TURN VIEWERS INTO BELIEVERS
Reading time 3 minutes
Written by Mark Anderson
When do you start to believe one product is better than another?
Unless you are incredibly receptive to pitches – it’s probably not when a salesperson tells you it’s better. Yet, businesses are always telling us they are better. They try to outdo each other on features: quote figures and ‘facts’ they feel differentiate them. The problem is that everyone appears to be making similar claims.
Here’s the thing, many customers won’t make the effort to compare claims. Instead, they end up making their purchase based on something easy to distinguish like cost or convenience. Read on for our take on how to turn viewers into believers and increase your sales by showing rather than telling.
Google’ blender’ and check out the first paragraph of each shop listing…
John Lewis – Powerful and efficient, the John Lewis & Partners Blender is a kitchen essential that will help you master a range of culinary tasks with ease. The impressive 600W motor powers the stainless steel blades to quickly and consistently blend all kinds of ingredients, while variable speed lets you adjust its working pace to suit your recipe.
Lakeland – Compact, easy-to-use 350W blender. Perfect for smoothies. With blend-and-go sipper bottle and toughened glass jug. Simple controls plus pulse. 15.5 x 12 x 32.5cm H.
Von Chef – Blend smoothies, crush ice, prepare soups and more with this sleek and powerful 1000W blender with 1.5L glass jar and 6 stainless steel blades. 500g stainless steel grinder bowl is ideal for grinding coffee beans or finely blending ingredients to make curry pastes.
All of the listings tell you why their blender is better. They all sell features. Both John Lewis and Von Chef describes theirs as powerful. John Lewis’ is 600W, and Von Chefs is 1000W. As a customer, what does this even mean? Is it important? Does the power make that much difference?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t communicate your features. But you need to be very aware of making similar, hard to differentiate claims to your competitors.
So how can you get your product to stand out from the noise? The answer is to get viewers to believe in your product by showing them why it is better.
Will It Blend
Our favourite product-focused video campaign example is an old one now. Blendtec’s ‘Will It Blend’ series started 13 years ago and featured CEO Tom Dickson blending a variety of household objects including marbles, rake handles and coke cans. These early films got high engagement from the start. But, the campaign really gathered momentum when they blended an iPod (6.6 million views) and then an iPhone (12 million views).
Will It Blend – iPhone – 12 million views on You Tube
There are lots of case studies written about the campaign which mainly focus on the fact it went viral. The approach they took was inherently shareable – so achieved exceptional organic reach. But there is a secondary benefit to this approach which rarely gets mentioned.
Show not tell
‘Will It Blend’ showed viewers the power of their blender. After all, if it can blend an iPhone, it can undoubtedly blend the fruit for your morning smoothie.
Taking this extreme product demonstration, differentiated Blendtec from all the other blender makers selling themselves on features, and it did it in an undeniable, shareable way.
‘Will it Blend’ Campaign Results
The videos received 23,000 hits after only 1 day on the companies website.
After being released on YouTube the videos exploded, with their version of a ‘golf ball smoothie’ receiving over 1.7 million views. Nearly half of those viewers went on to visit the company website, and 15% of those made a purchase.
Traffic to the company’s website has increased by 650% since the introduction of the videos, while Blendtec’s online sales have increased five-fold.
To date (November 2019) the YouTube channel has had 288, 862, 388 views across all videos and 877,000 subscribers.
Turn your viewers into believers
When planning video (or any marketing content), consider how you can show viewers what makes you different, rather than just telling them.
To do this, list your selling points in a column. Then alongside each point, note how you can show it. These ‘shows’ can then form the basis for future videos.
If you want to take this a step further, you can 10x the impact by dialling up what your product can do to the extreme, as Blendtec did. Doing this shows viewers that you are unarguably better and is much more shareable.
Below is a list of features you will have heard companies claim before. Alongside each is a way to show it. Which version would leave you believing in the product?
You have easy to use software? Show a small child using it.
You have the safest car? Get your CEO to crash it into a brick wall.
You make paint with the least toxic ingredients? Drink it.
You are innovative? Do something no one else has ever done.
Other great show-not-tell videos:
Mous phone cases regularly make videos showing how well their cases protect phones, including dropping a phone from space. This film was made on the launch day of the iPhone 11 outside the New York Apple store.
Dawn show their ability to clean the toughest grease whilst still being gentle.
Solvite a classic advert from 1978 showing the strength of Solvite wallpaper glue.
In every market, everyone makes similar claims: this makes it hard for potential customers to pick you apart.
Taking a show-not-tell approach is an effective way to get viewers to believe your product is better.
Test your product to the limit. The more extreme you go, the more viewers will believe in the product, and the more shareable the videos will be.
BUT ensure the test is real. If it feels staged, viewers won’t be convinced.
We’d love to hear your ideas for how to show what sets your product apart. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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