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Video series ideas for your business in 2020

By Eric Halsey

Plenty of businesses are experimenting with podcasts, but video is king online at the moment. Networks from Facebook to LinkedIn are heavily favoring video content in their algorithms. That means if you’re putting out a video version of your podcast as well, it’s more likely to get organic reach. But not all videos are created equal. You need a compelling series to keep viewers coming back. First time? Read on for video content ideas, .

 

Using our experience helping companies build shows for themselves, we’ve broken down 5 types of shows you can use for inspiration.

1. The interview

It’s a classic setup for a video series for good reason. As long as you can get interesting guests, interview shows (can be) relatively straightforward to create. That said, standing out requires finding a hook or theme that ties them together as a coherent show and makes them compelling

The shorter, punchier interview

The two directions you can go here is the shorter and punchier interview or the longer and more in-depth one. Nathan Latka’s podcast, for example, is fast paced (bordering on aggressive) and uses many pre-set interview questions. The result is an interview that moves quickly and gets the viewer a lot of information in a short span of time.

The longer in-depth interview

Tom Bilyeu’s Impact Theory show nails the long-form interview. He knows when to give the interviewee space to explore their thoughts and when to jump in with a question that drives towards an important point. Plus, this format gives you a lot more content for repurposing later.

2. Behind the scenes

If you think a video series isn’t appropriate or useful for your industry, Ernest Packaging is really challenging you to reconsider. Their fun and fascinating series pushes the limit of what you can do with paper of all things and makes a packaging and logistics company of all things into a cool brand doing amazing things.

If your target audience is outside your industry and they would benefit from learning more about how your industry works from the inside, this is one of the best formats to try. Behind the scenes videos focus on processes and work best when they contain a beginning, middle, and end. This could be how you manufacture a product, how you meet with customers before building a product, how you generate ideas, etc.

3. The reaction video

Profitwell does a great job here. This reaction series also functions as a kind of behind the scenes look into how they analyze a company’s pricing page. As an added benefit, this is content that’s interesting for companies creating a pricing page and customers who encounter them all the time.

That said, if you’re over the age of 30 you may not be familiar with reaction videos. But despite their origin in teen internet culture, the format has serious benefits to consider for businesses looking to create compelling video content. You can film someone on your team reacting to something in your industry, customer actions, what other companies are doing, or how a process is done.

While you could use this format to do some serious analysis, it lends itself best to having a bit of fun. Mixed in with other types, these videos can be the fun content that gets people in your industry to subscribe, thereby making it more likely they’ll see the more serious content you’re putting out.

4. Documentaries


Wistia’s documentary series nails that balance between something that should be fascinating for video producers and a general audience. It’s a fun concept that takes the better aspects of reality TV and turns it towards something genuine and compelling.

The best documentaries start with a golden question and then set off on a quest to get answers, crossing paths with people and companies along the way. You can take each episode as one pit stop with another brand or thought leader. This allows you to begin building a relationship with those people while also bringing valuable insights to your audience.

If making a documentary is far from typical for your industry, just remember: the more unlikely the industry the more likely you may have a hit by making something that really stands out.

5. Recurring events

Chances are your company already has some kind of recurring event going on. This could be a webinar, brainstorming breakfast, creative meetup, etc. If you’ve got an event like this going (or can start one), you can easily film it and turn it into an episodic series. Most brands will simply live-stream these events or put out a full unedited video of them. However, editing and turning these videos into something more polished really make a substantial difference and can turn a 2 hour video that few will want to watch into a 30 minute video that people will love.

If you have speakers, that’s another reason to consider that great content you can capture and package as a series. When you package something as a series it signals quality and both encourages viewership and greater attendance to the actual events you’re filming.

Getting the best of all 5 styles

While we recommend trying one style for a while as episodic content to see how it plays, often it makes sense to experiment with these styles to determine what’s right for your audience.

Consider your audience

This is the biggest piece of advice we have for finding the best type of video content. You need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and consider what’s going to bring them the most value and entertainment. That said, the obvious choice isn’t always best. As mentioned above, doing something totally unique within your industry is a fantastic way to stand out and grab some attention. Creating the most obvious type of series might not do that for you.

Look at your competition

There are two key things you’ll want to look for here: what your competition is doing and what they’re not doing. Okay, that sounds obvious but hear me out. Look at what your competition is doing to see which aspects are working and which aren’t. These are free lessons for you to take and incorporate into your own strategy.

Then, look at what your competition isn’t doing. This tells you where you can go to be completely unique. Combine the lessons from your competition’s successes and mistakes with something fresh and new and you’ll have a recipe for success.

The most important thing is to get started, you can always iterate and pivot

There’s no denying that you have a lot of questions to answer and decisions to make before launching a video series. However, the most important thing is starting. That’s why we’re giving you ideas and inspiration to get you to take that first and most important step. Once you’re on the way you can always iterate and pivot (in fact, you should!). 

Tags: episodic content, video series, podcast topics