It is easy to be mistaken and think that online video is the currency of big brands with big bucks.
However, that’s not the case. Online video is quite a democratic opportunity – even small businesses can take advantage of it’s potential to draw in new audiences.
I am not talking about one hit wonders here but a long term strategy.
In this article I am going to introduce you to Mirabeau – a small business who had a lot of competition, and yet managed to change it’s fortunes by using corporate video.
Let’s start with a video in which business owner, Stephen Cronk, tells us what Mirabeau is all about.
As well as being all about wine, Cronk is telling us about his goals with video and his desire for his audience to be part of his online community. He has made it his intention to be more than just a winemaker, but also an expert in the field – a thought-leader.
What is particularly interesting about Mirabeau is the context in which they were born. Cronk left a corporate job in London and moved his family to Provence to start his business. This was in the midst of the recession and in the face of 600 competitors. You can see why some may have thought this a foolish move at the time – but with hindsight, it is easy to see that he was obviously very determined because the barriers didn’t faze him.
With the support of a digital marketing agency, it was quickly established that the competition didn’t demonstrate any practice or intention with social media. The gap in the market was identified and this is where Mirabeau’s video strategy started to grow.
At time of writing, Mirabeau has 2,335 subscribers to their YouTube channel. They have had over five millions views of their 224 videos. That is a very healthy viewing figure. However, it is worth noting that the vast majority of those views are on one video that went viral. Here it is:
With just over five millions views, this simple, viral masterpiece is outperforming all of the other videos by, well, millions. The other videos on the channel seem to get at least a couple of hundred views each – some up to five thousand. As we know, there is no formula for making a video go viral. Cronk was always in with a good chance though for a few reasons:
1) There are limited online videos targeting this target market
2) This particular video is short, useful and entertaining
3) Mirabeau have been producing lots of videos, with original content – putting them in with a good chance due to good video SEO
Whilst one viral video can be interpreted as a fluke, the wider impact of a viral video can’t be ignored. The attention that Mirabeau attracted thanks to the corkscrew video had a knock-on effect.
Viewers took the time to see what else Mirabeau had to offer. They watched their other videos, looked around the website, subscribed to the YouTube channel and newsletter, and hooked up via social media platforms. Increased viewer figures and follower numbers are important to small businesses who are aiming to differentiate themselves from their competitors.
In terms of the style, quality and content of the videos produced by Mirabeau, it is clear that they were committed from the outset. Cronk has documented his business journey with video; including a video about the bureaucratic paperwork he had to deal with from the French government, and a video blog about the wrong colour bottle tops being delivered.
He put a very likable and friendly face to an industry that is very traditional and therefore often boring to many people.
Building an audience using online video and social media had a direct impact on sales for Mirabeau. They reported that after the success of the corkscrew video, they have had a massive increase in customer enquiries from the US. Cronk points out that choosing Mirabeau is an easy choice for buyers because “it ‘de-risks’ their buying decision. We are helping them build a demand for our wine.” So, in other words, by using online video and social media, Mirabeau is not only selling it’s products, it is selling itself as a seller of it’s product!
Mirabeau is an example of a small business who, with a low budget, have managed to use corporate video in a way that has had an extremely positive impact on their business efforts. They did it by being genuine and translating their love for their product into a shareable video format. It required them to build the process of video making into their business but they have made it look easy.