What do Red Bull, PlayStation, and Apple have in common?
The answer may surprise you: they are in the top five most popular consumer brands on YouTube as of October 2013. You may think of YouTube as just some website your kids use to show you funny videos, or if you’re like me, you use it to watch endless clips of Sophia Grace and Rosie from Ellen, but this social media site is proving to be very important for brands trying to establish a reputation.
For a small business owner, the task of producing, writing, and starring in a video may sound overwhelming or maybe just altogether miserable, but it may be exactly what you need to make connections with your audience, reach clients, or build a reputation for your business.
Let’s review some success stories of companies who have hit it big and partly credit their success to the popular video site.
Blendtec is a local Utah company that produces blenders. Founded in 1975, this company has seen its share of ups and downs, but decided to reach out to customers through YouTube in 2006. The founder, Tom Dickson, took to YouTube to establish a reputation about his products with a clever line of videos titled “Will It Blend?” Surely, you’ve seen one (or many) of them. The purpose behind the videos is simple: to show customers how powerful the blender is. My personal favorite has more than 11 million views. There’s no way you can deny the power of the blender after watching this simple demo and thus the video makes you believe in the product and brand.
The reaction to this line of videos is astounding. The Blendtec YouTube channel videos have more than 294 million views. Dickson has made many television appearances and has pitched the product on several radio shows. Blendtec has a line of “Will It Blend?” merchandise. And in 2007, Dickson said sales increased 700% since the launch of the videos.
Those are quite the stats . . . especially for a blender company!
Perhaps this next story will intrigue the thrill-seeking readers out there. Red Bull has used social media and subtle sponsorships to propel the brand into the public eye. The “success” may not be as obvious as a 700% increase in sales, but it is measured in other ways.
One of the Red Bull mottoes communicates a powerful message: “Red Bull gives you wings.” I used to ask myself, “But what does that mean?” Once I looked at the YouTube channel, it all made sense. Flying snowmobiles, free-skiing tricks, snowboarding jumps, and BMX riding on a moving trailer are just a few videos uploaded in the past couple weeks.
The videos feature beautiful backdrops of snow-capped mountains and blue skies around the world. They show athletes that push themselves to their extreme every day to do something they love. The videos don’t say whether or not the athletes drink Red Bull but they doesn’t need to. The label on the helmet, clothing, and posters communicate that the brand made this happen.
You might recall the world record free fall in October of 2012 called Red Bull Stratos. Felix Baumgartner parachuted to Earth from the stratosphere and broke the sound barrier plus two other world records. This epic free fall was watched by millions on a live stream and created a huge buzz on the Internet. I’m not sure where you were on that day, but I stopped working and watched the craziness via CNN. Here is a condensed version of the mission.
These videos have the power to make scaredy cats push the limits—or at least believe a little bit more in the physical potential of humankind, which is a subtle, but powerful message.
Consider YouTube for Your Business
These success stories are proof that good things come from YouTube branding.
You may be relieved to hear you don’t necessarily need high-tech equipment or a killer script to get noticed on YouTube. You just need to determine what your clients or potential clients want and then deliver a result.
- For a new company, this might be a simple introductory video about the background and experience of the team to gain trust.
- Your client might need a tip or trick to make a quick fix before calling the professionals.
- Maybe a video can help you communicate the power of your product like Blendtec using viral messaging.
Gather a team to make the video happen once you have a concept in mind. You probably only need two or three people involved. Most smartphones have the capability to film a short video. And most laptops have basic editing software included. Publish the video to YouTube (it’s easy) and share using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and your website.