This post is by Monica McCarthy of Show & Tell Stories.
Multiple choice question: What is the biggest benefit of creating regular online video content for your business?
A) Instant fame and fortune
B) Having Brad and Angelina on speed dial
C) Showing off your bling bling
D) None of the above
Fingers crossed you answered D. And though these may sound like silly options, deep down a lot of online content creators start making videos with starry eyes in their subconscious mind. And then when they don’t see instant payoff from their efforts they think: This video stuff is too time consuming. You can’t even use affiliate links in them. No one is watching anyway.
The truth is people are watching. But videos take time to attract a significant audience. And that audience will need time before they buy into whatever it is you’re selling. When done right, there is something well-crafted videos can do for your business that nothing else you put online can.
Cultivate a Loyal Community
Your people want videos. Why? Because most of the time that is the closest thing to a face-to-face interaction they will get with you, your service, and your brand.
In this age of information overload, facts and statistics don’t have the power to persuade like they used to. Stories do. And videos allow you to share those stories with greater impact.
So lets take a look at three online content creators and how incorporating video into their brand helped radically growing their business and fostered a devoted community.
Marie Forleo of MarieForleo.com
Marie is the Queen Bee of weekly video content. Her weekly Q & A Tuesday is filled with sass, humor, and tough love business advice. Her mission is to help women become more “Rich, Happy, and Hot” and her image on the show portrays just that.
What Marie is doing right:
1. Positioning herself as the expert
Marie is clearly establishing herself as the brand itself (hence it’s called MarieTV and not RichHappyHotTV). This is important not just for building credibility for her current business, but for future expansion. People who tune into Marie’s videos love Marie not just for the advice she gives, but for Marie, meaning they will follow her into just about any venture she creates next.
2. Investing money into production and post-production
This isn’t necessary for everyone, but if your target audience is people who want to live the high life, you have to portray you are doing just that. Marie’s team helps her look polished and professional. This adds to her online celebrity image, thus creating intrigue, and a desire to be more like her (which is what makes people fans and not just customers).
3. Consistency (with a twist)
Every Tuesday, come rain or come shine, you know what format to expect when you tune in. But you also anticipate funny antics and graphics with MarieTV. This is typical of any network television show: Create a pattern so viewers feel comfortable following each week but also add a “wow” factor to keep them wondering what will happen next time.
Mayi Carles of HeartmadeBlog.com
I met Mayi in person in her home country of Panama this summer and was ecstatic to discover she is just as enthusiastic and passionate in real life as she is in her Friday videos. Mayi is on a mission to help creatives feel “happier, empowered, and loved.” And her videos show that she walks the walk.
What Mayi Carles is doing right:
1. Infuses her brand philosophy
Mayi shoots and edits her own videos in her own art studio. She purchased a simple lighting kit from Amazon, taught herself how to edit on iMovie, and films on her flip camera. Even though she is a one-woman show, Mayi clearly puts thought, effort, and energy into making her videos well worth watching.
2. Establishes trust
By allowing the audience to see the real Mayi, we know that everything she creates is from the heart (again, fitting with her brand). While she is still an expert, her videos make the audience feel like family.
3. Make anything look fun
Whether offering her tips for clearing clutter or dealing with deadlines, Mayi transforms the have-to aspects of running your own business (and life) into life-is-grand can-dos.
Gary Vaynerchuck of GaryVaynerchuck.com
In 2006, Gary went from wine store owner to online celebrity with 100,000 daily viewers tuning in to watch his videos about wine. His show helped him achieve cult-like status by professed “Vayniacs” and with whom he conspired to create Vayniac Cabernet, the first ever community wine. Though his show ended in 2011, Gary continues to reap the success sown from his regular video series.
What Gary did right:
1. Approached a popular topic from a different perspective
Who knew wine tasting and the Jets could go hand in hand? Gary did. And instead of creating a fancy-pants show to attract high rollers into buying $1,000 bottles of wine from his business, he turned the wine industry on its head. By doing so, Gary trail-blazed his own path instead of following the breadcrumbs others left behind.
2. Kept it simple
The show was about one thing and one thing only: wine. The simplistic video style emulated this perspective. No suit and tie, no fancy lights or backdrops. Just Gary being Gary… with wine.
3. Valued his viewers
Gary wanted to make a commonly perceived “stuffy” subject understandable, relatable, and something the every-man could enjoy learning about. Instead of positioning himself as above the rest of us mere mortals, his videos brought the knowledge of Dionysus down to earth.
Each of these examples may not be exactly your cup of tea, but that means the people in them are doing something right: they are finding the audience that is right for them. And an audience that is going to watch you on screen is even more loyal than an audience that reads your weekly posts. That’s the power of face time and human connection.
6 Steps for Creating Better Online Videos
With that in mind, here are six actionable steps you can take to put yourself in the spotlight.
Action Step 1: Commit to a regular schedule and make it public
Accountability is a doozy. But the truth is your videos will never get done until you make them a priority. And nothing says priority like committing to it out loud. Also, whenever possible, shoot multiple videos in one day to eliminate set-up time (as well as excuses).
Action Step 2: Create your on-set environment
You don’t have to invest a ton of money to make movie magic. For filming, a simple flipcam or even your iPhone will suffice. Pick a background, and set up the shot ahead of time to see if anything is distracting.
Action Step 3: Develop your format
Continuity is key. It is important to establish from the get go the type of regular video content you want to create: Is it a Q&A? An interview with a different guest each week? A step-by-step how-to guide? Your audience doesn’t want to wonder what they are in for. Storyboard a dozen topics so you know you’ve chosen a niche that you will have plenty to speak about.
Action Step 4: Practice!
Write out your script and practice saying it aloud. Time yourself. Keep re-writing until you’ve made your video as short and sweet as possible. Once I’m familiar with the script, I like to practice saying the words while I’m doing other things like blow-drying my hair or doing the dishes. By doing an action at the same time as saying the words, I don’t get stuck in a robotic cadence and I can quickly discover what lines I tend to forget.
Action Step 5: Get help when needed
If you find yourself tongue-twisted, consider hiring an on-camera coach. If you don’t want to invest time in learning how to edit, find an editor. Stop thinking about videos as afterthoughts and start committing to them as an integral part of your business. For example, I used to pull my hair out trying to teach myself WordPress in order to make my website look just how I imagined it should. So I hired a killer website designer. And now I can focus on what I do best and leave her to do what she does best. The End.
Action Step 6: Wave your freak flag
In other words, let your unique personality shine through. Your audience is tuning in to see the real deal. Think about the examples I listed above. Each person is having fun being themselves and allowing the audience to go on the ride with them. Playing it safe and trying to please everyone who watches your videos will lead to snooze fest. You have something to say, so Sing out Louise!
Who else creates can’t miss online videos? What is about them that keeps you coming back? Leave your comments below. I’ll bring the popcorn.