BBO.SHOW #33 – What platform to publish your content on, why that platform, the best format and more
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Harms: We’re focusing on a platform where you should publish the content.
What’s a platform?
Kyle: Moving into the platform we have two things we’re going to be deciding on, what format are you going to use and how much interactivity do you want in your content?
In the way that you present yourself to the world.
The word platform where it comes from is literally from a political platform somebody would stand on a physical platform made of wood and give the message to an audience.
It is a stage, something you stand on and talk to lots of people.
The digital world has just borrowed this word so when we talk about platforms think of it like that.
We are using it as a shorthand for the main platforms nowadays when we are talking about platforms, we think of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, it could be a blog, it could be Amazon writing an eBook, so there are lots of different platforms out there.
But if you think generally of it’s a way for you as a business owner to get in front of a lot of people.
I think that’s a nice wide general definition.
Harms: The format is first determined by platform but this is determined by a bigger, more important factor.
Let’s dive in on the big first choice which is the format choice.
We have determined our message. We have determined how we are going to be showing up in the world.
Whether it’s via personal brand, via a corporate brand, then the next stage to that was determining what story we had. So we’ve got that all refined.
We’re assuming at this stage that you’ve got now that refined.
The thing to understand is when we’re discussing format whether we’re discussing platform and when I say format, it’s video volume, text, audio are we doing cartoon graphics that’s discussing the format.
Both these things are very important and determined by the audience, the market and if you remember what we’ve been talking about from the business sections a part of the BATON system.
The audience section is we are very much driven by what problem does the market have?
What problem does our audience have and how best can we solve this problem?
We’re going to continue to remind you of this process because the format and the platform is determined by that key stage.
That’s the thing to factor in here.
Kyle: The way people tend to approach producing content and platforms like YouTube they will see something like yoga with Adriene and think she is doing really well on YouTube, I’m going to do that too for my business.
Whether or not that works for your audience and your market is going to depend on them, it’s not up to you.
It’s not up to the platform either, so we see things like TikTok suddenly arriving and being really popular and lots of businesses and influencers think they’ve got to do that.
The jump on it without thinking, is this the right thing for my audience?
Is this a good way for me to solve their problems and it may or may not be.
But we need to ask that question, it’s not chasing whatever the new thing, it’s not following on from a trail blaze in a particular industry.
We need to always come back to this fundamental question, is this the right thing to be doing to help solve the problems of my customers and therefore provide value in the market?
We need to take a step back and say, actually where are our audience hanging out theoretically, and where are they presenting their problems to us so that we can present our solutions to them, so that we can be heard.
That’s the key.
Let’s now dive into formats.
Let’s work out what media format or medium formats are available to us to then help us determine what platform to use, that’s critical.
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Formats – what’s available?
Harms: Let us work from the ground up text in terms of the written form can be published in the medium of blog articles.
But it also can be published as e-books, books, you can do feature articles on online publishing journals or a newspaper.
You may have a slot in a newspaper that you have access to.
That’s the basic text, the next level above that is audio and audio can play a part in audiobooks, which has become a very popular trend recently.
It also can play a factor in podcasts which is also a very growing medium.
Before that you can have radio shows on Spotify, on web players.
That’s the two basics which are text and audio.
What’s the step above that?
Kyle: I think it’s worth including the traditional media as well.
That does include newspapers and books.
We are digital marketers, we can suggest going towards digital formats, but these formats exist off-line and online as well.
We also have radio waves and people still listen to the radio that might be the right thing for your business, we don’t know.
Again, you have to go through the process of where your market is. However, for the most part, these traditional formats are being moved online.
So what was previously accessed through a physical newspaper is now on a newspapers website.
Harms: Where best can you solve your markets or your audience’s problem, talk to them there.
The next level above that is then images.
You can do this on websites, Instagram in traditional media, where they will buy advertising space in a newspaper or magazine and they’ll publish an image.
An image to speak their message to out what they represent to the world. The step above that is video, now video has been seen on television, advertising in modern format as well.
