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There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of good ideas or being stuck at a creative block. When it comes to
video especially, it can be easy to assume that everything interesting has already been done before. A quick scroll through social media will show you many different types of videos that have all seen success.
There’s incredible value in video marketing, and with 70% of marketers planning to use video this year according to G2, you’ll need to publish content that is creative and stands out. A powerful video can help you connect with new customers and allow you stand out above the competition.
Whether you’re a marketer, a filmmaker, or just a hobbyist, the most important thing to begin your video project is by acquiring some inspiration to get you started. It’s easy to find inspiration, but you’ll have to know where to start.
It’s no secret that video is beginning to saturate the internet. Social media feeds and pages across the web are teeming with videos of all different qualities, which makes it hard to create something that feels original.
Brainstorming sessions can only get you or your team so far. All great creatives know that in order to make something amazing, you need to consume a lot of content to draw inspiration. The more you watch, the higher standards you can hold yourself to and take your creation to the next level.
The best way to develop creative video ideas is to determine the types of videos your audience will be interested in and then plan based around that. A video just for the sake of having a video doesn’t serve your audience or send the right message. Take a look at what similar content creators are putting out there and how the audience reacts to it. You shouldn’t aim to copy, but it’s a great starting point.
Conceptualize your videos and weigh the expected output versus the required inputs such as how difficult it will be to produce and what types of messages the video sends. You may find that a video project simply isn’t worth the effort.
If it seems necessary, hire an agency or freelancer to contribute to your video project. After all, about 10% of marketers order videos from digital agencies. An agency specializing in video production has almost all the inputs and skills necessary to create a great project. They will also know the right questions to ask you to get at the heart of what your video should look like.
If that doesn’t seem like the right option for you, continue reading to discover the right places to get inspiration for your own video project. The internet is full of inspiration and ideas and creative video ideas are no exception to this.
The best places to find creative video ideas are also the best places to consume video. Certain video hosting platforms have different audiences and purposes so don’t rely on just one to help inspire your creativity.
YouTube is the ubiquitous video streaming platform today. Since its creation in 2009, it’s become the behemoth we all know and love. The platform has over 1 billion users who spend 40 minutes a day on average consuming content. There’s videos for every audience and interest on the platform, so it’s a natural place to start searching for video ideas.
The site has an incredibly intuitive algorithm and provides users with content they may not have known they even wanted to watch. It’s incredibly easy to organize the videos you draw inspiration from into playlists or folders to revisit. Explore the videos your target audience is currently watching for a quick boost of inspiration, but really branch out into other spaces if you want to make waves.
A great example of a creative B2B video example on YouTube is Brian Dean’s Backlinko channel. He breaks down complicated and nuanced link building strategies in clear and easy-to-understand ways. He then ties his videos back to the Backlinko website, helping drive referral traffic from a channel that is repurposing his website’s content.
YouTube is the second largest search engine right behind its sister site Google. This makes it incredibly important to write titles, descriptions, and tags that accurately describe the video. Additionally having a video that matches the user’s search intent and drives engagement will ensure that whatever you choose to create will actually be seen.
Built as a platform for filmmakers and videographers, Vimeo is a go-to source for visually appealing and mentally stimulating videos. There is even a tab at the top of their site labeled “Inspiration” which can lead you to almost 14,000 Staff Picks that have been selected by Vimeo’s employees.
These expertly selected videos should serve as inspiration for your project. While the content may not be the same, take note of the shots and lighting used to tell a story. Make note of what you like and don’t like about certain videos you come across so that you can further drive your own ideation.
If their staff selected pieces aren’t necessarily the inspiration you’re looking for, have no fear. The magnifying glass on their page is a search feature that allows for you to search through thousands of videos that have been uploaded to the site. Choose a term that resonates with the topic that you’re creating for and watch videos through there.
Don’t forget to look up related topics as well that may not be directly related but can help. For example if you’re creating a cooking video, you’ll want to search up cooking but also recipes, kitchen, dinner, meals, and more to find different perspectives.
Vimeo can also be a great place to learn about the camera angles, shot styles, and story formats that are ideal for your own projects. Explore the Vimeo blog for instructionals covering pre and post-production, lighting, sound, shooting, and gear. You will be well on your way to becoming a video production expert.
