It’s not exactly a secret that video is a tremendously powerful tool for marketing today. Whether it’s traditional video ads in the form of commercials or on YouTube or episodic content designed to engage audiences instead of directly selling, companies are looking to video to improve their digital marketing.
But finding the right creative ideas for your content is tricky. You need to balance the new with the familiar and appeal to both your existing audience and potential new viewers. In our experience, the best ideas are usually based on something another channel is doing, but with your own twist. That’s why we’ve compiled these 8 ideas taken from the YouTube series we love to give you ideas on where to start.
- Try an at home version
- Go behind the scenes
- Reimagine an old episode with a new editor
- Bring in a guest host (or even trade hosts)
- Solicit audience ideas for a challenge
- Use an episode to delve into the tools you use
- Create a self-deprecating joke episode
- Give your listeners a challenge and a prize
There’s no denying that most instances of sudden at home versions of Youtube shows have been brought on by the Coronavirus. However, many shows have actually shown that this is a great way to mix things up and create new compelling content.
For established shows, getting a peek into the home’s of the hosts they’ve come to know is extremely enticing. Shows like Hot Ones have created fun at home content their audiences have loved. But even for shows without that specific draw, creating something at home can be one of those challenges which forces you to reconsider your assumptions.
You can think about an at home test as a chance to test what your audience really likes about your show.
In a similar vein to the at home version, showing the audience what goes into your production (and who works on it) can be a lot of fun. The key here is to build a deeper connection with your audience, showing that you’re a real group of people creating this content for them and not some faceless company. That’s why you can see a behind the scenes episode as both a chance to try a new type of content and a chance to develop the relationship with your audience.
If you have some episode you consider a classic, the one you would send to anyone as your favorite example or what you do, this is the chance to give it a new life. Find an editor with a strong personal style and let them go to work on it. Look no further than the editing style of the Bon Apetit YouTube channel for an example of how editing can imbue a video with a ton of fun personality.
This is an excellent option if your channel can connect with a similar one to help mutually boost each other’s audiences. Bringing in their host or trading hosts for an episode is a time-honored way to introduce yourself and your show to a new audience. Podcasts and YouTube shows love this strategy for good reason: because it’s easy and effective. Plus, it’s another chance to try and mix up your show’s formula and try something new.
If you’re feeling truly and completely stuck, it never hurts to just ask. If you’ve built an audience, you should already be asking them what they like about your content. So, asking them for ideas should be second nature by this point. This could be a fun challenge or something connected to charity (a function Youtube has now integrated into its platform). Just be sure to choose something which you feel passionately about and which will resonate with your audience.
This version of a behind the scenes episode is ideal for shows that focus on some aspect of creation. If your audience is interested in potentially creating their own content, talk about what tools you use, why you chose them, and what you think about them. It’s likely going to be something quite different from your typical episodes, but you can think of it as a way to try reaching out to a different audience and see if you can draw them in to subscribe to your regular fare.
Whether your Youtube show is representing a brand or just some creators, sometimes it’s nice to not take yourself too seriously. Start by writing down all of the iconic elements off your show, everything that makes it unique. Then, consider how you can subvert those elements, or even take them to a new level. Besides being a lot of fun to make, creating an episode with jokes for your dedicated viewers will also help reinforce a sense of group identity amongst your audience. After all, humor and the cohesiveness of a group are closely related. So why not take advantage of that for your show?
As we’ve pointed out in many of these content ideas, one of the most effective ways to engage your audience is to make them feel like they’re a part of a group. This is a powerful tool for getting an audience to connect with your show more deeply. Another way to build a stronger connection between you and your audience is to engage them with a mission.
This challenge could be charitable or simply fun. But having your audience engage in a collective action to achieve some goal will help make that audience more deeply connected to your show. The prize could even be that you’ll create something like a behind the scenes episode as we discussed earlier.
Special tip number 9!
Another option can simply be to call in some outside help. Here at tribetactics, we've got years of experience helping shows like yours grow their audiences. Whether you’re interested in taking your show to the next level or looking to start creating episodic content, we’re happy to chat and see how we can help.