Maybe you’re just getting started with content, or maybe you are looking for a new direction with the videos you’re making. Chances are, you’re going to run into a situation where you don’t know how to start or what exactly you should be making. Here’s one of the most powerful methods I know, to help get things rolling.
The core idea of this method is that you don’t want to be reinventing the wheel when you’re just starting out!
Step 1: Research
Start with your product, service or brand. Do some digging, and find a page or channel that is in the same (or a similar) space that is able to consistently hit 100,000 views or more. The higher the numbers, the better, of course. Now try and find 2 more of these pages. These will be your “gold standard” reference.
Now, in that same content space, find 3 pages or channels that are making videos that you think should be hitting that 100,000 view mark (or higher, depending on the performance of your gold standard selections). These will be your “bronze” tier references.
Next, you’ll be looking for 3 channels or pages in between the gold and bronze. You want to find channels that look the part of the gold tier, but don’t quite have the same numbers. These will be your “silver” tier references.
You should now have a list of 9 total channels or pages, with 3 for each tier–gold, silver and bronze.
Step 2: Analyze
Within your gold tier, look through their best performing videos. Write down, in as much detail as you can, what you see that is causing those videos to do well.
As you review your bronze tier, look for the things that are missing from the gold tier list you just made. Also look for things they are doing that the gold tier is not doing. These will be the traps you want to avoid. Write them down!
In your silver tier, look for things that are similar to gold, but not done as well or as clearly. Write these down as well, they will be things to pay attention to as you are creating.
Step 3: Create
Take one video from your gold tier reference that you feel like matches you the closest. You’re going to be creating a pseudo-clone, but not a direct copy, of this video. Copy the structure of the video, copy the script segments, copy the lighting and shot selection. Copy as much as you can, but insert your own content and twist on the video, but remember to avoid all the traps you wrote down, and to mimic all the things the reference video is doing right.
That’s it. 3 steps.
That’s how you create a video that gives you a strong chance of success, because it’s been proven in a similar format. It also eliminates a lot of the creative decisions you’ll need to make when you’re just starting out, and will give you a baseline of performance from which you can adjust your creative vision as you progress.
Mimicking and learning from the success of others costs you nothing, and it’s the best way.