“Put more wood behind fewer arrows”

I took some time to reflect🤔 on this post, which is why I’m actually just starting to hack it out at 8pm on Friday night.

Initially I thought I’d follow on from Thursdays post with some recommendations on how to authentically seed your content into communities to gain high value leads and unlock the joy of discovery for your audience (pauses for breath 😐😂), but based on the feedback I got from yesterdays post I’ve decided on a different approach.

As a friend and industry colleague pointed out to me today, I’m in the very fortunate position of having the support of a world leading technology organisation behind my video efforts. The lessons, networks and experiences I’m afforded on a daily basis are priceless and ones that most people working in the industry would kill for. So, what I thought I could do is translate one of my daily experiences or learnings into a very practical insight and suggested set of actions that you can take away and immediately apply in your own video content efforts . That way, you’ll benefit directly from my most current experiences and challenges while also receiving the same types of information and interactions I share with my team around the world on a daily basis.

So, what’s the lesson for today, well to borrow the words of my CEO, “lets put more wood behind fewer arrows”. But to fully unpack 📦🗄️ that statement I’m going to have to wind back the clock to 2010 and the moment I learnt the power of consistently producing truly unique, truly ownable content for an audience starved of compelling options.

The year is 2010 and the company I co-founded at the time had just successfully pitched a behind the scenes video series for our national football team⚽ who were returning to the FIFA World Cup🏆 (in Sth Africa) for the first time in 28years. Our plan, to embed ourselves into the squad, gaining their trust and in-turn unfettered access to every moment in their historic journey. Then share that content in near real time with the audience back home via Facebook and the teams online video channel. Our approach; bombard💣💥 the audience with new content 4 or 5 times per day. Now while you may look at this approach today and say “so what we post 20 times a day”, what you need to understand is that in 2010 “best practice” was to post 3 times per week, in fact several social media experts at that time strongly advised us against posting once a day as their view was that our community would find it annoying and it would likely lead to people un-liking the teams fan page en masse. What eventuated however was quite the opposite, the team went on an “Undefeated” run through the tournament (3 draws hehe) which led to massive public interest back home, and we ended up with the most in-demand video content in the nation. The content we produced drove growth in the teams fan page by over a 100,000 new followers, it generated millions of views and ten’s of millions of minutes of watch time over the course of the campaign, and most importantly I learnt a lesson that has greatly influenced my approach to video up until as recently as 12mths ago.

The lesson was twofold (or maybe its two separate lessons lol), firstly, always set your sights on producing content that delivers a truly unique insight or experience to your audience , take them somewhere they’d never ordinarily be able to go, show them something they’d never ordinarily be able to see, tell a story they can’t hear anywhere else, or make them feel something they’ve never felt before about a product or service in your category. Secondly, best practice is only best practice until someone finds a better way to do it. In 2010 virtually no one, especially brands, were posting multiple pieces of high quality video content to their Facebook page on a daily basis, of course now that approach is par for the course, and up until about 12mths ago it’s an approach which I certainly fully subscribed to. I say 12mths ago, because it was at about that time I realised the game has changed again. So here’s my observation, the heady days of 2012, 13, 14 when brands could acquire followers and leads by posting quirky images of kittens led to the development of an over inflated sense of social (media) brand status. Since that time best practice for social post consistency has become an excuse for brands to post multiple pieces of who gives a $h#t content, more often than anyone would ever care about, for increasingly incremental returns, and guess what, the audience are over it 🙄😨😵!

Me, while I’m licking my lips 😋 (and so should you) because with any major change, comes major opportunity, and this one happens to fall right in my wheelhouse. As video content becomes more and more ubiquitous (and more and more average) it’s inevitable that the cream will rise to the top, and that higher quality content (with the right amplification) will distinguish itself from the masses. The time has never been better to invest in incredible storytelling, and to my CEO’s point, put more wood behind fewer arrows. Stop spamming your audience multiple times per day with average content that they could see anywhere else. Screw what best practice says for now, if you want your video content to move the needle, invest in the production of content thats truly unique, truly ownable and more importantly (IMO) makes people feel something. Make something surprising, make something beautiful, make something challenging, but please stop doing what everyone else is doing. Do that, and my bet is that in no time at all your brands video content will become renowned for quality in a word full of quantity.

I’ll catch you back soon, and please don’t forget to follow, share, comment.✊

Pat 🤙

Opinions expressed are my own and are in no way intended to reflect the views of my employer, or individuals quoted or referenced in this article.

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