So you’ve decided to branch out from the conventional written blog, and treat your online community to other types of content – perhaps audio or video. When deciding between the two, there are three major factors to consider: how much you’re willing to fork over; how quickly you need the material; and of course, the message itself.
Generating audio content is a great way to try something new without breaking the bank. You can record almost anywhere – be that interviewing someone at an industry event, or a fellow employee in the office. It’s easy enough to record using a mobile device, or your computer’s built-in microphone. That being said, there’s nothing worse than crackly audio. If you intend to produce audio content often, I’d recommend a one-time investment in a good piece of equipment (something like the Snowball USB mic will do the trick) and finding a quiet place to record.
The cost of video content is largely dependent on the type of video itself. Your generic support video can be slapped together with relatively cheap software like Camtasia, or even the use of a free product like Screenr. However, product demonstrations, customer testimonials and the like, often prove a little pricier. There are many more factors to consider – from actors, to lighting, cameras, editing software, and even location rental. Unless you’re a seasoned videographer, outsourcing to a video communications company is your best bet at effectively managing these components.
Either way, don’t undermine your efforts by skimping on software.
Audio products require very little editing. Cut a few “ums” and “ahs”, and a bit of rambling, and you can produce decent audio within the hour. Transitions between cuts must flow smoothly, but this is much easier to achieve when you don’t have to fiddle with adjusting visual components like lighting.
Video products on the other hand, require a little more planning. From pre- to post-production, a lot of thought goes into the making of a great video, but it can make for extremely engaging content, and the visual component offers a longer-lasting impact than audio alone.
If your message is relatively simple, audio might be the way to go. Keep in mind, that most people will listen to audio content while performing another task – whether that be driving, or performing household tasks. But this offer of multitasking is one of audio’s greatest strengths – it offers the ease of listening anytime, and anywhere.
Video on the other hand, requires both the eyes and ears of its viewers. More complex messages, like a tutorial or product demonstration, often need this two-pronged approach to simplify concepts that would be tough to explain through words alone.