry.
Why are vlogs popular?
Before we look at how businesses can benefit from vlogs, we’ll need to discuss why vlogging became so popular with audiences. This section will be quick, I promise.
Vlogs are (usually) authentic. Even with editing, vlogs allow others to see a glimpse into someone else’s life. Because they are narrated by the creator, this allows for vlogs to be more personable to the viewer. Vlogs tell a story from ordinary people, which makes it an extremely powerful tool. It’s almost like watching reality TV, but without the drama and if those shows starred regular people.
Because this format is so popular, it’s easily recognizable by viewers. Those watching your videos will know what general style to expect even if they don’t know what content you are going to share with them.
So, how does vlogging help you business? Let’s talk about that.
How vlogging can help your business
Vlogging’s more than a new trend. It’s a tried and true method of storytelling. As they say, the proof’s in the pudding. The value of these videos could be tremendous for your business.
Vlogs allow your business to have a human face and a human connection with customers. Rather than just seeing your company logo and professional branding, it gives your customers and audience a chance to see the people behind the business.
This makes anything your business does in a vlog feel more authentic and personable. It establishes trust with your viewers.
Your vlogs can also be used to provide value back to your customers. By using your vlogs to teach, inform, and build relationships, your customers will feel a stronger connection and more loyalty to your brand, an important step if you want to create brand ambassadors.
Vlogs are also highly shareable. People may not choose to share an ad or promo video on social media, but they might feel more inclined to share a vlog that interests them or provides valuable information.
Videos also rank highly for SEO, with YouTube being the second most popular search engine behind Google. If you can incorporate a search query or answer something related to your industry in a vlog, you’ll be able to capitalize on these views.
Videos can include the same information as a blog post on your website. While blogs have an SEO benefit, many people would rather watch a video than have to read a long article (like this one). Supplementing your blog with a vlog can increase the number of people consuming information from your site.
Creating vlogs is also affordable for small businesses. You don’t need a nice camera to start creating vlogs (your smartphone will do), and there’s free video editing software available. With so few costs associated with vlogging, there’s no risk involved.
When starting a vlog, you don’t have to use your business YouTube channel or social media if you don’t want to. As the owner of your business, you could start a personal vlog about what it’s like running your business. This creates a personal brand for you while driving traffic to your business.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of creating vlog-style content for businesses, it’s time to see who is already vlogging.
What businesses are already vlogging?
The number of businesses taking advantage of vlogs remains small. Even then, most vlogs are published from the business owner’s personal channel or some other employee. You know how SilverFox is a cutting edge marketing and creative agency? Well, one way to be on the cutting edge is to branch out and experiment with your marketing. Starting a vlog is one way to stand out in your industry!
Businesses are starting to focus on content marketing more in 2021, which includes original video content. We’ve seen this already with blogs and more casual video content that doesn’t necessarily resemble a vlog. Vlogging is the next step in this evolution. In fact, businesses like GoDaddy have been writing about the benefit of vlogging for years!
YouTuber Cody Wanner has been a huge proponent for vlog style videos for business. In his April 27, 2019 video, Cody gives out a few tips for brands wanting to create vlogs. He also consults with local businesses in Pennsylvania, where he’s located, to introduce the power of vlogging.
Many small businesses have taken up vlogging, especially when starting out, to build an audience and share their story. Are you just starting a business? Vlog about it! Have new merchandise to sell? Vlog about it! There's no limit to what you can vlog about.
Even larger companies have found success with vlogs. Moz found success with their Whiteboard Friday video series, while BlendTec launched Will it Blend, a channel dedicated to blending items that shouldn’t be blended (it's just so satisfying to watch, okay).
Even YouTube sensation Casey Neistat used his vlogs to launch Beme, his short-lived social media app and then news agency purchased by CNN.
While vlogs have not been widely used by businesses yet, the potential for growth without financial risk makes vlogging a viable option for any business.
How do I come up with vlog ideas for my business?
Coming up with vlog ideas is easy! Because these videos are meant to be authentic and less produced than other brand videos, you have a lot of freedom to experiment.
As previously mentioned, if you’re just starting a business you might consider vlogging about it. Share your experience with getting started and how the idea came about. This instantly creates marketing for your business before it launches, while also putting a face to your new brand.
If your business is already established, create a vlog any time you get new items in or offer a new product. Explain why you decided to sell this new item and what benefit it has for your customers. Doing it in a more casual way versus a commercial can go a long way!
You might also showcase what it’s like to work at your business, or show behind-the-scenes of how your business is operated. Interview one of your employees and have them walk you through their daily tasks and how it benefits customers.
The possibilities are endless!
Vlogs are a great way to market your business to potential customers and to build strong relationships with your current customers. Because vlogs are more authentic and casual, you’ll appeal to more people with shareable content.
While vlogs aren’t the only type of videos your business should create, they’ll set you apart from your competitors.
Are vlogs right for your business? Have you ever tried vlogging? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
Need help starting a YouTube channel? We’ve created the ultimate step-by-step guide to walk you through that process.
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