Comedy + $4,500 nets Dollar Shave Club 5.5 million hits and launches a business
At first, I thought it was a spoof.
Dollar Shave Club, a 90-second video selling a monthly razor delivery company, looks like something from "Funny or Die" or "College Humor." But it's for real, and it demonstrates what I call "The Power of Outrageous." You've got to be way over the top if you want to blow away viewers and use YouTube better than all the TV networks combined.
Although I hate the term "viral video" -- it brings to mind the caterwauling of teen idiot Rebecca Black's "Friday" -- in this case, "viral" works. It means a video is so outrageously entertaining that everyone forwards and posts and promotes it and boom, suddenly millions of people are promoting it.
So how do you go "viral" for your video?
It's not that hard, nor expensive. The most difficult process is having the courage to be outrageous enough to not take yourself -- or your business -- too seriously.
in an interview in Adage.com, video star and CEO Michael Dubin (yes, I first thought he was a hired actor, too), offered a few tips that made his video a success:
-- "Think deeply about the problem you're solving." Make sure there's an emotional commitment to the pain you're solving (in his case, high razor prices);
-- Build your concept around that shared pain; every moment in his video is about the benefits of Dollar Shave Club.
-- Keep it brief.
Dubin also stressed his background in comedy improv, and the video was created by friends with years of experience making comedy.
In other words, don't try this at home... without help.
Usually I advise against trying to "go viral," since most viral videos are train wrecks or cats playing pianos. In the case of Dollar Shave Club, going viral made huge financial sense and launched a profitable business.
And I STILL advise against it... unless you're willing to be just as outrageous... and you know your brand supports this approach and your marketing strategy can use it.
Okay, how do YOU do this for YOUR business?
Let's further refine the concept of "viral." Such as, "let's be realistic."
How big is your audience? Are you launching a national company? Or are you trying to score with local clients in your area? Getting millions of video views for your downtown restaurant may be nice bragging rights, but realistically, it won't bring you more customers than exist in your service zone.
If you're in a small niche B2B industry, a "viral hit" may mean reaching only a few thousand people. So millions more viewers won't mean millions more customers.
Keep it real, folks.
You can still be outrageous and drive plenty of local traffic to your business. You just need to make sure your brand reflects any approach you take, and you have a strategy in place to do more than just make one video.
Luckily, I'm holding some free seminars coming up that talk about how to use branding and strategic marketing while making video your marketing superstar. I'm working with (you guessed it!) some wonderful experts in both branding and strategic marketing. We'll talk about all kinds of video concepts, including "outrageous" ones, and how they can work for your local-based business.
Send me an email and I'll send you information on my seminars. In the mean time, I can't wait for Michael's next Dollar Shave Club video.