Vlogging for Beginners – Gear, Website and Social Media


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Vlogging as a form of marketing

Vlogging for Beginners – Gear, Website and Social Media

Video blogging can be a great way to express your creativity or drive more traffic to your website. This is a very simple and easy way of promoting yourself or your business on your own blog and social media. Many people have started vlogging as a hobby and ended up making it their primary source of income. Same as blogging, vlogging involves sharing information, giving advice or sharing an experience.

It is a great tool to connect with your audience and it can quickly build up your community of followers. Here’s some advice related to the gear you might need if you decide to start vlogging and the best way to utilize the posting process on your website and social media.

Vlogging Gear

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The gear you want and need to use when you are starting vlogging depends on the content you’d like to share and whether you are comfortable being on camera and addressing the viewers.

In case you want to share some tips and tricks on using specific software, the easiest way to go is to use yet another piece of software that captures the activity on your computer screen. You may only need a simple mic to cover your videos. This kind of recorded material makes an excellent “how to” post.  The reason this method attracts more people than just plain text is because it is much easier to watch and learn.

Another way of making your content without anything but your PC or Mac is by downloading browser plugins that allow you to download existing videos on YouTube. By using some free video editing software tools, you can easily cover some part with audio comments or add text to specific frames. Make sure that you are not violating copyrights on published YouTube materials when using them for your own needs.

In case you really want to give it a go and create your own videos, you will need a few essential pieces of gear to start your vlogging career. Here is a compiled list of things that will help you get your career up and running.

Camera

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If you are on a budget, you might want to focus on the “talking head” type of videos, which you can record with your smartphone camera, but keep in mind that the audience always appreciates higher quality of sound and picture. By investing in certain gizmos, you can easily give an aura of professionalism to your work and keep your viewers watching.

There are plenty of video cameras and digital cameras on the market, available for a reasonable price. This is great, because you can avoid breaking the bank by choosing the one that suits your budget.

Cameras Under 100$

If your budget is below 100 US dollars, you can go with Sony Cyber – Shot DSC W810. What makes this camera stand out is its optical image stabilization. This is important if you want to shoot your videos while walking around. It allows you to capture videos in 780p VQ and it has battery that lasts for 200 shots. It would be smart to buy an additional battery for your video shooting sessions.

Another great choice if you are on a budget is Nikon Coolpix L32. It doesn’t have optical image stabilization, so you have to buy some cheap tripod for your recording sessions. What makes this camera stand out in the crowd is its rotating screen, which comes in handy when you want to watch yourself while you record. The battery life is above average, and it lasts for 320 shots. If you plan to shoot videos when you don’t need to move around with the camera in your hands, this is by far best choice for you.

Cameras Under 300$

Canon Vixia Mini is the one that catches eye in this price range. This awesome camera is very practical in so many ways. It has a fisheye lens, a flip screen so that you can see yourself while recording and a sturdy built-in stand for hands free video shooting. Both the built-in stand and the touch panel LCD are adjustable. The wide-angle lens gives you a plethora of options. It has 12.8 megapixels’ and the built-in stand can make up for not having image stabilization. This camera is very small and compact and you can easily bring it with you on adventures.

Another great camera is Nikon Coolpix S6600BK. At this point, its price ranges even under 200$. It has the Gesture control feature that gives you the opportunity to take shots with a countdown. It has a Vari-angle LCD screen, so that you can watch yourself while filming. It captures videos in 1080p, HD VQ and 60 FPS. What makes this camera outstanding is its Wi-Fi capabilities.

It makes it a lot easier when it comes to sharing or uploading your content to other devices. The only thing that you might consider is its battery life, which is 150 shots. You may want to buy an additional battery for the shooting sessions.

Lighting

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You don’t need to go all pro and fancy. Try to keep it effective. When starting, you want to pay attention to avoiding any unsightly shadows on your face or various objects of your videos. If you are shooting in a room with well-placed windows or you have good ambient lighting, you don’t need to spend money on this. If you don’t have any of the above, you can go with some basic soft-light kit. Look for lighting kits that provide two soft light sources.

In case you are planning to use any kind of green screen, you will need to have a separate light source for the green surface. You can achieve the best result by putting more lights on the green screen and by adding more distance between you and the green surface, to minimize the green light reflecting back onto you.