Video very much makes up the modern form of social media and social media platforms particularly want you to post video on it.
Other mechanisms whether it is image or video in terms of visual appeal can appear in photographs and graphics, infographics and essentially we’re talking about a visual format.
Text is very much a medium, and audio is very much a medium you process in a different way you process video and imagery.
Those are the formats available to us text, audio, image, video, those are the fundamental formats available to us.
What’s the next thing to consider now we’ve identified those are the fundamental elements?
Kyle: You can build your audience using any of these formats.
In particular we’re going to be talking about video because hands down it is the best format for what we are trying to do.
Again remember what we’re trying to do is solve the problems our customers have and video is particularly good.
Let us look at the benefits from the business owner side first then the benefits for your audience which we think are more important, but we need to get you to that stage.
The biggest benefit from your side would be speed and this surprises a lot of people as they think video is complex.
Video is extremely quick compared to writing the first thing people think to do when they think about putting content online is to write a blog.
It takes so long to write a blog, you need to actually sit down, come up with the idea, type it out, edit it, proofread, post it.
It just takes a very long time to get any amount of information online through this medium.
But what we see again and again with clients and people learning digital marketing is that they’ll spend a week writing blog articles and get really excited to post them and nothing really happens.
Because it takes too much time to write blog articles, good blog articles, they give up very quickly, whereas with video we can produce a lot of content extremely quickly.
Harms: How can we compare speed here in regards to how much we can produce in such a short space of time.
Let’s assume that the BBO show is five hours long.
Those five hours equate to about 95 to 100 pages in regards to a blog. That’s approximately 20 pages per show.
The challenge would be how long does it take to type out a concise 20 pages versus shooting video for an hour.
That’s speed and that is extremely powerful because with speed comes time saved and there is that cliché time is money, because every hour that you spend writing is hours lost in terms of other forms of production.
If we can really compress that we’re saving a hell of a lot of money when it comes to the time produced.
Another way we can save money in regards to costs are the old school medium of producing videos on television, et cetera.
You would need production cameras which were verified or given the okay by television networks to use this camera.
These cameras cost a hell of a lot of money, whereas now that’s replaced with this it’s just a smartphone camera which lives in your pocket and you can start to produce videos on there. In terms of cost the benefit from your side is incredible.
What’s the next benefit from the business side?
Kyle: It’s much easier to produce content by talking.
I think this is connected to speed as well. In terms of ease for you as a business owner, you are an expert in your particular field.
Video and especially the format Harms and I use we’re making it easier using two people.
Video approximates conversation, so it’s you talking to the camera or you talking to another person via the camera which allows you to get into this conversational mode of delivering information.
Which allows you to just get information out of your head and into the world where as if you’re writing, we tend to self-edit all of the time.
We’re always second-guessing and it takes a long time to get the information out.
So speed yes, but this is also connected to ease.
It’s just a lot easier for us to deliver information. Remember this is what we’re doing, trying to deliver information to our potential customers and it’s just phenomenally much easier doing this via video.
Harms: The next thing is the platforms love it.
All platforms love the form of video. When you post a video on there, they want people to see the video and it would be organically promoted.
Which means it is easier for you to get some traction.
Kyle: You can actually build trust faster using video as it’s getting seen by more people as the platform is actually showing it to people and two because it is you talking to the camera, it is you as a person.
It’s a lot easier to build up trust and get people to like you that way.
Harms: Those are the benefits as a business from your point of view.
In terms of video there are also benefits for the end user.
Your audience has a problem which you are going to solve. That’s the critical thing here.
We’re going to solve it in the best form of content we believe and based on research and data that this is a powerful form of media.
Kyle from the audience perspective what’s the first benefit for them?
Kyle: The biggest and most important is video.
It is much more engaging than still images, much more engaging than audio and text.
It’s a lot easier to get someone to pay attention and follow through with information of delivering and the actions you’re asking them to follow through video. It is the most engaging form of media out there.
