More and more brands are promoting themselves by posting their own videos to YouTube, hoping they’ll go viral. However, what you may not know is that you can achieve just as much success on YouTube, if not more, without even picking up a video camera. Read on to learn how you can engage your customers and spread the word about your brand and product without creating a single video.
Whether you are trying to promote a makeup or hairstyling product, an electronic device, a food or cooking tool, clothes, or something else entirely, odds are that people are already posting videos about it and talking about it on YouTube. They may be talking about your brand specifically, or they may be talking about a similar product. So you’ve got two options – (1) You can create your own video content to add to the clutter and do what you can to promote it; or (2) you can track down videos where people are already talking about and reviewing your product or similar products and reach out to those vloggers and viewers to help them help you. Which do you think is the better option? If you chose number 2 you’re correct.
There are thousands of vloggers on YouTube from all walks of life, of all tastes and interests. If you are thinking about promoting your brand or product on YouTube then sit down, do some research and find vloggers that are in, and speak to, your target market. Check out their videos, see what viewers are writing in the comments and start engaging with the community.
Engaging With The Community
If you see people asking questions about your specific brand, or a range of products that your product falls under, answer them. Be helpful, be friendly, be appealing. Remember, the goal is to kill them with kindness and get them interested in your product. Please, please, please note that it is never a good idea to be spammy. The idea is not to go onto relevant videos and write a comment like, “If you like this video you’ll LOVE eating Bob’s Bison Burgers,” with a link to your Bob’s Bison Burgers website. Not every comment or response that you make should be about your company. Be a part of the community, rather than just trying to promote your product.
Once you have become active in the YouTube community you can start reaching out to vloggers. Target vloggers that have a decent following and that vlog about topics related to your brand or product. Then contact them via YouTube, or private email if they provide it, to let them know about your product and that you would like to give them a free sample or loaner if they would like to review it.
Keep in mind that you may not even have to contact a vlogger personally. He or she may see your comments or find out about your product on their own and create a video to review it. Sounds pretty good, right?
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on this topic, and they spoke with the director of marketing for Benchmade knives who told them, “It’s cheaper and more convincing if a vlogger reviews a knife. To produce the same number of intricate 10- to 20-minute videos that [knife vlogger] Nutnfancy does for each product we make would be impossible to afford.” Benchmade offers loaner knives to vloggers for review, as well as classified information about future products, and discounts as compensation.
Lots of brands have reached out to YouTube stars to help them with their online video campaigns. Why not be the next?
Reacting To Feedback
When you engage with the community on YouTube in this fashion you are bound to get both positive and negative feedback. When a vlogger reviews your product there is no guarantee that it’s going to be a good review, and even if it is a great review there is no guarantee that people won’t criticize your product or brand in the comments. You’ve got to be ready to express gratitude for compliments, as well as to respond to criticism.
If someone makes a video saying something negative about your brand or product than respond, either with a video response or comment explaining why you chose to create your product a certain way, or thanking them for their suggestion and changing your product to accommodate, adding new features or creating additional products to fill a need that is missing. Remember, vloggers and their viewers are your customers. If they have comments or suggestions you need to hear them and react to make your product offering better and more suited to accommodate their needs.
Rick Loughery, social-media leader at GoPro, who makes digital video cameras for action sports, told the Wall Street Journal, “We have learned that listening is as important as talking.” WSJ goes on to say, “Listening to vloggers has…helped GoPro find new niches. For instance, the company learned through vlogs that people were mounting Hero cameras onto remote-controlled cars, boats, planes and helicopters – so GoPro created a kit designed specifically for those hobbyists.”
Have you used YouTube to reach out to vloggers and potential customers without creating video content of your own? How has it worked out for you? Let us know in the comments!