“We don’t have a video” is the new “I don’t have a business card.”

Saying so will get you looks of confusion and sympathy.

If video isn’t a part of your marketing strategy, then you’re missing a major demographic – people with eyes. You see, the statistics are clear. Videos are the best way to explain products, to retain information, to entertain, to encourage sales, and to get people spreading the word about your brand.

That’s not to say that all videos are created equal. Some video marketing sucks. Okay, fine, most video marketing sucks. But it doesn’t have to.

In this guide, we are going to collect the case studies for the most amazing video success stories. By learning from the best, we hope that you will feel inspired to make your own video success story.

The Dollar Shave Club – How “f**cking great blades” captured 25 million views

If you haven’t seen the viral Dollar Shave Club video yet, you’ve probably just been rescued from a remote island. Firstly, we’re glad you’re safe. Secondly, go watch their video now and contribute to the almost 25 million views. In 2012 the new company launched their video, and within 48 hours they had 12,000 new subscribers. The video had a clear value proposition but, more importantly, it was hilarious and memorable.

Key Insight – Take risks as long as they are true to your brand identity. The Dollar Shave Club were the underdog in the razor industry, but they embraced it.


Dropbox – How a simple tutorial gained 70,000 signups overnight

You know Dropbox. You love Dropbox. And if you don’t you can just leave this page right now. Seriously, you’re not welcome here.

For those of you left, let’s talk about Dropbox’s awesomeness. Before launch, Dropbox was already an incredible piece of engineering. But would people understand what a game-changer Dropbox was? Investors were skeptical. Drew Houston, the CEO, decided to create a simple demonstration video. In the video, he merely uses the product while explaining what’s happening. There are no bells. And hardly any whistles. But the product was so good that it didn’t need them. Techies went into raptures and overnight the beta signup list ballooned from 5k to 70k.

Key Insight – Don’t overcomplicate things. If you have a great product, show how it works.


Dropbox – How they did it again by creating the video landing page

Studies have shown that landing pages benefit from a video but what if the video was primarily the entire landing page? Sounds like a suggestion someone would make at the end of a long day when they just wanted to be told to go home. But Dropbox ran with the idea (maybe they all wanted to go home?) and once again they leveraged video to innovate. In late 2009 Dropbox created a new landing page with their explainer video, a sign-up form, and…uh…that’s pretty much it. Once again Dropbox was forcing (okay fine, encouraging!) people to watch how the app works. The result was at least a 10% boost in conversions and close to $50 million in revenue.

Key Insight – Dropbox rocks! People who view an explainer video are more likely to convert.


Always – How they changed what it means to be “like a girl”

Inspired by the drop in confidence that girls suffer when they reach puberty, Always set out to create a campaign, led by a video, that recontextualizes what doing something “like a girl” means. Instead of a more typical stirring montage of slow-motion images, perfect narration, and post-rock indulgences, they made something that felt real. The idea was like a behind the scenes on a film set with different people on camera answering questions from the director. The result? A trending hashtag (#likeagirl), awards, close to 100 million views, a Superbowl spot, changing people’s perceptions (from 19% with a positive view of “like a girl” to 76% after the video), and mountains of tear-soaked tissues. So, a modest success really.

Key Insight – Understand your customer. Creating a brand relationship doesn’t have to involve direct use of the product.


Blendtec – How they blended their way to over 700% increase in sales

Blendtec makes blenders that can blend just about anything. The product was great. The brand awareness was not. They were blending all kinds of interesting objects as tests; they just weren’t sharing the fun. A series of infomercials were created to show their blenders tackle everything from wood to iPhones. As it turns out, people enjoy watching objects turned into dust. Just a few days after the first videos were uploaded to YouTube, they had six million views. Today they continue to produce the videos and are approaching one million subscribers on YouTube. As for the nuts and bolts (there’s probably a video of them being blended as well), it’s reported that the videos led to a 700% jump in sales. It is not known how many of those sales are actually being used to blend food.

Key Insight – CEO Tom Dickson is the face of the videos. The authenticity and his genuine personality, in contrast to hiring an actor, is the other big reason for the videos’ success.


Android – How they used furry friends to take 2015 by storm

In any marketing brainstorming session, you need to start by writing down “animals” on the whiteboard. If aliens came down to observe us the first note they’d make would probably be, “they sure love animal videos.” Android shamelessly targeted our hearts with their “Friends Forever” video. And we loved them for it. Using nothing but animal clips, featuring unlikely animal pairs, the video became the most shared of 2015. And then it became the most shared video of all time. Why? Because we love animal videos!

Key Insight – Even a clip video, with no narrative or product, can become a viral success. As long as it has animals.

Now it’s your turn

The main takeaway from the video success stories above should be that there are many paths to the destination called “success.” Of course, there are even more paths to the destination called “abject failure”, but let’s ignore those for now.

If you have the budget, expert filmmakers, storytellers, and marketers can come up with something really special. But don’t forget that nobody knows your business like you do. And there are affordable and user-friendly services like Clipman to help you dip your toe into video marketing without any risk. And if you do lose your toe (sharks are the worst, aren’t they?), so what, you still have nine more!

The truth is, the real failure would be thinking you can’t make a successful video on a modest budget. If Dropbox thought that way, maybe they wouldn’t be where they are today*.

You can do it, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with.

*Of course they would. Dropbox is amazing.