CH 22 RC Cars, Hot Wheels & Lucky Pennies
My youngest son, Ian, is a pretty typical spoiled suburban child. He has a garage full of games, toys and bikes. His bedroom houses a bearded dragon and an Xbox 360. And, he spends most of his free time with his iPhone or iPad Mini.
For Christmas a couple years ago, Ian was subtly introduced to the world of Remote Control (RC) vehicles, as he got an RC half-car-half-plane thing and an RC helicopter.
The helicopter was supposed to be able to do tricks – flip over in mid-air – but we couldn’t figure out how. So, in his 9-year-old, iPad-using ways, he did a quick search on YouTube, and life as he knew it would never be the same. Not only did he uncover the secret to flipping his helicopter, but he also was exposed to the world of content marketing! (And he didn’t even know it!)
A great example of content marketing.
One YouTube channel that seemed to resonate was from RCSparks.com, aka “RC Adventures.” Every one of the videos is nicely done, but not overly produced. It’s basically a guy (who we’ve now come to know as Aaron Bidochka) either talking about RC cars – sharing his thoughts on all the things he’s learned (and is learning) about RC vehicles – or showing his cars, trucks, plows, motorcycles, or boats in action.
In the weeks following Christmas, Ian watched hundreds, or possibly thousands, of videos about RC cars – mostly from RC Adventures. Any free time he had was spent with the iPad, watching RC snow plows, RC boats, RC races, discussions about RC cars, how they work, why some are different than others.
Still to this day, he spends hours each week checking out RC videos – mostly from RC Adventures. And, the next best thing he enjoys besides watching these videos by himself is...watching these videos with me! And, I’ve actually come to enjoy them, and the time I get to
spend with him watching. (In fact, just last month I actually bought my own RC car – something I’ve wanted since I was Ian’s age!)
RC Adventures (and Aaron Bidochka, in particular) is absolutely helping, not selling.
What’s awesome about RC Adventures is that he NEVER sells anything in his videos – at least not that I’ve seen in all the videos I’ve viewed. I don’t even think there’s any kind of official sponsor, other than the RCSparks.com community/forum website, although there are the typical YouTube ads (of which he’s clearly making some money).
The guy is just genuinely having a great time sharing what he knows. You can tell he loves every minute of it. It’s a passion for him that’s turned into a business. And, I think that’s what attracts Ian (and apparently a million other kids and adults alike) to these videos. They’re entertaining and educating, without being a sales pitch. However, even if he’s now worked out some product placement opportunities, he has built up credibility with his audience. If he recommends a particular model or part, it’s sure to get noticed.
RC Adventures is not the only content marketing that’s reaching Ian.
As he’s spent time on YouTube, he has also come across several other great examples of content marketing with video.
This guy reviews and “plays with” all sorts of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. As with RC Adventures, Ian loves watching this guy’s videos. They’re honest and fun – and clean for a kid to watch. And, just like RC Adventures, as far as I can tell, the content isn’t sponsored. Clearly, the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands are promoted, but not in a cheesy advertising kind of way. And, just like RC Adventures, he’s also clearly making money on YouTube ads, and there are sponsors/advertisements on the Race Grooves website itself. (Find Race Grooves on YouTube)
Lucky Penny Shop
A much more direct connection to its own bottom line, the Lucky Penny Shop, a toy store in Amarillo, Texas, has a YouTube channel that reviews all kinds of toys. With more than 1.6 million subscribers as of this writing, Lucky Penny has done an awesome job of building an audience by offering helpful information. Again, I’m amazed at how captivated Ian can be with these videos; but as I watch with him from time to time (or just hear it in the background), it’s clear again that the content is both entertaining and informative. (On YouTube)
So, your audience is probably not pre-teen kids.
This is not an age thing or an industry thing or even a specific product or service thing. Helping instead of traditional selling works across the board.
When you become a trusted resource for your target audience, they are more likely to buy from you.