There’s Something Wrong With What You Posted

If you’ve ever posted a piece of content that tanked on social networks, and tried to search up the reasons why…

This is what you’ll find many places online will tell you:

Try running your video against this simple checklist. The more “YES” answers you give, the better:

  1. Does it provide value?
  2. Does it target your audience?
  3. Does it stand out?
  4. Is it interesting to watch?

Unfortunately, this checklist is not enough.

If you ask me about my video, am I really going to say that it doesn’t have value? If it features my product, of course I’m going to say that it targets my audience. No matter what I made, I can self-justify that it stands out. And because I made it, of course I’m going to find it interesting. Basically, that checklist is too vague. You need to go more in-depth.

Here’s a better checklist. It’s intended to give you a starting point when it comes to analyzing your video performance. It also can (and should) help guide you the next time you’re making a video.

  1. Play the first 3 seconds, then stop the video. If someone who knew nothing about your brand saw ONLY those 3 seconds, would they want to see more?
  2. Does the video not only address your topic, but bring a unique perspective to the topic?
  3. Does the video create enough interest to engage someone that would possibly not care about the topic otherwise?
  4. Have you minimized parts of the video that are for show and production value rather than contributions to the overall flow and story? (e.g. unnecessary transitions effects, fancy fonts, an unnecessary introduction sequence, etc)
  5. Is your video edited down so that you have a series of very distinct key points laid out, and all the parts in between help in driving those key points?
  6. Have you incorporated elements that will subvert the viewer’s expectations of a video on that platform? (subvert them for the better of course)
  7. Is the video satisfying to watch (visuals and pacing), even if you don’t care about the topic?
  8. Play your video side by side next to a competitor’s. Ask a friend which one they think is more interesting. Did they choose yours?

This same checklist can apply to whatever type of content you’re creating. Just swap out “video” for “photo/image,” or copy/caption.

A lot of people assume the algorithm is why their content isn’t reaching their followers and target audience. Or, that they didn’t post at the right time, aren’t posting enough, and so on. Take a minute to go through the checklist above with your content. If you aren’t hitting most on the list, there’s a good chance it’s your content, and time to rework it.

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