In today’s world of short attention spans and video-first content, converting your written blog content into video can be a great way to reach new audiences and keep existing readers engaged. Video allows you to showcase your personality, make content more dynamic, and tap into viewers’ emotions in a way text alone often can’t.
But simply pointing a camera at yourself reading your blog post likely won’t captivate viewers. Creating an engaging video based on your blog requires thoughtfulness, creativity, and strategic planning. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through the key steps for converting blogs to videos your audience will love.
Choose the Right Blog Post
With a blog’s worth of content to potentially adapt into video, choosing the right post to start with is key. Consider these factors when selecting a blog post:
- Interesting personal stories or anecdotes: Blog posts that share a personal experience or tell a compelling story are great candidates for video, as you can bring the narrative to life.
- Unique expertise or perspective: Blog content that shares insider knowledge or an unusual take on a topic will translate well to video’s visual format.
- Specific how-to advice: Step-by-step tutorials or guides to a particular skill are perfect for instructional videos.
- Controversial stance or ideas: Debates and strong opinions can be compelling in video when conveyed with passion and authority.
- Visually engaging material: Blog posts with strong visual elements like photos, charts, maps, etc. offer a lot to work with visually in a video adaptation.
- Evergreen relevance: Blog content on topics that will interest viewers indefinitely, rather than a fleeting news item, have the most video longevity.
Once you’ve selected a blog post, it’s time to start planning your video.
Craft a Video Outline
Before you start filming, you need a clear vision for how you will adapt your blog post into video format. Outlining the flow of your video is crucial.
Begin by reading your selected blog post closely. Highlight the main points and think about how to translate each section into video:
- What parts can be conveyed through narration?
- What moments would work well on camera?
- Are there visuals, graphics, or footage you could use to illustrate concepts?
- Does the post contain quotes, stats, or facts you want to call out on screen?
- Are there personal anecdotes or stories that would be compelling on camera?
Take notes on how you envision each section playing out in the video and any visuals that come to mind. Then, organize your notes into a video outline. This will be your roadmap for filming. Structure your outline like a traditional script outline, with labeled sections like:
- Opening teaser/hook
- Point 1
- Supporting evidence
- Illustrative prop/graphic
- Point 2
- Personal anecdote
- Interview bite
- B-roll footage
- Point 3
- Stats on screen
- Call to action
- Closing remarks
Flesh out as much detail for each section as possible. Having a clear, detailed outline will make filming more efficient and keep your video tightly focused.
Craft Your On-Camera Narrative
With your outline in place, it’s time to put yourself in front of the camera and craft your on-screen narrative. Even if your final video will incorporate other elements like graphics and b-roll, you’ll need a well-crafted base narration adapted from your blog post’s content.
There are a few key ways the narration for your video will differ from the text for your blog:
1. Write for the ear, not the eye.
Spoken language differs from written language. While blog posts can contain complex sentences and industry jargon, your on-camera narration should use simpler, conversational language viewers will immediately grasp.
- Break long sentences into shorter statements.
- Use contractions like “can’t” instead of “cannot.”
- Avoid unnecessary filler words like “very” or “really.”
- Explain any technical terms.
- Insert rhetorical questions to engage viewers.
Transcribe short audio and video clips to get a sense for natural speech patterns. Then practice your script aloud, timing your delivery and revising any awkward phrasing.
2. Incorporate strategic repetition.
Because viewers can’t rewind spoken narration like they can reread text, incorporate strategic repetition in your script to emphasize key points. For example:
“Creating videos based on your written content can seem daunting. But with the right strategy, you can absolutely convert your blogs to compelling videos your audience will love. In this video, I’ll share three key tips for converting blogs into engaging video content.”
Notice how the main idea is repeated in different ways.
3. Build a narrative arc.
While a blog post can explore ideas loosely, a video should follow a narrative arc, building drama and tension to keep viewers interested. Strategically reveal information to move the story forward. Use transitions like “First,” “Next,” and “Finally” to cue the viewer through your arc.
4. Include motivational hooks.
Blog posts can rely on readers’ intrinsic motivation to get through dense sections. But video narration should regularly include motivational hooks to remind viewers why they should keep watching, like:
“If you can convert blog posts like this one into video, you can rapidly grow your audience and establish yourself as an industry thought leader.”
5. Choose a compelling backdrop.
Your backdrop behind you on camera should be relevant and interesting. Sitting in front of a blank wall looks unnatural. Choose a location related to your topic like your office, workshop or vehicle. Or create a staged backdrop that reflects your brand, like a bookshelf or collection of props.
Engage Viewers with High-Quality B-Roll
Cutting between shots of you speaking directly to the camera has limited appeal. That’s why high-quality b-roll footage is essential for any video based on a blog.
B-roll refers to supplemental video clips edited into your narration to illustrate concepts and engage viewers. For example, if your blog reviews new kitchen gadgets, your video could incorporate b-roll footage demonstrating each one in action so viewers see how they really work.
Ideally, b-roll directly shows what you’re talking about on screen rather than solely relying on narration to carry the story. Specific types of b-roll to incorporate include:
– Close-up shots of relevant objects
Use cutaways to props, instruments, or products to showcase what you’re discussing up close.
– On-location scenes
Visit locations related to your content and capture video there. Give your video a sense of place.
– Demonstrations & tutorials
Demonstrate how to use a product, perform an activity, build a craft, etc. through step-by-step b-roll.
– Stock footage & animations
Stock video sites offer b-roll you can purchase on topics like science, nature, technology, business, etc. Animated graphics can also explain concepts on screen.
