This week I released the first episodes of the 3 new weekly shows I’m producing for the Bloop Animation YouTube channel. I want to explain the logic behind each of them, and how they work to improve the business directly.
In terms of pushing my business forward (which currently revolves mostly around learning products such as online courses and book about animation and filmmaking), the most important thing for me to do is establish trust and authority with my audience. If they don’t trust me or our products – they won’t buy them.
Establishing myself as an authority in the animation industry will also help with future projects, and this partly what I’m trying to achieve with the new video initiative.
Before I get into the content of the 3 new shows, one new thing they all have in common is that they feature me in front of the camera as the host (instead of just as a voice over), as well as increased quality to the production value. This is the first time I’m tackling high-end video production, as well as showing myself that much.
I had some videos in which I showed myself in the channel before, but the vast majority of the videos were video edits or screen captures. Even our news show didn’t show me, but rather shots of whatever news-item I was talking about.
The decision behind brining myself more into the spotlight of the Bloop brand is to create a connection between the person behind the company (me) and the audience. The stronger the connection gets, the more people feel invested. I want them to be invested in the company, and having a face behind it usually helps.
3 new shows
This new video initiative features 3 new weekly shows:
- The Key Frame – A reboot to the animation news show I had before.
- AskBloop – A traditional Q&A show where people can get their questions answered.
- Short of the Week – An animated short reccomnedation, focusing mostly on indie productions and student films.
How the shows serve the business
This is a business blog, and I run a for-profit business, so I promise you that the decision behind each show was calculated, and though these shows look like a “fun to have” or “extras” and not promotional in any way, they actually directly connect to my business.
The Key Frame
The Key Frame (the news show) will feature me discussing news from the animation and visual effects industry. When you report the news you automatically attribute some form of authority to yourself. If the show is successful then you suddenly have power deciding what items get more attention and buzz.
When people get used to checking you out every week to get their fix on what’s new, you become part of their routine. You become the person they go to to catch up, learn, and see what’s trending.
This will be the bigger show of the 3, and that’s why at the end of it I will direct people to the different products we offer. It won’t be an ad or a “the video is brought to you by” announcement at the beginning of the video, but a simple end-card at the end of each show. Most channels try to get people to subscribe or watch other videos (and that’s totally fine) but this way I keep the products at the back of the viewers minds, so that when they decide they want to learn animation, they will automatically go to our store.
The AskBloop Q&A show has me answering questions from viewers. This is another great authority-building kind of show. If you are in a position to answer peoples’ questions, then you probably know what you’re talking about. Now, that’s not always true, and you should’t present yourself as some sort of expert when you’re not, but I do get a lot of questions from viewers, and I know myself enough to know when I should answer a question or not.
This show is great for a few reasons. There’re the more obvious benefits like the authority-building aspect (which I talked about), the deepening of the connection with the audience (they now have a place to talk directly to me), but there’s also some hidden benefits like gathering content that could be re-used. A lot of questions can turn into blog posts about topics I wouldn’t have thought about. Get enough of those and there could be a book there. It’s also a great source for information about what my audience is looking for, which is something every business will be happy to know.
At the end of this show, unlike the news show, I will direct them to some other great videos from the channel to check out. This will be the only show of the 3 that will promote the YouTube channel, and it connects to the topic of the show. This is a Q&A show, which is a learning show, so why not give the people some other recommended videos to learn from?
Short of the Week
In this show I give a quick recap of an animated short I particularly liked, and talk about why I think it’s good. The trick with this show (and that’s something that took some thinking to decide) is to NOT make it a review show. I’m not taking shorts and reviewing them, but only talking about ones I already like, and explain why I think they’re good.
I’m doing this for a few reasons: I don’t want to have a negative show with too many opportunities for controversy. I’m not against criticism and am not afraid of controversy, but I don’t think they belong within the Bloop brand. We’re about the positive. I want to come from a place of trying to help those shorts get exposure, not rip apart the ones I think are bad.
The benefits of a show like that (in addition to being another authority-building show) is that it strengthen my connection to animated shorts, which is one of the key things Bloop is about. A big part of what we’re doing here is making animated short films (and talk about them), so a show like that completely fits with the branding, as well as helps both our audiences be familiar with more unknown great films, and the creators get more exposure. Everybody wins, and we’re in the middle of it.
At the end-card of this show I will direct people to get our free ebook (Making an Animated Short), which is a perfect fit, since the show is about animated shorts, and this way I can grow my email list through YouTube.
I’m not a cynic
I want to make a clarification in case I sound like a cynical jerk who’s thinking about how to best “use his audience” for my own goals.
No. This is not what this is. This is not some manipulation I’m creating to make myself look more authoritative or sell more products. This is content marketing, and I put a lot of thought behind it. I want to make sure Bloop is here to stay, and to do so I need to think creatively yet practically about what to do with my time. These decisions need to have some calculated thinking behind them to justify the investment, so that I can keep making awesome things for my audience. I wouldn’t have created any of these shows if I didn’t truly believe they posses plenty of entertainment value and serve my audience.
I know that by telling you all about the thought process behind something that’s usually seen as a “fun thing to watch” could hurt me, but I think it’s important. I hope that maybe someone who’s thinking about their marketing plan will get some ideas from this.
I believe all 3 shows together will increase the Bloop brand value and increase our YouTube presence tremendously, and I will be reporting about it when I have some conclusions.