If anyone can help you gain the confidence to get behind the camera, press record, and create video content, it’s Andrew Kan.
Andrew Kan is a leading YouTube video creator who’s worked with TubeBuddy, Salesforce, and other big brands to create videos that audiences find valuable and enjoy.
We sat down with Andrew at Video Marketing World to get his thoughts on what first-time video creators should know before they hit record, why video is such a valuable and impactful medium, and how to incorporate storytelling in your content.
Andrew’s interview is the perfect example of a video that keeps serving audiences as it was recorded back in 2018 and all his tips, advice, and recommendations are still relevant today!
You can watch the video on this topic at the top of this post, to listen to the podcast episode, hit play below, or read on for more…
Before you hit record: know your why
Getting over the hump of just getting started is one of the biggest hurdles you may ever face when you create video content. There might be a million reasons stopping you from first hitting record. Not having the right gear, not knowing the nuances of your camera, or other tech hang-ups can be overcome with one thing: knowing why you’re recording video content in the first place.
Andrew says working out your message and what you’re trying to communicate is “far more important than any piece of gear”. Not only is it a powerful way to get you motivated to press record, but it also results in a better video
“People want to be told a story, they don’t want to just be told ‘buy my product’. If you can make someone feel something, if you can make them relate to what you’re doing, your video is going to be more successful.”
How to incorporate storytelling and emotion when you create video
Storytelling is a brilliant way to make your video more impactful overall. Andrew notes that people come to videos for one reason, perhaps they need to learn something, but stay or even return because they enjoyed the content.
Entertaining your viewer by taking them on a journey and telling them a story is a sure-fire way to be more memorable and keep viewers coming back for more. But how can you make a tutorial video, for example, entertaining?
Andrew believes you can work emotion and storytelling into almost any kind of video content – you just have to think about the wider implications your product or video has on your audience and use that to drive your content.
“Think about it this way, instead of using your video to sell your product, and selling in terms of what need does your product fill? Consider how teaching people about this product can make them feel better.”
Andrew shared an example that many people who needed help from TubeBuddy wanted it because they were afraid of being unsuccessful on YouTube. So to help people stop feeling this way, they produced content that gave their audience hope.
Video tutorials are an excellent way to instill hope in your audience. They show people exactly what to expect and build trust in you as a provider who can help them achieve their goals. In this case, understanding your audience’s emotions and using a story can help people move from one emotion (fear) to another (hope) in an incredibly powerful way.
Why video is the most impactful medium
So why does video make such an impression on audiences? Andrew suggests it’s the connection element that goes so much further than other mediums.
While blogs may be entertaining and contain lots of detail, it’s typically much harder to show your audience something clearly. Podcasts, although they’re a fantastic way to connect with your audience, often struggle with the same issues.
However, video doesn’t restrict your showing and telling abilities – you can easily do both. Andrew says that being able to communicate without these limitations is “the most powerful thing you can do as a business”.
Why understanding your audience is key
One of the biggest mistakes Andrew’s made in the past is forgetting who he creates video content for. Keeping your audience front of mind is critical as, ultimately, they’re the people watching your videos.
Understand who your audience is. If they’re beginners, it’s probably best to avoid any language that’s too technical or going in too deep to a topic. The last thing you want is to become unrelatable because then people stop watching.
Andrew suggests taking a step back and considering what your audience would need to know if they’d never seen the product before and going from there. A great starting point for this is showing your product to people who aren’t familiar with it and asking them what questions they have about it. From here you can work out exactly what it is you need to teach.
How to keep people coming back to your content
Creating video tutorials is one thing but getting people to subscribe and return to your content is another. Andrew says, if you want returning viewers, you need to give people an experience that shows you’re a reliable source of information and that you’re worth coming back to.
“Give me a reason for that subscription, give me a reason to come back. If you tell me subscribe because I’m going to help you make new tutorials every week that will blow your customers minds, then all of a sudden, I have a value proposition for why I should subscribe to you.”
He says you should promote your content with a sense of urgency, aka, tell them you have more information to give. Relying on the old “thanks for watching, please subscribe!” mantra might get you so far, but giving people a reason to return will get you much, much further.
Andrew also notes that if your content has done its job and satisfied the watcher’s question or helped them in the way they needed, they’re far more likely to come back. So asking them to subscribe or follow a call to action shouldn’t feel like it’s too imposing or salesy. He urges people to remember:
“People always say curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.”
How to overcome on-camera anxieties
Even pros struggle when they create video content. For Andrew, it was getting in front of the camera.
If you have similar difficulties, Andrew suggests shifting your mindset. Think about being in front of the camera as one of the choices you make on your journey to helping others.
“Instead of thinking the camera is the enemy, see the camera as your friend. It’s your ability to tell and spread what you’re trying to do.”
Here are some of Andrew’s other top tips to create video content:
- Practice in the mirror – this helps you get more comfortable with the editing stage too
- Focus on your strengths, not your flaws
- Know that you can always do another take!
We learn as much with failure as we do with successes, so don’t worry if you first, third, or even tenth video isn’t exactly how you want it to be. Developing a new skill is a learning process, and failure is a great teacher.
The biggest challenge when you create video content
Once you’ve overcome your own challenges with video, the next step is to tackle the most common problem video creators face. Andrew says that this is carving out where your product fits into the space.
Andrew suggests that video creators often go in with a build-it-and-they-will-come mentality, but the key to getting views is searchability. His advice is to focus on how you’re marketing your video and how searchable it is so that people can find it.
To make your content more searchable, Andrew recommends niching your content down. Your video title, for example, needs to be specific. Just using a title like “how to boost your audio” isn’t searchable, but by refining it to “how to boost your audio skills in Camtasia 2021” more people are going to find your content and get the help they need too.
But that’s just one of the challenges video creators face. Depending on what kind of content you’re creating, who you’re creating for, and your skillset, you may encounter many more along the way. Whatever stage you’re at, we’ve got brilliant behind-the-scenes interviews with more video creators, instructional designers, learning and development professionals and more, who can help. Find them in the TechSmith Academy. All their knowledge is just waiting to be discovered!