2018 is here. And while we have hopefully said goodbye to painful, skin-peeling charcoal masks, unicorn everything and male rompers in 2017, video marketing is here to stay. In fact, it’s on the rise. Cisco forecasts that 82% of all Internet consumer traffic will be video. Many businesses already utilize social social video marketing while others plan to implement it in the upcoming year.

Social video marketing will be a critical component of your social media strategy.

I have no doubt that some of you hear the word “video” and cringe. Even for the most outgoing personalities, getting in front of a camera is anxiety-provoking. So much so that I would be willing to bet most of you will try to avoid the camera at all costs.

You’ll use apps that turn quotes into animated videos. You’ll post gifs. You’ll create photo slideshows to turn into a video. If you have the budget for it, you may even have animated or product videos created for you.

I’m not saying these types of videos aren’t valuable. They are! However, they can’t replace the human component that will attract your audience and build a stronger connection with them.

Getting comfortable in front of the camera is one of the best things you can do for your business’ social media strategy this year.

Why? Because consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical of businesses. Trinity mirrors found that 42% of people claim to distrust brands. This isn’t surprising in the digital era where it’s become too easy to hide behind a social media handle. Transparency is key to establishing trust and building rapport. Committing to a social video marketing strategy allows viewers to gauge your authenticity. More importantly, it demonstrates your willingness to stand by your business.

With that said, it’s time to shake off the nerves. Your videos don’t need to be polished to be valuable. Fancy video equipment and great editing won’t make up for a mediocre message and lack of personality.

Here are 6 ways to feel more comfortable on video:

  1. Pretend Your Camera is a Person:

    Stuffy professionalism is a thing of the past. Loosen up and converse with your camera as though you were speaking to a friend. Give yourself cue cards if you need them, but don’t rely on them. Speaking from script can come across as robotic and boring.

  2. Roll With Your Mistakes:

    If you stumble on your words, continue on. Don’t stop the camera. Don’t start over. Just keep going. Be smooth and make a joke of it. The mistake is actually more endearing to your audience.

  3. Record Yourself Speaking and Take Note of Any Nerve-Induced Habits:

    Many people use filler words, such as ‘like’, ‘um’, ‘you know’, or ‘uh’, to signal a pause in speech. Moderate use in everyday conversation is completely normal. However, when the nerves kick in, use of these terms is amplified. It can be distracting for the viewer and take away from your overall message. It’s easy to kick these habits once you’re aware of them. Record yourself speaking and listen for any nervous habits. Once you’re mindful of the habit, it will become easier to avoid it over time. Since many of us use these filler words to avoid silence, it’s important to know that pausing your speech is actually a good thing. Give yourself a moment to relax and then continue with your message.

  4. Shake Any Feelings of Imposter Syndrome:

    Imposter Syndrome prevents individuals from recognizing their own accomplishments and often, they will suffer from persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud. This fear can be crippling. It stops people from putting themselves out there, especially on video. So before you throw yourself in front of the camera, remember that you have something worth sharing. If you do have any shortcomings, don’t be afraid to acknowledge those. Your audience will be attracted to your humble, natural and knowledgeable approach.

  5. Shoot Your Video in Natural Light:

    If you’re a fellow female, hear me when I say that you do not need 10lbs of makeup to look great in front of a camera. Lighting can make all the difference. Shoot your video in front of a light-filled window, but avoid direct sunlight as it can be too harsh.

  6. Sit Up Tall or (Even Better!) Stand Up:

    Sitting down may be more comfortable, but you’ll likely find that your energy level goes up when you stand tall. Your mindset will mimic your body’s physical position. When you look assertive, you will naturally feel more confident.

And lastly, don’t overthink it and don’t fret about hiding simple mistakes. In the world of social media, perfection will hurt you more than stumbling over the occasional word. That’s because mistakes are humanizing. A flawless delivery risks coming across as cold and robotic. Have a little fun with it and don’t forget to tag me – @getsocialwithkayla – in your upcoming videos. I can’t wait to see your face!

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Written by Kayla McDonald
Kayla McDonald is a social media strategist with 5+ years of experience in consumer psychology, content creation and online marketing.