Harms: The next benefit is we are helping the end user by understanding that without being disrespectful they’re lazy.
What I mean by that is, what is easier than reading is actually listening to something to get more information, more depth of information is then video.
They are more likely to stick with it if you think about laziness over a stretched period of time, so it’s a lot easier or quicker to consumer information by video format, whereas somebody trying to absorb this information over a blog article or book the chance of them dropping off, or the chance of them saying, okay, I’ll come back to that chapter later or tomorrow night.
Kyle: It is a much harder ask.
Asking them to watch a video is going to be a lot easier than me handing them a 23,000-word article.
It is laziness to some extent, but it’s also because video is more engaging it’s easy to get through the content when it is engaging.
Harms: What’s another benefit for the end user?
Kyle: The density of information so with text let’s say we are talking about how to set up Facebook adverts and if we were doing that purely via text it would be an absolute nightmare.
Because some things do need to be shown visually.
Me telling you how to do something is very different from me showing you how to do it step by step.
To be able to engage your senses to show visual information as well as the written and audio.
Trying to talk about back pain if you are an osteopath or chiropractor without pointing and saying, hey, if you’ve got pain here on this part of your back and being able to point is very difficult because if you’re writing this in text or if it’s a podcast you need to use far more words to get that same amount of information over.
It becomes very difficult, whereas in video certain things are much easier to explain because you do have the visual element at the same time.
Harms: Staying on the theme of information and getting across much information as possible there is another form of information which an end user can’t pick up via any other mechanism and that is non-verbal communication.
We’re talking about hand gestures, face expressions, we’re talking about the tone that matches their expression and face movements.
What we get with the video is way more context rather than is somebody saying something but what do they feel about their message?
What does the message mean to them?
There’s a lot more context that gets delivered as part of that video. That’s hard to get across in a text format for example.
An added bonus to this as well is to think about people outside of your native language.
The way the world and online world is evolving, let’s take a platform like YouTube, for example if Kyle and I post this video YouTube makes this information accessible to other people who are not native English speakers incredibly powerful.
That will be by the subtitles they will translate what we’re saying into the native language of someone else speaking.
That alone should be enough ticking the box to actually go pursue videos and producing video content because it means now your reach is global, and also beyond the boundaries of language and that’s incredibly powerful.
That’s another benefit to the end user.
Somebody with a different language or somebody looking for context and meaning in the message you’re saying.
Kyle: The final one is trust.
Again it comes back to getting people to like you, to know you and to trust you and that’s what’s going to allow you to turn someone from an audience member into a tribe member and then eventually to a customer.
From your point of view that’s a bonus, but it’s also great from the point of view of the audience member.
They are finding somebody who can solve their problem but at the same time they’re starting to like you, trust you.
You’re becoming a part of their life in a way that is much more difficult to do if it is just text or audio.
Harms: The final benefit of video which is not a benefit for you or them in particular, it’s just a benefit. overall, which is the video is extremely dense with information compared to other medium formats.
We have the video, what we can do from that is we can pull still images from the video.
What we can do with the video is pull snippets of the video, now we’ve got highlights that can be extracted as an example.
Beyond the visual what can we do?
We can then pull the audio file which then becomes an audio file, whether it’s an audiobook, podcast that becomes another form of audio.
That audio can also be snipped up and chopped up which is very powerful.
Then we can also pull the audio and turn it into text via transcription mechanisms which are cost-effective, that forms the text part.
What we’re saying here is very quickly if we video and text all we have is text. If we did audio and not video we would have audio and text.
But when we do video we have video and all of those other mechanisms tied in.
Once we extract that this is where we can be everywhere on every platform.
That moves us onto the next part which is platform and format.
How do we help determine what platform to use?
What does this mean about the platform?
Platform and format?
Kyle: The platform again are things like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, blogs. These are different ways to distribute your information.
The format and your platform are two different choices.
Most platforms actually support multiple types of content format so Facebook for example pretty much supports everything.
