Suppose you want to sell some products or services online. How do you reach your audience with compelling content, if you feel writing isn’t one of your strengths or passions?
If you’re like me, you may work on producing weekly articles, only to hate the finished product.
Unfortunately, you’ve got to create fresh, shareable, compelling content if you want to reach anybody. Having a website isn’t good enough anymore, no matter how many SEO tricks you try.
Here’s an idea: Skip writing articles and jump right into video blogging.
Video Killed the Blogging Star
With video blogging, you can combine the best of both worlds of the visual appeal of video, while having organized content that helps your target audience and calls them to action.
Consider these facts:
- Twitter bought Periscope in 2015, which supported video
- Facebook Live and Instagram Stories launched in 2016
- YouTube is #2 search engine
Video is easier than you think
When I was in college, we needed thousands of dollars of heavy, back-breaking equipment to produce video. Today, we already more video production power in our phones or tablets.
My daughters, both only 9 and 11, have been making their own videos presentations for years. The keys to their success is that they’re having fun and aren’t afraid to fail and experiment.
After watching some of their videos, I thought “If my kids can produce videos, so can I!”
Guess what? You can too!
Who wants to learn how to get started with video content marketing?
I’m going to walk you through a four-phase process of how we make video blogs for content marketing.
Here’s our situation: My wife is using video to target people interested in essential oils to improve their life. Yet, I use video for targeting local businesses who want to improve their website. Different audiences and skill sets, right? Regardless, we’re both struggling entrepreneurs that are learning as we go.
Fair warning here: we’re not video blogging “experts”. But we hope our experience will save you time, money and effort in your adventure in video content marketing, as well as give you to courage to try. If you’re trying to sell a product or service, but have limited time and resources, this series will help you.
Heres an outline of what I plan to cover:
- Stage 1: Starting off in the right direction with clear goals to aim for.
- Stage 2: Planning out a content calendar to reduce stress and maintain consistency.
- Stage 3: Creating content by writing using some great frameworks that will save you time.
- Stage 4: Producing video with easy-to-use tools.
Now that I’ve given you an outline, lets jump into the first stage. I’ve broken these up into some short videos, or you can just read ahead.
Everything successful video blog starts with Who, What and Why
Before getting started, it’s important to understand your Who, What and Why:
- Who is your target audience
- What do you want them to do
- Why would they want to do it.
One way of putting this down is by writing:
I want [WHO/TARGET AUDIENCE] to [WHAT/CALL TO ACTION] so that [WHY/PURPOSE].
Here’s a bad example: “I want people to watch my videos so they’ll get information.”
- “People”: Which “people”
- “Watch videos”: Why are they watching the videos? Are you just making videos for the sake of making videos?
- “Get information”: Nobody wants information – they want solutions to their problems.
Better Example: I want work-at-home moms to buy my essential oils so that they’ll relieve stress.
Now, you may discover that when you think about it, you have several target audiences and several things that you want them to do. That’s okay! Make sure you write them down.
TO DO: Write down your Who, What and Why using the template above. Try to keep it to 1-3.
Quit guessing about success and set some goals for your video blog
“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time” – Zig Ziglar
After figuring out your Who, What and Why, we can then move to setting some goals which will set where you’re aiming for. These goals should be:
One way of putting this down is by writing:
I want [SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE TARGET AUDIENCE] to [TAKE ACTION] by [REASONABLY-RISKY TIME-BOUNDARY]
One thing I need to point out: Goals are something to AIM for. You’re setting goals so you know what you’re aiming for. You’re not a failure for not achieving goals you set. But if you never set goals to aim for, how will you ever know if you’re winning or making progress? You’re designing your goals to give you focus and keep you from getting distracted, burning out, and giving up. The reason I emphasize specific, measurable goals is so you’ll know what you want to aim for.
Speaking of aim, take this bad example:
I want people to watch my videos.
Let’s see how this goal is too vague to aim for.
- Specific: Which specific “people”?
- Measurable: How many “people”?
- Action: “Watch video” might be a worthy goal, but what action do you want them to take as a result of watching your video?
- Reasonably-Risky: If you’re not aiming at all, there’s no risk or excitement to drive you. If you’re aiming for unrealistic numbers like a million, you’re being unrealistic.
- Time-boundary: By when? A week? A month? A million years?
I want 30 work-at-home moms to join the rewards program as a result of watching these videos by July 1, 2017.
- Specific: work-at-home moms
- Measurable: 30
- Action: Join rewards program
- Reasonably-Risky: I want 30 in less than six months. It’s risky, but could be done.
- Time-boundary: July 1, 2017
TO DO: Pick 1-3 SMART goals for your video blog.
The Secret Way to Choosing Content Categories
Now that you’ve got your target audience and goals in mind, it’s time to pick your primary content categories. These will help with organizing and planning your content.
Think about your target audiences, your calls to action and your goals. What categories do they fall into? Usually you can pull out categories from keywords that describe:
- Your target audience
- The problem your target audience has
- Your solution
One thing to keep in mind is to keep your categories related, but distinct enough so that they don’t replicate each other.
Here’s a bad Example: The famous “Uncategorized/Blog”. This doesn’t tell your audience anything meaningful
Would you ever tell someone: Hi, I’m an expert in Uncategorized.
Another Bad Example of content categories: Cinnamon oil, Spice oil, Everything Nice oil…
These categories overlap too much. It would be better to have a general “oil” category and then add “Cinnamon”, “Spice” as tags.
Better Example: Moms, Essential Oils, Stress Relief
- Target Audience: Moms
- Problem: Stress
- Solution: Essential Oils
Each of these categories are related, but distinct.
TO DO: Using your WWW and Goals, write 3-5 content categories.
Adopting a mindset that’s not afraid to fail
You’ve come so far in this adventure, but to get to your goals, you’re going to have to overcome fear of failure and think of this as an adventure.
When John Sutter navigated the Sacramento River Delta to build New Helvetia, he had no guarantees he would succeed. When John Bidwell led one of the first emigrant caravans from the East to California, he only had a general idea of which direction to head. Yet, both of these risk-takers and others like them were willing to risk failure.
For example, I have to overcome the fear of failure every time I produce one of these videos. This week I tried out the new Teleprompter 2.0 app from Joe Allen. While my video quality seems 10 times better than some of my previous shoots, I noticed that there are parts where I can tell that my eyes are following the script. Plus, I’m not happy with the way my graphics appeared. But it doesn’t matter. I’m hitting the publish button.
To produce a video blog, you’ll need courage to fail and learn as you go. Through this journey, you’re going to want to give up. Don’t!