Secretariat winning the Belmont Stakes in 1973
The game has changed.
Social media is transforming the competitive landscape. The company with the largest marketing budget does not have to be the winner. By using the power of social media, large and small companies can compete on a level playing field.
The companies that win are those displaying creativity, flexibility and a willingness to take risk. By taking advantage of social media’s reach, a marketing budget just went 10 times further. Why? Social media provides the best route to reach the largest number of customers at the lowest cost:
Over a billion people use social media on a daily basis. The typical user will be on Facebook 20 minutes per day while collectively, Snapchatters view 10 billion videos a day. By marketing through social media, businesses can meet customers on their turf.
Examples of How Video is a Great Way to Reach Customers
Perhaps the best way to get content spreading is through creative videos. Three examples of creativity, flexibility and a willingness to take risk are:
Our Blades are F***ing Great
Recently, Unilever purchased Dollar Shave Club (DSC) for $1 billion dollars. DSC’s funny video entitled “Our Blades are F***ing Great” significantly contributed to the $1 billion dollar selling price. The sharing of this video on social media kick-started the company’s growth in March 2012 and led to 12,000 subscriptions within 48 hours of the video’s launch. One hour after publishing the video, their website crashed due to heavy traffic. The video currently has over 23 million views on YouTube and “Our Blades are F***ing Great” has been the unofficial slogan of the company ever since.
How I Cut Carbs
This video labeled “How I cut carbs” has been floating around Facebook. Instead of providing a weight loss idea, someone cut pizza for 15 seconds. The title humorously misrepresented the video but attracted an audience of almost 10 million viewers with minimal production effort.
Will it Blend?
One of the most outrageous and creative video marketing examples is Will it Blend?. Blendtec started a YouTube show where they blend all sorts of things that would never be put in a blender: a rake, iPad, iPhone and even a Coke can. The founder of Blendtec mixes in dry humor with puns to to make funny videos that sell blenders. The videos prompted me to buy a Blendtec blender and I have used it almost every day for five years.
Snapchat as a Micro-Vlogging Platform
Different than Facebook and YouTube, Snapchat is a great platform for sharing micro-vlogging (short video blogging / storytelling) video content. From personal Snapchat experience, the most compelling videos are recorded by good storytellers. There are many stories and topics within every business that can be shared …a colorful situation with a customer, the production process, a response to a commonly asked question, etc.
Since every business has a story to tell, any company can share video content on Snapchat. The best storyteller at a company can share Snapchat videos that combine both creativity and content. Snapchat presents a great opportunity for companies that want a first-in advantage on a social channel.
Snapchat Presents a First-In Advantage in Any Niche
Snapchat is an incredibly powerful tool underutilized by businesses. There are barely any businesses on Snapchat. A business that goes on Snapchat now can own their niche, imagine your the reach if Snapchat expands to 200, 300 or 400 million daily active users. A company putting out great content on Snapchat for their expertise will have a large following because of the first-in advantage.
Snapchat’s Intimate Environment
Unlike Facebook, if someone does not know the other person, it is hard to find them on Snapchat. Therefore, businesses have to promote a Snapchat account on their website, other social media accounts and in other marketing. On the one hand, this makes it harder for businesses to be found.
On the other hand, since it is hard to find someone within Snapchat, a more intimate user environment has been unintentionally created. It means a lot more if someone follows a company on Snapchat than if they have “Liked” a Facebook page. A business has been invited into the close knit circle of accounts followed by that person. With Snapchat, a company will have fewer followers than “Likes” on Facebook but Snapchat followers will be “higher quality” since they have chosen to follow that business.
So go market the F*** out of Snapchat.
Facebook Advertising and Business Saturation
Facebook is saturated with businesses for good reason; it is the best social media channel right now to reach people. Facebook advertising is not over-crowded and presents a great opportunity for a business to reach customers quickly. Someone I know spent $25 dollars to boost a Facebook post, reached 2,891 people and got a lot of signups for their sports league (see this great article by Azriel Ratz on Facebook Ads). However, with Facebook’s business saturation, it can get crowded. Having a presence on Facebook is almost necessary for any company but also putting time into Snapchat could really pay off.
Own a Niche on Snapchat Before the Competition
Start paying attention to company websites and marketing material, next to the social logos will most likely not be a Snapchat ghost (the Snapchat icon). There are probably Facebook, Instagram and Twitter icons because most companies are already sold on these platforms. Before businesses crowd Snapchat, a company can get to the party and own their niche before the competition.
What is Your Idea for Viral Video Content?
It only takes one video to get a lot of people sharing a company’s content. With the three viral video examples, they are all humorous but they take different topics or stereotypes and put a twist on them. There are funny stereotypes in every industry, could a company come up with some video ideas making light of them (This funny video channel is purely dedicated to making fun of stereotypes)? What if a metal fabrication business created an amazing sculpture, would that be worth sharing? What is your idea for a viral video?
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Even though I write this on every post, thanks for reading.