Why You Tube is for you too – Article by XOXX and Pooch & Mutt owner, Guy Blaskey, published in the trade magazine PPM (Pet Product Marketing).
As network speeds get quicker and more and more people have smartphones with ever-increasing capabilities the popularity of online video is growing. One simple reason is that it is so much quicker and easier to watch a quick video than it is to read an article.
You Tube (owned by google) is the world’s 2nd largest search engine. Meaning that after google it is the 2nd most popular place for people to look for answers to their online search queries.
We are all now aware of the importance of having a website and hopefully of making it as google-friendly as possible, but most are not as aware of the importance of youtube. 24 hours of video are uploaded to You Tube every minute of every day and more content is produced for You Tube in 60 days than the 3 major US TV networks have produced in 60 years. Over 46 years (yes years!) of You Tube video is watched everyday, through Facebook alone. This is clearly not a fad that is going to disappear, so what can you do to benefit from this?
Some major brands are getting extremely clever and making You Tube an interactive experience- Have a look at Tippex (www.youtube.com/tippexperience) and Desperados beer (http://www.youtube.com/desperados). This is great to build a viral effect – where people are so impressed that they pass it on to their friends – but it is a relatively expensive way of using the medium and not perfect for smaller, niche brands.
If you want people to find your videos, like your videos and send them to other people you need to make them funny or informative.
Possibly the single most successful and ongoing uses of online video is the “Will it Blend?” from the US blender firm Blendtec (http://www.youtube.com/blendtec or www.willitblend.com). This campaign has been going since 2006, it takes the form of an infomercial with the presenter Tom Dickson blending unexpected items.
When the whole world wanted to get their hands on an iPhone, Will it Blend got one and blended it – they stick it in a blender and turned it to powder. Other items they have blended include a garden rake handle, a vuvuzela and a can of Campbell’s chicken soup – including the can.
This may seem a bit ridiculous, but it does get across the benefits of the product. If this blender can blend an iPad then it will certainly be able to make your smoothies for years to come without braking.
In addition to this Will It Blend has had over 158 million views on You Tube, where it has over 370,000 followers, in addition to it’s 64,000+ Facebook followers and 6,000+ twitter followers. The presenter, Tom Dickson, has had primetime TV appearances on Jay Leno and The Tonight Show and the company has started making money from merchandise, such as T-shirts with the slogan ‘Tom Dickson is my Homeboy’. Blendtec report that Will it Blend has had ‘an amazing impact to our commercial and retail products’. Blendtec also supply the blenders to most of the Starbucks in the world. This all sounds amazing, and like something completely unobtainable, but watch the videos and you will see that this can be done on a tiny budget and if you have one 10th the success of Will It Blend you could see a huge spike in sales.
A way to use humour and get a good viral-effect is to tie into an event that already has the interest of the public. This video (www.tinyurl.com/3brpult) by T-Mobile is a spoof of the Royal wedding. It has been watched over 14m times on You Tube and was even shown on BBC’s Have I Got News for You.
The key to getting something popular is to produce something that people want to see. This doesn’t have to be humour, it could be anything, such as feeding tips, training tips or displays. What you produce does not have to have millions of views to be successful, for example if you are selling dog agility training equipment a funny video of dogs messing up could get a lot of views, but these could be from the wrong people. A video of agility training techniques would get less views, but these views would be from people interested in agility and more likely to buy the products – so that would be a better use of video as a marketing too.
As another very close-to-home example; I would like to get many people from independent pet stores to find out about the Pooch & Mutt products. I could have done a video about them and hoped that people found them and liked them, but this would be a long-shot. Instead I did a video of my talk at PATS about marketing tips for independent pet stores. This is something that the people I want to find out about my products would be interested in. I then put the talk online at www.poochandmutt.com/patstalk. I would hope that people would go to the site and watch the video. The video itself does not heavily mention the Pooch & Mutt products, but I would hope that when people are on the site they would take a look at them. This is a very soft-sell approach, but in the long term this approach is generally more effective.
You Tube isn’t just about creating content that will amuse and entertain, it can be used to present information and educate people about your product or service. The aim of this content is not that it gets passed on to others, but that it answers the questions that your potential customers may have as quickly as possible. In this way youtube becomes a very useful tool. You can upload your video to the You Tube, then embed the in your own site. This saves you the cost of hosting the video and means the video is more likely to be viewable on smatrtphones, iPads (via the youtuve app) etc. If you go to www.poochandmutt.com/bionicbiotic you will see an example of this. The page features a video of some customer comments made at Crufts. This video is hosted on youtube, but plays as part of the Pooch and Mutt site. People are not likely to pass this video on to their friends, so it will not ‘go viral’, but it may make them more likely to purchase the product.
And remember, you don’t have to be Speilberg to make a good online video. It is not about production values, it’s about what you film. You Tube is full of videos shot on mobile phones and cheap cameras. The next one could be yours!