Long gone are the days of encyclopedias, when the best place to research a topic was a university library. Consumers, hobbyists, and investors all have access to expert answers by typing a few words. People read blogs, follow Thoughtleaders® on Twitter and Instagram, join groups on Facebook, and follow Quora topics. Each of these is an effective channel to reach new customers. Outpacing all of them is video.
- 87% of video marketers say it increased website traffic
- 80% say videos directly increased sales
- 95% said it helped users understand their product or service
Mobile video consumption increases every year, and consumers rely on video experts. Seventy-eight percent of consumers watch online videos weekly on one device or another, and 55% view them every day.
As traffic increases, so does noise and competition in the landscape. I’m here to help you cut through the clutter and identify the best video format for you. I’ll break down vlogs and livestreams, highlighting the strengths of each setup.
What Is a Vlog?
Vlogs are prerecorded videos, usually edited with some effort toward looking good. The primary goal is to communicate on a personal level with an audience. They are easy to digest and provide insights into the vlogger’s life, interests, and opinions.
A vlog usually:
- Focuses on the vlogger who talks to the camera like a friend
- Provides insights into the vlogger’s thoughts and experiences
- Aims to build a personal connection with the audience
Vlogs are perfect for a quick scoop on the latest news or product. They can invite viewers to an upcoming event, promote a book, or provide a helpful solution. One of the great things about vlogs is how specialized they can be. Whether the topic is cooking, cryptocurrency, politics, gaming, parenting, or yachts, vlogs connect you with a tapped-in audience.
What makes vlogs stand out is the personal touch. A vlogger can become the face of a company and feel like a friend to frequent viewers. This relationship creates an opportunity to promote products or services with minimal sales.
What Is Livestreaming?
Livestreaming puts you in front of an active audience and records the session for later sharing. Several social media platforms offer livestreaming, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. They are less produced and more interactive than vlogs because you are with a live audience.
Most social posts reach a limited audience of your friends or contacts. Livestreams overstep that on some platforms. Facebook, for example, places a livestream notification at the top of the list. They also have a small pop-out screen that appears when a livestream begins. Since livestreams are recorded and saved by topic, new and interested people can find you.
When done consistently, both vlogs and livestreams generate leads and can be monetized. The larger your audience, the more options you have to drive business and create revenue.
Choosing Between Vlogging and Livestreaming
Like vlogs, livestreams build a relationship with your viewers. Here are the key differences and similarities.
One primary difference is in audience interaction. Livestreams can give the audience a chance to ask questions, respond to polls, or provide feedback. Vlogs are recorded in advance, but there can be audience interaction through comments on a post.
A second difference is production values. Although personal, vlogs tend to be edited and produced, while livestreaming airs as it is happening. Livestreaming audiences accept and even enjoy this natural presentation.
Specialize to Compete
With both vlogs and livestreams, you need to specialize to stand out from the competition. You want to offer the market something of value in an entertaining and engaging manner.
If you start in a highly competitive category, you may want to refine your target market to get a larger share of the available audience. In that case, reflect on what makes your business stand out. Investigate how you can specialize your content and face less competition.
With vlogs and livestreams, building a loyal audience means producing new content on a steady schedule week in and week out. Regularity is essential.
Livestreams are prescheduled and commit you to show up at a specific time. You can record a vlog anytime but then will spend some time editing.
Why Not Both?
Up to 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video than read a blog. Using existing social media platforms, livestreaming comes with a built-in audience. It commits you to a schedule, so your audience knows when to show up and expect you, and it builds a relationship through live interaction.
Recordings of your livestreams can serve as the base material for your vlog. By editing and adding content, you maximize your output from that time and effort. In addition to building your livestream audience, you can populate a YouTube channel and reach people there. With a substantial time commitment or a small staff, you can repurpose your livestreams into podcasts as well.
Extra equipment and professional editors can enhance production if your budget allows for them, but anyone with a video-capable camera and a stable internet connection can posts videos online. Livestreaming relies on specialized software that reformats your video for output on social channels. Your vlogs will require editing software or help from a pro.
Does Your Marketing Strategy Include Video?
Consumers like to watch videos. YouTube has more than 2 billion users, which means almost one-third of internet users worldwide watch their videos. Livestreaming and vlogs give a face and personality to your brand.
When you make the regular output a priority, online videos help you build and maintain an audience. It is not enough to post a vlog here or there or livestream when you feel inspired. Building a relationship with your customers through video marketing means demonstrating your reliability and enthusiasm for what you do.
Both livestreams and vlogs are an excellent opportunity to develop and refine your message. Show off who you are and what you know so customers can like and trust you before engaging with your brand.
As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!