[Hang on–have you followed 10 new people yet?]
Making moves, and movies
We’ve posted a bunch of things so far, from the comfort of our rooms or office (and probably PJs). Time to up the ante. Studies show videos get far more views and engagement than simple photo posts on social media. According to Forbes in late 2022, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. And get this: viewers retain 95% of a watched video message compared to 10% of a text.
“Why the hay haven’t you been encouraging video all along?” you may ask, in a rather aggressive (and unappreciated, quite frankly) tone. Well, I’ll tell ya. We are authors. And almost by definition that means most of us are introverts. Or maybe extroverted introverts. Who else volunteers to lock themselves up in a proverbial cave most of the day to crank out words on a page that will be edited and rewritten 10,000 times? (That’d be us.) I get you. I get us. The very thought of me asking you to create a video may fill you with dread.
But hear me out.
The video doesn’t have to be of you! You don’t have to appear on camera! (some ideas below) You don’t even need sound! You DO need text, though. Studies show 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound–but 80% of videos WITH sound and/or text get much higher results. People need to know what they are watching, and why. (They also tend to watch in places they aren’t supposed to have their phones, so the volume is off. Captions are very helpful.) Tweets with video are said to get 10x the engagement than a static post!
It’s time to shine, cupcake
As you can see, to maximize the eyeballs on our content, to drive a higher number of RTs, to encourage engagement, to increase our author platform…we need to graduate to video. I have been an actress since the third grade (not to brag but yeah that was me playing the lead bunny in the school play). I am a ham, I seek out the camera in every instance — and yet, I am still dragging my feet on video when it comes to promoting my own work. It feels so personal, right?! I know I just have to rip off the bandaid and get creating. Or recording, as the case may be.
I know once we get started, it will be easier and easier. We just have to make and post that first one. Or that first five.
Instagram makes it super easy to make videos with text and “stickers.” Canva allows taking a template and adding animation which is ALMOST a video, but that won’t count for today. Find yourself an app or service you feel comfortable working with, like Vimeo, YouTube, Visme, ClipChamp, etc. (Please tell me which [free!] ones you like best! I like trying new stuff.)
I mean, don’t we want a 1200% increase in shares? Of course. If we are in control of that, why wouldn’t we go for it? Today we are.
The video can be 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 30 seconds. Animoto reports Instagram videos that are around 26 seconds long receive the most comments. Don’t be thinking your vid has to be two minutes! (Who has time for that, really.)
Worried about how you’ll look on camera? I have a ton of getting-camera-ready tips on this post: https://bitsykemper.com/zoom/.
Some great tips on creating effective content (do you want to explain a new fact? do a tutorial?) is here from later.com, here from eclincher, and there’s a list of ideas from sproutsocial here.
Let’s say you loathe the idea of being on camera. You can still use video to up your author platform. Here are some ideas of videos (with sound and text!) that will build your brand that DON’T need to have your smiling face.
- Book Quotes: Use text overlays to display your own, your favorite, or popular book quotes. Zoom in and out while reading the quote. [Or be holding the book as you read, be standing in front of the printed quote that’s on a wall, etc.]
- Show Your Bookshelves: Give an inside look at your bookshelves while explaining how they made you a better writer (or reader). Ask viewers to share their experiences. [Or be there Vanna-White-ing it.]
- Create a Book Trailer: iMovie and other apps make this easier than ever. If you have picture books, talk to your illustrators first–they might have ideas and/or equipment.
- Start a Live ‘Ask Me Anything’ Session: No need to have yourself on camera, just zoom in a whiteboard with those words as you talk over a short script “Time to ask me anything! Write a question in the comments…” [Or of course, you can have cam focused on your pretty face.]
- Answer Those Anythings: Record yourself answering those Qs while writing on a whiteboard, flipping through pages, waking through the woods, whatever.
- Recommend Books: Share fun book recommendations, including your own book(s).
Those are just a few ideas. I can’t wait to hear what you end up doing! Tell me all about it.