The Waterfall Method is a fantastic way to consistently create high-quality video content within a short period of time. Through the Waterfall Method, you and your colleagues are essentially cloning yourselves, creating consistently valuable videos for your audiences. In the end, mastering the Waterfall Method can be an outstanding way to achieve your sales and marketing goals. Read on to learn more!
The Apparent Problem: Too Much Content to Create and Not Enough Time to Create It
There are so many great things about video sales and marketing, whether it is the ability to build brand equity in your sector or build close, organic relationships with members of your audience. At Dubb, we are all-in on its power and have seen some incredible results.
That being said, one of the main issues that our clients experience centers on one word: time. Most (if not all) of us keep packed schedules. From putting out the fiercest fires in our work lives to blocking off time for our friends and family, it can be difficult to squeeze in certain tasks. Even if you recognize and understand the power of video sales and marketing, it can be daunting to consistently create content. Sometimes, there is the temptation to come up with some excuse so that you can avoid this task entirely.
Ultimately, to leverage all of the benefits of video sales and marketing, you and your colleagues have to create original content. There’s no way around it. While you don’t need much equipment, you will need to find some time in your day to hit the record button.
That said, there are some things that you can do to make the content creation process easier and less time-consuming. One of the most powerful ways? It is by embracing the Waterfall Method. The Waterfall Method is a simple concept to understand, yet it can provide massive benefits for you and your business. Better yet, all it takes is one video for you to see positive ROI from this extremely valuable content creation strategy.
The Waterfall Method Explained
The core of the Waterfall Method is essentially chopping down content into smaller and smaller pieces. Longform goes to medium-form and then gets chopped down into even shorter videos. In other words, you are creating small pieces of content from long-form content. From there, you and your team can distribute that content through your favorite platforms or distribution channels. Essentially, putting lots of hard work into one long piece of video content lets you create many types of high-quality content—all with little to no additional work.
One of the great things about the Waterfall Method is that you can leverage it wherever you are. To get started, all you need to do is record an anchor video. Basically, an anchor video is the longer video that you will be using to create bite-sized pieces of content. It can be everything from a vertical video recorded from your iPhone to a simple voice recording where you share your thoughts on a certain topic.
All of us find inspiration at different times. You may be inspired after reading an interesting article or speaking with a key client. You can even be inspired when you are in deep thought on your drive home. Whatever the case may be, when inspiration hits, you’re going to want to take out your phone and start recording. You don’t need to be in a studio environment or have a production setting to leverage the Waterfall Method. As long as we continue to capture content, live our lives, and be productive, we can do extremely well.
The Length of Your Content
Ideally, your long-term content is longer than 10 minutes. This gives you enough runway to create many different chunks of content. Along with this, your content does not necessarily need to be in video form. While all of us at Dubb believe that video provides a tremendous amount of benefits, you can also use the Waterfall Method with audio content.
But back to the length of your long-term content. Even though it may seem counterintuitive, I believe that it is much easier for us to speak in long-form. If you were really forced to do it, I think that you could speak for 10, 20, or even 60 minutes without any problem. Speaking in a concise 30-second chunk, however, is much more difficult. We all struggle with that. It’s all too easy to repeat yourself too many times.
Because of this, creating long-form content that is longer than 10 minutes shouldn’t be that intimidating. All you need to do is grab a webcam or phone and start talking. If you initially stop before 10 minutes, it’s no problem. You may need to sit down and do a little more planning about what you want to discuss.
The bottom line, however, is to really try to record long-form videos. 20 to 60 minutes is the optimal timeframe. By putting in more work at the beginning of this process, you’ll find that it will save you an immense amount of time in the long run.
Editing Your Content
After creating your long-form content, your content needs to be chopped down into smaller parts. The beauty of the Waterfall Method is that you personally don’t need to do all of the work. You can find people that can take the content that you create and shorten it into shareable pieces.
