How Bloggers and Content Marketers Can Generate Unlimited Video Ideas

by Paul Wolfe on January 23, 2012

Paul’s Note – today’s post came about following an exchange of emails with Adrienne from www.AdrienneSmith.net.  We got to talking about video and Adrienne asked me if I could help her with something that she was having some problems with.

And that something was this:  “How do I come up with ideas for videos?”

Now not only is this is a text post here on Da Spoon, but I also turned it into a video that you can go watch at Adrienne’s blog.

Now before we go and look at three ways that you can not only come up with ideas for videos, but come up with limitless ideas, I just briefly want to talk for a moment about why it’s vitally important to come up with video ideas.

And not just topic ideas – but ideas that will resonate with your audience and more importantly, attract new members to your ideas.

The Importance Of Consistency In Video Marketing

The biggest reason why you should create multiple videos – and consistent posting schedule –  can be found on Page 15 in the YouTube Creators Playbook.  In their own words, Youtube say:

Strategy: Release content frequently and on a recurring schedule.

Why This Works: Frequency of uploads affects the algorithm. To build an audience, ‘a consistent audience requires consistent content.’”

I put the important sentence in italics:

Frequency of uploads affects the algorithm.

Now YouTube is not the only way to use videos in your video marketing efforts – but it’s a big part of any video marketing strategy.  And if YouTube themselves tell us that we need to create frequent videos….well, we’d be pretty dumb to ignore that.

Plus there are plenty of other benefits to creating multiple videos too:

  • the more content you have, the more chances there are for people to find you (Marcus Sheridan calls this ‘The Law Of Compound Information)
  • greater exposure to your expertise increases your authority
  • the more videos you have optimized correctly,the more chances you have to appear in Google’s Search Engine results as well as  YouTube’s
  • the more overall views you have, the higher your channel will be ranked.  This positively affects how Google and YouTube return your videos in search results
  • videos are easily shared…leading to greater exposure of your brand and authority

But the biggest benefit of creating a consistent posting schedule is this:

In most niches very few people are doing it yet.  So getting started NOW will give you a market advantage over your competitors.

Video Is Only Getting Bigger…And Bigger

Video is not going away.  As mobile devices spread – and internet access gets cheaper and faster – the importance of video is going to grow.  Cisco Systems estimate that by the end of 2013 around 90% of web traffic will be generated via video.

So in my opinion you’ve got to get started with video.  And you’ve got to be thinking about a publishing schedule for videos in the same way that you have a publishing schedule for your blog.

And to commit to a regular publishing schedule for videos requires that you can conceive of multiple topic ideas to make videos about.

And that leads us directly to the main body of today’s article, and the part of today’s article that I turned into video/presentation format.

The Three Step Process To Generating Unlimited Video Ideas

I’m going to show you a three-step process to come up with endless video ideas – each step of the process can generate ideas on its own, but what I really like about this process is that the steps can be used to sequentially to:

  • (a) define what information your target audience wants to know
  • (b) get a good idea what they’re actually searching for AND watching, and
  • (c) drilling down on a topic area to find a virtually limitless supply of ideas that you can use to make videos.

The three steps in this process are:

  • (a)  The Target Profile Interview
  • (b) Doing Research on YouTube itself, and
  • (c)  Amazon.com

Let’s get started with the first step of the process – the target profile interview.

PART 1 – THE TARGET PROFILE INTERVIEW

So before we look at the target profile interview, let me quickly define exactly what a target profile is.

A target profile is a real person – not an imagined persona – and is someone who you would like to have hundreds, or thousands, or more of in your subscriber base, or your client base.

When you settle on your target profile, here’s what you do: you get them on the phone and interview them.  And during the interview the important information you want to find out is what are the pain points that your target profile is experiencing?

Understanding what your Target Profile’s  pain points are  gives you some great starting points for creating content.

For more information on Target Profiles, please see these posts:

How A Target Profile Interview Can Save Your Business

Using Target Profile Questions To Create A Product

Now this video came about because  Adrienne of Adrienne Smith.net asked me how she could come up multiple ideas for videos for her YouTube channel.

For the next step in the process she summarized her target audience/target profile as people who were very interested in blogging with all its associated questions like: what are the best opt-in offers, how to get more engagement, how to drive more traffic.  And – and this is the area that we’re going to work on – she also has a lot of ‘newbies’ amongst her audience.

Now Adrienne hasn’t done a target profile interview to my knowedge – yet.  But I aim to persuade her that she should do one.