The social media powerhouse began seeing extreme success since it started natively hosting video. 8 billion video views occur each day on Facebook, and this number only continues to rise. With the vast amount of videos being hosted on Facebook, you can find incredible content that is optimized for social sharing.
Those trying to share their message on Facebook are only truly starting to scratch the surface of the platform. Live video for breaking news or large events is becoming ever more popular, while public figures and media companies have found success through publishing shareable “viral” videos and even incorporating video into their sponsored advertisements.
A feature called Facebook Watch is a great way to find videos that other brands or pages in your sphere are creating - a sure way to give you some ideas. Head to the Facebook watch tab and start scrolling through your suggested feed to get a feel on what types of videos are shared on Facebook. Then, search for specific terms related to the video topic you’re creating and see what’s out there.
With the large amount of video on the platform, you’re likely to find some inspiration and a stepping stone for your creation. Facebook is an incredible way to connect with specific communities and get them to engage with you through video.
Although it began as a check-in app based on sharing photos, Instagram has quickly grown to one of the most prominent video platforms of today. Even enough to rival its parent company of Facebook.
Take Adam Enfroy for example. After finding success with his blog, Adam Enfroy shot a ton of 360 and drone travel videos on his Instagram. He’s able to find so many great video ideas by following very specific 360 and drone video hashtags. Instagram makes it easy to swipe through the top posts in each category and follow accounts that you like for inspiration. This has helped him develop a ton of new angles and shot ideas for his travel videos.
Many brands and creators share their videos on the platform that can be found through hashtags, allowing you to connect with an audience and see just how much creative content you can fit into a 60-second Instagram video. The ability to reach audiences far and wide is just one of the many benefits of Instagram. You can find other users who specialize in your type of content and draw inspiration from each other.
If you’re more interested in longer-form content on Instagram, it could be useful to look into IGTV. The IGTV app stands alone, but users can also view IGTV from within the Instagram app itself, ensuring that the social media app’s total user base of more than one billion can tune in. An IGTV session can be, and often is, filmed professionally and uploaded to the IGTV channel at a time that is convenient for the administrator. Take a look at your favorite influencer’s profiles or brands similar to you. You’re likely to find some great creations already there.
Instagram presents a whole new take on video in a digital era centered on building communities and engagement. Make use of the community based platform to spread your content and connect with your target audience. A social media management tool can help manage your profile and look into the performance of posts in order to maximize your potential success.
An under-utilized source of inspiration is the network of communities that is reddit. Mark Lindquist, a Marketing Strategist at Mailshake had this to say about how his team uses reddit to come up with creative ideas:
"Reddit has been a major source of content ideas for us. There are a handful of fairly active subreddits around sales (sales development, account executives, etc.). I lurk on these subreddits every week or so and review the most active threads. This gives me a good, unfiltered idea of what real salespeople are talking about and concerned with. If we do end up recording a video on it, I also have a community I know will be receptive to the video, so I can start spreading the word on it."
Reddit is a great resource to connect you to hyper-specific audiences and communities. It’s also a great place to grow your audience further. Posting your video in a relevant sub-reddit and allowing the community members to democratically decide whether they enjoy it through upvotes and downvotes can help you quickly test what kind of content connects best to your audience.
To get started, check out the r/videos subreddit which has an incredibly diverse selection of videos from across the internet. Additionally, make sure to look at subreddits related to your topic and theme and see what videos are already out there. Make sure to check the upvotes related to the piece to see if it’s inspiration that will resonate with your potential audience or if you should steer clear from that content.
Developing a video project that is effective, creative, and gets your audience engaged is no easy feat and takes a lot of commitment. These 5 video hosting platforms are great for helping you develop an understanding of theme and audience in order to better produce your project.
The big takeaway here is that developing creative video ideas requires you to fully understand the content your intended audience wants to see and listen to your audience’s desires. If people don’t find educational or entertainment value, it’s likely going to fall flat and you’re back to square one.
Derek Doeing is with G2 specializing in video marketing trends and insights. He's a recent graduate of Iowa State University and a proud son of Chicago. He can usually be found discussing pop music, politics, and digital marketing on the internet.
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