You can write text, write blog articles on Facebook, you can upload audio, you can add images to make albums with images for example, and you can upload video.
You can use any format you want on Facebook.
But then there are other platforms which are more tailored or more specific to a particular format.
YouTube is primarily video and people work around this by uploading audio with a still image like a music album. But YouTube is very much about video only, so this is another thing we need to keep in mind.
Video tends to be the format that works on the most amount of platforms.
So again, this is another reason why we want to use video if we think about text where does text sit? It sits on blogs, e-books, Facebook pages and that’s about it.
Audio tends to be quite restricted as well. Images you’ve got Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, older platforms like Tumblr.
Video can live on pretty much all of these platforms, even Pinterest which used to be images only added videos relatively recently. Instagram, which again used to be photos, mainly now pretty much all videos.
Harms: The interesting thing is all platforms can give you the capability to do all of these things whether it is text, audio.
They will allow you to do everything because they’re conscious of the competition and not having the feature that the competition has and people moving away from their platform.
What we want to focus on is what is the platform’s primary function? That’s the key.
Yes, our two choices are technically separate in terms of format and platform, but now we’re narrowing down to video we are pretty much left with two kinds of format and then once we explore these two formats with you, this will help you determine what the final platforms are.
We’ve given you a range of platforms which most people are aware of but what we want to do is hone in on the platforms that best support these two main kinds of video formats.
We’re saying video but it can also be presented or published in two different ways, and this is still quite uncommon to many people who want to produce video because it’s a lot easier to default to one of the options.
Kyle what are those two options?
Our main choice is between two main options
Kyle: There is broadcasting, it is me talking to many, many people.
I’m using the platform, I’m standing on the platform and I’m talking to them.
This is me writing a blog post, me recording a video and uploading and publishing that video to YouTube or to Facebook or to whatever platform it is.
This is the default way that businesses talk to their audiences.
Whether you’re using your website or Instagram. Whether you are placing an advert on TV. This is all broadcasting.
It’s me publishing one-piece content to many, many people it’s the default.
Harms: Think about this as I am producing something first then I present it to the world, broadcast it to the world, publish it into different formats or platforms or whatever.
The key here is first you have to produce it then it gets published.
Think of it as a two-stage approach.
What’s the second one which not everybody is aware of or they’re aware of it but dismiss it because they think there’s only really one way to do it properly.
Kyle: This is live broadcasting so previously we are producing content then publishing it.
With live broadcasting we’re doing them both at the same time we are producing and publishing simultaneously.
The main benefit here is that it’s not just me standing on a platform talking to people, they can talk back.
When you’re doing it live it’s not one to many it is a dialogue, you can actually communicate with the people in your audience, which is extremely powerful.
There’s a couple of other reasons why you might want to do live broadcasting.
Harms: Where this is commonly seen is whether it is Twitter, Facebook live, YouTube live, Twitch.
LinkedIn is opening the door to live.
Typically where you would commonly see the live broadcast feature used on social media where political figures or Prime Ministers or leaders of countries are live streaming information there and then, because they don’t have the luxury of pre recording and presenting it afterwards.
It is also an opportunity for us to leverage as well.
Ultimately you have a choice.
You can either broadcast via creating something then publishing it or you can live broadcast and have more interaction with the audience and also benefits from the benefits of live video.
Kyle: The first benefit is it’s faster and cheaper.
These two are always connected. Sitting down to record a video and then edit a video and then finalise the video and then upload it takes a lot of time.
When something takes so much time that is time you as a business owner could be spending doing something else.
Another business function, so you can hire somebody to do the editing for you or do it yourself, either way it costs you money in terms of time.
Harms: If you’re pre producing and there is editing involved there is a learning curve in regards to editing.
There is time associated with that, never mind the requirement to purchase that program if you are self-editing.
If you’re farming it out here it comes with a high-ticket price, and rightly so, because the work is very technical and the final product is also remarkable.
