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Why and how to market with online video

Merge

If you search YouTube for the word “e-reader,” you’ll find 6,500 videos featuring every available brand of device. If you’re looking to buy, the search results include commercial spots, tours of basic features, consumer reviews and durability/lighting tests. And once you’ve purchased, you can venture back to YouTube for how-to videos about particular features or tips and tricks.

Now, you may ask, “Why don’t folks just read about the features and specifications on the product websites to help them decide, or read the product manual to figure out how something works?” The answer is simple – for the same reason folks still visit brick-and-mortar stores to feel a product with their own two hands or sit in classrooms and conferences for face-to-face learning experiences. Video is the closest thing to “being there,” to interacting with a product, to experiencing a service.

Video is the new preferred medium to show off what’s cool and different about your business, educate potential customers, promote your brand in increasingly competitive markets, and even (as sometimes necessary) correct new or lingering misconceptions about your business, product, or service.

Any type of business in any industry can benefit from using video content.

Provide experience with product demos

After Samsung came out with its new Galaxy Tab, an iPad competitor, its product demonstration video received more than 2.6 million views. That’s more than 370,000 views per month, 92,000 views per week and 13,000 views per day. The device was subsequently listed among CNet’s Top 5 Android Tablets.

But product demos aren’t just bound to electronic devices and other tangible items. Consumers also benefit from experiencing places through video – for example, a resort that’s too far away to visit prior to vacation time. That’s exactly why Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., creates and hosts videos on its website, allowing potential visitors to experience the nature, leisure activities and grandeur of the estate via the Internet first.

Educate with how-to videos
Lowe’s Home Improvement has a regular video series on its YouTube channel to show consumers how to do everything from build decks to replace indoor pipes. While some videos net only around 400 views, Lowe’s most popular video on how to install a paver patiohas received more than1.1 million views, and itsYouTube channel has more than 29,000 subscribers.

Change public perceptions with PR messages
In 2009, two Domino’s Pizza employees created a YouTube video of themselves contaminating food at a local franchise. Soon, the video went viral, then television news picked up the story, and suddenly Domino’s was in the middle of a public relations nightmare. At first, the parent company responded via traditional means – press releases and other written public statements. But ultimately, it took a video response from the company president to reach and begin to rebuild trust with the public and consumers who’d seen the defaming video. In a case like that, video can be the closest thing possible to an in-person apology.

Don’t be afraid to have a little fun!
There’s a small blender/mixer company in Orem, Utah, called Blendtec. Compared to big ol’ Lowe’s Home Improvement’s 29,000 video subscribers, little ol’ Blendtec has – wait for it – more than 452,000! How do they do this? Easy. In addition to a quality product, they have fun and make consumers feel good (yes, matters!).

In late 2006, the company president Tom Dickson started the “Will It Blend?” video series, in which he grinds up everything from crowbars to iPads to demonstrate the strength of his blenders. In the video below, he even grinds up Thanksgiving dinner (including a huge turkey leg) for his toothless Uncle Floyd. More than 381,000 people couldn’t resist watching this video. Can you?

This article originally appeared on the Merge blog and is used here with permission.


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