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Social Media Video for Businesses (the Old Spice Way)

Social media video proved to be a significant driver for businesses after the viral success of the Old Spice campaign. The Old Spice ads became a smashing hit: 40 million YouTube views in 12 months; traffic to increased by 300%; a sales increase of 107% for Old Spice body wash. As the spot testified, it was a well targeted and entertaining marketing piece that had huge viral appeal, in such a way that it created momentum  for other businesses to find new and inventive ways to market themselves through social media video.

Small businesses can also engage customers “the Old Spice way” and there’s value in promoting your business through video. Digital destinations like YouTube and Vimeo are free to the business community, and a great way to reach your customers. Because the digital shift is being set by the customers, small businesses adapt. Viral marketing is the word on every business’s lips, but many don’t know where to start. Below are four small businesses that had real-world success thanks to video.

Pen Fishing Rods: Michael Di Pippo

Michael Di Pippo is the inventor of the "world's smallest fishing rods and reels." Di Pippo decided to use YouTube to promote his product because there was a built-in market it was free, and he was able to add tags like "Fishing," "Camping," and "Outdoors" to give his videos more exposure. Di Pippo put work into maintaining his company’s online presence by posting regularly and responding to user comments. Because of his exposure and “virality” of his videos, Di Pippo experienced phenomenal growth. When you take the time to listen and engage with the online community, you can create great connections with your customers.

Her Campus: Windsor Hanger

Her Campus is an online magazine and college marketing firm that provides news and resources to its predominantly female college crowd. The site ran a marketing program for New Balance and had college students vlog [video blog] about the proper way to do workouts as a way to engage its audience. Now Her Campus has grown to include 112 other college branches with their own bloggers. Videos add an extra element to your site that will make you more approachable to your customers. The more video you do, the more you’ll know which content resonates best with your readers.

Valencia Properties: Graham Hunt

When the real estate market took a hit, property manager Graham Hunt used online video to stay on top of the real estate market in Spain. Hunt initially made videos to show off houses to potential customers, but soon realized that his clients weren’t just buying a house—they were buying a lifestyle. Hunt created 100 short videos about what it was like to live in these homes, and as a result client visits increased by 225% and sales and rentals doubled. Generating videos can not only help you with sales, but build trust and a sense of community around your brand.

Remontech: Cesar Abeid

Video was a no-brainer for Remontech, whose product is video-based monitoring for construction projects. Since their product is highly visual, they realized that it would be better to show potential clients what they do and why it will help their construction management experience. Remontech created a series of time-lapse videos on YouTube and the website. As a result of the videos, the company landed sales and increased traffic to their site. Leveraging videos can show potential clients what you do, instead of simply talking about it.

You may not have a huge marketing budget like Old Spice or a big-time ad agency writing on-the-fly copy, but if you’re willing to work hard and you have a little bit of charisma on camera, then video is something to consider for your business. It’s engaging, it's entertaining, and it's a bigger opportunity to connect with customers than text alone. If you create a persona that is strong and on point, it will set your business apart from its competitors and open up international opportunities. Video gives you an opportunity to be conversational, which builds trust with your customers. You might not generate the same numbers as Old Spice, but on a modest level, any business can look to understand their market, confront their competition, and speak to the customers using message, voice and maybe even a little humor.

The first post of our weekend series is by Alex Hisaka, new member of Assistly's marketing team.

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