Prep your time and space.
Creating video content is actually the fun part, trust me. The real work comes with the preparation.
Decide where you’re going to do your video, make sure the lighting is good, make sure the space is clean and relatively clutter free. If you’re shooting at your desk, there are bound to be a few things around. And that’s okay because it’s more personal. But you don’t want so much sitting around it distracts from the content you’re delivering.
Do a few practice shorts to check the angle, the lighting, and what shows up in the background. Adjust as necessary.
With proper preparation you can actually start creating video content for the whole month, in one sitting! Download my free book marketing planner here to get yourself organized!
Say your goal is to do one video per week. That means you want to nail down 4 topics, obviously, but that’s covered below. Set aside 4 different shirts or tops, if it’s easy to do your hair up and down plan to change that up, throw on a hat, headband, or scarf. Set aside 4 different coffee mugs or drinking vessels.
Then set aside your props. Props could include your books you want to feature or swag you might want to offer. They can also be anything else that drives your point home or supports what you’re going to talk about. Tie the dog up close by if you plan to do a quick introduction!
With the proper prep work you can start creating video content to last you a really long time, long enough to not have it constantly hanging over your head or scrambling to do your hair and makeup.
Have something interesting to say or report.
Creating video content shouldn’t just be a time killer or something you check off your list. If you want it to really work for you and add value to your author marketing, you have to create content people look forward to.
So set a standard that fans and followers can count on. Maybe you do video to show off cover designs, or to announce updates on where you’re at with your next book. If you write non-fiction, your videos should include tips and insights your viewers can really use. Video is a great opportunity to show off your unique positioning in the market.
Put yourself in your followers’ shoes when creating video content. Meaning, be sure you’re giving them something exciting and worthwhile.
Side tip: the bigger your following gets, the more you can relax on this. Not that I’d ever encourage an author to put up a completely worthless video, but one of the perks to becoming popular in your genre or market is that you’ve got a tribe of people who really have grown to appreciate you for you. That’s the beauty of fans!
Add value to your message.
When creating video content always think about what’s in it for them. And by them, I mean your viewers.
Yes, they are getting access to you. That’s great. And hopefully your content is fun and exciting and useful, we covered that, but what’s really in it for them?
Many author marketing strategies incorporate giveaways and prizes, and creating video content is no exception.
The sky is really the limit here. You can announce a random winner of a free signed copy of your book, or a few chapter previews from your upcoming release, or maybe a discount code to use in your store. Even Amazon gift cards generate a lot of excitement!
The trick with this is to ensure people expect it before they even click on the video. So include a teaser to whatever you’re giving away or offering in your video description. Or add it immediately as a comment as soon as the video goes live, depending on what platform you’re using. (Not sure what platform is best for you, check out our recent quiz!)
Get viewers involved in some way to increase engagement.
Creating video content is an excellent, and very current, author marketing strategy, but it’s only going to do you so good if it’s a one-way conversation.
What I mean is, you want your video to create additional engagement on whatever platform you’re posting it on.
So within the segment be sure to pose a question. Ask viewer opinions on something, or invite them to send questions your way. And make sure to have them do this via the comments section on the post.
As Facebook has proven with recent changes, I think we’re going to see a lot more social media platforms putting more weight on quality engagement in the future. So instead of just likes, push for thoughtful comments and shares.
Respect their time.
Creating video content is fun and exciting. It’s a great way to stand out from the crowd and really personalize your message – but you don’t want to get ahead of yourself.
You want to stay respectful of people’s time, like gracefully exiting the party before the host starts falling asleep.
I found a great infographic on Hubspot about video length on different platforms by @BigRedDawg16 that’s definitely worth checking out.
Once you read it you’ll wonder why I didn’t lead with this tip – spoiler alert – video on social media should be pretty short! Yay!
The creating video content takeaway.
If you were sweating up to this point imagining all the prep work, if you’ve been thinking how impossible it will be to be funny and smart and helpful, and that you’ll have to give away tons of free stuff…well that’s all a bit exaggerated. And to top it off, when creating video content it’s more about quality than quantity.
Keep it short, keep it personal, and keep it unique to your audience.
If you have no clue what your audience would find interesting about you, your work, and what you have going on, I can’t help but wonder why you started on this author journey in the first place?
Being a successful author in today’s market is also about being a brand. And any successful brand will show you how powerful video can be.
Think movie trailers, music videos, commercials, web shorts, and all the insanely successful people to carve careers out of their YouTube presence.
Creating video content provides a very real opportunity to do something that no one else can replicate – which is being you, for your captive audience of fans.
If you have any other top tips for creating video content, share them below in the comments. Or let me know what you’ve tried and how it’s working for you. I’d love to start a dialogue!