Several years back, Mark Schaefer coined the term “Content Shock” to describe the virtual tsunami of content people fight their way through daily. Since then, the tide has only risen. But smart individuals and companies have learned to create new types of content, unrivaled in their industry. (For tips on doing this, check out The Content Code: Six Essential Strategies to Ignite Your Content, Your Marketing, and Your Business.)
Many businesses have started experimenting, launching podcasts, punching up their trade show presence with interactive experiences, and incorporating video into their content mix.
There are plenty of smart people encouraging marketers to adopt video: Chris Brogan has repeatedly urged people to get past their insecurities about age or appearance and start going on camera. In fact, he’s been pushing people to use video for years.
Brian Fanzo speaks all over the world about video and live streaming, urging people to “press the damn button!” And it seems they’re listening — A recent study on marketing trends shows that nearly half of survey respondents have started using video just in the past year. The survey goes so far as to call video the #1 marketing trend for holiday marketing.
What this means is that we’re about to experience a whole new wave of content shock, and your personal video content need to stand out from the rest.
Here are some tips for creating personal video content that’s worthy of your audience’s attention.
Tell the story only you can tell.
Mark Schaefer gave me this advice on writing nearly five years ago:
“I want to challenge you to write a post that ONLY you can write. You have to dig down and bring your heart into it. Your posts don’t have a heartbeat.”
Ouch. I mean, OUCH.
But Mark was right. I followed his advice and wrote a highly personal post on the dark side of social networking. It’s one of my top posts of all-time.
You need to take this approach with all your personal video content. Tell the story only you can tell. Be uniquely you.
If all of your videos are highly produced, heavily sanitized versions of your brand story, people will look elsewhere. Infuse your stories (video and other media) with heart, and watch what happens.
Get right to the good stuff.
You have 10 seconds or less to earn your audience’s attention or they’ll click away from your video.
Don’t bury the lede. Don’t think people will hang in there with you while you ramp up to the good stuff halfway through. There is so much content out there—patience is at an all-time low.
Notice I didn’t say attention is at an all-time low. That’s because if your content is relevant and entertaining, people will absolutely want it.
But how will they know your video content gets good if you spend the first few minutes circling your main point? Don’t wait—get to the good stuff right away.
Become a favorite content creator.
Half of 18- to 34-year old YouTube subscribers would drop what they’re doing to watch a new video by their favorite creator. Do what you can to earn “favorite creator” status with your audience. Deliver relevant, valuable, entertaining content, and keep on delivering.
When’s the last time you dropped what you were doing to watch an ad? You’ve probably never done that. But I’ve let pasta boil over on the stove so I could watch a new “Bad Lip Reading” video. (It was this one: Hostiles on the Hill.)
Learn something about production.
You don’t have to become Francis Ford Coppola to create quality video content, but you do need to think about things like audio quality and lighting.
Brian Fanzo has helpfully shared details on all the equipment he uses. Chris Brogan has been very open about his learning process. Video blogger Steve Garfield wrote a fantastic book that’s valuable for anyone looking to “get seen.”
There’s no shortage of helpful information out there, so study up and get started!