How to Avoid the Battle of Boring in Your Videos

How to Avoid the Battle of Boring in Your Videos

From creating videos that people want to watch to finding ideas for those videos to following best practices for social media, here are some of the key takeaways from my favorite sessions about video. In the way that only he can do, Andrew offered a high-energy, entertaining keynote presentation that was all about creating curiosity in your content. But don’t create tension – if your payoff is a dud. People love documentaries because they are compelling and authentic stories. She shares some great techniques of documentary-style storytelling that marketers can use to tell their stories. If you don’t see a connection between your audience and your objective, then you need to start over. Story landscape Once you know your audience and your objectives, where do you find stories? In his session, Allen shares practical tips he learned along the way, like how to increase your views on LinkedIn by working the algorithm. He offers these suggestions: Find a novel yet familiar idea. I’m definitely going to be thinking about the curiosity gap, hero’s journey, and authenticity as we think about our video strategy at CMI.

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Both B2B and B2C marketers continue to increase their use of audio/video content, including videos and livestreaming. It’s no surprise. The question is are you creating video content good enough to move the needle for your organization?

As we are working through these issues at CMI, it’s a great time to look for some inspiration and best practices for quality videos. What better place to mine for ideas than some of the best video-related sessions at Content Marketing World. From creating videos that people want to watch to finding ideas for those videos to following best practices for social media, here are some of the key takeaways from my favorite sessions about video.

Curiosity Factor: The Psychological Phenomenon Creative Content Marketers Employ to Earn and Own Attention in a Noisy World

Andrew Davis, Author, Brandscaping & Town, INC.

In the way that only he can do, Andrew offered a high-energy, entertaining keynote presentation that was all about creating curiosity in your content. While this concept can be used for all types of content, he focused on video.

Andrew’s premise is that while we’re told that our audiences don’t have time to consume our content so we need to create shorter, snackable content, those same people will spend a Saturday binge-watching their favorite Netflix show like Stranger Things. He argues that by making our content (videos) shorter we eliminate the elements that make it interesting.

Andrew’s solution? Create content that will grab and hold the audience’s attention. Create content like Stranger Things. Think like a reality show editor when creating videos. How do you do this? By creating what he calls a “curiosity gap” – the gap between what your audience knows and what they want to know.

Andrew took his advice and showed a video (originally a live event on Facebook and YouTube) in which BuzzFeed staffers decked out in full hazmat gear spent over 40 minutes putting rubber bands one at a time around a watermelon. They created a curiosity gap – hundreds of thousands tuned in (and stayed) to watch how long it would take for the melon to explode. Why? The staffers built tension with each rubber band. Viewers couldn’t wait to see what would happen and they stayed to watch because of their innate, psychological need for closure.

But, there’s one caveat and it’s a big one. As Andrew explains, the payoff must be proportional to the tension you build. In the watermelon case, the payoff was worth it. But don’t create tension – if your payoff is a dud. That’s like writing a clickbait headline for a story that you can’t deliver on as Andrew explains in this clip from his presentation:

My takeaway

How do you do this with your videos? First, stop creating tons of testimonials and case study videos with absolutely no tension, no curiosity gap. Many times, even the title is boring, with labels like “customer testimonial.” Create videos that spark curiosity and remember that your headlines should do the same. Don’t waste or squander that opportunity.

As Andrew says, raise the stakes in your videos. I love his suggestion to think like a reality TV show editor. Watch some reality TV and observe how they build tension throughout the episode. (Andrew used an example from Ice Road Truckers, but any reality TV show would work.)

Show the audience something they desire and then threaten it for as long as possible. For example, in his presentation, Andrew took a boring testimonial video by a B2B accounting software company and re-edited the testimonial to create tension and curiosity. You can see the original video and Andrew’s edited version at DelaytheReveal.com. In the edit, instead of giving away the name of the company and how the customer uses its product at the beginning, Andrew uses sound bites to show the audience (entrepreneurs and small-business owners) something they desire (more money and more time) and threatens it for as long as possible (by explaining all the obstacles the testimonial subject faces that keep her from making money and saving time). These small but important changes create a curiosity gap. So even if you think you’re in a boring B2B industry, you can (and should) create a curiosity gap in your videos.

Think Like a Filmmaker: Learn How Documentary Films and Their Storytelling Techniques Can be a Powerful and Captivating Way to Tell Your Brand Story

Denise Roberts McKee, COO, About Face Media Inc.

Documentaries seem to be all the rage these days. As Denise explains, the rise of streaming services has made documentaries more accessible. People love documentaries because they are compelling and authentic stories.

She shares some great techniques of documentary-style storytelling that marketers can use to tell their stories. Many marketers, especially in the B2B space, struggle with how to find and then tell compelling stories about their organization. As I touched on above, many think their industry or product is too boring and aren’t sure…

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