Not unlike a writer facing a blank page, a video creator facing a blank timeline can feel at a loss. What story to tell? What angle to take? Where to begin? For creators and their assigning editors, these questions can sometimes feel like a roadblock. But there are some simple questions that can help generate ideas for your video content, so you don’t ever have to feel stuck again.
What’s hot on social?
It should come as no surprise that one of the best places to start looking for social video inspiration is on social media! This can be as simple as checking the trending topics on Facebook and Twitter. Identify something that you want to cover and aligns with your organization, and get to work.
You can also dig a little deeper than just the trending topics. Search for keywords or hashtags related to the kinds of stories and content your organization deals with. See what people are sharing, saying, and talking about. This can help you identify topics of interest to your ideal audience, offering new pathways to get your content in front of them.
What’s already working for your organization?
Many publishers aren’t only sharing social video, so take a look at what other content is doing well for your organization. Is there an article on your own site that is getting lots of traffic, or lots of shares on social? Is there a piece of content getting lots of comments and engagement?
Look for those items that your audience is already responding to, and see how you might transform them into video. You might create a video from a listicle article. Or zero in on one facet of a bigger story. Leveraging the non-video content that is already working into video can have an exponential effect: as video reaches further on social, even more readers find their way to your written content, driving both your videos and articles up the charts.
What’s trending in the world of video?
Beyond the day-to-day trends of social media, look for inspiration in the creative trends of the video industry. Seeing the new formats and experimentations of other creators and publishers, especially those that are proving popular, can offer up a structure for you to utilize.
Sometimes that mechanical foundation reveals a way to tell a story you couldn’t quite figure out. Or offers you a way to recreate an existing, popular piece in a whole new way. Trends like meme videos, varying aspect ratios, listicles, and so on can inspire new ways to recreate and reshare content.
What’s on the horizon?
Another great way to generate content ideas is to look to the future. Are there big events or announcements coming up that your audience might be interested in (like an awards show, product release, or sporting event)? With all the focus on the moment-to-moment in social, it can be easy to forget to look ahead. Getting ahead of an upcoming big topic is an easy way to make sure your voice is part of the conversation on that subject!
These questions can help guide your idea generation, but they’re not all you have to rely on. Consider big news stories and cultural trends that are making waves. Local publishers should keep an eye to what’s going on around them – from things like government works to new businesses or community programs. Inspiration can be found just about anywhere, if you keep your eyes open!