Home Business & Marketing SmartPak’s 5 Tips to Making Your Online Video a Success

SmartPak’s 5 Tips to Making Your Online Video a Success


Mandee Widrick | February 8, 2012 |

smartpak-300x205Have you seen the all new “Stuff Riders Say” videos onSmartPak’s YouTube channel lately?

When their first episode hit YouTube on January 20th and showed up in our Facebook newsfeed, it had just over one thousand views the first time we saw it. Now, less than 3 weeks later, it is nearing 100,000 views.

We caught up with Sarah Paull, SmartPak’s Assistant Brand Manager and “Stuff Rider’s Say” video star, and asked her how she came up with the concept for the company’s viral video series.

“I was laying in bed one morning before work scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed,” Sarah told Horse Family. “A friend had shared a video ‘(Insert four-letter word for ‘stuff’) Nobody Says’ and as I chuckled through the jokes, I found myself thinking, ‘This dude totally gets me.’ That’s when it first clicked. At SmartPak, we’re fond of telling riders, ‘We get you because we are you,’ and these videos gave us the chance to let our actions speak louder than our words.”

Prior to shooting the first video, Sarah wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. “I got ready to roll, and I suddenly realized I had no idea what I was doing. I just went for it, leaning out of the feed room and hollering ‘Has anyone seen the duct tape?’ like I have a hundred times before,” she said. “When Sara Florin, SmartPak’s Creative Director and owner of Diem (the horse in the videos) instantly burst out laughing, that was the first moment I knew this was going to be awesome.”

Creating a video is more than just a way to have a little fun, it can also be a great marketing method. Sarah also shared with us 5 video marketing tips to help YOUR next video campaign become a success.

1. Don’t TRY to create a viral video.

Just get out there and have fun. If you’re loving what you’re doing, it’ll be obvious to everyone who watches. And when you watch people having a good time, it’s just about impossible to not want to be a part of it. When you watch people trying too hard, it’s just uncomfortable for everyone.

2. Know your audience.

The “Stuff Riders Say” videos work because they were inspired by riders, made by riders and then shared with riders. When you really understand your audience, you know how to talk to them because it’s what you’d want to hear.

3. You don’t have to be professional, just prepared.

All of our videos were shot on my iPhone 4S with a three or four person team, including me. There wasn’t a cinematographer or actor among us, just riders and friends. But we thought through every detail of the shoot before we got to the barn (years of photo shoot prep come in handy!). As we were shooting, we were careful to make sure the backgrounds were clean, the lighting was good and the sound quality was workable (sometimes in the barn, “good” is good enough).

4. Know when to let go.

It’s important to be patient and willing to reshoot things – you’re not going to nail the first take every time. (“Stop doing that with your face” and “no, that was different, but still wrong” are verbatim quotes from our shoots.) That said, if something’s just not working, take that as a sign that it wasn’t meant to be and let it go. We had a couple of sayings that seemed funny on paper, but no matter how many different ways we shot them, they always fell flat. Those lines won’t make the final episodes because they take away from how great the rest of the lines turned out.

5. Don’t hold back!

If you’re going to be on camera, you really need to jump in with both feet, (even if there is an aisle full of boarders wondering why you’re sniffing that horse’s hoof). If you’re not convinced, you won’t be convincing.

To follow SmartPak’s updates about future “Stuff Riders Say” episodes, you can like them on Facebook here.

Thumbnail image photo credit: Pam Roth




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