Discover how to make sure your content aligns with the needs of your audience.
- Anyone producing online content want people to care about their content. They want people to watch it, they want people to engage with it. There's a real problem with this, though. A lot of times it becomes very me-centric conversation. It's about what you can extract from people instead of the value that you provide, and at the end of the day when you're asking people for their time, which is what you're asking for, you ask them to watch your video, you're asking them to spend five minutes on that instead of working on their business, instead of spending time with their significant other, instead of investing in any other activity.
You're asking them to make a commitment and investment in you, and it needs to be worth their while. They need to know upfront what the ROI of spending that time with you is, and a lot of people are failing to communicate that, while more people are failing to actually deliver on that. I think what one of the most important things you can do if you're going to produce a video is make it very clear what the direct benefit to your audience actually is. If you want someone to watch a video, if you want somebody your content on YouTube, or Facebook, or Instagram, or LinkedIn, or Twitter, or wherever you're asking them to participate, they need to know what's in it for them.
And that needs to be very clear. When I ask people why should someone watch your content usually one of the first things to come out of their mouth is, "Well, I worked really hard on this," or, "I think it's a good video." And nobody cares. I hate to break it to you. Nobody cares. That's not an appropriate answer. You have to make it clear what the direct benefit to them is. You have to take yourself out of the equation. And you really have to think about your audience, you have to put them first, because otherwise you're just making content for yourself And if that's the case, that's fine if you specifically are doing that.
But if you're doing this in the context of your business, or to solve a specific problem in the market, then you absolutely have to take yourself out of the equation. And, when you're talking to your audience, you also have to make it clear what you want them to do. Is there a clear call to action? Is that subscribe on YouTube? Is it leaving from the platform to buy your product? Is it commenting on this, and adding their voice to the conversation? What is it you actually want someone to do, and have you earned the right to ask for that? Have you facilitated that? Have you provided enough upfront value to make it okay to ask for that and expect that people will actually make that commitment? That's something that I think a lot of people take for granted.
Again, you have to not make it a me-centric conversation, and you have to make it something that is enticing. And that means that it has to be something that's of interest to the person, it has to be relevant to them, and it has to be relatable. Now, there are ways you can accomplish this with the forming of a format for your video content by scripting out a format. It doesn't have to be something extraordinarily granular or detailed. Obviously you need a beginning, middle, and end. That goes without saying. But you also have to think about at what point, in the beginning, middle, and end are you going to do certain things? At what point are you going to clearly qualify certain aspects of this for you audience? Primer example being what is it that you provide? Who are you, why do you matter to me? You need to make that very clear probably in the first 15 seconds of your video.
That's what we refer to as a hook. What is going to draw people in? What is going to entice them? Then you have to think about the pacing of your format of keeping people engaged, and keeping them watching, keeping them listening, keeping them leaning into this. And then of course you have to have a strong close. You have to reinforce your called action. So I wouldn't wait necessarily to end of the video to ask someone to do something because there's a point where they might drop off in the video. You have to accommodate that. I would say halfway through the video it's okay to either tease your call to action or to make a declaration outright.
Then, at the end of the video, after you've absolutely delivered value, you can reinforce that ask. So that's something to really keep in mind. Does the format fit your audience? Does the format also serve the goals and priorities that both you and the audience have? Is this a win-win? And are those goals and value really in alignment? Is what you want at the expense of your audience? Or is serving your audience coming at the expense of your business goal? I don't think it needs to be an either or. I think there's an opportunity for both parties to get exactly what they want, and I think that a strong content strategy keeps this in mind.
I think that if you're very clear and up front about what the benefit is to your audience, but you're also transparent about what you'd like to happen, then I think that everybody walks away feeling very good about the time they've spent making this video, and watching this video.
- Preproduction and planning
- Production: camera, lights, and audio
- Video editing and post
- Online video platforms
- Understanding your audience
- Making awesome content
- Releasing the right volume of content at the right times
- Developing a content calendar
- Video optimization strategies