Andrew Davis on Showing, Not Telling

One of probably the most elementary necessities for content material advertising can also be one which sadly tends to get missed most: It must be entertaining. As entrepreneurs, we will get so caught up in conversions and funnels and enterprise outcomes that we lose sight of this crucial. If your content material doesn’t hook somebody and draw them in, it isn’t going to perform something. 

Andrew Davis is somebody who doesn’t should be reminded of this as a result of he launched his profession within the leisure trade. Now a cherished keynote speaker and best-selling creator, Andrew bought his begin as a program producer for WABU-TV, an area station in Boston. He later served as Workshop Production Manager for the Jim Henson Company, serving to out with manufacturers like The Muppets and Sesame Street.

With this background, Andrew presents a useful perspective for content material entrepreneurs who need to reconnect with their most important goal. The theme of this yr’s Content Marketing World occasion (and the new interactive expertise courtesy of TopRank Marketing and CMI, that includes insights from Andrew and lots of others) is placing on a grand present underneath the big-top tent. It’s a hearty reminder that dazzling audiences ought to all the time be our utmost precedence.

To accomplish that, Andrew recommends considering like a tv government, creating distinctive twists, trying to find moments of inspiration, and making appointments along with your viewers. Read on to be taught how one can compel of us to tune in and take motion by displaying, not telling.

Andrew Davis Shares on Video Marketing and More

1) You’ve bought a historical past of working in leisure and tv. What methods and philosophies do you carry over from that have as a content material marketer?

Everything I find out about content material advertising I realized within the tv enterprise. There are a number of key areas the place this comes into play once you’re creating content material.

Number one is to suppose like a tv government. The purpose I say that’s tv execs all the time suppose audience-first. They need to create content material that’s so useful the viewers falls in love with it, and because of this, they’ll promote stuff. In the tv world, they promote time and area of their programming and are hoping to encourage folks to purchase one thing they didn’t know they wanted. So so long as you’re considering audience-first, and how one can add worth to their lives by creating content material that they fall in love with, you’re considering like a TV government.

The second factor is to make an appointment along with your viewers. I actually consider you must set a particular time and day within the thoughts of your viewers so far as once you’re going to ship your content material. That doesn’t imply they’ll’t hearken to it or watch it or learn it on-demand at any time, however making an appointment along with your viewers and releasing it at a time of their lives that your content material goes to be extra related goes to make a huge impact on your advertising, simply as a tv government picks the correct time for a present. 

The third factor is to construct a format. A format is mainly a top level view to your content material. People fall in love with a tv present within the following order: they fall in love with the format, then the hook, then the expertise. So primary, you want to ship the identical type of content material each week constantly, similar to a tv present. You can’t be all around the map and have a distinct format, as a result of folks take pleasure in consistency. The subsequent one is a hook. A hook is only a easy twist on a well-known theme, designed to entice or ensnare your viewers, and that’s one thing I positively realized in tv. An simple instance of that may be a mash-up. Like should you have been promoting software program, your hook may be “Mythbusters for Software” or one thing like that. And the subsequent one is utilizing expertise. We reside in a social-driven world, and your model has to have an individual hooked up to it that we will fall in love with. All probably the most profitable content material performs have an individual who delivers the content material so we fall in love with that individual. That’s a very essential piece.

At the top of the day, considering like a tv government is all about utilizing useful content material that may improve demand for the services we promote utilizing an audience-first strategy. @drewdavishere Click To Tweet


2) Video advertising is a  clear ardour of yours. What do you see as the largest areas the place practitioners are at present lacking the mark with this medium?

Most importantly, video is a “show-me” medium. This means you need to present me as an alternative of inform me. So should you’re taking pictures a talking-head video, you want to add some B-roll to it. B-roll is the second observe — the stuff I see whilst you’re speaking. That’s a very essential piece of the puzzle that I feel folks miss. If you’re going to create video you want to present me one thing, don’t simply speak to the digital camera. If you’re going to do this, you may as properly simply use audio, proper? You don’t want video for it. Shooting quite a lot of B-roll is absolutely useful.

The different factor is talking within the current tense as a lot as potential. Lots of people inform tales up to now tense, however all of us have the flexibility to shoot video as issues are taking place, so shoot within the current tense as a lot as potential.

The last item I’ll say is that on the whole, talking-head movies are boring. So problem your self to create one thing that’s distinctive, that isn’t only a speaking head, and actually begin fascinated with what it would appear like if it wasn’t only a individual speaking in an interview.

If you are going to create a video you want to present me one thing, do not simply speak to the digital camera. @drewdavishere Click To Tweet

three) For a corporation that’s simply getting began with video, what’s the one single factor to prioritize above all else? Is there an instance that involves thoughts of nice model content material getting this proper?

You need to shoot with what you’ve bought. The know-how can get in the best way of making nice video. You can all the time improve your gear — folks all the time need the perfect digital camera to start out with, and so they need the perfect microphone and the perfect lighting. That stuff is nice, and you finally ought to get there. But the bottom line is to start out considering like a tv government or an editor, and simply begin taking pictures along with your cellphone. Don’t simply shoot your self, shoot the B-roll after which attempt to edit the B-roll into your video.

Even should you’re simply making one thing for Instagram, you possibly can shoot on your cellphone after which edit with some quite simple instruments so that you simply’re really understanding what it’s like to point out as an alternative of inform. 

