If you are not a gamer, as in one who plays video games, you might not be familiar with the KontrolFreek brand or product. The main product clips over the control sticks on game console controllers and extends their reach and changes the contact point with the thumbs into something more manageable or maneuverable. Where better to find gamers than online and how better to demonstrate your product than with video, right?
You might know, or not, that YouTube is a massive playground for video game content via the likes of Machinima and Twitch.tv as well as a range of game review channels, etc. So it makes sense that if you are trying to market a product to gamers, YouTube might be one of your major strategies.
For KontrolFreek, it's a strategy that is paying off in spades as they report that almost a third of their sales are coming from YouTube. However, more interestingly, they have never had a major viral video hit on their channel or about their product. After all, how interesting can you make thumb stick control add-ons?
Through a combination of tips and tricks, general game play commentary and YouTube celebrities KontrolFreek has tapped into their target demographic in a huge way and have seen a massive return.
Here are some TmarTn examples:
How To Improve Your Aim - 738K+ views
Playstation 4 Ghosts Gameplay - Next Gen KontrolFreeks Are Finally Here! (PS4 Multiplayer Game Play) - 112K views
How KontrolFreek Markets Via YouTube
KontrolFreek used what they call a YouTube Engagement Program that it used to partner with a couple hundred video game-related channels including TmarTn and AliA, 1.5M & 3.5M subscribers respectively, all the way down to those with just a few hundred video view on their channels.
Essentially, they offered sponsorship deals, product giveaways, event participation and other ways to not only target the audience of the channel but also engage that audience. Basically, they built a network of people talking about, using and promoting the products, brand ambassadors as it were.
The KontrolFreek Results
As mentioned in the title, nearly 30% of company revenue can be traced back to YouTube presently. Sales are up 50% year-to-year and, I have to imagine, brand awareness is much higher with the target demographic than it was. Heck, they even convinced me to write an article about their YouTube marketing endeavors.
YouTube Marketing Take Aways
While YouTube may not work for all brands and products it can certainly work for some, and often, in a big way. This was a fairly clever use of YouTube that allowed KontrolFreek to create a small army of marketing contacts that then spread the message to the masses.
They also did some serious keyword loading in some videos. While TmarTn is already well known in gaming circles, his clever use of keywords like Playstation 4, Next Gen, and game titles are all driving traffic to his videos, which in turn have KontrolFreeks in them, which gives them more exposure and probably gets him compensated even further by the company.
- Reaching out to known YouTube creators and getting them to sign on to use your products, highlight them or talk about them is a great way to reach an expanded target audience. This goes beyond simple user testimonials and into brand ambassadorship.
- Don't just use product reviews, mix in some competitions, some giveaways and some other ways to engage the audience. This gives the audience more of a connection to the brand.
- Don't limit your activities to the 'big names' in an area, expand your net wider and get some of the littler fish in there because they probably have some diehard audience members that may not follow those bigger channels. Plus, more exposure is good, so long as it doesn't become overbearing.
- Have a cohesive plan of what you want to achieve with a campaign like this. KontrolFreek needed brand uplift, that in turn manifest itself as an increase in sales and a sizable portion of revenue coming from the platform used, YouTube. If you know what you're specifically looking for in the end, it will be easier to achieve.
Just for the record, they have offered to send me some of their product. But that was after I had already started this piece and they realized I used to be a video games journalist. Of course, I can't say no to free product, right? Plus, I'm getting a bit older and could use any advantage against that younger generation in multiplayer.