Understanding Our Strategy
The reality of Oddities Observed, with full behind-the-scenes disclosure, is that it is entirely a one-person operation. To be fair, I have received help in the past with certain projects, one contributor offering articles on UFO’s back in 2019, and one contributor who has assisted in narration for couple of videos. However, from ideas to research, scripting to recording, editing to uploading, thumbnails to tags, posting to commenting… it is all one person. As a result of this, streamlining and efficiency are of paramount importance.
Enthusiasm can support a one-man show for only so long before it begins to wear them down and that is when the content first begins to suffer. When Oddities Observed first started rolling on Facebook, it was only in the format of written articles, with one accompanying picture. I could generate ideas fairly quickly, burn through them equally as fast, and then be left trying to figure out what to do for the next week, and the next. When I would post upwards of 3-to-5 articles each week, and I would get worn out too fast. I needed a better system.
While I am still not there yet, system-wise, I am improving the processes step-by-step. A fair part of that process is knowing my SWOT. SWOT analysis is making the most of what I have while understanding what I am lacking. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. SWOT analysis was invented in the 1960’s by a management consultant named Albert Humphrey at the Stanford Research Institute. Previously, corporate planning had not met with much success and Fortune 500 companies needed a way to produce long-term planning that was executable and reasonable. Humphrey and his research team proposed the SWOT model to bring accountability and objectivity to the planning process, and it has been popular ever since.
As an example, I will go through a generalized SWOT analysis on myself and my channel here, to briefly show you how I have gone through the process and what some of my takeaways are.
I speak and write well. I can write in a persuasive or intriguing manner.
I live in an area with lots of “haunted” places, and I have grown up enjoying scary stories.
Oddities Observed has a good brand presence.
I have high standards for quality an authenticity.
My biggest compliments are that I am smart, well-read, and artistic.
I enjoy making content, as this is strictly a hobby, for now.
I have limited resources, i.e. cash money, software, and hardware.
I am only one person, which translates to limited time for each project.
I am relatively new to YouTube and this genre, so I am still learning what works.
My voice is not the strongest and I do not have a charming accent which sells well with the viewers.
The horror subgenre is always growing and changing, so new blood is welcome.
There are multiple formats we can use to reach an audience: Reddit, TikTok, YouTube Shorts.
Within the subgenre are a few different types of content, such as documentary style, non-fiction narration, fiction, and creeptypastas.
Communities in this field are very loyal.
Oddities is a small fish in a big pond, so getting initial exposure is very difficult and there is a great deal of competition.
Similar competitors produce content in excess of 1 hour per video, which lessens the chance that viewers who would like the content from Oddities would have the time to watch our videos.
Similar competitors produce 3-5 videos per week, relying on narrations and not worrying about the quality their videos, oversaturating the subgenre.
We currently have limited resources for personal stories we can use with permission.
Real life circumstances can halt production dead in its tracks with no means of recovery.
The changing YouTube algorithm can devalue our content at any time, and already does not promote the videos with any weight.
After that process, I am faced with a long list of potential actions I can take. I want to build on my strengths, boost my weaker areas, head off any threats, and exploit every opportunity I can. Then I will want to look for any connections between the four SWOT quadrants. As a result of this, I can see where my strengths support me through some of the weaknesses.
Because of the quality I try to put in each video, it smooths out places that I feel are less impressive. Someone may find my voice soothing or may like how I describe a creepy location, and that may choose to subscribe as a result. My weakness of going at this solo means I must leverage my strengths much more than I might if I had more help. I have to be smarter about what I produce, so that my 1 video per week is more impactful than the person who does this full time and can hammer out 3 videos every week. Then again, with a strength being that I am having fun, this should negate fears of not uploading on time or being so competitive in this sphere.
What makes this type of strategy generation so effective for me is that it can generate actionable processes that someone can implement, not just grand ideas that do not connect to exactly how a person is going to get it done. I hope to learn much more about this when I finally get to start reading Measure What Matters by John Doerr. In this book, the author explains how you can use Objectives and Key Results, which is an approach to setting goals and to making tough choices in business and other projects. The idea is to measure what it is that matters most, to set those objectives, and to build the ways in which you actually get there.