It takes time to produce if you’re working off the back of an editor’s time schedule.
It becomes very complex, so that’s one of the challenges.
What else have we got in terms of benefits?
Kyle: Going live is technically a lot simpler.
Most people think Live sounds complicated; I don’t do that stuff. I don’t know how to do video editing.
That’s exactly it, you don’t need to do anything you need to press a button on Facebook or on YouTube on the platform you’re using, press one button which takes you live and that’s it.
So even though the result seems technologically amazing, from your point of view as a user technically, it’s much, much simpler than doing any kind of video post production.
Harms: But when you look at the end product some people say okay or the critic would say the production quality will be lower than if we put it through a high production quality mechanism production flow such as getting a video editor, I will say yes I agree with you in terms of the visual appeal.
But the visual appeal is not the same as the lower quality content.
The content is exactly the same, and the content which is primarily what is going to solve the end users problem that is important to remember.
The quality of the content is confirmed, that’s in place, the visual appeal yes it’s not crystal clear, we don’t have perfect lighting or the perfect studio setup.
Yes, that is absolutely true but the quality of content does not change from what we’re doing here versus if we had a £10,000 camera in front of us.
That’s my counterargument to the critique.
Kyle: There is data that proves people do not care about the quality of production.
What matters is the quality of the content.
People have got over the fact that content producers are using webcams.
It doesn’t need to be shiny and polished all the time now.
In fact, there’s a certain level of authenticity that comes with live broadcasts that comes with seeing journalists or the Prime Minister in their living room delivering a speech.
It’s a lot more believable.
Remember we’re trying to build up trust.
If people are seeing you as you it’s going to be a lot easier to do that.
The person watching content doesn’t necessarily care too much so the time and money you’ve spent on something is not valuable for the end user, for your customer.
Harms: The next thing to think about when we publish live video we are rewarded by the platform algorithms.
Because all platforms right now want users who are producing live video because they know how rewarding it is for the end user.
For the person watching the video by watching the video it means someone is remaining on their platform for longer versus I’ve processed the image or short article now I’m off.
Whereas a video keeps somebody locked in into the platform and live video has a reality feel about it and right now platforms are rewarding people and have been for a long time because there the supply is not matching the demand currently required by platforms.
So they will continue to reward you.
What’s the next benefit?
Kyle: The next thing is some industries, especially gaming, have realised a long time ago that live video is the way forward, it is the way to build a massive audience.
They make money by playing games. That is not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about building up an audience for your business.
There is very little competition in live video in business areas, so if you can jump in in your particular niche and become the person who is doing live videos you’re going to be able to capture the market very quickly.
Harms: We then get direct feedback from our community.
We get direct engagement from our community in the mechanism of they’ll ask us questions live, they’ll comment live. They will tell us what their problems are live.
That allows you to directly talk to them as if you were sitting there around the dinner table and solve their problem.
This has transformed the ability to answer questions directly and solve their problems incredibly powerful.
Once you trigger that other people can see you’re answering questions live, other people can see that you are solving the problem and the answer to the question is valid, now you’re positioned as an expert.
Now people in the market are starting to know you, like you, and trust your answers and expertise a lot better, which means more people come and ask you questions.
This is like a snowball effect that will start to happen.
Off the back of that what else will happen in regards to engagement in the community?
Kyle: One way to think of this it’s the closest market research you could ever do.
You are directly communicating with your audience, you’re getting content suggestions from them, you’re getting questions.
You’re learning what their problems are and learning how you can solve them directly with them in real time via live stream.
Normally, companies spend a lot of money trying to do this market research whereas we can directly talk to them through the telephone and get that information to get a feel for what our market as a whole wants, and what we can do to provide them with that.
Harms: As you can tell we recommend you go via the live broadcasting mechanism.
So yes, use video as an option, but the item that trumps that is live video.
It’s the quickest, sharpest and most effective way to solve our audience’s problem.
Now we’ve identified we’re going to use live video which leaves us now closer to answering the question of what platform you use.
