Incorporating Video into Your Subscription Box Marketing Strategy
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You’re waking up and it’s your 12th birthday and as you make your way to the living room, you see big gift-wrapped boxes with your name on them.
You got the new super soaker and a razor scooter that will break your ankle in a week.
Life is good.
As you get older, your birthdays get less exciting and presents get smaller in size and number.
Thankfully, subscription boxes exist and get to fill in that role for you.
You get to feel the excitement of opening up a box of goodies every month, knowing that you’ll love each and every single piece you get.
For those of us on the business side of things, it's a little different.
It's this emotion we want to evoke.
The best way to convey that message and deliver that emotion is video.
Just think about those feel-good videos Ellen would show, like a uni acceptance video.
The happiness and excitement of the unboxing experience is almost contagious. Blogs or Insta posts don’t do it justice.
In this article, we’ll explain how to use video in your marketing strategy to gain more subscribers for your service.
If we put emotions aside and look at numbers, it’s easy to see why it’s worth investing in a video marketing strategy.
Click here to see in in-depth interview about the future of the subscription box industry with business owners
The subscription box industry
The subscription box industry has been on a rise.
The research shows that this market is growing at a rate of 200% since 2011, with more than 10,000 subscription boxes available.
The numbers show that there is a pool of potential customers interested in subscription boxes.
All you have to do is understand your place in the market and differentiate yourself from the competition by finding your niche.
This is how.
Make monthly unboxing videos
Wrap up that childhood excitement we mentioned in your monthly unboxing videos.
Create curiosity about your service by showing people what they can get in their monthly boxes, how they are curated and how you personalise them (if you offer that type of service).
The key is in invoking positive emotions! That is the cornerstone of your video marketing strategy.
You’re not selling a well-known product like Nutella.
You’re selling an experience of Jane gifting herself an array of products someone else hand-picked, gift-wrapped and sent to her home address in elegant, customised packaging.
Make sure to hone in on that fact and make your customers feel pampered by the whole experience.
In the global pandemic, we all had to become our own IT experts, cooks, plumbers and more. With all of that happening at once, it’s rewarding to have someone else do the work for you.
There is nothing better than having the option to outsource a job while you take time for yourself and that is one of the biggest selling points you have - time.
Your box of delicious ingredients will save your customers time as well as the emotional labour of worrying about the state of their pantry and finding recipes.
You’re giving them their time back and letting them focus on more rewarding things. Don’t just focus on presenting the physical products people get in your boxes, make sure to present the emotional benefits as well.
Hello Fresh doesn’t offer just ingredients with a recipe - they help people stay fit, get them excited about cooking and discovering new ingredients and cultures through food. Furthermore, they have a community of people who support one another and share hacks and recipes of their own.
View this post on Instagram
You can also share user-generated content and provide social proof of your customers enjoying their boxes.
Learn more about subscription box startup, We Are Knitters
Social proof works best in the digital space because your customers can’t hold 2 different boxes and see first-hand which one they like better.
But they can see how many people are enjoying your boxes and that they had an overall enjoyable experience with your brand and customer service.
After all, a report on the matter found that 70% of Americans seek opinions from review sites before finishing a purchase.
Partner up with the right influencers
Influencers who have large followings on YouTube and Instagram are the perfect candidates for monthly box subscriptions.
They can bring credibility to your service since they’re unbiased people on the outside of the company talking about the benefits of using your service.
Unbox Therapy are at the bigger end of the spectrum. Working with such influencers won't gurantee you more sales, but it will lead to more people hearing about your brand.
Having people like that talking about your products helps not only for building trust in you but also building up your ranking on Google.
Find interesting influencers that specialise in your industry and reach out to them with a proposal detailing your demands and mutual benefits.
Make sure your proposal has:
- A nice, short introduction
- A clear list of things you want them to show and mention
- A short explanation of your subscription and payment process
- A specified number of shares and links you’ll commit to (will you share this on your IG story, create an IG post, link to it, etc.)
- An explanation of your brand’s mission that can serve as talking points
If you don’t have a large marketing budget, you can find smaller influencers who will agree to do a collaboration in exchange for a free box.
A word of warning though:
Even if you have the budget for a big influencer, beware of influencers who have a lot of content related to subscription boxes.
Followers may already be experiencing subscription box fatigue from all their other videos.
Once a creator makes 4 videos on the same topic, they tend to make the same statement and list of the same 5 reasons for buying. Big influencers also usually get boxes like these for free as a part of brands’ PR outreach.
That means that they probably never went through with the process of subscription and picking out the best box for themselves, which can be evident in their videos.
