Video Ideas For YouTube: The Demos Division

May 27

We’re continuing on our video ideas journey this week with a dividing of the demos.

If you didn’t see last week’s check it out here, we were looking at all the how-to video options there are in the creative world of making and artistry.  This week we’re going to look further into demonstration videos.

There are many types of demo videos to choose from, I’ve got three types for you today, which could fill many YouTube playlists and blog categories for many months. so get your notebook and start brainstorming.


Demos Give You A Path To Visibility

Demo videos can feel scary. You might have some resistance to them as they’re giving your game away. But believe me when I say they’re not.
You’re the curator of your topic, so can decide what and how much to give in your demonstration videos.

Demo titles are very often preceded with ‘how to’, as searchers go to Google or YouTube and have a question in their mind. It’s ‘how do I set up my new computer?’ that they’re thinking, so as they’re typing it changes to  ‘how to set up my new computer’ (without the question mark).

That’s one of the terms you’re going to find. The other is What is…. but use that wisely, when you know people are asking it.

The result of choosing the right title gives you a much better chance of being found in search. And that’s what we want; visibility for your videos!

If you pick a demo video you’ll get your peeps bingeing like you’re giving them behind-the-scenes excerpts from the new series of Stranger Things!

The Demos Division (pick one, divide and conquer)

Before we go any further, let’s just look at the title of this blog post.

The Demos Division

What’s so important about that choice of words?

The division. 

As I mentioned last week we can spilt how-to videos into multiple videos. We can do this with every demo video that we do. When I teach knitting I do this all the time. I don’t have 45minute videos inside my Lace Wizardry course teaching how to knit a lace cowl, I have a series of 5-7 minute videos that each have a purpose and are labeled as such.

When the student needs the answer to a particular problem or has reached a certain point in the knitting pattern, they don’t have to scroll through the 45 minutes of video trying to find the important part that’s going to be their solution or next step. Finding one video that teaches on point is imperative to getting eyes on your videos and good feedback getting to YouTube or Google that your video is worth watching.

If you were an algorithm I’m betting you’d send someone to a video that has 3 minutes watched out of 4 minutes, instead of 3 minutes watched out of 45 minutes.  At least 80% of the audience would probably start watching the longer video and give up as they couldn’t find the actual solution. That’s not what you want.

So if you remember anything from this blogpost is has to be this:

Divide and Conquer.

Because when you divide, you serve your audience best.

The Three Different Demo Videos 

Jargon Demo

Jargon will aways need explaining. There are always words and phrases used in particular hobbies, crafts and arts, that we wouldn’t use in other contexts (or we would, but they’d mean something different).

And then, especially in knitting, there are also abbreviations that need explaining. I have a whole playlist, filled with abbreviation demos.
In another context, if you sell recipe books, you could do a video explaining about different types of flour, or how to understand the different terms in preparation, such as beating and blending and folding.

If you’re an artist your paintings are your finished products, so you could explain the different benefits of choosing an original, a limited edition, a print or a digital piece.

Let’s look at some examples:

  • how to knit skpo
  • what is folding in cooking?
  • what is sterling silver?
  • what is aperture in photography?
  • watercolour painting: tube vs pans.

As I said last week this isn’t about giving everything away. No-one is going to become a word-class watercolour artist if they know how to tell the difference between a tube of paint and a pan! If they want to go further and they like your style of teaching, they could join you for a course.

If you demonstrate in your video one single point of how to use a camera, that’s not giving the whole game away, it’s just one quaffle going through a hoop! And we all know you need the snitch to win! That’s why you sell products and services alongside these videos. This is all about creating easy, passive ways for your customers to find you.

Preparation Demo

Preparation is so important and is often overlooked. Lots of blogs and YouTube channels dive right in and don’t even mention first steps to getting set-up.

Just to quickly demonstrate this, I’m assuming by writing this blog post that you already have a blog or YouTube channel for which you create videos or that it’s something you aspire to. And I’m also suggesting that you know how to film, and have some kind of editing skills and that there’s an uploading process set up so you give your videos the best chance of being seen.

I’m already talking about the content system. But I need to give that preparation information somewhere. (I do, in my Studio Beta Bootcamp course, and the one-to-one Magical YouTube Method!)

