Go Behind the Scenes To Create Engaging Content

Every day I'm asked how companies can create content that will be engaging enough that people will take the time to consume and then share it with others.

My standard answer is that there are no silver bullets, but I do think that the more types of content you know about, the more you can consider them every time you get stuck with one of those "well what do I do now?" moments.

Today I want to talk about the power of behind the scenes content and why you should consider it.

Do you remember when DVDs first came out? Suddenly movie companies had a lot more space to fill on the media so they began filling them with behind the scenes footage.

For people into making movies like myself, I loved all this bonus content. Back in the days of Random Foo, we tried to always have an extra camera around to capture off camera moments. Now that I stream most movies, I miss having access to all this bonus content.

No matter what your industry is, people love to peek behind the curtain and see how the sausage is made. (How is that for a mashed up mix of two overly used cliche phrases?)

Recently, I shot a promotional video for Passion Hit TV and while I couldn't afford to have a second person film a making of video, I took screen shots from the raw footage to share in a post until I could edit the video. People loved it.

This week I watched and shared a video from L.L. Bean that showed how a recent campaign took their classic catalog covers and recreated them.

This appealed to me as a photographer but also because I'm a fan of their brand. I'm not going to share their commercials, but I'll share something like this and did so as soon as I finished watching it.

The team behind one of this year's biggest Superbowl commercials, VW's "The Dog Strikes Back" had a feeling the commercial would be a hit so they made this entertaining making of video to show how much work goes into a commercial like this. Best part was that they didn't make it boring and followed one of our Content Rules of "Do Something Unexpected."

Finally, I want to share an example of a completely different sort and that is the peek behind the scenes of what it is like to be a speaker at TED. They followed a seasoned presenter and a rookie to showcase what their experience were. As someone who does a lot of keynote speaking, this hit home for me.

So, what kind of stories can you tell that feed into the desire for behind the scenes content?

  • Start with people. Profile the employees who make the company what it is.
  • Show how your products are made. If you provide a service, show what goes into giving a customer a great experience.
  • Quirky, fun and unique are always engaging. What is different about your organization than most?
  • Any company traditions? Thirsty Thursdays or Taco Fridays? Perhaps you have a company mascot that sits on a shelf, but no one outside knows about it.

Also remember that while I showcased examples of videos and photography, this can be done through the written word as well. But, words only go so far to show people so I think to do this right you must have a visual element if you really want to make it stand out.

What are some of your favorite behind the scenes moments that you've seen companies share?