As a marketer and content creator, finding ways to attract a large audience for a ‘boring’ industry can be frustrating.
How are you supposed to reach anyone when you’re creating content for an auto parts dealer? An HVAC contractor? Or a media blasting service? (And what the heck is a media blasting service, anyway?)
To answer this question, I looked at seven companies who attracted a huge number of views on videos that tackled topics that aren’t inherently sexy.
Before we look at the examples, it’s important to address why we want a large audience even if most of them aren’t going to buy.
For one, a large audience sends great signals to search engines and potential customers. And if you don’t sacrifice relevancy for shock value, implementing these strategies makes a great addition to any content strategy.
Euro Car Parts (13,000,000 views)
Would you believe that an auto parts dealer posted a video that got more than 13 million views; 150,000 shares; and 18,000 comments in less than three months?
Well, that’s exactly what Euro Car Parts did. And you’ll be amazed to know the subject matter of the (black and white) video—automotive differentiators.
So what can we learn from this incredible feat?
Takeaway: Make it accessible. Keep it educational.
To understand how this video makes a complex concept accessible, start with the message that appears on the video thumbnail: the amazing mechanism that allows your car to turn.
We’ve all seen the boring alternatives—How an Automotive Differentiator Works, Benefits of an Automotive Differentiator, or Do I Need an Automotive Differentiator?
Most people don’t know what an automotive differentiator is, let alone what it does.
So this video makes a complicated concept accessible by cutting out the jargon. Instead of “automotive differentiator,” it’s “the amazing mechanism that allows your car to turn.”
As a reader, I’m already seeing signs that this video is going to speak my language. The video itself continues to delight by providing an incredibly simple explanation with visuals of something fairly complex.
Texas Green Blast Services (1,855,041 views)
Texas Green Blast is a media blasting service which strips paint, graffiti, rust, and more.
While it’s a step above watching paint dry, it doesn’t sound very interesting on the surface. But the demo video of their services in action is actually pretty cool. And it’s got the views to prove it.
Texas Green Blast has posted eight other videos, yet this one video that really shows the power of the media blaster has 142 times more views than the other eight combined.
Takeaway: Show people something amazing, but don’t sell them.
If you’re in the media blasting business, you watch your tools blast rust and paint off cars and buildings every day.
So it doesn’t seem like something people would be interested in. But when you see a media blaster in action for the first time, the power is sort of amazing.
Another similar example would be a power washing service (boring) that made a video showing a water jet cutting through steel (awesome).
It’s interesting to look at Green Blast’s other videos. They have another video that shows the power of their media blaster as well, but it only has about 4000 views. Why?
For one, it’s two minutes long and only shows one application of the media blaster. What’s more, there’s a voiceover that pitches you on their services the entire time.
Instead of watching something really cool, you’re being pestered by a salesman the entire time.
And if you’re thinking maybe Green Blast promoted the successful video more and that’s why it performed better, look at their website. In their gallery of videos, they don’t even have the video that garnered over a million views posted.
The successful video was viewed so many times because it focused less on the business and more on all the cool things a media blaster could do.
Carolina ChiroCare and Rehab (1,601,158 views)
Another “boring” industry, and another video that hit well over 1.5 million views on YouTube in less than three months. ChiroCare uses a couple techniques that are easy to duplicate. This example plays off a technique similar to that of the previous example—showing people something amazing. But there are a few differences.
Takeaway: Leverage human psychology (and sex).
The headline for this video starts with WARNING. That word in all caps plays off the psychology behind something we all hate, yet we all do—rubbernecking.
Nothing attracts attention more than catastrophe. The “warning” plays on this by making us think something catastrophic might happen if we watch the video. All of a sudden, our finger is hovering over the play button.
It’s also a bit of reverse psychology—like forbidding a child to go into a certain room.
As soon as it is forbidden, even if the child had no intention of going into the room, suddenly going into that room becomes infinitely more attractive.
I’d be naïve to ignore ChiroCare’s choice of patient for the demonstration. Their use of an attractive young woman in a low-cut shirt is sure to entice clicks by users with no interest in a chiropractor.
The video of an accordion player on a Ryanair flight was picked up by the Daily Mail, The Sun, MSN, and tons of other news outlets.
The video showed a stark juxtaposition of Ryanair and United Airlines considering the worldwide outrage that United caused.
And while you might argue that airlines aren’t traditionally considered ‘boring,’ this video illustrates a combination of common marketing techniques that bear repeating.
Takeaway: Combine techniques—speak to pain points and news jack.
Of course, this is hard to replicate, but it illustrates a concept.
A good news jack doesn’t just comment on the issue, it inserts itself (positively) as a stakeholder pursuing a solution. What’s great about Ryanair’s video is that it piggybacks off the negative news buzz and addresses one of the biggest airline customer pain points—customer service.
It combines the two marketing techniques to paint itself in stark contrast to other not so friendly airlines.
Nick’s Strength and Power & Williams Fitness (1.37 & 2.9M views)
In this next example, both these companies show us one of the most efficient ways to attract a large audience.
To their existing customer base, content about nutrition plans and workouts is interesting. But those types of things, while worth investing time and money in for long-term success, won’t quickly attract an audience outside of the current customer base.
So how did these two appeal to a massive audience and still stay relevant?
They employed a variation of the news jack. They grabbed on to the coattails of a viral video posted by YouTube influencer Ugis Rozenbahs.
Takeaway: Leverage viral videos, but be timely and stay relevant.
What’s interesting here is that you can compare several YouTube channels that tried to leverage the original virality of the video and failed.
Williams Fitness is so successful because it posted the video shortly (within a month) of when the original went viral, and it made a better headline than anyone else.
Instead of attempting to emphasize everything—which ultimately emphasizes nothing—the headline uses all caps to emphasize a promise.
With this kind of headline, you’ll get your usual traffic looking for new workout plans. But you’ll also get a gigantic boost from people whose eyes bulge out of their heads when they see that gigantic man on the thumbnail.
Nick’s Strength didn’t do quite as well with the headline, but they were still more successful than others because they don’t look spammy.
And the video is useful. Where the other videos were essentially highlight reels, Nick’s Strength tells you all about the man in the video. And, most importantly, Nick’s video includes a discussion of the man’s nutrition plan.
If you’re thinking that the difference in performance has to do with subscribers, think again.
Williams Fitness has around 16,000 subscribers to UgisRozenbahs’s 221,000.
World Health Organization (7,639,825 views)
This video was posted 5 years ago, but with 7,639,825 views, I’d say it’s worth another look. This type of content would be perfect for any business providing mental health services. It uses beautiful animation to speak and educate on an extremely difficult topic—depression.
Takeaway: Appeal to people’s emotions, and stay relevant (again).
The animation spends two and a half minutes identifying with the viewer emotionally by addressing the problem.
Only after it’s done appealing to those emotions does it start talking about solutions.
These solutions vary, from seeking professional help to embracing mindfulness. While this serves as a PSA for the WHO, you could easily imagine this as a very effective video on a mental health clinic’s website.