If you’re someone who sells the end product. You can be assertive and give everything away in the preparation zone. It’s your place to excel.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • how to choose yarn for fair-isle knitting
    (you teach how to knit with it!)
  • how to prepare canvases for acrylic paints
    (are you provider of the paints, or painting workshops?)
  • how to bake a chocolate sponge cake
    (maybe you sell cake toppers)
  • how to choose the perfect photo frame
    (perhaps you take the photos!)
  • how to hang pictures so they line up
    (you sell digital prints in sets of three)

It’s not easy to flip the switch in your mind, as those first steps feel automatic to you. But what are those simplest steps that you take before your customers use your end product or service?

Think of it as a builder knowing instinctively which sized nail to choose when fixing some loose roof tiles.

You have instincts in your niche too. And they could be golden nuggets to your audience.

Method Demo

This is the big one, the one we see the most. And this is one of the most important places to remember  ‘divide and conquer’.

On my Knit With Hannah YouTube Channel I have used this to my advantage many times, one of the best examples came about last summer:
I demonstrated the method of using a French Knitting Doll. But I did not give it all away in one video.

I first demoed with the video ‘How To Start French Knitting‘. By niching, that video has soared. Because I only showed one technique. No-one wants to go further than getting started, if they don’t have any stitches yet!

Changing colour, finishing, making stripes, would just have made the video longer, and YouTube would have decided this video was ‘pants’! I might only have an average of 4 minutes watched out of what might have ended up as a 35 minute video, and I’d be the loser.

As it stands now, (May 2019) this video has over 7.5K views and has given me 50 new subscribers since it was released. Because it’s shorter. This is also number one in the search and has massive peaks of views during school holidays, so it just keeps on giving!

The second video, How To Cast Off French Knitting, is doing well too. It’s being seen top of the search, has over 3.5K views and has got me 30+ new subscribers since being released. It also peaks during school holidays and at weekends and creates steady, continued growth for my channel.

I divided, and I conquered! I wouldn’t have 80 new subscribers if it was all in one video, I may have had 60. (If the video hadn’t been doing well because it was too long, I’d possibly only have 20 thanks to the one video.)

Let’s look at some ways you can divide and conquer in your method videos:

How to decrease in knitting, becomes :

  • how to knit skpo
  • how to knit k2tog
  • how to knit ssk

How to watercolour tulips, becomes :

  • how to choose watercolour brushes for painting flowers
  • how to watercolour tulip leaves
  • how to watercolour tulips

How to bake a chocolate cake, becomes :

  • choosing ingredients for chocolate cake
  • which tin to bake three-layer chocolate cake
  • mixing a chocolate cake
  • how long to cook a chocolate cake

(you see how inviting each of those is? I just want to know more!)

How to hang a trio of paintings, becomes :

  • how to choose wall art
  • (and a deeper dive), choosing wall art colours
  • how to hang pictures so they line up

How to use zoom on a DSLR, becomes:

  • choosing the perfect DSLR zoom lens
  • perfect lighting for zoom photography
  • using a tripod for zoom photography
  • zoom photography, must-have 5 tips for beginners.

Demo Videos Are A Big Favourite of YouTube

YouTube has become the equivalent to the brother-in-law who lives next door, who can teach you how to put up shelves (when your husband can’t!) It’s the grandma who would impart embroidery and cookery wisdom if she was just down the road, or living in the room next to the garage. And we can be the ones to fill it with our demos, giving our experience and knowledge.

The suggestions I’ve given you today might seem like a lot to think about. But I know you’ll be dividing and conquering before long.

As I said last week, if you have lots of ideas popping up, waiting to be filmed, then write them down. The last thing you need is more things in your mind that you need to try to remember.

Once you’ve got lots of ideas you can start to plan them out into a content schedule and the filming will feel a lot easier.

I’ve got some surprises for you over the next four weeks! Yes, for four more weeks I’ve got a series of blog posts giving more video ideas for YouTube.
Your video ideas will come to you so much more quickly that you’ll become a batching queen before you know it!

I’ll see you next week for a deeper dive into the preparation videos. Hope to see you there!

And if you’d like some support when brainstorming, come join me for a Blog-Busting Brainstorm. I have an uncanny knack for coming up with long lists of anything. We’ll meet for an hour and fill your content calendar for at least 6 months.

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[…] Tools and materials for beginners will cover a large range, so remember to divide and conquer just as we did last week. […]

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