Dollar Shave Club launched its brand on YouTube in 2012 with a video that went viral and attracted 12,000 people within 48 hours, which led to over 5 million views and 330,000 customers in 3 months. Years later, DSC racked up millions of views and has been sold for a billion dollars.
So, what have we learned? It only takes one genius, perfectly structured video to go viral and lead to an enormous uptick in wealth for a company. Sounds simple, but a closer look at DSC shows that while their video may be whimsical, the strategy behind it was well thought out and serious business.
Why on Earth did this Video Work?!
1. Consistency. The video for DSC was edgy and brilliant. The reason it worked was because that style was consistent with the company brand and strategy for their targeted audience. This tone continued across DSC’s marketing efforts, including other videos and even website copy. When DSC launched its video, it wasn’t just a clever gimmick, but a genuine presentation of their business style and philosophy. The video hooked leads, but the consistent messaging converted them.
2. The element of SURPRISE! But really, the dry humor in this video was not the standard way of marketing to men. This unconventional approach made DSC stand out amidst other brands.
3. Relatability. Part of the appeal of this video is that, while whacky, it also feels authentic. The brand talked TO consumers, rather than talking at them or down to them. Joining DSC was like joining a community and made the customer-company interaction more personal.
4. A great product. No marketing can really save a terrible product. Not only was the video entertaining, it also introduced a new, practical solution to a common need.
5. Story-telling. DSC told the compelling story of their company, so that by the end, you felt like you really understood the company and they understood your needs. This sentiment persuaded millions of viewers to share the story with others.
Since DSC first launched its video, video marketing has only grown in popularity. The data shows that videos – used wisely – increase traffic and conversions:
• 87% of online marketers use video content (via outbrain.com/contentmarketing)
• 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI (via insivia.com/27-video-stats-2017)
• Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users (via wordstream.com)
• Sixty-four percent of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos (via tubularinsights).
• Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more (via eyeviewdigital.com)
• Views on branded video content have increased 258% on Facebook and 99% on YouTube (via tubularinsights).
• By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic (via wordstream.com).
How You Can Create Your Own EPIC Video!
We can take quite a few lessons from DSC on effective video marketing. But things have changed since 2012, so here are National Strategic’s 2018 tips on creating your own stellar brand video. Never fear, they are inspired by the still relevant tactics of DSC!
1. Think about context – where is this video going to be deployed? Video has taken over more platforms than just YouTube and company websites, and now you have wide-ranging options from Facebook to Snapchat to Twitter. Each platform has its own unique capabilities, as well as different audience demographics and expectations. Part of your overall video strategy must include choosing a distribution platform and designing the video accordingly.
2. Creativity is your friend! The last thing you want is a boring video. Being creative and taking risks can pay off (ever heard of a company called Dollar Shave Club?) Don’t follow your competitor’s lead, but strike out on your own path with what makes you unique. The biggest tip we can give you is to not treat the script as sacred. It is a good resource for shaping the story, but allowing for creativity and improvisation within the production process can take a video from good, to amazing.
3. You. Are. Telling. A. Story. Take this to heart. Yes, your story has a larger purpose in advocating for your company, but the video can do more than just sell. Videos have the amazing ability to emotionally resonate with an audience using compelling characters and visually arresting shots. You can put a call to action alongside a URL if you fear losing leads, but remember that without a relatable story, you won’t even get viewers.Protip: While video and written content may share some similarities, they are not the same! A video script will not and should not read the same way as a piece of written content. Create for the medium.
4. Nail the first 5-10 seconds. Just like with written content, viewers can choose to leave your video at any point. And now, customers can even skip paid ads after about 5-10 seconds. It all comes back to story-telling. If you think about the traditional story arc, you need to get the viewer to the climax almost immediately. Your video should convey its value quickly, whether it’s humorous and entertaining, educational, or even inspiring.
5. Have a way to track progress. Your videos have a purpose, and tracking leads to see who goes to your website afterwards lets you know if the video is doing what it should. Also, look at the video completion rate, or what we like to call the ‘is my customer actually sticking around to watch this?’ rate.
6. Optimize the video for search engines! To get the most SEO value, host the video on your site and ensure you enable embedding. You also will want to take advantage of video descriptions to tag relevant keywords. A great description will allow Google to understand your video which in turn, helps your ranking.
7. Videos should be part of a long-term strategy. DSC taught us that an amazing video isn’t enough. Video is part of a larger strategy that maintains consistency in brand message and style across digital platforms. Think about who you are targeting in the video, what the goal of the video is (generating leads, making a sale, raising awareness etc.), what kind of video you want to make (ad, how-to, testimonial, educational etc.), and how it fits in and interacts with your other marketing collateral.
Video is fast becoming a staple in content marketing, and companies who integrate video into their marketing plans are reaping the rewards. Doing video in house can be difficult though without the proper equipment and expertise, and some companies choose to outsource their video production.
National Strategic has the creative minds and the production resources to help you produce your own epic DSC video. Call today to find out how we can help you show how great you are!