Reading Time: 9 minutes

According to Wistia, you’ve got up to two minutes to hold your viewer’s attention, “meaning that a 90-second video will hold a viewer’s attention as much as a 30-second video. This is surprising and actionable information for video bloggers.  If you are making short videos, you don’t need to stress about the difference of a few seconds. Just keep it under 2 minutes.”

VSD 1

Keep in mind that the length of a video generally varies depending on which stage of your marketing funnel you are creating content for. The lower down in the funnel you go, the longer (though still focused) your video content can be.

As was discussed in the audio post for corporate ‘Stand and Deliver’ messages, one of the keys to creating successful vlog posts is authenticity.  By being authentic, including flaws and all, you exude credibility.  You are believable.  By being too polished, you start to lose the level of honesty in your message, so some imperfections in the video are desired and acceptable.

So, what video recording tools do you use?  None of us have access to a studio and broadcast professionals, so what do we do?

SD 4

There is an adage that says, “the camera in your hand is the best camera to use”.  So, do not get too hung up on trying to get fancy technology to record your vlog posts.  However, some options are better than others.  There are different levels and capabilities of photographic tools, and they are all good.  The main levels are:

  • Smartphones and Tablets
  • Laptop webcasting camera
  • Dedicated vlogging cameras
  • Sports Action Cameras
  • Simple Point and Shoot
  • DSLR and Mirrorless DSLR
  • Dedicated video cameras

These are all good.  However, it is important to shoot the video in a format that is manageable and appropriate for the application.  With the emergence of the new 4K and now even 8K video cameras, these formats are excessive for corporate videos.  You will want to use lower resolution formats such as standard definition (640i/P) of one of the two popular high definition video formats (720P or 1080i).  The aspect ratio for your video can be 4:3 like older home TVs use, but the more common 16:9 is preferred to fit the screens of laptops, smartphones, and tablets.  New square video formats that are 1:1 are gaining popularity too.

VSD 2

If you shoot with your smartphone, always shoot in the landscape perspective and not the portrait perspective.  The human eyes see in landscape, so this is far more pleasing to watch compared to portrait aspect videos.

Sure, everyone has a pretty good camera on their smartphone. But as more people flock to the corporate Stand and Deliver vlog world to upload their latest thought leadership and technology messages, you must invest in the right camera if you want to be a shot above the rest — and a legitimate vlogger.

VSD 6

How do you know which camera to choose to help make your vlog (video blog) pop? Here are some parameters to help you decide which camera features to look out for as well as which ones do not really matter.

Features you should care about:

  • Video Quality: Pay attention to video resolution. You will see 720p, 1080p, and 4K in most descriptions for camcorders these days. They pretty much equate to HD ready, Full HD, and Ultra HD – each a little better than the last
  • Built-In Wi-Fi: Video editing alone can take a bit of time. Finding a camera with built-in Wi-Fi can save you a step as your videos can automatically appear on your smartphone or PC. Otherwise, you will have to connect a USB cable and wait for the file to transfer. Yawn.
  • Microphone Input: Video quality may get your viewers through the door, but great sound will help keep them there. There is not a camera out there without a built-in mic. But for even better quality sound, choose a camera that lets you connect an external mic so you can always upgrade. Without that port you are stuck.
  • Stabilization: Some vloggers just sit in their bedroom and talk to camera – which is fine. But if you want to record videos beyond that you will want to search for a camera that has built-in optical image stabilization. It will help ensure that your videos come out smooth no matter what activity you are doing. You will also want to buy a tripod if the camera you choose does not come with one.

VSD 8

Features you should not care about:

  • Zoom: You don’t actually need a camera with impeccable zoom unless you’re a travel blogger. Zoom is just one of those things that’s nice to have for photography, but for video you’ll probably just be shooting yourself relatively close-up.
  • Flash: To get the best quality video possible, you’ll want to shoot in well-lit environments. Some cameras do have night vision, but how often do you really need that? Amazon has several lighting bundles that can help illuminate your space, and many are pretty decently priced.
  • Megapixels: If you aren’t really concerned about shooting photographs, Megapixels don’t really matter.