Tripods for Camera Support

If you have a heavier camera, you need a tripod to support it. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on this item when you are starting you vlog career. When you are recording videos in a room, any sturdy option will do.

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If you are recording from a desk or a table, you need a mini tripod. There are specialized tripods for travel video bloggers.

Websites and Social Media

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The only website that managed to be even more popular than TV is, of course, YouTube. This website is so famous that it has become a synonym for video sharing. Keep in mind that, as we already stated, YouTube has a strict copyright policy. It makes a great place to start your channel and work on getting more subscribers and viewers.

The next one in the line of possibilities is Vimeo. This platform has a lot of traffic and it’s growing very fast. It has three types of accounts, one free and two paid ones. The free account has 500MB upload per week limit. Seriously consider this when you are planning your career.  Other than this, this platform is a great choice for amassing viewers and building a steady community.

There is a great option for gamers also. If you like playing a popular game online and you want to share your insights and experience with a very big audience, Twitch is the place to create an account on. Chat with other gamers and join various communities in order to bring people to your stream.

There is no better way to start your career as a video blogger and to quickly build an audience than sharing your content on your Facebook account. Given you already have a friend base, you can easily get a few shares from your buddies online and get a greater chance of reaching more people.

Twitter is also a great place where you can share your video content and attract followers. It offers a great tool for iPhone and Android Devices, which can help you record, edit and share videos. New research shows that Twitter offers an ideal audience for your video content.

If you are more oriented towards promoting some business ideas, LinkedIn is a great place to meet customers. It is the only mainstream social media site geared towards business. By adding a video to your LinkedIn profile, you can bring color to your business and help yourself out. The best way to utilize LinkedIn options is to post videos under each job you have listed.

Market Research Guide - Altus Host

A Guide to Conducting Solid Market Research

Market research is one of the most important elements of every successful business and it is, more often than not, a starting point for developing proper marketing and sales strategies. It is definitely a must for every startup business, as it can provide information crucial for gaining insight into the customer’s needs and preferences. You need to know exactly how they would react to particular products or services.

As a business owner, you conduct market research almost all the time, whether you are aware of it or not. How is that exactly? When you are talking to your customers about your products or services, you are conducting market research. When you are checking out your competition in order to learn about their prices or the way they address their customers’ pain points, you are conducting market research yet again.

However, formalizing your market research can help you gather a lot more information about your customers and their opinion on your services or products, as well as information about the overall market.

Why Conduct Market Research?

The main reason for conducting market research is to gain a clear insight into your customers’ preferences and the overall marketplace, so that you can make all the right business decisions, whether those concern your startup, your innovation or your growth. It can help you avoid risks in your business decisions and figure out the best opportunities for increasing your profits and ensuring your business growth.

Market research can help you understand what it is that your customers actually want and need, so that you can adjust your products or services accordingly. It can also help you learn the best ways to set up and distribute your products, depending on different locations and different points of sale.

Market research can also help you set optimized prices for your products by gaining insight into your competitors’ prices and how much your customers are actually willing to pay for your products or services. It is also very useful for figuring out the best ways to reach particular market segments by promoting your services or products on social media, for instance.

Conducting market research is extremely useful in that it provides you with solid facts that can help you paint a clear picture of your market and learn exactly how to approach that market and showcase your business to your target customers. It is also great for monitoring your competitors and learning how they operate their business, so as to know exactly what to do in order to try and be better.

When Should You Conduct Market Research?

Altus Host Market Research Tips

Market research is the key element for every successful startup, as the gathered data can greatly contribute to every business plan. If you are just starting out, market research should be one of the key components of your planning stage, as it can help you determine the sales potential of the services or products you offer.

It can also help you attract new customers and make them interested in your business, which can enable you to set optimized prices for your products or services, as you would learn about their preferences and their pain points.

However, market research can also be of immense help to businesses that have been around for a while, as it can show them whether or not their customers’ preferences have changed, so that they can implement certain changes to meet their needs. Moreover, it can show them if their products or services are performing well on the market or if they perhaps need some refinement.