Until then, the information she has provided gives us enough areas to move forward to the next step.

Step 2 in the process is to head over to YouTube.

PART 2 – YOUTUBE

Now YouTube as well as being the Daddy of video marketing – is also the second most popular search engine on the Internet.

And by taking pain points we get from our target profile interview we can check on YouTube what videos have already been made that address these pain points – and how many times they’ve been watched.

This is obviously important because if you’ve got a topic that’s being watched by your audience in the tens of thousands, you are far more likely to get significant traffic back to your blog from your videos than if a topic is only being watched by a few hundred people.

So knowing that Adrienne’s audience contains newbie bloggers we can search on YouTube for topics that would interest them – if you search for Newbie Bloggers you’ll see that the videos that come up don’t have many views on them.

 

 

Now when you do a Target Profile interview you’d have a list of pain points to explore.  And newbie bloggers – almost by definition – are people who are just getting started out with blogging.  And the bulk of them will be using the WordPress Platform – and there’s a good chance that they’ll be struggling with various aspects of mastring wordpress.

So look at the results when I type ‘WordPress Tutorials’ into YouTube:

 

If you ignore the top two results – these are ‘Promoted Videos,’ which is what YouTube calls their version of Pay Per Click – then the two results under have great viewer numbers.  And if you duplicate this search on YouTube you’ll see that the videos underneath also have good viewer numbers.

So creating WordPress Tutorials is clearly going to be a subject that interests newbie bloggers/Adrienne’s target profile – AND is being searched for and watched in good numbers on YouTube itself.

Caveat: What constitutes a ‘good viewer number’ on YouTube varies from niche to niche.  A popular video in my bass guitar market area would be 50,000 views or above.  But in a much broader field like newbie blogging, when you’re doing research you’re looking for viewer numbers of 100,000 plus IMO.

Now the next step is to take the pain point/topic that we’ve identified and convert it into multiple ideas and head over to Amazon.com.

STEP 3 – AMAZON.com

Now you might be thinking: isn’t Amazon a bookstore?  How is that going to help make videos?

Well it won’t help make videos – but what it will do is help brainstorm video titles.  And here’s how.

Continuing with the theme of WordPress tutorials for newbie bloggers – let’s search for books that teaches WordPress for beginners, and then when we get those search results look for books with the  ‘Look Inside’ icon above the thumbnail:

 

That ‘Look Inside’ icon tells you that you can search some of the books contents.  And usually that includes the piece of information we want – which is the Table of Contents:

And if we scan down the table of Contents there are literally dozens of potential ideas here for potential videos. Each of these sub headings of each chapter could potentially be a video in a series teaching WordPress for Newbie Bloggers:

The Copyright Question

Whenever I’ve taught this concept, people always say: Isn’t this a breach of copyright.

The answer is a clear NO.

We are not – repeat NOT- buying the book and reading the content.  All we are doing is using the Table of Contents as an idea for topics.  You don’t have to make a video to equal every chapter of a book.  And you don’t have to use just one book.  There are plenty of good WordPress books on Amazon that you could search the table of contents for.

So this ISN’T a copyright breach – it’s a very quick way to brainstorm literally hundreds of topic ideas.

SUMMARY

What’s great about this three step process is that in the target profile interview you find out what the pain points are of the kind of people you want on your list, or you want as clients.

In Step 2 you head over to YouTube and verify that there are videos out there that address these pain points – and that enough people are watching them to make your investment of time in creating videos worthwhile.

And in Step 3 you use Amazon to really build out your topic lists by scanning the Tables of Contents as a way of brainstorming ideas.

Now the example I used today – Adrienne and her newbie bloggers – is a fertile one.  Because you could probably make 50 videos on various different aspects of WordPress.  Not every topic will yield 50 videos.   But your original Target Profile interview should yield anywhere from 3 to 5 pain points that you can build out.

Once you exhaust those topics, then choose a new Target Profile and repeat the process.  As you get more experienced in the process you’ll quickly find that you’re never short of ideas to create videos from.  And if you’re going to do video marketing – and you should! – you need to create a regular posting schedule as part of your video marketing efforts.

Following this process will ensure that you’re never short of ideas for your target audience.

Your Shout

If you have any questions please post them below – that can be about any part of video marketing too.  I’m going to be talking about video marketing a lot more this year….and creating more videos like the version of this post that you can see at Adrienne’s Website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 37 comments }

Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation January 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Paul,

You freaking crushed this topic dude. Absolutely awesome… The only thing I have to contribute is the reiteration of this idea…

“a consistent audience requires consistent content.”