Hopefully, now you can see that everything that we guided you through is not as simple as saying YouTube is hot, Facebook is hot.
TikTok is the hottest thing and if you get on it now you’ll have an audience in the next 10 years, that’s not how you determine the decision.
We determine the decision by what is our message?
The message determines what is the best format to use for our message and it may not be video.
It is very much what is the best way to solve our market’s problem, we’re saying live video.
Collating all of the hard work and thought process in determining what platform we use we can now ask the question to Kyle, what platforms do we now recommend?
Now we’ve been through this process it does filter it down to two. Either YouTube live or Facebook live.
The next powerful question is which do we select?
Kyle: First thing is we need to make it as easy as possible for you the content producer to engage in this process.
The first thing you can ask yourself is, which of these do you already use?
Which do you use as a user?
Let’s say you are moving into the yoga niche where do you watch your videos on Facebook or on YouTube?
That’s going to be the first thing we want to make it as simple as possible for you to get involved in the ecosystem.
So go with the one that you already use.
Harms: That will reduce the friction of you getting started again, the assumption is you haven’t started or you may have tried this and that, but your default platforms that you’re comfortable using is YouTube or Facebook.
As we have a mechanism which we can also broadcast live or simultaneously stream on another platform.
The second point is where does your audience hang out?
Kyle: You can do a lot of data research on this but you have to look at your actual niche.
Generally, YouTube skews younger than Facebook and YouTube skews slightly more male than Facebook in terms of number of users and how active the users are. Facebook is a little older and a little more female skewed and YouTube is a little younger and a little male skewed.
This demographic information may or may not be important to your business again you should know your customer avatar back from the business section.
You can also delve really deep into the numbers to find out where certain business niches are. I would recommend you just see where the current influence is, your current potential competitors are.
Are they posting to YouTube or are they posting to Facebook?
Where are these communities already coalescing?
That’s going to be a really useful way to find out where these communities are already that you’re going to be tapping into.
Third is the reality is, whether it’s Facebook or YouTube or Twitch it doesn’t really matter because technology has allowed a change of approach where we have our cake and eat it.
Those who are obsessing about Facebook or YouTube it’s irrelevant.
Because we’re going to do both.
We are going to go live on one primary platform.
We choose one primary; however, we can do two things.
One of two things we can do simulcasting which means I will go live to YouTube and at the same time I’m going live to Facebook.
The feed from my computer is going to two different places and I am appearing live on two platforms.
The second thing we can do if we’re not simulcasting is restreaming.
That’s what we personally do with the BBO show.
We will go live on to YouTube then we download the video and then send that live to Twitch and Facebook.
Harms: Simulcasting is great if you are an individual, you can stream quite easily onto YouTube and Facebook at the same time.
But as soon as you have a guest or you have two of you the tech is not quite there to make that an easy process at the moment.
Kyle: The basic idea is that your platform doesn’t really matter as we’re going to hit all platforms, we’re going to make you omnipresent.
Harms: The journey and thought process is important because it allows you in the future to make better decisions when deciding where you should present your message.
Where should you publish your message?
At the start this thought process we also discussed the concept of what if it is not Facebook and YouTube.
What if you have to go we’re saying traditional media to get your message across?
That is fine, we’re not against that the same that’s fine as long as you work through the process to determine that.
Start with what’s best for the audience in mind how to solve their problem first, then we decide the format which we suggested, live video and then determine what platform to use based on that format.
We’ve given you two solutions, Facebook or YouTube. And you can use both because of this mechanism simulcasting or restreaming.
Kyle: We are adding value, we’re helping people solve their problems and we’re going to base our business on that.
All of this extra stuff about how we get to them.
The platforms, what type of video this is all important but without the fundamentals of creating value, underneath this stuff doesn’t matter.
People tend to focus on this stuff.
Harms: It will save you time in the long run because imagine spending six months on YouTube are realising your audience is not there.
That’s the kind of thing we want you to avoid.
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