Take viewers on a journey: the secrets to vlogging for business

At this year’s HTA Marketing Forum, our Account Manager Robbie Cumming gave delegates a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to create a successful vlog. 

 Robbie’s YouTube channel has over 7,000 subscribers, with more than 800,000 views.  He’s 70 video logs, mostly about his experience of travelling the UK in his narrowboat home.  Here we share his answers to some of the questions asked by suppliers and retailers about vlogging for businesses.

 What is vlogging and why should my business consider it?

Vlogging is essentially recording yourself speaking to the camera as if it was a good friend.  If your goal is to increase sales by building trust with your potential customers, then the vlogging approach to social media videos has to be the most direct method.  More and more businesses are turning to it as a way of showcasing their human side, using it to strengthen public relations and increase customer loyalty.


How do I get started?

Begin by watching other vlogs on YouTube.  Look outside the industry and find a subject that you’re really interested in, however niche it might be!  As you’re watching, you should be able to work out why some videos have more views than others, but also use the time to make a note of all the things you do and don’t like to prepare you for filming your own content.


What equipment do I need?

You don’t need all the gear, you just need to know how to make the most of what you’ve got.   Smartphones not only allow you to film broadcast-quality content, but you can also make professional looking edits using apps and even record your own background music, all on the same device.  There are also a number of inexpensive accessories made exclusively for smartphone filmmaking — I use a £40 lapel mic for improved sound and a £10 flexible tripod for holding the camera at a more comfortable length, which also works great for timelapses and static shots.


What can I vlog about?

Avoid generic content — you want to attract people that care deeply about what you’re saying, so share something unique that they won’t find elsewhere.  If in doubt, choose something that you can talk about, unprompted — and something you’re really passionate about.


How do I get more subscribers?

Whatever you’re sharing with your audience, you need to focus on storytelling as the most fundamental part of your content.  Take your viewers on a journey — let them know where you’re going at the beginning of the video, and then get straight to into the story as quickly as possible.  At the end you can tell people what you’ve got planned for the next video — or better still ask them what they’d like to see.  Remember, if you’re not going anywhere, no one will follow you!


How often do I need to upload vlogs?

Firstly, don’t worry too much about posting regularly.  Don’t vlog just for the sake of vlogging.  I experimented with daily narrowboat cruising vlogs for 10 days in a row this year, and I only saw a very small increase in subscribers.  The views I got for each video also took more than a few weeks to reach their normal levels.  If the content is valuable enough to your followers they will wait, just make sure you promote via other social media channels to make sure they don’t miss it when you do upload the next one.


What if I don’t have time?

Running a successful YouTube channel takes a lot of time — as well as filming and editing, you also need to respond to comments, promote your content via online/offline channels, plan, research and monitor analytics.  The other option is vlogging live from your smartphone — and with most social media platforms offering a live streaming function, it’s never been easier.  As live streams are currently less common, they tend to receive more attention as a result of being highlighted in social media feeds.  Interacting with viewers whilst also taking them on a journey allows you to condense all of your vlog activity into a set period of time. You may not be able to deliver high definition footage, and live video often disappears after a short while (e.g. Instagram live), but you’ll be able to show a refreshingly raw, un-filtered version of your business that could help make leaps towards building a fanbase of loyal customers.


If you have any questions relating to vlogging, live video or any other consultation, you can contact Robbie Cumming via email, robbie@hornbywhitefootpr.co.uk.



For more information, interviews or images please contact:


Kimberley Hornby  01858 681122        kimberley@hornbywhitefootpr.co.uk

Robbie Cumming     07765 251173        robbie@hornbywhitefootpr.co.uk

Cassie King               07875 337290        cassie@hornbywhitefootpr.co.uk