“Eventually that viral video, everybody will have seen it, and it’s not going to be effective anymore. We needed to create more long term strategy,” said Harmon.
For inspiration, the Orabrush team headed down to VidCon in July 2010, where all the top independent Internet video producers convene to share ideas. Even though Orabrush’s YouTube video had garnered millions of views and a ton of big name press coverage, VidCon made Harmon realize he “had no idea” what he was doing.
“If you compare Orabrush’s YouTube channel to other brands, we’re neck and neck with Apple, right behind Old Spice, then everyone’s behind us—Burger King, Nintendo, Nike,” Harmon said. “But we don’t look at them. We look at the YouTubers. They know what they’re doing. One guy like MysteryGuitarMan has got more total video views than Old Spice.”
His team started studying what the top YouTubers do, trying to decipher their formula for success. Eventually they cracked the code. “Daniel, our art director, came up with what he calls the ‘4 Cs’ of building a YouTube channel,” he said.
The 4 Cs, surprisingly simple, consist of content, call to action, collaboration and consistency.
The first element of video success is finding the right content that fits your business. Harmon explained it has be unique content: “It doesn’t have to be high production content. It just has to be relevant, good content that understands its audience and purpose.”
For Orabrush, Harmon decided on mixing humorous entertainment with education, something he calls “edu-tainment.”
“Our product is a tongue cleaner. It doesn’t lend itself naturally to create really viral videos, but if you take your imagination and stretch it a little bit, you can do things and you realize your real issue is bad breath. And there are a lot of things you can tie into bad breath,” Harmon said.
Call to action
Harmon pointed out it’s great to get legions of viewers to subscribe to your channel, but even better when they click on your company’s website link and convert to a sale. Videos are a soapbox platform to influence people and compel them to do something.
“The original intent was to make a video so we can convert higher on our own page. That’s what we built the video around,” he said.
Orabrush videos feature collaborations with several popular YouTubers including iJustine, Tobuscus, Rhett & Link and Wheezy Waiter.
“Those guys help a lot. No YouTuber is an island. You have to collaborate or cross-pollinate with all other YouTubers because their audience is the hardcore people who really get YouTube,” Harmon said.
But collaboration doesn’t have to be through YouTube. Harmon explained that some businesses aren’t good fits for video collaboration with other YouTube producers.
“There are YouTube channels that have become very popular not because they’ve integrated the YouTube community, but because they’ve integrated with their blog community,” he said.
In addition to promotional videos, Orabrush also produces a weekly video log of one of its characters, titled “Diary of a Dirty Tongue.” Harmon said each week 20,000 to 100,000 viewers tune in to watch these videos.
“A video is given higher search rankings for one week after release. So as soon as that week’s up you need to have another video out or else you start losing momentum. All the big YouTubers release once a week, or twice a week, or multiple times a week. It just increases their momentum,” he said.
Small business owners may think cost and talent prohibit them from being successful at video marketing.
Harmon shot Orabrush’s first video with a Canon EOS 5D, and for lighting made do with an Ikea china bowl and a 250-watt bulb. He said a business owner can save money by renting a digital camera for the shoot.
“One thing to realize is all the top YouTubers, almost every single one of them, is a one-man show who is self-taught. Those guys started out with a little point and shoot camera and just dug in and started doing it,” he said. “For small businesses, create a video that brings conversions up. Don’t think about being wacky or viral cause those are a one in a thousand hit.”
Harmon said Orabrush has a mission to cure the world of bad breath. For now, they’re getting it done one video view at a time.
By Joseph Mutidjo, Reporter, Smallbiztechnology.com
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