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Micro-documentaries: How to start your channel

August 23, 2017

So you're sold on micro-documentaries and you value their power to authenticate your brand and build a loyal tribe. But where do you start? We've discussed how important it is for micro-documentaries to work together, now let's tackle getting started. 


Break It Down

Rome wasn't built in a day. You're micro-documentary channel won't be either. But that's ok! Take it one step at a time and break it down into bite size pieces that will all build on each other. 


Start with the goal of producing 3 micro-documentaries that will all live on one channel. Here are some things to think about when trying to decide who to have as the main character in your micros. 

  • Which segments of your customer base are you targeting with the film? 

  • What brand ambassadors do you already have relationships with who could be excellent subjects for your film? 

  • Who amongst your possible characters already has a solid social media following? 

  • Out of all your social media content, what has performed best? Is it a post about a certain person? A certain place? Take note of those posts and explore whether they could be could subjects for micro-documentaries. 

Once you've come up with three solid topics/characters/stories find your film crew. 


Shop Around

Arguably more important than what type of camera someone films with or how big their production company is, is whether they know how to tell a genuine, authentic story in a compelling way. 


The success of your micro-documentaries will succeed or fail based on how well the story is told. Take some time getting to know potential filmmakers. Don't choose someone for a price tag, high or low. Look at their work. Discuss their passion for what they do. Micro-documentaries are authentic pieces. If someone doesn't have a passion and gift for telling someone's story, it doesn't matter how much or how little they charge. 


You'll know when you find a good fit because their skill will match their passion and their heart. 


Build the Framework


Once you've decided on the subjects and have found your filmmakers, get to work on the framework. Like anything, you need a well thought out plan and a detailed blueprint for how you're going to accomplish what you're setting out to build. 


Is your YouTube channel built and optimized? Do you have a media page on your website built where all your micro-documentaries will live? 


I would recommend talking to your web developer to see what it would take to get a media page built out. Ultimately, you want your customer base coming to your website to watch your micros. You control that space. You don't control YouTube and Facebook. I'm not saying there's no place for hosting the videos on those platforms as well but there is a lot of wisdom in creating a platform you can protect. 


One more quick note when it comes to building your framework is to set aside a budget for promoting your micro-docs. You'll want to treat them like actual films. Don't spend money to get them produced, throw them up on social and expect them to build your tribe. Create hype around them. Release sneak peaks and trailers so when the films are ready to launch, you've prepped your audience for what's coming. 



So let's recap. First, break it down. Figure out what are the best 3 stories to tell based on your brand and who you are trying to reach. Once you have that in place, find your storyteller. Third, build a framework so you're ready to rock and roll once the films are finished. 


That's it! From there, you just keep building on those micros. Come up with a huge bank of ideas for films that will all target different segments of your customer base. Then watch your loyal tribe grow!


If you have any questions, I'm always happy to talk. 

You can reach me at 608-669-5305.


by Carrie Highman



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