One of the more important parts of the editing process is deciding how long your medium and short-form content should be. There are no hard and fast rules here. You’re going to want to use your best judgment and data that you obtain from your audience. If I had to give guidelines, however, I’d probably say that medium-form videos should be anywhere between two and five minute videos. When chopping up that video content, you can create videos that are anywhere from six seconds to 60 seconds. Again, however, these are just loose guidelines. Follow the data and target video lengths that your audience wants.
Once you create these shortened clips, you are in a great position to leverage the power of the Waterfall Method. These small clips have wings. By this, I mean that they will continue to provide value for you once you distribute them. But before you get this value, you’ll need to decide where you want to distribute these clips. This is an important part of the Waterfall Method and one that you’ll need to get right.
Sharing Your Content
So as part of the Waterfall Method, you definitely want to record longer videos compared to short videos. If you record an hour-long webinar, for instance, you are going to have a huge amount of content that you can distribute to your audience. You can even have a month of content from a 60-minute video. Maximizing the amount of content that you can get one video gets to the heart of why the Waterfall Method is so valuable.
When you have that content, however, you’re going to need to figure out where you want to post or distribute it. Done well, you can get around a three to four times return on the content that you create. There is some complexity, however, in terms of what type of content should go on what social network.
For instance, let’s talk about YouTube. YouTube can be an excellent platform to connect with members of your audience. It is also great for long-form content. Videos above ten minutes are terrific, but videos of five to ten minutes will also work.
Ultimately, however, YouTube prefers high-quality content. It also is looking for keyword-driven content that users are seeking. It is definitely important to have educational and entertaining content. If you do this and make your content at least ten minutes long, you are going to be extremely successful on YouTube.
Beyond YouTube, there are social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. While each of these platforms has their pros and cons, it is important to note that all of them are more audio-off platforms. This means that these clips need “meme text” and captions under those videos. Meme text and captions help the user understand what your clip is about without needing to turn their sound on. Keep this in mind as you are posting your clips to these platforms. Doing this will help increase your audience engagement and get your audience to consume the longer-form version of your content.
In the end, be strategic about the clips that you share on your favorite platforms. If one of your clips is shorter and more visual in nature, think about posting it to your Instagram page. If it is providing lots of value to prospects for your business, consider sharing it on LinkedIn. The rule of thumb is that you want to understand each platform’s strengths and then post content that capitalizes on that platform’s strengths. It may take some trial and error, but keeping this ground rule in mind will help you succeed.
How Dubb Uses the Waterfall Method
To place the Waterfall Method in context, I want to discuss how all of us at Dubb use the Waterfall Method. A perfect example is using the Waterfall Method with episodes of our podcast called Connection Loop.
When I complete a longer podcast interview, I normally put the first ten minutes on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an outstanding platform to not only share original content, but to connect with thought leaders in your industry. Putting the first ten minutes of our episodes on LinkedIn shows that we are creating valuable content and invites LinkedIn users to learn more about us.
From there, a writer and video editor will listen to the full Connection Loop episode. They will cut up interesting clips from the episode and then get those scheduled on social media. We then start to promote those episodes, doing things like mentioning the guest in the episode and inviting our audience to download the entire episode to hear the full conversation. Importantly, each shared clip can stand on its own. Even if it is 30 or 60 seconds, it still provides value and entices the audience member to learn more.
We even use the Waterfall Method to turn videos into blog posts. As just one example, we at Dubb have a daily YouTube show (called The Daily Dubb). After creating and posting our Daily Dubb videos, we work with writers to convert those videos into blog posts. When doing this yourself, you can give specific instructions to your writer. For instance, you can tell your writer to make your post SEO-focused or to expand on a point that you made. In terms of SEO, make sure that your company has a list of 100 to 300 SEO terms that you want to target in your blog posts. Little things like this can go a long way in creating awesome content that resonates with your audience.
Implementing the Waterfall Method in Your Business
The Waterfall Method is an outstanding way to consistently create high-quality content. It is almost as if you are hacking the content creation process. By focusing on creating one long, high-quality video, you can generate stellar content that will last for weeks (or even longer).
Even if you’re skeptical, I recommend that you at least try using the Waterfall Method. See what happens. I strongly feel that you’ll be impressed with the strategy and how it can help you with your sales and marketing work.
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