A lot of people think that if they started late in something, the best has already been taken. They think that if they were the last player in the market, the market is basically spoken for. Nonsense. In fact, it’s a golden opportunity.

Do you understand how hard it is to break into a new industry? If the niche is very new, the early players basically have to throw a lot of spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks and it costs money to throw pasta on the wall. It costs money and time to experiment with video after video, to get the sentiment of your target market.

This is why a lot of them fail. This is why a lot of the videos that you see, and I’m talking about the successful videos in your niche, tend to look alike or talk about the same set of topics. They’ve already done your homework for you. This is survivor bias. In other words, what you’re seeing are the most successful models.

You don’t see the ones that have tried and failed. You don’t see experiments that were discarded. All you see are the videos that made it. It’s a free gift to you because you just need to build your video marketing business on the stuff that’s already working.

Reverse engineer

How do you reverse engineer your competitors’ videos? In the discussion above, I gave you just an overview of how reverse engineering works. It really all boils down to getting your competitor to do your homework for you.

It’s all about taking full advantage of the survivor bias. Now in this discussion, I’m going to step you through the process that I use to reverse engineer my video competitors.

Answer the following questions

Instead of laying out steps, I’m going to just step you through the questions that you have to ask. These questions actually filter your video ideas. They really go a long way in guiding you as to what the next step is.

What is the video for?

Ask yourself when you watch a video— what is it marketing? Is it a supplemental or incidental video regarding content or is it the meat and potatoes? In other words, it’s the product itself. Is the video getting you excited about looking for a solution, or excited about a specific range of solutions for a problem, or is the video pushing a specific product, brand, and model directly?

This is the difference between supplemental or incidental marketing, which is basically opening your mind to possible solutions, and direct product marketing, which is basically reviewing or describing a specific product that you’re supposed to buy.

What type of video marketing am I looking for?

There are many different types of ways to market. You can market by offering videos, so when you watch a video, it’s really a review of a specific product. The great thing about reviews is that people who read reviews or watch review videos are actually already interested in the product. They just need to be sure that they’re making the right decision, but unfortunately that’s only one type of marketing. Videos involving consumer guides.

Basically, you identify a problem, and then you describe different solutions to the problem. This video has to be followed up by another video that talks about a narrower range of solutions and then ultimately, it must talk about the solution that you are promoting. Otherwise, you’re not going to make any money.

Other videos focus on lifestyle. So basically, you have a video spokesperson talking about the common concerns of people who use a particular type of product. For example, make up. This person would talk about the importance of the right blush or the right eye shadow. This person would then discuss the different categories of products that are available and then drill down to specific products.

Pay close attention to the type of videos that predominate your niche. If it turns out that most of your competitors are targeting your niche through product review videos, then this is the clue you need to offer mostly review videos.

What video format do they use?

What is the “industry standard” in your niche regarding narration? How do your competitors present the problem, position the solution, and present the value? Some would come out and say it, others would try to scare people and then come up with solutions, and others would talk about the existing solutions and then knock them down one by one because of their shortcomings.

What they’re really doing is making the most common solutions look bad so they can make their proposed solution (and this is the affiliate product that they make money on) look better. So, pay attention to the format. You have to watch video after video to see how your competitors position their sales pitch.

What are the prevalent video standards in my niche?

Another key question you need to ask involves video standards. How long do videos in your niche run? How long are videos in your niche normally? On average, how long should the video be? What are the dimensions of the video?

What are the common distribution platforms for my niche?

You can tell that some marketers are on many different social media platforms because they actually have graphics for

Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook right on the video itself. This tells you that they can be found on all those other platforms. Pay close attention to this. Remember, you’re reverse engineering your competitors.

You’re going to get a head start by copying what kind of themes and topics they’re talking about, as well as how they present the material, and you’re also going to copy where they distribute the material.

Come up with something better

Your job: Come up with something better! Now, here comes the hard part. I’ve stepped you through the easy part. I’ve stepped you through figuring out what your competitors are doing and basically copying and pasting their topics and themes so you get a clearer idea of the standards that you’re going to shoot for.

So far so good right? Well, you cannot stop there. Why? If you did and you produced videos that are essentially just like theirs, I’ve got some bad news for you. Your target audience really has no business watching your videos. Absolutely none. Why? You are giving the same exact stuff that everybody else is giving out. Why should they go to you?

This is why you need to come up with something better. This is crucial. This is what will make your video marketing campaigns succeed or fail. Don’t drop the ball with the following tips.

