Many marketers struggle with choosing ideas to use for their video marketing efforts.
They feel they need to be innovative and use creative angles and ideas to get attention and stick in their prospects’ minds.
This just isn’t the case.
They think they constantly need to be inventing new content—after all, how much is left to say after you’ve said all you can think of about your business?
Truth is, they’re looking at it wrong.
Because it’s actually quite easy to generate new ideas. How?
The K.I.S.S. principle applies here—“keep it simple stupid!”
You let others generate the ideas for you!
That’s deviously simple. And though there are many tactics to do just this, below are 3 of the best strategies with the “how to’s” to get the most out of each.
The important part is it’s not about the “creativity”—it’s about the usefulness of the ideas in your videos:
1. Look to your existing prospects and customers
We’re not saying your customers should do the videos for you (although that’s another compelling video strategy—testimonials), but they can give you the fuel to get them off the ground.
You just need to have the right mindset to have these ideas continually fill the tank.
Be on constant lookout for customer requests. Each and every one is a great reason to make a video.
Here are some examples:
- Questions to your sales team: whether they’re asked on the phone, online or in-person, questions are a great excuse to create videos. If one person has a specific question, rest assured more people have the same. When questions come in, save them, and then address them via video so other customers and prospects can benefit from the answers!
- Contact form submissions: any online form submission is an opportunity to make a video as well. If the answer to that submission is one that might apply to other customers, use the answer as fodder for your video!
- Search query results: if you’re using pay per click marketing engines like Google Adwords or Bing Ads, you have several video ideas waiting in your “Search terms” reports. When anyone clicks on one of your ads, the actual words that clicker typed into their browser will be recorded in your account under “search terms”. Oftentimes, these search queries are in the form of full-sentence questions. Over time, you can see trends in the kinds of questions searchers are asking. That’s a good sign for the sort of material you should cover in your videos. The more commonly occurring the question, the better chance it will make for a compelling video answer.
- Popular blog posts: if you blog- and you’re using Google Analytics tracking on your website- check to see which blog posts maintain the highest average time on page. It’s not a failsafe method, but it’s often a great indicator of what sort of content your prospects engage with the most. Naturally, this is a good sign that similar content would make for a compelling, useful video.
Along with this last point, you can always turn to the comments left on your blog posts to collect content ideas to use in your videos. Some lesser-read posts may even contain “customer gold” that you can turn into helpful answers within an interesting video.
What better way to be compelling than entering the conversations going on between members of your target audience? At the same time, you’ll be entering the dialogue going on inside many of their heads right now.
Again, there’s no need to be “creative” here. So long as you talk their language and address what matters most to them, your video will be helpful and that’s how you want to be viewed.
One of the best possible places to discretely hang out around the people you’re trying to sell to is on Amazon.
You can do some valuable reconnaissance on your prospects while they feel safe and at their most uninhibited. In other words… you’ll see them at their most honest so you can believe more in feedback here than elsewhere (say from a survey, focus group, or someone else’s study conducted on the subject).
The point is to pick up on customer’s “hot buttons.” What interests them most, what bothers them the most, and what themes seem to be commonly occurring that initiate discussion among your prospects?
Customer Questions and Answers
The first place to start is the “Customer Questions & Answers” section below the Product Description and related products.
If you sell a skincare product, you’ll want to pick up on questions your typical users might have by looking through a competitor’s product page:
You could easily make 3 separate videos from the customer intel you found here:
One about the possible limitations of the product (i.e., “does it remove acne scars?”), one about the best procedures to follow post-use (i.e., “what products or activities should I use/do after using the product?”), and one about the best procedures to follow pre-use (i.e., “how should I prepare my skin for most efficient use of this product?”).
You see, it’s quite simple. You didn’t have to wrack your brain for engaging content!
The next place to look is just below the Questions & Answers section to the “Customer Reviews” section.
Here you’ll get just as valuable input for compelling video content.
In fact, it’s a perfect place to find those “hot button” issues we mentioned. Not only so you can address any concerns regarding your product, but to use your video to refute common misconceptions or untruths about the product.
Perhaps there’s a simple way to improve the performance of your product that people don’t know and are upset about…perhaps it’s being used in a way that isn’t ideal and the prospect should be aware of it?
Indeed, it’s best to look for negative comments here—issues or challenges that come up with your or a competitor’s product.
Because you want to be seen as useful and knowledgeable about the issue at hand. Addressing the positive and well-known elements of your product category isn’t necessarily as helpful to those watching your videos.
You’ll stand out more and be seen as helpful by addressing issues that your target audience finds contentious and needs help with.
A side-note to this is to pay attention to reviews that many people find helpful (you’ll see this number above the star rating given in each customer review).
And the more people find a negative review helpful, the greater a concern for you and a solid opportunity to make a useful video for current and prospective customers.
All of this you can do with any review site—it’s just that Amazon is extremely popular and you’re likely to get more ideas from it.
Oftentimes you must embrace the negative…it’s dissatisfied customers and prospects that you can learn (and profit from) most.
3. News of the day
The third way to generate compelling video marketing ideas without having to resort to extended brainstorming sessions is right in front of you. All day every day.
You just need to turn to the news…
A constant stream of content hour after hour that you can adapt for your own gain.
You’re encouraged to piggyback freely on current events and discussion in your industry. If it’s popular right now, chances are people interested in your product or service want to know more about it.
So you give it to them.
How do you jump on current news in a timely, effective way?
Here are some ways to do that so you can store content ideas for your video right away:
- feedly: a handy repository for all the news you care to keep up with. Whether it’s a trade journal, the New York Times, a Youtube channel, blog or any other content source—you can add it to your (free) feedly account to stay on top of it all. What’s more, you can save stories to return to later, share with team members and track individuals to see what they’re publishing
- Twitter: if you have any sort of knowledge about the industry you compete in, chances are you know the helpful hashtags to follow. A simple #[insertwordorphrasehere] into the Twitter search bar will pull up all current conversations about the topics your prospects care about. This is another goldmine for the real “hot button” issues your prospects feel, along with the actual language they use to describe it.
You can also “favorite” your industry thought leaders, customers, or whomever you’re interested in following so you can get their tweets instantly delivered to you while keeping abreast of current events.
- Google Alerts: a simple solution Google’s offered for years. Like feedly, you can type in any sort of topic, publication, phrase or person to get email alerts on the subject as they happen, or on a daily or weekly basis.
- Other news aggregators: there are many other handy apps to collect ongoing news stories you care about. Some of the better-known solutions include Flipboard, BuzzFeed and they all have mobile apps to take with you on the go as well.
These are just 3 of the simplest ways to generate video marketing ideas without having to turn your brain on all the way.
Another bonus? Every single one of them is 100% FREE.
Again…you just need to keep it simple and plan your video content around those who matter most: your prospects and customers.
Creativity isn’t a bad thing, but being creative for creative’s sake can take time away from other proven ways to compel your viewers—and take dollars away from your bottom line.
So use these sorts of ideas to kick-start your video marketing efforts…and forget the creative planning sessions you thought you needed!
Photo by Dollar Photo Club
Sean K. Fay is CEO of Envision Response.
The above blog post originally appeared on the Envision Reponse Blog