Video content is valuable, but creating a quality video blog isn’t a matter of propping a subject matter expert up in front of a camera and hitting the record button. With a lot of thought and a little prep, you can capture the best content and the best version of the person being interviewed.
Excited to get started or to make your video blogs even better? Use these tips.
1. Assemble your team.
Before you start talking ideas, take a look at the team to ensure the right people are in the right roles. Who has research skills? Writing? Interviewing? Videography? Disregard job titles and align talent with need.
2. Get clear on the topic.
Your SME knows a lot, and you have a limited amount of video time. Focusing on one main topic gives you a target to hit in preparation, and helps you keep the SME on track when answering questions on-camera.
3. Do some legwork.
Do some basic online searches to get familiar with the topic, in general, and then dig a little deeper. Find out what the SME’s experience is with the product or service and why it’s important to their business. The goal is to be knowledgeable enough to guide the SME on-camera, and prepare follow up questions that are on-point.
4. Mind the gaps.
Your legwork will help you fill in some blanks about the topic. It will also clearly identify knowledge gaps to address with the SME.
5. Prepare your questions.
A good video interview feels and sounds like a conversation, not an interrogation. Write questions based on what you want the viewers to know. Put them in order from general-to-specific to maintain a logical, conversational flow.
6. Follow up.
To the extent it’s possible, identify the questions you feel will generate follow-up and write some questions in anticipation of needed clarification. You may want to phrase the questions in a few different ways so you can adjust the approach on the spot, if need be.
7. Share your thoughts (and gather theirs).
The last thing you want to do is catch the SME off guard. Share your questions list beforehand and ask for their feedback. You’ll both feel better prepared for and more relaxed at the interview.
8. Ask for examples.
Case studies make videos relatable. Ask the SME to review and select a few examples that marry the topic to outcome.
9. Understand that people are people.
Your approach to preparing an SME for an interview is definitely on a case-by-case basis. Some people will be more confident and comfortable with the process; others may take some encouragement and coaching. Accommodate their needs.
10. Disempower the camera.
It’s no secret that cameras make some people uncomfortable. The “record” light goes on and nerves kick in – and that translates to the video. Don’t rush into the interview. Engage the SME in some casual conversation and let them settle in to the environment. When the camera finally rolls, they’ll be more relaxed.
11. Ask open-ended questions.
“Yes” and “No” answers do not make for a compelling video blog. Prompt the SME with questions that require explanatory answers.
12. Value silence.
Knowing when to talk and when to allow the SME to gather their thoughts is a real skill. You may be tempted to fill brief periods of silence with words. Take a breath instead and let them continue at their pace. You’ll likely get a more complete answer. Prolonged silences, on the other hand, may require you to reassess the questions and how you’re conducting the interview.
13. Use the buddy system.
Videos can be intimidating. Suggest the SME bring a co-worker to sit off-camera and provide support —moral or topic-related.
Ready? Set? Go!
With a little practice, you’ll find the tips that work best for you in creating some stellar video blogs.