Today we’ll take a fresh look at the big idea behind one of the most simple and devastatingly effective ways to use online video. Are you ready to take your content to a whole new level by doing less work? Then read on and find out…

How To Use How-To Videos To Create Loyal Fans

How would you like to fundamentally change the behaviors of your tribe forever? What would that do to your own “cool quotient?” How would that position you for your next big launch? And what if it was as easy to do this as firing up your word processor and shooting a how-to video?

Here’s how this works in real life.

Where it Starts – The Joys of Dinnertime TV

My Southern Belle loves the Home and Garden Network. Her favorite after-work activity is to switch on “Clean House” while making a big salad in the kitchen. And it’s not because our home is a mess, mind you. It’s for the idea of dramatic transformation.

The HG Network has been so successful with this one idea that it has spawned the DIY Network (Do it Yourself) “Why pay big bucks for that root canal? Just use this Black and Decker drill and a pint of Jack Daniels! It’s fun and easy!”

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating slightly. But we know that very few people will actually do the things they talk about in these shows. The real function of these shows is not to provide a step-by-step method for accomplishing a task. This is true even if the video provides a step-by-step method for accomplishing a task. So what is the allure? It’s something much more powerful and transforming.

How-To is Much More Than How-To

It’s about providing inspiration and triggering the imagination.

Most of us are literally dying for lack of inspiration in our daily lives. We want to have better ideas for doing all the things we need to do and want to do. But the secret we never share with anyone is that we want to have these ideas ourselves. We want the thrill of discovery. Then we want the pride of accomplishment. That’s where your humble how-to video comes in.

For instance, here’s an extremely humble how-to about getting a job. It’s not even a very well-done video. But it sparked some thoughtful comments and even a video response.

What could you do with 3000 views?

Here’s one that sparked a much higher and more intense response. And the video itself is little more than someone explaining what they’re doing while they’re doing it. But they’re speaking in the language of their tribe. That was worth 7 times the response.

The best part about this video was the follow-up videos their tribe was begging for. Oh, you didn’t see any? Neither did I. That’s kind of tragic, isn’t it? Do you think it was a mistake that none of the burning questions they got from their audience were answered? What opportunities did they miss as a result?

Where is Your Opportunity?

The truth is, there are people all over the place, desperate for information. Some of it would make most of us scratch our heads in total confusion. But that’s one of the magical things about the interwebs. There’s a tribe for just about everybody in the known universe. And the more you can serve them the kind of information they can’t get anywhere else, the more successful you’ll be.

But you must put in the time and your best understanding of how your tribe is thinking and speaking. That’s how the HG Network does it.

Here’s another example. When I released my last video, it almost doubled my list. But that video was not a hastily put together thing. I collected information from my tribe for weeks and weeks before producing it. I wanted to answer the most pressing questions they had in the shortest time possible in the language that made the most sense to them. As it turns out, that took about 13 minutes of screen time. Everyone says a video longer than 2 minutes will not be watched. My stats now say otherwise. But please don’t worry. I’m not looking at that as an invitation to bore you to death. Our next series of videos will be a lot shorter. There’s room for appetizers as well as main courses when it comes to web video.

And that’s just one more wonderful thing about the web. The rules are made to be broken. That’s so liberating for someone who likes to chart their own path. Are you that kind of person?

In the case of the how-to video, what happens to your viewer when you stimulate them, empower them and inspire them? They want to hear more from you. And since that’s what you want as well, you might as well get started with how-to video. There is no simpler, more direct line to the heart of your tribe than this one.

…And Don’t Forget the Dessert

Remember, the most overlooked part of marketing is what happens after the sale. Sometimes we’re so laser-focused on getting traffic that we forget about our customers once they’ve bought from us. The how-to video is a great way to let them know you’re thinking about them all the time.

So let’s sum it up. There’s a huge market for the kind of information that stimulates the imagination and inspires your audience, sometimes even to action. If you speak their language and are able to answer their burning questions, they’ll reward you with their attention and their loyalty.

Can you see it now? The Yoga Channel. The Dance Channel. The SEO Channel. I can see it. The question is when will you get started on it?

Don’t worry. You’re not alone. I’m here to help you transform your vision into reality.

Hm. Maybe I should make a video about that…

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