If you are opening a new location for your business or are introducing a new line of products or services, market research is the best and most effective way to learn about the demands on the marketplace you operate your business in.

Every piece of information you gather through your market research, whether during the planning or growth stage of your business, can be extremely useful in your day-to-day operations, as it can help you maximize the potential of your business and create the perfect plan for future growth.

How to Conduct Market Research?

Prior to creating your market survey, you need to know how to approach your market research, so take a look at the following points that can help you on the way.

Establish your goals

You need to clearly establish your goals and determine exactly what you want to know and why. The most common mistake marketers make is trying to answer everything, as that kind of thing could backfire.

Therefore, you need to identify specific goals, so that you can get clear answers to each and every one of your questions. Do you want to identify your customers’ pain points in order to present them with a solution to their problems? Do you want to know which competitors your target audience is turning to?

Do you want to gain an insight into whether or not your new product is enticing and how much your customers are willing to pay for it? Do you want to learn how your target audience prefers to communicate and consume information?

You need to figure out exactly which questions you need answers to and craft your market survey accordingly. Only by setting clear goals will you be able to yield positive results through your market research activities.

Document your questions and hypothetical answers

This is a very important part of your research, since there’s literally nothing worse than conducting research and not realizing there was an entire set of follow-up questions you could have asked up until you analyzed your results, so you would need to do your research all over again.

Therefore, you need to make sure you prepare different follow-up questions for people who respond differently to your questions; namely, for each of those who respond positively, negatively or remain indifferent. It’s imperative that you document all of your questions, including your hypothetical questions, before you start conducting your market research, as only then will you receive meaningful and comprehensive data.

Identify the target audience for your market research

Finding the right target audience

You need to find the right group of people that would qualify for your market research. If you are trying to learn whether or not your new product is performing well on the market, you need to target the people who are actually using that product.

Targeting your research towards the right type of audience is exactly what will help you get the useful and relevant information you need and it will mitigate the risk of making wrong business decisions. Therefore, identifying your target audience should be one of your top priorities.

Determine the best method for conducting your market research

This is exactly what will help you get the best possible results. For instance, if you happen to have a big Twitter following, it might be a much better option for you to use that following to conduct your own market research, instead of creating an online market survey.

Social media are ideal for conducting market research and gathering excellent qualitative data, since they are becoming better and better at targeting the right audience. You should definitely use them as tools in your market research.

Also, if you happen to have customers on your email list that are engaged in your brand and, what’s more, represent the target audience for your market research, try and use email as one of the tools for conducting your market research.

Create your market research survey

Surveys can be a great asset for market research

There are a lot of little things when it comes to market surveys that can make a big difference regarding the results you get after you have conducted your market research, so it is paramount that you take your time when crafting your market survey in order to make sure you do it properly.

When creating your survey, it is imperative that you ensure every question you ask actually needs to be asked. If your survey is way too long, the completion rate will greatly decrease. It’s important to let the respondents know upfront how much time it would take to complete the survey, as that will help you increase your survey completion rate and, more importantly, provide you with higher-quality results.

You should also include a progress bar, so that the respondents know when they are finishing up the survey. This will ensure that they will complete it entirely, instead of leaving when they are perhaps only one question away from completing it.

If you are looking to collect qualitative data in your survey, you need to phrase your questions very carefully, so as not to confuse the respondents or lead them towards the answer you expect to hear. Instead, encourage them to answer honestly.

Analyze the collected data

Data Reliant Market Research - Altus Host

After you have conducted your research, you need to analyze the collected data and make your business decisions accordingly. If you happen to have collected quantitative data, the number of people who have responded positively, negatively or indifferently should show you whether or not you can pursue your planned project.

On the other hand, if you have collected qualitative data such as, for instance, some new ways people are using your products, you can use that data to adjust your products and improve them so that they fit your customers’ needs. More often than not, this kind of data can help you learn about the problems you didn’t even realize people had, so that you can present them with a perfect solution to their every issue.

Conclusion

Conducting market research should definitely be considered an ongoing process, instead of only being a one-time job you take part in. You should do it on a regular basis in order to always have a clear insight into the success of your business. Never stop communicating with your target audience, as that will enable you to understand what their needs and desires are and help you know what and how to do in order to meet those needs.

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