All That Glitters…Might Just Sell a Bundle
As paint dealers, we often compete with other businesses based on price because that is how some customers buy. For these consumers, buying decisions are made on price first and foremost.
The usual advertising methods, like circulars and newspaper ads, are okay, but much more can be done to attract more than the price shopper. Besides, not everyone reads the newspaper and therefore many won’t see your ad. Circulars are nice, but printing and distribution can be expensive. Many businesses distribute them in newspapers but again, not everyone gets the newspaper. Yet, we tell ourselves that inserting circulars in newspapers is good enough. I don’t know about you, but when I get flyers in the paper I never look through them. Some folks do, some don’t. Those that do give them a glance and off to the trash they go, never seen again.
We have to remember that consumers are more distracted nowadays, so we have to cut through the clutter to get and keep people’s attention. How do we do that? By being different. By being interesting. By being talked about I’m going to reveal a remarkable tip I urge you to use over and over. It fits my requirements of being inexpensive and effective.
There is a paint seller in the eastern U.S. that recorded a 30-second video with an employee’s cell phone. The video showed a quart of glitter paint being stirred. After stirring, the stir stick was lifted slightly above the can as the paint dripped back into it.
They posted it to their Facebook page with a photo of the other three colors available and some product information. This simple, boring, and easy-to-make video had a total reach of over 20 million. 20 million! Their Facebook page went from 900 likes to 35,000 within a few hours. They also received around 2,000 direct messages. They sold out of the paint they had in stock. People from all over the world wanted to buy. This video didn’t cost them a cent to make or promote. It was completely organic.
It Works, and Here’s Why…
Here are the important elements that made this video viral. First, it was short. Second, it was interesting. The glitter paint itself was somewhat interesting, but even a “boring” product can be made interesting. Third, the company posts three to five times a week on Facebook but they don’t keep asking people to come in and buy. Fourth, it was a home-grown video. No special effects, no hoopla! Fifth, they posted product information so people could learn more. There was no sales person droning on about the product in the video. In fact, the video had no narration.
By chance, one of the employees contacted their local TV station about the story. That was very smart because the media ran with it and the store got even more coverage. The paint seller tried to get the TV station to push it up to major media but it didn’t happen. Instead, they should have taken matters into their own hands and contacted Good Morning America and others like it! The national media loves unusual feel-good stories and there’s a great chance they may have featured them and got them even more publicity. Even though they didn’t get on national TV (yet), they can still put a big sign out front that says “As Seen On TV”.
Here are a few things they learned from this experience. First, they couldn’t harness all the potential sales because they weren’t set up for that kind of a reaction. Thus, plan ahead.
Second, it made their Facebook page much more relevant by getting so many likes. Having that many likes is like having thousands of positive testimonials for the world to see. People look at that more than you think! Third, their previous Facebook posts laid the groundwork for the big post. Their posts were interesting and engaging and not boring hype about coming in to save money all the time.
I urge you to start doing videos on your Facebook page. Be interesting. If it’s not your thing, it’s likely that one of your staff would love to give it a try. Look for ways to turn something boring to interesting. Make yourself stand out. Besides, you’ll have fun doing it and you might sell out of your stock!
Andy Curry, the Cheap-Marketing Champion, is a small business marketing specialist, app developer and entrepreneur. He believes in inexpensive but effective marketing and getting a big bang for your marketing buck. Andy has owned and operated a True Value Hardware store for many years, and has in-the-trenches, first-hand knowledge of the pitfalls of marketing and the best use of advertising dollars.