Sometimes The Biggest Difference Comes From The Smallest Detail

If the right answer was always at your fingertips, making creative decisions would always be easy. But as you probably know by now, that’s not the case. What look and feel should I use? What color palette? How big should I make the font? Is this too long? Just long enough?

The answer to questions like these very often comes down to one thing: Subtlety.

Let me show you an example. In this case study, we’ll be answering the question, “Is this opener good enough?”

Take a look at the first few seconds of these two videos:


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Everyone talks about the “big picture.” I want to tell you about the most important thing that they missed.

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At first glance, they are very similar. Same split screen framing, same content framing (speech being given to an audience), and same type of captions.

But one of these performed over 25% better in capturing the audience within the first three seconds. That’s an enormous difference in a 3-second world! If you’re wondering which one it was, take a look at the view counts. The one titled “Sweat the small stuff” has almost 100,000 more views.

Let’s break down why that video performed better, comparatively.

  1. The framing, while similar, is much closer and more intimate. You can see the speaker’s facial expressions and connect with him immediately.
  2. The initial statement of the speaker offers value and direction immediately, rather than posing a statement that may seem less subversive as in the other video.
  3. By 3 seconds in, a complete thought was delivered.

There are countless other angles to take in breaking this down, but the point I’d like to leave you with is that you should always be looking for these types of nuances as you study the content of your peers and competitors.

So to answer the question, “Is this opener good enough?” In one case, we learned that it was, and in the other case, it wasn’t. It all came down to the subtle details.

Play with subtlety. It’s the little things.

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