– Screen recordings & slides
Record your screen to capture digital processes, highlight online content, or display slides/photos.
– Interviews & testimonials
Cutaway to short sit-down interviews with other experts or product users sharing their perspectives.
Aim for a variety of b-roll types and angles to dynamically engage viewers. The key is to visualize how you can SHOW your points rather than simply telling them.
Optimize Video for the Target Platform
How and where do you want your audience to view your video? Optimizing your video for each platform is critical.
YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users, making it the #1 platform for sharing videos. To maximize YouTube views:
- Feature your personality prominently. Videos with enthusiastic hosts tend to perform best.
- Incorporate quickly changing b-roll visuals to cater to short attention spans.
- Use eye-catching custom thumbnails and titles with keywords viewers are searching.
- Have a strong call to action within the first 30 seconds, while viewers are most attentive.
- Research competitors’ top-performing videos for inspiration.
To maximize engagement on social media feeds, edit videos for very short watch times:
- One minute or less for Instagram and TikTok
- Under 30 seconds for Twitter and Facebook
Hook viewers immediately with an attention-grabbing opening line or visuals. Include a strong final call to action encouraging viewers to follow you for more content.
Website & Blog
Posting videos directly on your website or blog allows you to embed them natively into articles and fully customize playback. To optimize for your site:
- Feature an intro/outro graphic with your blog’s branding.
- Divide longer videos into chapters navigable via linked timestamps.
- Include links, graphics and calls to action relevant to each post.
- Transcribe videos to optimize for SEO and accessibility.
Understanding each platform’s video requirements will allow you to tailor edits and style for maximum impact.
Promote Your Video
An exceptional video is only as good as its reach. Once your video is live, promotion is crucial to drive views. Some effective tactics include:
- Email list: Alert email subscribers and encourage them to watch/share.
- Social media posts: Craft appetizing messaging with emojis/GIFs to showcase the video across platforms.
- Paid advertising: Sponsor social media posts and pre-roll YouTube ads to reach new viewers.
- Influencer outreach: Contact key influencers related to your niche and offer them an exclusive screening.
- Press release: Summarize your distinctive video in a press release and distribute it via PR sites.
- Live events: Screen the video at in-person events related to the topic.
- Embed on website: Add the video to relevant website pages to play natively in content.
- YouTube cards/end screens: Use YouTube’s interactive options to suggest more related videos from your channel after watching.
- YouTube playlsits: Add the video to collaborative playlists already watched by your target audience.
Driving traffic to a remarkable video with strategic promotion separates successful content from unseen gems.
Track Performance Analytics
You poured creativity and hard work into your video. Now it’s time to learn from it!
Platforms like YouTube offer powerful analytics to track how your video resonates with viewers. Analyze:
- Traffic sources: Where do viewers discover your content? Optimize promotion in those channels.
- Audience retention: When do viewers drop off? Refine details that lose people’s interest.
- Top-performing sections: Identify the most popular moments in your video to emulate in the future.
- Demographics: Appeal to your target viewer groups with relevant topics and styles.
- Engagement metrics: Leverage insights from likes, shares, comments and more to make continually better videos.
Let data guide your future content so each video outperforms the last. Video creation is an iterative process of constant refinement.
Need some inspiration? Here are just a few examples of bloggers who found video success by converting written content:
Global energy drink brand Red Bull initially launched as a YouTube channel in 2007, focusing on extreme sports content. But in recent years, it added a division specifically dedicated to adapting articles from its website into video essays with high production value. These #Perspective videos breathe new life into written stories on topics like sports, science, music and more by adding slick graphics, interviews and digestible narration. The videos rack up millions of views, extending the reach of Red Bull’s written content.
Leading public radio broadcaster NPR augments its audio programs and news articles with short-form YouTube videos, often formatted as listicles, explainers, or animated trivia. Videos like “The History of Duels Explained in 5 Minutes” and “7 Reasons You’re Addicted to Your Phone” condense topics covered in NPR’s reporting into snackable shareable content. The channel boasts nearly 6 million subscribers.
This animation studio condenses complex ideas from science, economics, philosophy and more into beautifully illustrated 5-10 minute YouTube videos accompanied by clear narration. Their videos originate from a 50-page research document for each topic that they boil down into scripts optimized for video. Visually communicating dense topics in their signature hand-drawn style makes Kurzgesagt’s 3,000+ videos infinitely shareable. Their most popular video has over 44 million views.
Digital news brand Vox has found huge video success on YouTube by translating articles on their website into concise yet comprehensive explainer videos. Their 15-minute videos delve into everything from vaccine development to exercise science to housing bubbles. Vox masters the formula for making each complex written topic engaging and easy to understand through smart motion graphics and narration. They’ve amassed over 8 million YouTube subscribers.
Converting your written blog content into video provides an enormous opportunity to increase your reach, resources permitting. To recap, the key tips for creating compelling videos based on blogs are:
- Choose the right blog post – one with visual potential and evergreen appeal.
- Outline a video structure with a mix of narration, b-roll, graphics and more.
- Script an engaging on-camera narrative using strategic repetition and motivational hooks.
- Incorporate varied, dynamic b-roll to show instead of just tell.
- Optimize edits and style for platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and your website.
- Promote your video actively via email, social media, paid ads and more.
- Analyze performance data to make continually better videos.
Done right, your videos can spread your content to vast new audiences and become an integral part of your platform. Converting your greatest blog hits into videos will amplify their value and longevity. Just take the process step-by-step.
Now get out there, turn on your camera, and start showing viewers your expertise in vivid new ways!
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