PR thoughts

VEDA 2015 – What did I learn?

YT channelBack in August, you may have seen me posting about a Video Every Day in August challenge I was undertaking courtesy of Amy Schmittauer. Why? Because I like to try new things out and from a social media perspective, I can see the value in video in raising my own profile, but also how we at Zurich UK* could better utilise that medium to communicate with our customers, stakeholders and employees.
So what did I learn? Here’s some thoughts from me now VEDA is over and I’ve had time to muse on it.
1) It’s an easy medium to use and we have the tools at our fingertips
     – I used my iPhone 5s as my weapon of choice. The first week was done handheld and without any audio support but then I bought a cheap radio mic via Amazon to help bring some clarity, and a Joby GorillaPod grip stand for stability. Especially helpful knowing I was going away on hols so would likely to be out and about.
 – I used the free YouTube Capture app to do some rudimentary editing and which then uploaded it directly to my youtube channel
That’s it. I selected the share buttons on publication which let my followers know it was there to view.
2)  A little learning helped set the playing field in which to play
I watched a couple of “How to build a Youtube Channel videos” (esp this one from Amy) to get set up.
3) It was too easy to go on for too long
– I’d wanted to keep my VEDA videos short and to the point. Turns out that when I get going, with no-one to interrupt me, I can keep going for quite some time. After a few days of VEDA I happened to stumble across a short 40 second video by Jeremy Waite who uses ideapod. In a twitter conversation he left me with a quote I haven’t been able to shake: “Sorry I recorded such a long video. I didn’t have time to record a shorter one…!!!”  He’s right!
4) Get the message out there early and ram it home
Building on Jeremy’s thought, this becomes evidently important. You want to do video for a reason – to communicate with an audience. Most audiences are short of time. Ipso facto!!
5) Find your thing
That’s the one thing I’ve learned is important, but haven’t figured out what mine is yet, and how I can build an audience around me as a person/SoMe bod. Obviously easier from a work perspective.
6) Familiarity with the camera really helps
No kidding eh… When you get used to it, you get better at it. Practise makes perfect(ish)!  Whenever I’ve done broadcast stuff before I’ve always mentally approached it as if I was ‘talking to Grandma’ – take it slowly and make the message clear. The more natural you are, the more engaging are to your viewers.
7) It’s really hard not to watch yourself as you talk
As I was using my iphone, I used the front facing camera so I knew I was in frame. so, it’s like talking to a mirror. Except of course on the iPhone, the camera is at the right and side of the screen (as you’ve turned it horizontal!), not behind the screen. If you let yourself look at yourself as you talk, then you appear to be looking just off camera, which is exactly what you are doing. I ended up getting ready and framed, then covering the screen, so my focus was on the camera hole. Small, but important tip!
8) You need to think about generating an audience
The point of my VEDA challenge wasn’t to get a hundred subscribers, or viewers. It was about me getting used to creating video content. (tick!) But naturally when you do that, and you share it with your twitter followers then you naturally keep an eye on your video views stats. Beyond Twitter, and ensuring key words were utilised, I didn’t do any farming for views. But it was obvious from the low number of people who happened to stumble across it that you’d need to really put some effort in to generating viewers and subscribers. Again – that shouldn’t come as a massive surprise!
YouTube star of the future? 
So that’s it from me on my beginnings in YouTube. Im not sure I’ll ever be a full time YouTuber, but now I’ve got the feel for it, I’m hoping to bring you more video content in the future. Let me know what you think!
If you want to check out my VEDA videos, they’re all at or at Feedback more than welcome.
Thanks for stopping by – please do share this using the buttons below.
*Views are my own and not necessarily reflective of Zurich’s.

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