It’s no secret video is changing the marketing ballgame. When anyone – businesses large and small, nonprofits or professional experts – can produce video online for free or very little money down, the opportunity to create impact using the medium is very real.
But what does success look like when it comes to video content?
Below are examples of three businesses you’ve never heard of that owe their success to their prodigious output of video content – Adafruit Industries, Bob and Brad and The Missouri Star Quilt Company.
All three businesses have racked up impressive numbers on YouTube, both in terms of subscribers and views. This in turn has helped fuel sales for their respective businesses.
What can we learn from each of these three brands when it comes to video content marketing?
- PLAY THE LONG GAME – All three businesses have built up very solid bodies of work, having published videos to YouTube for years.
- BE CONSISTENT – It’s one thing to produce video content over a long period of time, it’s another to be consistent about it. All three brands show up regularly on YouTube, which in turn has helped them build growing subscriber audiences.
- BE AUTHENTIC – I have absolutely no doubt that what you see in these videos is what you get ‘in person’ when it comes to these three brands. No airs or graces – just fun, personality, attention to detail, and a desire to educate and share knowledge with their respective audiences.
- DON’T OVERCOOK IT – Don’t let perfection get in the way of getting it done! None of the videos created by these brands are overly-produced, which helps ensure they stay freshly authentic and down-to-earth in the eyes of the audience.
- OVER-INDEX ON EDUCATION – educating viewers is the name of the game for all three businesses. The people behind each brand are all very generous when it comes to sharing their knowledge, expertise and experience.
- MIX THINGS UP – Both Adafruit and Missouri Star publish live stream replays in addition to their regular standalone videos. Live streaming is a great way to connect in real-time with audiences, and both brands do this well.
First up with have Adafruit Industries, which designs, manufactures and sells electronics products, components, tools and accessories.
According to the Adafruit website, the company was founded in 2005 by MIT hacker and engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels.
Adafruit has grown to over 100+ employees in the heart of New York City with a 50,000+ sq ft. factory.
Adafruit is big on YouTube. It has over 300,000 subscribers and its videos have been viewed a mammoth 56+ million times. It has a massive catalogue of videos, all very educational in nature and including regular video segments such as ‘Ask an Engineer’, ‘Workshop Live’, ‘Show & Tell’, in which fans can show and share their electronics project, and ‘Made in NYC’, which features footage from the Adafruit factory.
What I like about Adafruit is that it stays true to its geeky roots. The people behind the brand obviously know their audience very well, and it’s great to see they haven’t succumbed to high-end production values that many business and personal brands do once they start getting big on YouTube. These videos have a decided ‘underground’ feel to them, and it’s obviously working for them.
Bob and Brad
Bob and Brad – tongue in cheek – describe themselves as “the two most famous physical therapists on the internet”.
The claim is probably not too far from the truth as the pair have 1.1 million YouTube subscribers and over 119 million views of their videos!
Bob and Brad are physical therapists Bob Schrupp and Brad Heineck; they have over 50 years of combined experience in the physical therapy field, and produce videos that offer “get fit , stay healthy, and pain-free” information directed toward people of all ages.
From a business perspective, Bob and Brad sell their own products – for example, a post-surgery exercise device called the Knee Glide – plus they recommend products made by other companies. These are sold on Amazon and I’m tipping Bob and Brad act as affiliates in these instances. They also generate revenue via advertising on their YouTube videos.
Bob and Brad’s videos are very basic, if not a bit daggy. The content is useful and practical in equal measure, and no doubt over the years they’ve helped thousands of people with their advice and recommendations.
The Missouri Star Quilt Company
The Missouri Star Quilt Company owes its incredible success to its folksy YouTube video tutorials. The company’s YouTube channel boasts 573,000 subscribers and its videos have been viewed over 165 million times – an incredible feat!
Missouri Star, which produces the biggest quilting channel on YouTube, offers the largest selection of precut fabrics in the world and ships thousands of packages every single day to customers globally. All up the company employs 400 people, including single and retired mothers, and students.
But more than that, what started out as a small family business has grown to include an entire community. According to Missouri Star, its collection of brick and mortar shops (it operates 12 themed quilt shops) attracts quilters from all over America and around the world to the small town of Hamilton, Missouri, including from Australia.
At first Missouri Star offered basic quilting supplies and machine quilting services, but says business picked up after it started posting videos online. The bulk of these videos are tutorials teaching simplified quilting techniques, featuring company founder, Jenny Doan, a prominent quilter and the face of the brand.
Key to Missouri Star’s success with video has been its consistency of output plus a tight focus on educating its audience around all things quilting, including DIY projects that people can try at home.
So there you have it folks, three little-known brands that are doing amazing things in the video marketing space, and are reaping the rewards as a result!
Which brands do you think are doing video content well?