Simple Content Planning, The Key to Crazy Fans?

Writers, designers, photographers, videographers…all content creators dream of creating crazy fans that crave the next episode.

Here’s a great video from just such crazy fans. They kindly needle George R.R. Martin to write faster!

Beyond the shear hilarity of the video I thought there might be a deeper lesson. The video got me thinking about what creates this kind of crazy fandom. Is just George R.R. Martin’s fabulous prose or is there a formula?

I think there is and here are my notes…

Create Anticipation

Don’t forget to paint a picture of a bigger world. Whether you are writing, designing, photographing, or shooting video you should always sprinkle in hints that there is more beyond the current frame of view. There is more to learn and see. Hint that there is more to the back story and certainly the future is not secure.

There are tons of techniques for triggering your audience ask questions. Opening little unanswered gaps in the story, leaving a character or feature underdeveloped, create an obvious cliffhanger.

Condition a Cadence

It’s hard to make fans crave more unless you condition them to expect more. Creating a steady cadence to your creations is the quickest way to make fans want your productions even faster.

Apple is a great example. You can clearly see the power of production cadenceĀ in all the Apple Rumor websites. My favorite, and I think the most clear example is the MacRumors’ Buyer’s Guide. These crazy fans literally wait with bated breath for the next leak to satisfy their cravings.

Here’s another one of my favorites from the growing genre of Web TV–FreddieW and his crazy FX vids

Start Planning Your Content

Beware if this sounds easy. Just leaving out a few details and dangling your audience over a cliff occasionally isn’t the formula. Quite the contrary, the formula is careful content planning, excruciating attention to detail, and strategic delivery.

Each of these crazy fan makers probably spend the majority of their time building their content plans. Writers intimately explore and document every detail of the world their characters inhabit, photographers and videographers scout every angle and detail of a location before they ever turn the camera on, even Apple spends years secretly crafting every nuance of the user experience before production begins on the latest.

Are you creating crazy fans? Maybe you’re not creating the right conditions. What are you doing to create those sharp hunger pains for your production?