Truly words have not been said.

Thank you!

Paul Wolfe January 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hey Ryan

Glad you enjoyed it! Don’t know if it will help you creating your 100 videos in 100 days…but hey, it might do!

Thanks for dropping by – how is the video challenge going by the way?

paul

Ryan | Strategies in Content Creation January 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I’m learning a ton… which is great. Actually leads generated is still growing slowly. I have to keep telling myself it’s only been 21 days. Not nearly enough time to make any type of conclusion… But the competitiveness in me wants results now.

But what it comes down to is with each post search traffic increases and that is what I’m going for. The leads will come.

Thanks again.

Oh and for my videos I actually polled my clients for Insurance Questions so almost all of them (probably 70% or more) are client submitted. “From the mouth of babes…”

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:33 am

Ryan

‘Polling your clients’ could be considered a form of target profile interview. Would you be up for an email interview on how you went about this? It’s a great topic.

paul

Ryan Hanley January 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

Absolutely dude… It’d be a pleasure.

Ryan H.

Paul Wolfe January 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hey Ryan

I’ll get to you in the next week or so about it!

Paul

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion January 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I just need to second what Ryan said here Paul. FREAKING CRUSHED IT!

This is one of the best ‘get video ideas’ posts I’ve ever seen…and I’ve seen a couple. ;)

Well done man!

Marcus

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Hey Marcus

Thanks for the kudos! And appreciate the tweet too! Glad YOU got some value out of it…I should have linked your ‘COmpound Information’ that I mention in passing.

Paul

Farrell January 23, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I find this information too much to digest. I haven’t done any video campaigns yet. I am still trying to learn my way on how to succeed doing business online. My friend keeps telling me to try doing video campaigns on YouTube and while searching for some guides, i found your post about it. I hope i will be able to make this right and be able to set up a good channel on YouTube. Thanks for sharing the ideas by the way.

Adarsh Thampy January 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Great post Paul.

I’d say that you overlooked one point. You could easily go over to your fellow blogger sites and then take a look at their titles (see which one has a lot of comments) and then do a video about this topic.

Paul Wolfe January 23, 2012 at 6:40 pm

Adarsh

That is another good way. There are others too – Steve Scott recently posted an article that I must search out and link to, with some ideas there that would help.

For video – the reason that I chose YouTube to research was because IF people are watching a particular topic in sufficient numbers (and those numbers vary from market area to market area) then you know that there’s a good chance you can get a decent amount of eyeballs on YOUR video.

Paul

Daniel Sumner January 23, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Nice one Paul, just what I was looking for today. I wanted more topic ideas for my blog both video and text and this has just hit the nail on the head mate.

Believe it or not I sent 2 days last week trying to figure out what I was going to write about on Thursday. It did hit me at the last minute when I was working on something else, but that was too close considering I want to increase frequency to twice per week. I do have quite a few post ideas, but they didn’t feel right for me last week for some reason??

How do you work your posting schedule? Do you plan at the start of the week for the rest of the week or do you plan weeks ahead or even months?

Cheers Paul.

Paul Wolfe January 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm

Daniel

I’d love to tell you that I’m the kind of guy who plans weeks in advance – for ONe Spoon I don’t get that luxery as One Spoon is very much a side project for me. For my Bass Guitar website I plan much more in advance…though that IS relative. We’re maybe talking three or four weeks tops.

What I find good is to create mini-series. That way you only need to come up with one idea every month or five weeks – and the weekly video then is part of htat series. Much easier to come up with 12 ideas in a year than 52!

Paul

Daniel Sumner January 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I am in the middle of an opt-in series right now which is easy to plan. I do intend to run mini courses this year. Thanks for the info Paul :-)

Dan

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

No problems Dan.

Thanks for dropping by.

Paul

Adrienne January 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Hey Paul,

Sorry I’m late dropping by here my friend. I’ve had to reply to a lot of the comments pouring in on the post you shared on my blog. I do believe it’s a big hit with the people who have shared their opinions thus far.

I really appreciate you taking the time to do this for me. Since the goal for a lot of us is to create more videos and on a more consistent basis, you’ve just shared with us how to do just that. No more excuses right Paul! I guess you have something to hold over me now if I don’t live up to what I said I would do.

Thank you, thank you, thank you Paul… You are my life saver!

