In the last couple of years the number of courses out there on the subject of video marketing has multiplied exponentially. Everyone and his dog is lecturing us that video/YouTube marketing is a brilliant way to market our business (which is true), and that the costs of entry have never been so low (also true), and that all you have to do is buy a cheap camera, point it at yourself and start recording and then post that to YouTube and….bang! you’ll get instant views to your videos which you can direct to your website.
Um. Nope. That’s wrong. And not just wrong – but seriously wrong.
The 10-Minute Point And Press Approach Applied To Blogging
Imagine you were given this advice for your blogging efforts:
- 1) Open up WordPress
- 2) Freewrite for 10 minutes
- 3) Hit the ‘Publish’ button
- 4) Sit back and wait for the traffic (and orders) to flood in.
How successful do you think that strategy would be?
Me either. Instead, here’s what a blogging strategy with a chance of actually attracting readers to your blog looks like:
- 1) Define your audience
- 2) Define the type of content that your audience wants to read
- 3) Plan/Outline a blog post.
- 4) Write that blog post
- 5) Edit that blog post
- 6) Tweak the headline of that blog post so that it is keyword rich as well as enticing for readers
- 7) Hit publish
- 8) Promote that blog post (rule of thumb: spend twice as long promoting as you spent writing)
- 9) Answer every comment
- 10) Repeat steps 3 to 9 twice a week (or however many times meets your desired publishing schedule)
Who else thinks this second plan is far more likely to bring you traffic on a consistent basis? And yet how many video marketing courses have you seen teaching this?
Online Video Is Only Going To Get Bigger
Online Video is here to stay – and it’s only going to get bigger. So if you’re planning to use it for your online business then you should learn to use it as well as you can.
And that means leaving the ’10 Minute Point And Press’ videos on the cutting room floor and striving to create videos that stand a chance of actually getting watched.
To illustrate my point here’s a screenshot of Darren Rowse’s YouTube channel. If you don’t know who Darren Rowse is, he’s the blogger behind www.problogger.com.
I don’t know the exact traffic stats for Problogger – but according to the website there are 321,000 readers/followers spread over various platforms (RSS, Twitter, Facebook, etc)
And Darren posts videos to Problogger on a semi-regular basis. Here’s a screenshot of Darren’s Youtube channel with his videos sorted using the ‘most viewed’ filter:
Now if you were thinking of getting into video you’d probably look at that and think: Wow, if Darren only gets 60,000 views in three years with the hundreds of thousands of followers he’s got, what chance do I have?
Well to give you an idea, here’s a screenshot from my bass guitar YouTube channel
As you can see I’ve got a couple of videos in the 100,000 range – plus two at 50,000. (And what you can’t see is that I’ve got 10 in the 20,000 to 40,000 range and 31 in the 10,000 to 20,000 range.)
The important statistic to throw in here though is that my ‘audience’ is much smaller than Darrens. I only have 7000 people on my list – and the audience for Problogger must be bigger than the audience for learning how to play bass guitar by a factor of hundreds.
And yet I’m getting more views. And whatever market area you’re in, you can get more views too.
Before we talk about how you can do this I want to show you two more screenshots of YouTube channels.
First here’s a screenshot of Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income’s YouTube page:
And secondly here’s a screenshot of Gideon Shalwick’s YouTube page:
What’s interesting to note is that there’s a certain kind of video that consistently draws more views on YouTube. And I call that kind of video a ‘Tentpole Video.’
WTF Is A Tentpole Video
If you go back a month or so on One Spoon I wrote an article analyzing Pat Flynn’s success at www.SmartPassiveIncome.com – one of the conclusions was that his use of Pillar Articles really contributed to that runaway success.
If you missed that article, click here:
I then went on to look at how to actually create a Pillar Article in some depth over a couple of columns, and added some extra content and created a PDF that you can download here:
Where this ties in with today’s post is that the kind of videos that get good traffic views to them are videos that:
- 1) appeal to your target audience
- 2) empower your target audience, by teaching them something specific and useful that they want to learn
- 3) are ‘evergreen
- 4) could be summed up as ‘how to’ videos
Now I’ve taken more Video Marketing courses than I’d like to admit too and I’ve never seen this kind of concept talked about explicitly. And essentially we’re talking about creating ‘pillar articles’ for videos. Only the phrase ‘pillar articles’ doesn’t trip off the tongue – so I’m calling them ‘Tentpole Videos.’ (And hopefully that name will stick!)
How To Create A Tentpole Video
To create a Tentpole Video you need to make a video that teaches something worthwhile to a large portion of your target audience.
So if your audience is people learning to play the bass guitar, you can teach them detailed step-by-step song tutorials to help your audience master the bass line to a song.
Or if your audience is bloggers in general you can teach them how to create a Facebook landing page that gets more likes (Pat Flynn).
Or if your audience is people interested in video marketing, you can teach them 5 ways to get more views on YouTube (Gideon Shalwick).
This principle follows whatever your market area is. If you look carefully on YouTube you can find people and businesses who are creating Tentpole Videos and using ‘the Tentpole Video Effect’ to fuel their business growth.
What’s The Tentpole Video Effect?
When you create a Tentpole Video, and people follow the instructions in your video and actually achieve the intended result of the video (to learn a bass line to a song, to learn how to create a Facebook landing page, etc etc), then those people are:
- more likely to view you as an expert and trust you (because of that expertise)
- more likely to take actions that you recommend (e.g. subscribe to a newsletter list, leave a comment, like the video on Facebook, tweet it, etc)
- more like to come back to view future Tentpole Videos.
Over time that’s a powerful cycle – and you can use it to convert a new viewer to being a subscriber. Once they’re a subscriber you can direct them to future Tentpole Videos and also recommend that they move further along in your sales sequence.
And the real beauty of creating Tentpole Videos on a regular basis is that those videos will start to rank well in YouTube’s internal search engine and Google’s search engine and will send you new subscribers on an ongoing daily basis.
A Brief Tentpole Video Plan
Here’s an outline of the steps you need to take to start seeing results with video marketing.
- Define your target audience clearly – and specifically target the problems that your target audience faces. If you don’t know what these problems are – don’t guess, connect with someone from your list or on Twitter or on Facebook and ASK THEM!
- Tentpole Videos are ‘how-to’ videos that solve the problems that your target audience faces. Start creating videos that do this.
- I’ve used the plural ‘videos’ deliberately. Create a ‘publishing’ schedule for your videos and stick to it. Weekly is good. Fortnightly is OK. Even monthly is OK. Create a schedule. Stick to it.
- Promote/syndicate those videos. There are literally hundreds of strategies you can use…get out there, find some that work for you by experimenting, and get more views on your videos.
- Ensure that you are always leaving compelling calls to action in your videos – the bottom line is that you should be directing people back to your website from your videos.
- Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
This post should serve as an overview of how to create an effective video strategy for your business (offline or online). The ’10 Minute Point And Press’ Model of Video Marketing might seem attractive because it is ‘easy’ – but you wouldn’t freewrite for 10 minutes and post that to your blog and expect to grow your traffic would you?
The important takeaways are:
- Tentpole videos are the video equivalent of pillar articles
- Tentpole videos solve problems for your target audience – and in solving those problems your target audience will perceive you as an expert.
- Tentpole videos have a high ‘How To’ component.
- Tentpole videos should have their own publication schedule – just like blog posts.
- Tentpole videos need to be promoted.
Over to you – please fire away with any questions you have about Tentpole Videos and how to use them effectively in the comments section below.
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