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Web Marketing Case Study: Effective Video

Selling to both consumers and businesses, Blendtec was an early adopter of online videos, launching on YouTube in 2006. Blendtec is a manufacturer of commercial and consumer blenders and other small electrics and has been in business for nearly 30 years.

The company uses videos to “show the crazy side of extreme testing.” Featuring the Blendtec CEO, Tom Dickson, the videos demonstrate its blending insane products, from vuvuzelas to glowsticks, all with the disclaimer, “Don’t try this at home.”

“We were a hit!” exclaims Julie Owens, Blendtec’s global marketing manager. “YouTube created brand awareness for us,” which was their goal. They not only accomplished that in stars, but also drew large amounts of traffic to their website. Still, their number one aim is “to be real,” she insists.

According to Owens, the audience on YouTube is typically male, ages 14–35, while target buyers of blenders are typically educated females from 30 to 65 years old. “The unique piece to this puzzle is that our YouTube views support or influence our buying demographic,” she observes.

When she analyzed how the viral fans influence buyers, she found that “We have kids point out our blenders to their parents. We have heard kids say, ‘Mom, this is the one on Will It Blend?’ The magic is when we hear the parent say, ‘We love the blender that our kids told us we had to buy!’”

With more than 100 videos posted, Blendtec has made a serious commitment to video. It has a full-production facility onsite, with a full-time producer/director and a part-time assistant who plan and edit videos, though actual shooting time may be only one to two days a month.

Blendtec tracks its video results through analytics, watching both conversion rates and the size of its fan base. “Of course we love views,” she says. “That lets us know we hit the mark.” The number of visitors to the website indicates to her that the videos have successfully showcased the features of their blenders.”

Although Owens is big on social media, she faces a marketing challenge. “We have [both] commercial and consumer products; we use all techniques because our markets are so different. We know we need to be in a trade show to share our wares with commercial accounts, and we know that raw foodies and vegans will be found on Twitter more often than Smoothie CEOs.”

“Be real. Be you. Show what you do, don’t tell,” advises Owens. “Have fun and enjoy the journey so that your story is something others will share. . . . We like the house that Will It Blend built on our YouTube real estate. . . . We are happy . . . trying to make life smoother.”

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