You’ve probably heard someone say that making videos is the next big thing. It’s also likely that you’ve seen the viral “hands-in-the-pans” videos from sources such as BuzzFeed’s Tasty on your Facebook page, the videos that tend to have hundreds of thousands of views and shares. It’s a trend that’s likely to stay; according to SocialMediaToday, experts estimate that by 2018, video will account for 79% of internet traffic. If you’re a dietitian with a private practice, food blog, or other nutrition communications business, it’s time to seriously consider including video content regularly in your marketing efforts if you haven’t already.
To stay current, dietitians need to keep pace with the way social media is changing. Marketers believe that video is an effective way to increase brand awareness and build your internet presence. In fact, data from SocialMediaToday show that using the word “video” in an email subject line increases click-through rate by 65%. During the months I publish videos for my website, my social media followers and page views increase significantly. Readers like videos—that’s the plain truth.
Video can be used not only to build a brand presence, but to attract clients. Prerecorded videos or even Facebook Live are great avenues being used for Q&A sessions with a dietitian. These videos are useful for answering client questions and give them a picture of who you are as a dietitian as well as your beliefs and counseling methods. Videos that include recipes, cooking methods, or health tips are great for promoting yourself to clients, too.
If you’re new to video, start with Instagram Stories or Snapchat videos. Promote your handle to your readers and clients, and give them glimpses into your healthful lifestyle or cooking sessions. Dietitians don’t need to worry about lighting or editing since these videos are supposed to be amateur quality. Hands-in-the-pans videos are extremely popular on social media, especially on Facebook. These involve using a tripod and recording overhead. I’ve also seen videos that have a recipe demo feel, where the dietitian or blogger is in the video cooking and talking at the same time. Whichever type of video you prefer, be sure to include captions. Viewers don’t always turn up their volume when they’re watching videos; in fact, Digiday magazine reports that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.
There’s no need to invest in expensive equipment if you’re interested in sharing simple videos on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook Live, since you can shoot them with your smartphone. A tripod meant for phones can be very useful to keep the camera steady while shooting. If you’re interested in creating hands-in-the-pans videos, I’d recommend using a DSLR camera with HD video capability or a video camera along with a tripod that has a 90-degree angled arm. Purchase a small level to make sure you’re shooting perfectly level, especially for overhead videos.
You’ll also need a clean, light-colored backdrop if you don’t have pretty countertops (like me). You can make these yourself with a large piece of wood (I use 4’ X 4’) and laminate covering, or you can paint/stain the wood. Other equipment needed includes a portable burner, extension cord, and artificial lights—necessary for creating a well-lit video. Try not to record videos in a dark kitchen. Lowel Ego tabletop lights are popular, or standing softbox lights work well and don’t take up table space. Lastly, you’ll need an editing program. Wondershare Filmora is great and is compatible with Windows and Mac. If you have a Mac, iMovie is popular. Final Cut Pro is the top-level choice, but it’s mostly for professionals and is very expensive.
A final piece of advice for those starting food demo or overhead videos: Create a run of show, detailing what you plan to do in the video and in what order, and prepare all ingredients beforehand. Once you start a video, you want to make sure you have everything on hand so it goes smoothly. You can edit out mistakes, but being prepared beforehand helps immensely.
As dietitians, we’re trained to stay on top of the latest nutrition trends. Stay on top of the latest social media trends, too, and you’ll help your blog and business grow!
— Emily Weeks, RDN, LD, is a dietitian from Fort Worth, Texas. Emily believes that the secret to a nourished, happy life is to develop a healthful relationship with food, our minds, and our bodies. She instills this intuitive eating philosophy in the kitchen and on her food and wellness blog, Zen & Spice. Her blog features delicious, easy recipes and simple strategies to learn how to become comfortable in the kitchen and embrace mindfulness.