In a New York Times Small Business feature on using online video to attract customers, the reporter points to BBQguys.com in Baton Rouge, and makes something of a case study.
According to the Times, online video has helped the company recover its human touch virtually. In 2006, it started posting informal YouTube videos featuring new grills, narrated by its customer service manager and chief executive. The channel grew so much that the company recruited a local chef, Tony Matassa, to be its on-camera personality.
It now has nearly 400 videos on YouTube, which have collectively been viewed 1.4 million times. Video has become so essential that the company has built a small studio in one of its warehouses. “We see the video almost like a TV commercial,” said Troy Olson, digital advertising manager for ShoppersChoice.com, the parent company of BBQguys.com.
In related news, YouTube recently announced that it is displaying more than three billion ads per week. So, brands have an excellent opportunity to become content creators, but there’s also the traditional act of leading people to the content (and then to a sale) via paid advertising. If the content you’re consistently making is white hot and thus viral, you can skip the ad buys. Otherwise, you make content worth seeking out and use SEO, search marketing, direct, events, print and broadcast to get the word out.