Haul videos

YouTubers like Blair Fowler and beauty bloggers such as Jane Cunningham have increased monthly earnings by generating ad revenue from haul videos.

This started out as a genuine way for bloggers to show off the products they enjoyed using, and what they recommended for, for example, the ‘Back To School Season’. These haul videos regularly attract around 1m views for popular YouTubers.

Brands such as Top Shop and MAC have collabrated with Zoella to create haul videos and a giveaway to viewers. A word of caution here: while at first these endeavours engendered trust in the brand and promoter, they ended negatively when viewers began to suspect Zoella had never even used said products.

Haul videos with influencers are recommended for brands with a strong digital presence that are social media savvy.

Free sample send-outs

Services like BzzAgent, which sends out free samples to potential customers identified via surveys, aim to acquire a selection of new customers for paying brands.

The targeting of these free samples is determined by brand demographics and psychographics, combined with the answers users provide to questions about such topics as ethnicity and profession.

One drawback of this approach is that many users of these sites simply want the free samples. These services suit companies and products that have little-to-no brand awareness.

Having a genuinely good product

If your product is good, you don’t need fake reviews or to pay people to write about it.

Create a good product, with online interaction, and customers will happily promote you. This is seen all the time, as with the game Cards Against Humanity which I mentioned earlier. A friend of mine tweeted about the game, and I bought it. Simple.

Indeed, 92% of respondents in a Nielsen survey said they completely trusted a friend or known person’s thoughts on a brand, while only 70% trusted that of a stranger.

Creating a benefit for a customer who recommends a product to others is something coupon site Groupon capitalised on. It rewards users who help them to acquire new members, with money and prizes.

As a friend is recommending the site, the user will immediately feel like the product is worth purchasing.

Everybody has a digital voice, and its impact can be greater than you are aware. A negative comment about a new movie might make one or two of your hundred Twitter followers decide against seeing it, while an Instagram post of your new favorite drink might help brand awareness for the new product.

Don’t underestimate the power that an individual customer has to bring in more business.