You want to make sure that the influencers you’re collaborating with are positive people, creating engaging content and have a good track record.
If watching their content makes you feel like you could be friends with them, you’re on the right track.
If over time, you develop a great relationship with a certain influencer, you can partner up with them and have them curate boxes.
Consider mentioning this concept in your initial outreach.
That way they can create videos showing the process of picking out items for the box and sharing the significance behind them.
Having influencers and microinfluencers curate boxes is already a huge draw for your audience, but having them document the process with an engaging video is the best way to draw their audience to your products.
Make personalised boxes
Cosmetic brands have a great grasp on how to market their beauty products to different types of people in all different cultures and communities.
They group people based on their skin, hair and body type and they create different products for them, usually colour coordinated.
That type of dedication and personalisation is what resonates with people and it can be one of your biggest selling points. Creating different box experiences for your clients with dietary restrictions, sensitive skin or expectations will open up your brand to a bigger portion of the market.
Once you create differently filled boxes for people with different needs, you can market them by creating a buyer persona - a fleshed-out person with a name and lifestyle outside of using your products.
From there, you can hire models to represent each box and create vlogs in which they show their personality and how using your products affects their daily lives.
That way, your customers are not just receiving, for example, hair products, but have someone they can relate to and find useful tips on hairstyling.
By creating different videos for different boxes, you can have segmented sales pipelines for different customers.
Someone googling how to save dry hair will not be interested in the same line of product as someone googling how to make my hair less oily.
Learn more about haircare brand Coco & Eve and how they use their packaging here.
Work with different keywords for every section of the pipeline so that you cover a bigger portion of the potential customers in the brand awareness part of the sales funnel.
Once you get prospects interested in your service, you can further engage them with tutorial videos.
In the middle section of your funnel, how-to videos work amazingly well, because people are already interested in your offer, and they want more information, as well as a clear picture of why they should choose you over the competition.
Make sure to make your videos easy to follow and short. Nobody has time for long and detailed videos that have 3 unnecessary subplots.
Once you get to the last part of the funnel, you can get real and truly dive into the emotional benefit of using your products. Show real people who have used and loved your service and let them speak to undecided customers.
A personal, hand-written thank you note adds the finishing touch to their first subscription box.
An extra tip is to offer clients the possibility to put their names on their boxes and products.
Who doesn’t like a monogrammed towel, shirt, or shampoo bottle?
Show what happens behind the scenes
There is only one type of content that can accomplish 3 important things - help brands appear down to earth, give them reliability and give the people a great reason to follow them on social media and that are behind-the-scene videos.
You can choose long format ones, or Instagram reels/stories, whatever feels comfortable.
The important thing is to show the unscripted reality of your company’s culture.
Don’t be afraid to show failure, as it will only make you endearing.
Make weekly videos introducing different people from your company and showing their expertise and how they found their place in the industry as well as how they fit in the bigger picture.
Put a face on your brand, and instead of reaching out to celebrities to take up that spot, use your employees. Videos like these humanise your brand, so use them to show your beliefs and how you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You can also make Q&A videos with your employees, in which they can give first-hand answers and tips on how to maximise the experience of your customers. Make them educational and inspirational.
Show everyone your dedication to sustainability, how you choose vendors, how your customers can recycle your boxes, or use them for a different purpose once they’re empty and how you curate boxes.
Learn more about Banbu and their use of recycled and recyclable packaging
The more information you give, the more comfortable people will be about spending money on your products and supporting your business.
The more content you make, the bigger your expertise will be.
Over time people will go to you as a source of information and news surrounding your industry.
In the end, every little thing you do matters
Offering unusual services, which need to be explained to the general public, or just selling products that can’t be categorised as impulse purchases, flourish with video promotions.
Use video to explain your service and convey the emotional benefit you bring your customers.
Get people excited, by showing the excitement of others.
Share as much user-generated content as you can to create FOMO in your audience and get them to join in on the fun.
Every piece of content you put out should be a part of your overall marketing strategy, so make sure to follow your audience in the sales funnel and push appropriate content for different stages of the funnel.
In the later stages of the funnel, you can give them comparison videos in which you talk about what makes your service stand out and what your USP is.
- Find your niche
- Keep your content light and educational
- Show your personality
- Invite your audience to share their reactions to unboxing their boxes
- Find influencers and tastemakers in your industry and work with them towards mutual benefits
- Provide people with a personalised experience
We gave you a lot of actionable tips on incorporating video in your subscription box marketing strategy so now want to hear from you.
Which tips did you like the most and which did we miss?
About the author:
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She's a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.