Hope you were able to accomplish everything you had on your list to do today. I’m still at it so off I go.

~Adrienne

Paul Wolfe January 23, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hey Adrienne

No problems – glad it’s given you some ideas. As I’ve said, i still have that list to dig out and send you….so if you only make a video a week the list will keep you going until well into 2013!!!

I’m still working on my ‘To Do’ list….another ninety minutes or so when the kids go to bed and I should be done. (I sorted my technical issue btw….duhhhH!)

Thanks for the opportunity to share with your audience!

Paul

Adrienne January 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm

With this post and that list I will never complain again. You can come through that computer and slap me if you ever hear me doing that too Paul!

So glad you got those “technical issues” sorted out. Boy, I know how that is. They happen at the most inopportune times too. But we got everything up and running this morning so I’m thrilled about that. You’re my first guest poster of the year so you’ll hold that title forever. Only the best will do!

Thank you for volunteering to do this Paul. I KNOW my readers will benefit from your suggestions and for those still sitting on the fence about doing videos, they’ll have to jump off now. :-)

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

Adrienne

There will always be people who like to sit on the fence…heck, I wouldn’t have started videos three years ago if I hadn’t seen the immediate return in results in traffic and subscribers. (Everything literally quadrupled overnight and carried on growing…)

But there will come a time soon (maybe 18 months, 36 at the most) where sitting on the fence is no longer an option. Better to get in now and be ahead of the curve.

paul

Ellen January 23, 2012 at 8:21 pm

LOVE this – I had a burst of inspiration last November and I generated many blog posts and ideas to carry me through the holiday season – now I’m in a bit of a creative dry spell – this gave me some great inspiration on how to spend my afternoon and get that brainstorm list booming again!

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:32 am

Hey Ellen

Thanks for stopping by.

The truth is there are lots of different ways to brainstorm – this is just one. If it works for you, that’s awesome. It works for me – but I don’t use it all the time. Often a good target profile interview and then a double check of videos on YoUTube can give you a bucket load of ideas – especially if you go with the mini series idea that’s explored in the comments. (See Dan’s comment and my replies).

paul

Seth Lyman January 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Great information Paul, I bookmarked this for future reference. Using YouTube and Amazon for topic research is genius. Thanks for the info.

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

Hey Seth

I can’t say that I don’t like having my name and ‘genius’ in adjacent sentences. But the truth is that the ideas came to me from separate sources and just dovetailed really nicely! And I always thought that if it worked for me, it would work for others. Hence the post and video at Adrienne’s place!

Thanks for dropping by.

Paul

Sergio Felix January 24, 2012 at 2:19 am

Hey Paul,

Just came over from Adrienne’s site and wow mate, what an awesome video and topic you nailed.

I liked the tip you gave to Daniel about running mini series, for some reason I can’t stick to a posting schedule but doing mini series will certainly come in more handy than coming with random ideas every now and then.

Speak soon!

Sergio

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

Sergio

The mini-series was conceived out of necessity. Every week I had to come up with a column in my magazine and make a video from it. Every week I’d spend an hour or so searching for a topic to do – a great piece of resistance in action if ever I saw it. I don’t have that many hours to waste on inaction…so I just started doing mini-series. And I stack up three or four so once one has finished I start immediately on the next. (In fact I ask my audience what they wanna see….and let them give me suggestions, so I have to think about it even less!).

Thanks for dropping by.

paul

Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog January 24, 2012 at 2:54 am

Awesome post; awesome video at Adrienne’s. I left a couple questions there, so I’ll won’t double-up over here.

But after reading your posts about video for some time now, I have it in my head that I’m going to launch a weekly video post on my blog, starting in February. I’m just going to bite the bullet and do it. I gotta get on that bandwagon.

And…thanks to you (and this step-by-step) I feel a wee bit more like I know how to make that happen :-).

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

Hey Ruth

Feel free to ask as many questions as you want.

You probably know by now how strongly I feel about video….what you don’t see is how much I create (most weeks it’s 60 mintues plus) …and how much I prefer to write! But video isn’t going away….getting started now still gives you the jump on most of your rivals. One of the things I’m going to be doing more of here at Da Spoon is talking about video in content marketing, and making more One Spoon videos. (So far I have a grand total of two!).

The sooner you get going, the sooner you’ll start feeling comfortable. If you have questions, just shout!

Paul

Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer January 24, 2012 at 9:30 am

Loved the tutorial Paul!