VSD 4

Now that you know which features to keep an eye out for, and which ones do not really matter, I will suggest a few cameras that I think will take your vlogging game to the next level.

  • Apple iPhone X, XR, XS, and XS Max – excellent cameras
  • Huawei P30 Pro – simply the best camera phone around
  • Google Pixel 3 – one of the best Android cameras – especially for low light
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro – Fantastic new addition to the camera phone crowd
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
  • Moto G6 Plus
  • GoPRO Hero7 – versatile for many fun applications beyond corporate videos
  • DJI Pocket Osmo – my preferred vlog camera
  • Any video capable still camera from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and perhaps 10 other consumer brands
  • Any dedicated video camera from Nikon, Canon, Sony, and perhaps 10 other consumer brands

VSD 9

What is important in the camera for me is the ease to get the content uploaded.  If the camera uses a connecting cable or a removable media card, such as standard SD cards, then this is best.  However, any solution that demands media conversion or special adapters makes the upload process clumsy and frustrating.  So, keep it simple.

VSD 3

Each of the social media’s sites support different aspect ratios. Let us look a little closer at a few of the biggest ones.

Internal Corporate Hosting Sites

  • Often dictated by the company, but can be assumed to be close to the same parameters as YouTube listed below

Corporate BOX

  • Supports: 16:9
  • Best for Viewership: 16:9
  • Best Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2060
  • ‘3g2’, ‘3gp’, ‘avi’, ‘m2v’, ‘m2ts’, ‘m4v’, ‘mkv’, ‘mov’, ‘mp4’, ‘mpeg’, ‘mpg’, ‘ogg’, ‘mts’, ‘qt’, ‘ts’, ‘wmv’
  • Video preview is available only to Business level Box accounts, and above. Free or personal users can preview video files owned by these
  • You can preview videos up to 3.5 hours in length.
  • AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) is not supported in Preview. (Note: this is a specific video format and does not refer to all high definition Several high-definition video formats are supported, as listed above.)
  • Flash/Mobile Video Files – ‘flv’, ‘swf’- For security reasons, Flash files requiring network or script access are not supported in Preview.
  • Support for Flash Video ended on September 5th, 2016. After this date, you will not be able to preview flash videos in Box and will need to download and view them on your desktop.

Dropbox

  • Supports: 16:9
  • Best for Viewership: 16:9
  • Best Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2060
  • ‘3g2’, ‘3gp’, ‘3gpp’, ‘3gpp2’, ‘asf’, ‘avi’, ‘dv’, ‘m2t’, ‘m4v’, ‘mkv’, ‘mov’, ‘mp4’, ‘mpeg’, ‘mpg’, ‘mts’, ‘mxf’, ‘ogv’, ‘rm’, ‘ts’, ‘vob’, ‘webm’, ‘wmv’
  • Files uploaded to dropbox.com must be 50 GB or smaller.
  • All files uploaded to your Dropbox must be smaller than your storage space. For example, if your account has a storage quota of 2 GB, you can upload one 2 GB file or many files that add up to 2 GB. If you are over your storage quota, Dropbox will stop syncing.
  • Note: Files uploaded through the API must be 350GB or smaller.
  • You should note that BOX and Dropbox have some built in video stream capabilities that restrict files sizes if you wish to use them. If your file has one of the following extensions, it will preview as a video.  For the preview to work, your file must be smaller than the size limit of 18 GB, except for *MXF professional formats which is capped at 50 GB

YouTube

  • Supports: 16:9
  • Best for Viewership: 16:9
  • Best Resolutions: 1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2060
  • Ideal Length: Longer form works here. Depending on how entertaining your content is, you can range from 2-12 minutes.

