YouTube is an often overlooked tool in starting, funding, and creating a small business. Every day individuals are tuning into millions of YouTube videos. After its conception in 2005, YouTube grew into a multi-billion dollar company. What is often not realized though is how YouTube can benefit small business owners to create incredible amounts of popularity and brand recognition, without spending much money.
The Top Tongue Cleaner
The Orabrush was an absolute failure at first. After Dr. Bob Wagstaff invented the Ora-brush tongue cleaner, he tried what any inventor would to sell his product. He sank more than $40,000 into TV infomercials, marketing campaigns, and every other tactic in the book, except he saw no success.
After repeated failure, and an attempt to sell his patent, Wagstaff took the final $500 in his marketing budget and used it to piece together a YouTube video. Before he knew it the video exploded on Youtube, and Wagstaff saw a wide open window of opportunity and jumped right through it. Wagstaff continued to produce his “Cure Bad Breath” videos and within months his YouTube channel had over 40 million views.
Two years after his first video was released in 2009, Wagstaff had already sold more than 2 million Orabrushes worldwide and the famous tongue cleaner could be found in over 10,000 stores within the United States alone. Even with all of the success the company has not stopped expanding; just within a few years of the release of the Orabrush, Wagstaff and company released an app, an Orabrush for dogs, and many other products within their line. Although Dr. Wagstaff may have had $40,000 to spend on marketing, it was the $500 he put towards Youtube that started a multimillion dollar empire.
A Shaving Revolution
Dollar Shave Club is a prime example of a company which used YouTube to build its brand. Emory University graduate Michael Dubin worked numerous jobs in marketing and media before he came up with the idea for Dollar Shave Club. The brand is centered on the concept that shaving essentials should be affordable, and instead of paying upwards of $20 a month, you can subscribe to Dollar Shave Club and pay just $1 to have blades delivered to your door. With only $35,000, Dubin knew he did not have much to spend to launch a massive marketing campaign.
Mindful of this, Dubin made the bold decision to put almost all of his marketing budget into a YouTube video. Luckily, it immediately went viral. The video proved that when you mix YouTube’s massive audience with a great product, and a little bit of humor, the results can be incredible. Today Dollar Shave Club has over 650,000 customers who pay either $1, $6, or $9 a month for their blades to be delivered monthly.
Although the company started with less than $40,000, and a simple goal, today Dollar Shave Club has raised about $25 million from a large pool of investors such as Comcast, Andreesen Horowitz, and Science-Inc. Dubin and his Dollar Shave Club are a prime example of the powers of YouTube for small businesses and how with just a small investment anything can happen.
It does not cost a single dollar to create a YouTube account. You can post as many videos as you want without paying a cent. Whether your company has a million dollar marketing budget, or just a couple hundred dollars, your audience does not change. With Youtube anyone in the world can catch a glimpse your video. So before pouring tons of money into fancy marketing campaigns, or special TV infomercials, do not be afraid to post something on YouTube. You never know what is going to go viral.