1. What are your top tips for creating binge-worthy content experiences to promote a brand?
Many businesses have realized creating content that speaks to the interests and challenges of niche audiences can lead to some pretty impressive results for their brands. Specifically, binge-worthy content is all about providing enough value that viewers can’t help but want to consume more of it.
The first step to creating binge-worthy content is finding and understanding your audience – and we don’t mean broad generalizations. When it comes to determining the right audience for your content, you need to define who you’re speaking to, what you’re saying, and why they should care. Be as specific as possible. Get started by creating a positioning statement that identifies three key elements: audience, insight, and theme.
Once you have your positioning statement in order, the next step is to align your audience with a concept and format. We love episodic content because it gives you the ability to re-engage with your viewers and keep them coming back for more.
You don’t have to shoot for the stars and emulate your favorite HBO production. Instead, keep concepts close to your brand and focus on ideas you can actually pull off. And remember, when it comes to telling compelling stories with long-form videos, coming up with a great show idea is more important than production value.
The secret sauce to a binge-worthy content experience is marketing like a media company. The essence of a media company strategy is about driving audiences to a central, controlled location to consume content.
To do this, create a destination for your content on owned properties (like your website). Then, promote your content across all channels with compelling trailers and teasers, and use your content to build subscribers and long-term connections with your audience.
2. What advice do you have for brands that want to start using long-form video content to build brand affinity?
Get started! You might assume that long-form video is more costly and takes longer to create, but depending on your strategy and approach to content creation, that doesn’t have to be the case.
People are watching and engaging with more long-form video content than ever before, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Long-form video drives engagement, creates a ton of value for both your company and your audiences, and uniquely positions your brand above competitors.
3. What are your top 5 best practices for creating informative yet engaging video content?
- Start with proper planning: What is the goal of the video? And how will it be used? This will help inform the length, format, and style of your video content.
- Understand your audience: We cannot overstate this. It’s so important to understand who you are talking to. This should drive your video content decisions on the video format, length, and even the script.
- Set yourself up for success during your shoot: Scout a quiet location with an appealing background and good lighting. Or invest in a setup that can accommodate your needs. While audiences are more forgiving of low-quality production, you want to make every effort to eliminate distractions and make your talent look as good as possible in each shot.
- Use a script: Scripting is an important and often overlooked process. Having a script will help whoever is on camera stay on-topic and maintain a natural cadence. Be sure you practice your script before the day of the shoot – certain words or phrases might not sound natural when read aloud.
- Practice makes perfect: Nothing beats good old fashioned practice. Make sure your team has gone through the process before actually shooting. This includes making sure gear works, practicing the script or conversations, and any other elements of your video.
4. How does Wistia decide on the focus for each series of video content?
At Wistia, we have a thorough process for greenlighting new show concepts. It all starts with our mandate, which is a formal write-up that gives internal and external teams insight into our brand and how shows we create work together to support our company.
It also specifies the types of content we are and are not looking for to provide guardrails for new ideas. When we’re developing ideas at Wistia, we always look back at the mandate and ask ourselves, “Does this idea fit into any of these categories?”
With our mandate in mind, we hold a series of both unstructured and structured brainstorms to come up with and flesh out ideas that fit our brand and goals.
Once we have a few solid concepts, we put those ideas up against the mandate to ensure they fit our needs, and then we commit those ideas to paper with a treatment. The treatment reads like an elevator pitch for our concept that articulates the grand vision.
At this point, we start early communications with other teams as a litmus test as we put together a formal pitch. We want other teams excited and on board with upcoming projects, and folks need to have time to review our ideas before any format greenlight meetings.
On pitch day, we present concepts to stakeholders and have open discussions about each idea, eventually getting the go-ahead for some and the thumbs down for others.
This process ensures each video series or show we launch has a clear goal, a clear vision, a clear audience, and supports our brand as a whole.
5. What podcasting best practices should businesses starting their first podcast keep in mind?
There are several considerations brands should take before launching a podcast.
First, consider whether audio is the best medium for your message. When you’re in the process of brainstorming show ideas, you might come to find some ideas would be more visually engaging versus told through audio alone. Some stories are simply better told via video.
To give you some examples, certain details in storytelling could be better enhanced using video, such as describing locations and scenery, explaining a product review, or showcasing your company culture.
It’s also important to consider resources – do you have the staff, budget, and time to launch a podcast? Many of these elements can be flexible, but it’s important to outline those in advance and have everyone aligned on the scope of the show.
Teams should also consider podcast gear and what tech you need to launch and run the show. This extends beyond microphones – you’ll also want to consider editing, hosting, distribution, and promotion for long-term podcast management.
Understanding your audience and creating a compelling show format are two other essential elements. What does your audience care about? And how will your show be different than every other podcast in your niche?
Finally, you can’t overlook marketing. What assets will you need to support promotion? How does this podcast fit in with other marketing messages and campaigns? How will we measure success? These are all questions to think about before launch.
6. What tips do you have to successfully recruit guests for a video or podcast interview?
Landing guests for an interview show or series can be a full-time job. At Wistia, our show producers work to build and leverage their network whenever possible.
We also consider timing: Is our target in the weeds with a project, which might limit their bandwidth? Or did they just launch a new book, which might make them eager to chat?
We also determine our angle and why they would be a good fit for our show. How does our audience align? Why do we think they have something interesting to say?
Of course, we always use social proof when possible and share our audience size, the number of episodes we have to date, any features or awards, and samples of show episodes.
And, we make an effort to do a great job at marketing our shows, which gives guests confidence their time is spent well by working with us.
At the end of the day, you have to build connections and communicate the WIIFM – what’s in it for me?
7. What’s the number one video or audio marketing mistake to avoid at all costs?
The number one mistake we see across video and audio content is planning. Many folks are super eager to get started and jump right into a new video series or podcast without taking the time to really think through the entire project. This can result in lackluster results that aren’t really about the content itself, but rather about the planning and execution.
Before you press record, it’s critical to put enough thought and consideration into the full show process. This includes really defining your show’s audience, coming up with a compelling format, articulating the show’s purpose and goals, and making sure you have the time and resources to execute the show.
You also have to consider audience development and show promotion. How will you ensure your show is seen or heard within your niche? What will you do long-term to ensure the show is successful and helps drive company goals forward? These are all questions you should evaluate before moving forward.
8. What are common misconceptions about video marketing?
Video marketing is often seen as an expensive or complicated format to pull off, but it doesn’t have to be. You can truly create video content for any budget, and video assets can support marketing efforts throughout the entire funnel.
Another misconception is that video marketing is a stand-alone tactic. In reality, video is just a format that feeds into and supports marketing as a whole. You can use video assets across social media, in emails, on campaign landing pages, in blog posts, for demand generation efforts – the opportunities are endless.