Make it longer

One obvious way to deliver better value is to make your video longer. Now, there’s a warning that comes with this. If you drag it out, you probably will run the risk of boring your viewer.

A bored viewer is not a useful viewer. So, if you’re going to extend the length of your video, it better be packed with real content. The length must be due to the fact that you’re adding more value.

Load it with information

Why are people watching your video in the first place? They want to learn something. Maybe they have a problem and they’re trying to solve it.

Maybe they’re trying to wrap their mind around a concept and they want to learn more. Pack your video with more information than your competitors.

Make it easier to understand

The problem with packing a video with a lot of information is that eventually, people would get information overload. Bad idea. When you’re packing information into a video, you can do it in a non-intimidating way. You can do it in way that doesn’t turn off people. How? Present it in an easy-to-understand format.

Maybe you can create diagrams. Maybe there’s a nice little outline that flashes from time to time. Whatever the case maybe, just because you put a lot of information in a video doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be boring or feel heavy.

Instead, by pacing the video properly and including a lot of graphic tools or even sound cues, you can make the video light and easy as well as a joy to view. It is possible.

Make sure the information is up to date

One of the easiest ways you can blow your competitors away is to just offer updated information.

A good example of this is SEO. People go to YouTube for SEO and they usually type in the year because the last time I checked, the SEO tips of past decade are not going to help you that much today given the fact that Google’s search engine ranking software evolves faster than the common virus.

Make it clear to the potential viewer that you are offering the latest and greatest information regarding your niche. Make this apparent in the title of your video itself.

Use better graphics

YouTube enables you to choose a graphic thumbnail for your video. Pick a graphic that will get clicks, but don’t take this too far. Don’t put scantily clad woman when your video is actually about dog training.

People are going to give you a lot of thumbs down and your video might sink like a rock in the rankings because you tricked people. Still, find the most attention-grabbing graphic or screenshot from the video itself as your thumbnail.

Offer better sound

I can’t even begin to tell you how many otherwise high value videos on YouTube completely drop the ball because their sound quality sucks. This happens a lot with marketing videos.

I love watching these videos because I learn something new, but sometimes the sound is so horrible that I just have to close the video.

They’ve lost a potential sale. They’ve lost a potential convert and it’s because they neglected something as basic as sound quality.

Offer a better call to action

I can’t even begin to tell you how many awesome videos there are on YouTube that really pack a lot of attention, connect with me emotionally, and really get me all excited about a solution to a problem I have. However, the video ends without them telling me what to do.

So here I am excited about possibly solving my problems using a certain technique or using a solution, but I’m not told of the product. I’m not told where to get it. I’m not told to click a link to buy it right here, right now.

What do you think happens then? That’s right. The person who made the video doesn’t make a sale even though I’m excited to buy whatever and put dollars in his/her hand. Ridiculous right? Well, this is exactly the position you put yourself in if you don’t use a great call to action.

Similarly, there are lots of great videos out there that do a really good job sharing information, opening people’s minds, and shaping their opinion, but the call to action is so boring, so basic, and really so generic that you feel that it’s just another sales pitch. You’re all excited and then your sense of urgency drops like a rock when you see, “Click the link at the description.” or “Google this website.” Weak.

You have to use a better call to action. You should speak in terms of benefits and you should imply some sort of emotional payoff. Which would you rather click, “Click this button”, “Click here”, “Order now”, or “Start living the life you’ve always dreamt of living by firing your boss today after signing up for this video marketing course”? Which would you rather click? It should be obvious.

There has to be some sort of direct tie with the benefit or ultimate outcome you’re looking for. You’re not just looking for your skin to clear up if you’re considering on buying an acne product. There’s more to it than that. You want to feel more confident. You want to feel more beautiful or handsome.

You want to be appreciated and acknowledged. Right now, you feel like you’re just another face in the crowd. In fact, you may be such a pizza face that you’re trying to hide yourself from the crowd. Your call to action must speak to that reality.

Make your video look more professional or amateurish

Now you’re probably scratching your head with this tip. You can easily get why videos should look professional, but why amateurish? Well, it all depends on your niche.

If your niche is all about patched together or impromptu “grass roots” solutions then you need to steer clear of the slick, smooth, corporate packaging.

This is supposed to be hand-made. This is supposed to be purely personal. So sometimes, an amateurish video converts better because that’s what your target audience members are looking for.


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