We met Christopher Smith at a San Francisco event for people with media interests a few months ago. He is director of marketing of SFSDF, and a pioneering practitioner of augmented reality, and he blew our minds with what he shared about progress happening in that realm, and our mutual interests about facilitating better collaboration in work around this highly distinctive art form.
Recently, I was asked to write an article for Elance about creating compelling content that would attract traffic. You can read the entire Article here. For you M7 blog devotees, here is a summarized version:
Everyone loves candy. Your viral video or vblog should be like C-A-N-D-Y. Yummy, yummy candy. To make my point, I call upon some of the most delicious treats available.
1. York Peppermint Pattie (Provide value)
Your video should have a purpose just like this little treat. It gives you a wonderful little sugar rush, makes you feel refreshed and makes your breath minty. You must know exactly what minty-fresh value you are providing.
2. Snickers (Tell a story)
Your video should tell a story like this perfect combination of ingredients. The video starts with the introduction (chocolate), immediately sets you up with what to expect (smooth caramel), slaps you with a salty problem to solve (peanuts), and brings you back down with the solution and resolution (creamy nougat). Every video should be a story and every story has a beginning, middle and end.
3. Hershey’s chocolate bar (Keep it simple)
A classic, no more or less than it absolutely needs to be. Unspoiled by any unnecessary bells and whistles, The video is truly created in the editing. Nothing that doesn’t have to be in the video should be. Boil your video down to the simplest, most pure version possible.
4. M&M’s (Hidden complexity)
I love these little morsels of goodness. It seems a fairly simple candy but as you eat them, you are surprised by the versatility. Your video must be like a pack of M&M’s. It should feel very simple, easy to consume, and unintimidating. But for those brave souls who wish to dive into a deeper experience, you should have that experience available for them. Offer hidden complexity for treasure-seekers.
5. KitKat (Interactive and shareable) The KitKat was made to share. I mean, the little pre-partitioned wafers are just begging to be broken off and handed to your friends. Your video should be set up to share and allow for social interaction. Provide your audience with the opportunity to interact and they will reward you with full engagement, referrals to your site, and repeat visits.
6. Almond Joy (Easy to understand what it is)
Is there any question that there is Almonds inside this thing? Your content should be as clear as possible about what is inside. You need your audience to know exactly what they are getting into. The title and thumbnail are the most important tools you have for quickly conveying content type. If you are in love with a name that doesn’t provide clarity, try adding a sub-title to help out.
7. Milk Duds (Bite-sized and plentiful) Have you ever started watching a movie with a box of these little fellas? They are a perfect movie food: easy to eat, easy to share and they seem to last FOREVER. Your video should have some sort of regular distribution. Frequency and regularity is a close second behind content quality for online video. If you want to release a new episode every week or month or whatever, then declare it to your audience and STICK TO IT.
Other sweet tricks:
There are other things that will help build an audience like “stir up a controversy”, “report on a current event before anyone else”, and “cross-promote with other content” but those are all a matter of personal style. They are good things to do but may not work for you or your content. The seven sweet tips above, however, are perfect to whet any appetite.