As far as a model that will get this sort of content material proper, one instance I give loads is the testimonial for a weight reduction program created by the wrestler Diamond Dallas Page. It’s known as Vance’s 365-Day Transformation and it’s all shot on an iPhone primarily, apart from a number of items. It’s all shot within the current tense and it’s simply rather well put collectively. Take a take a look at that video and I problem you to not watch the entire thing.


four) Can you give a sensible instance — actual or theoretical — of your “Loyalty Loop” idea being utilized in a content material technique? 

My favourite instance is the story of Jenny Doan, who runs the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Let’s begin along with her second of dedication, as a result of once you’re making a content material platform, the purpose is to get folks to subscribe to the content material you’re creating. Instead of simply sending out an e-mail e-newsletter, we’ve bought to provide them worth each week that’s designed to create a brand new second of inspiration, to set off a brand new query of their thoughts the place we’re the prime model. 

What Jenny Doan does is each single week she creates a brand new fast quilting tutorial on her YouTube channel, and invitations folks to subscribe not simply by means of YouTube, however to her e-mail checklist. Every a type of movies is designed to encourage somebody to make a brand new fast quilt. And because of this, they are saying, “Oh, I want to make that quilt.” That’s a second of inspiration. Their set off query may be, “Where can I get the fabric and pre-cut pieces to make that?” The prime model for that’s Missouri Star Quilt Company, in order that they go proper again to Jenny Doan’s firm and purchase once more.

The secret’s to not attempt to interrupt energetic analysis, however to create content material that will get somebody to decide to the model, utilizing one piece of knowledge like an e-mail handle, or two items of knowledge like an e-mail and first identify, so you possibly can create moments of inspiration of their lives.


5) As visible content material and multimedia proceed to take over, writers may be feeling just a little undervalued. In which methods will copywriting and the written phrase stay very important to delighting audiences?

The video content material you create ought to really be written, so… write it! It must be just a little totally different than should you’re writing a weblog submit or an e-mail — it must be written as you communicate. So should you’re a author and also you’re feeling undervalued, problem your self to start out writing video. The most essential factor is, once you’re writing a video, learn it out loud. If you’re utilizing phrases or sentence construction that you simply wouldn’t use in conversations, you’re unexpectedly not writing for talking. So write it. I write all my movies and I actually take pleasure in it, by the best way.

One approach I like is utilizing quite a lot of ellipses so that you’re really writing as you’d communicate. End ideas with a subsequent thought as an alternative of only a interval. It’ll be a lot better, it’ll be extra clear, and it’ll be smarter. 

But hear, should you’re a author and also you’re feeling undervalued you’re most likely lacking the largest alternative to construct actual relationships with folks and that’s by means of e-mail. An e-mail is a text-driven medium that’s interpersonal, and should you focus on your e-mail writing — making it private and creating that second of inspiration for one individual on your checklist — you’re going to start out enhancing your writing and rising the affect you may make. Even if it’s to get somebody to observe a video, you want to write a greater e-mail. Writers will not be going away. In reality, should you can simply develop your skillset and focus on moments of inspiration as your writing purpose, whether or not it’s for video or audio or textual content, you’re going to make a huge impact.

The most essential factor is, once you’re writing a video, learn it out loud. @drewdavishere Click To Tweet

6) When accomplished properly, testimonial movies and case research are among the many most compelling, persuasive lower-funnel content material belongings. What do you see as probably the most important components of an efficient one?

Firstly, I don’t like to make use of the phrase “funnel.” I’m all about Loyalty Loops. But probably the most manifestly lacking object in virtually each testimonial video is drama. There isn’t any drama. It’s all concerning the shopper or buyer you’ve served, and it all the time begins with an introduction of who they’re. Look, folks don’t care. They need to really feel the stress and the drama in fixing an issue that they’ll determine with. So a very powerful factor you want to do when creating a very well-done testimonial is to create drama. You want to boost the stakes by displaying me one thing that the viewers needs and needs on this story, threatening it for so long as potential, and ensuring the payoff you ship matches the stress you’ve constructed.

The different factor is that manufacturers are very keen to speak about themselves within the testimonial video. So often it’ll introduce who the shopper was, with them saying one thing like, “Before I was using company/product XYZ, this was my problem.” Well folks don’t need to know the answer earlier than they’ve heard the issue and really feel the stress, so folks tune out instantly. You’ve bought to delay the reveal of the corporate or the product that did it.


7) Which audio system and/or classes are you most trying ahead to seeing at this yr’s Content Marketing World?

Oh man. This is an extended checklist as a result of I’ve been for the final 10 or 11 years. There’s so many nice audio system it’s onerous to get all of them. I clearly need to see Tamsen Webster’s keynote, Scott Stratten’s keynote — they’re each unbelievable audio system and I actually love to observe them. I really like Andrew and Pete. Can’t wait to see Jay Baer, Ann Handley, Heather Ritchie, Doug Kessler, Jay Acunzo, Marcus Sheridan, Kate O’Neill, Lee Odden… there’s an extended checklist of individuals. But these kinda the top-of-mind ones that I sit up for seeing yearly at Content Marketing World. 

Come in & Enjoy the Show (Preview)!

Andrew will likely be one of many many entertaining audio system taking the stage at Content Marketing World 2019, which kicks off on September third in Cleveland. His workshop, Video Marketing Makeover: Transforming Boring Case Studies and Testimonials Into Stories That Inspire Action, will characteristic loads extra in-depth perception round his mantra of displaying, not telling, with video content material.

We hope to see you at CMWorld. But earlier than the massive occasion, you possibly can put together (and sharpen up your rubber duck looking abilities) by trying out The Greatest Content Marketing Show on Earth!

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