I just rushed from Adrienne’s blog to read more in detail about the awesome video you put up there and it truly needs to be bookmarked!

Though I haven’t really got into video’s nor Youtube, I am aware that its something that cannot be avoided for too long. And now I know the right place to head over to whenever I do eventually start.

Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful post :)

Paul Wolfe January 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

Hey Harleena

Welcome to One Spoon! Thanks for all your tweets over the past few weeks….don’t think I haven’t noticed!

There’s a gazillion ways to ‘get into video.’ I know you’re into the whole freelance writing thing…well great videos are made out of great scripts. Without a great script there’s no great video. So one way of getting into is would be to learn how to write great scripts! And then selling THAT service on a freelance basis!

But IMO video is unavoidable. You can either jump onboard now and get ahead of the curve….or clamber on in a couple of years time and be racing to catch up. I can’t see any alternative. (And this is coming from someone who giving the choice of writing or making videos would go for writing every second of every day of every week).

Paul

Harleena Singh@Freelance Writer January 24, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Glad you were noticing the tweets, and I am happy to have tweeted and connected up here as well with you :) I did mean to stop-by later, but just as they say there is a time for everything! I guess I had to come over to stop-by through Adrienne’s blog :)

Writing scrips for videos seem interesting an interesting idea, though I really wonder if people would really look out for something like that. Most of the videos I have seen seem to be done up rather well, or perhaps they were also done up by someone writers like us :)

I surely need to give videos a serious thought now- thanks so much for the reminder :)

Ann | Creative Boomer January 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Very helpful! I’ve been trying to figure out how to come up with ideas for videos. I have a tendency to want to put “the whole book” in one video. So this idea of looking only at chapters is a good one for me.

Franziska San Pedro January 27, 2012 at 3:22 am

Hi Paul,

oh wow, now that should give me enough ideas to finally get the whole video thingy started.
Glad Adrienne had you guest-post this week. Thanks a ton!!
So nice to meet you,

Franziska San Pedro
Flavor Designs

Paul Wolfe January 28, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Hey Franziska

Thanks for dropping by….make sure you come back every monday for the next few weeks as I’m gonna be posting some thoughts on videos and content marketing that should be interesting.

And I’m glad that Adrienne had me on to guest post!

Paul

Annie Andre January 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hi Paul,
First time here. HI.

i just watched your video over at Adrienne’s blog and thought it was brilliant. Just enough info for me to get me all fired up.
I’ve been struggling though with the nitty gritty’s of my video. Like how long the intro should be, should I study how people talk on videos and try to come off with a more poished professional sound and look. How long is too long etc. Are there some general common sense rules that i can use as a guide?

Paul Wolfe January 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Hey Annie

All great questions.

The bottom line is that you have to find the way that works for you.

Some guidelines though:

Keep the intros short….get in and tell the viewer what’s in it for them, give them a compelling reason why they should stick with the video. Tell them what they’ll get in return for investing 5 to 10 minutes of their time.

I think that you should aim to come across as Yourself on video – there’s only one you. And you’ll attract an audience of people who resonate with you. However that doesn’t mean your video should be laden with ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ – so you should spend some time being comfortable on camera. (And you’ll need to spend some time getting used to the sound of your voice in the editing software….most of us hate the sound of our voices!)

How long is too long? Different people will give you different answers….my ‘guide’ answer is stick to one topic per video, and take up the time you need to deal with that topic, and then exit. No detours. No meanderings.

Hope that helps….gonna be posting some thoughts on video and content marketing over the coming weeks!

Paul

PS apologies for the delay in replying to you…been tied up with bass guitar stuff!

Ann@Debt Advice January 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hi Paul,
What an amazing step by step for the seasoned blogger or the newbie. Terrific fresh ideas – love the book review – that is helpful on so many levels. I would think that video is a very good way to increase your audience, too. Since many would rather watch than spend the time reading. I have sent links to all my buds to check this article out!

Sanjay Shetty February 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Hi Paul,

Great post, the idea of looking thru existing books TOC on Amazon is way cool.

Here’s one idea for you, incase you don’t know about it. If you ever do a post on what to do after you’ve created the video… make sure you use the YouTube feature of transcribing the audio of your video. Google indexes that as well, so would be great for SEO. FYI, the default transcribing is decent however, they allow you to download it, you can then edit it and upload it back to be used as the default for that video.

Hope that helps :-)

Regards,

Sanjay Shetty

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