Best of The Web: Steam Controller

Are you a startup? Watch this video about video games! Seriously. It’ll help you help your business.

This is one of the simplest, best executed uses of video we've seen in a while. Period. If you’re wondering how video can solve business problems, this is the perfect example. So watch it. Then read on...

As a fresh company with a new product or service, you have three big marketing challenges: awareness (getting people to know you exist), understanding (getting people to see your value), and action (getting people to buy your stuff). Valve, the creators of this video, faced all three of these problems. Their product, a wireless controller for complex PC games, had never really been done before.

No matter what your product is, there’s a lot to be learned from what they did. If you’ve ever wondered what the heck you would do with video, here are three practical steps you can take to mirror their success.

Emphasize Understanding

In less than 2 minutes, Valve’s video told me why I should care about their product. No, I can’t list every single feature it offers. I have no idea how much it costs or how to get it. But I know enough to know if I want it. If I have any interest, I’ll seek out the information.

Too often, companies either overstuff their content with information or push for purchase right away. Especially with a new or innovative product, you need to let consumers do their own research. It’s clear that Valve put understanding their product’s main value above the rest of the details.

Consider Third Parties

When the controller was announced, a huge number of gaming news sites ran articles about it. Nearly every one embedded the video because it helped them do what they were trying to do: explain the product.

This is key. A lot of companies struggle with getting people to share their content. When a video only focuses on selling a product, there isn’t really any benefit for third parties. Valve, on the other hand, created content that was helpful not only for their audience but also for influencers with a lot of reach.

The end result was a huge win for Valve. Compared to distributing video on their own platforms (such as sharing on Facebook), their reach was exponentially multiplied by influencer networks. Their video will be out there, driving engagement pretty much forever.

The power of video is its ability to be shared and stick around. Think about where you want yours to live and how you could make it useful for people beyond your immediate audience.

Actually Feature Your Video

This may seem idiotically obvious, but it’s crucial. Valve chose to position their video as the first thing on their store page. It isn’t hidden in a “Learn More...” tab. You don’t have to seek it out. It’s right there. It even plays automatically.

Every video is different, but since Valve’s is a great introduction to their product, why wouldn’t they want it as the first thing visitors see? We’ve talked about it before; the first 10 seconds somebody spends on your page is critical. It can make or break a potential lead.

Look at your site right now and pretend you’re somebody who has no idea who you are. How easy is it to “get” what you do? How many clicks and pages does it take? How much text does someone have to read? Video is perfect for getting an intuitive, instant “aha” moment that will inspire someone to dig deeper.

In Conclusion

Looking at all the buzz and awareness Valve was able to create, you might assume they spent millions of dollars on marketing. In reality, they simply made useful content, crafted it for their audience and influencers, and put it front and center. So can you.

Written by Joe Lee, Content Marketing Specialist