Facebook

  • Supports: 16:9, 1:1 (carousel), 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16.
  • Best for Viewership: 4:5, 2:3, and 9:16 (because of the dominance of app viewership, this works best).
  • Best Resolutions: 1080 x 1920 or 1920 x 1080
  • Ideal Length: < 2 minutes.
  • Special Note: You will want to upload files directly to Facebook rather than sharing a YouTube link.

Instagram

  • Supports: 1:1 (square), 4:5 (vertical), 1.9:1 (1080 x 566), or 16:9 (landscape).
  • Best for Viewership: 4:5 works best in the standard feed.
  • Best Resolutions: 1080 x1 350 (4:5)
  • Ideal Length: 30 seconds, though capped at 60 seconds. See Hubspot on length.
  • Special Note: IG Story must be 9:16 (vertical) and caps at 15 second. IGTV must be 9:16 (vertical). Best bet is to format video for this rather than posting a 16:9 video sideways. 1-hour cap on length. It’s currently being determined (as of this writing) what is the optimal length.

Twitter

  • Supports: 1:3 to 3:1
  • Best for Viewership: 1:1
  • Best Resolutions: 640 x 640
  • Ideal Length: Keep short, around 30 seconds. Capped at 140 seconds.

VSD 10

Humans are shaped in two different breeds in this world. There is one group who wakes up to get pushed by notifications, slide fingers for hours, binge-watch, gossip, critic, judge and more than all –they love consumption. The other group feels the urge to contribute–in any form. Be it writing, painting, filming or any other act of creation. They are creators and there is a well-known theory for this, “1% rule”. According to this theory, only 1 per cent people create content which is watched by the rest 99 percent. So, it is important to be able to discover your true-self – are you a consumer or a creator? If you belong to the latter, then you will find your voice in many ways, including as a corporate vlogger.

VSD 11

My LinkedIn friend, espresso-fueled entrepreneur, Michaela Alexis from Ottawa is a world class expert on vlogging and teaches companies how to get their executives to vlog properly.

She says, “Anxiety has taught me a very, very hard lesson: that if you don’t design the life you want, the world will do it for you“.  So, while most folks have a serious angst when it comes to being recorded and seeing their vlogs posted on the internet, I can assure you that if you get control of this anxiety that the personal rewards will be worth the trouble. There are plenty of reasons to start a vlog beside being told to by senior management.  My goal with Vlogology is to take it all from, “I want to, but I don’t know how,” to “yeah, maybe I could do that,” to “I’m going to start tomorrow.”  Vlogging has been one of the most rewarding things that I have done in the last few years, and I hope that you give it a try too.

In the corporate world, it is vital to share.  And, to share knowledge is to differentiate you, your employer, and your industry.  You do this by being a ‘thought leader’.  Thought leadership is a part of being innovative.  To be innovative you need to learn to think differently, or as IBM says just, “THINK”.


About the Author:

Michael Martin has more than 35 years of experience in systems design for broadband networks, optical fibre, wireless and digital communications technologies.

He is a Senior Executive with IBM Canada’s Office of the CTO, Global Services. Over the past 14 years with IBM, he has worked in the GBS Global Center of Competency for Energy and Utilities and the GTS Global Center of Excellence for Energy and Utilities. He was previously a founding partner and President of MICAN Communications and before that was President of Comlink Systems Limited and Ensat Broadcast Services, Inc., both divisions of Cygnal Technologies Corporation (CYN: TSX).

Martin currently serves on the Board of Directors for TeraGo Inc (TGO: TSX) and previously served on the Board of Directors for Avante Logixx Inc. (XX: TSX.V). 

He serves as a Member, SCC ISO-IEC JTC 1/SC-41 – Internet of Things and related technologies, ISO – International Organization for Standardization, and as a member of the NIST SP 500-325 Fog Computing Conceptual Model, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

He served on the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) and on the Board of Advisers of five different Colleges in Ontario.  For 16 years he served on the Board of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Toronto Section. 

He holds three master’s degrees, in business (MBA), communication (MA), and education (MEd). As well, he has diplomas and certifications in business, computer programming, internetworking, project management, media, photography, and communication technology.