Timing: One of the unique elements defining a traction video is its positioning within the timeline of a company’s growth. While television ads or long-form marketing videos are produced once a company has already met the level of maturity where they can afford the six-figure expense, traction videos are produced within the first 12 months of a new brand’s founding. Traction videos are generally used as a tool to launch a new brand name or product line into popularity, rapidly accelerating their growth potential early in their growth cycle.
Humor: Traction videos are built to engage and stand out from the crowd. Consumers are bombarded with video ads as the medium continues to become more and more popular. To rise above the multitudes, traction videos often rely on humor. Comedy has such a profound emotional effect on people. If you can make people laugh, you’ll be remembered and you’ll foster a positive brand image. Think about the Squatty Potty video, it takes an item that is arguably a hard sell and uses comedy to make it not only approachable but desirable.
Authenticity: Traction videos tend to emphasize the faces behind the company, especially that of the founder, showcasing them as charismatic leaders. This strategically contrasts what most viewers have come to expect from typical TV commercials, which rely heavily on the use of paid actors or athletes to represent a brand. Traction videos stand out by bringing the focus back to the real people making the product or conducting the service, greatly increasing the perception and understanding of sincerity and authenticity.
Relatability: Traction videos center on a problem/solution storyline. The story aims to emphasize the problem being solved, the relatable story of how that problem was felt (typically by the founder) and how it was solved (by the product or service being described). The closer that story relates to the viewer’s personal experience, the more likely they are to engage with the brand or product. IAt’s important to note that it doesn’t do this in the terrible fashion of infomercials. The key is to produce stories with relatable problems with good solutions.
Impact: Traction videos work. They stand out, they resonate with the viewer, and they motivate action. Dollar Shave Club used a traction video to build a billion dollar business in just a few years and garnered 12,000 new customers within the first 48 hours following its airing. Most of the successful new startups we’ve all heard of over the past few years have all taken advantage of traction videos, including AirBnB, Slack, Salesforce, TRUECar, Lyft, Robinhood, Groupon, Square, and more.
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