I had never heard of "haul videos" until just the other day. These online broadcasts usually feature teenage girls discussing their latest shopping spree and have been pretty big on the Internet since at least 2010. When I read about the concept: listening for several minutes while some girl spills details about her latest retail therapy trip, I thought, who cares? No one will watch this. Well, some of you may be just as surprised as I was to find out that these videos get thousands, sometimes millions of views on YouTube.
But it's not just a virtual show and tell. Some of these shopping stars give advice about finding deals at chain stores. YouTube hauling sensation Juicystar07 mentioned special sales in a video highlighting her Forever 21 purchases. The bubbly high schooler begins by explaining that her parents didn't pay for her haul, "I'm 16, I work 2 jobs and this is what I save my money up for and I'm excited to share it with you guys."
So what are factors make a product worthy of someone actually sharing a video online that expresses their excitement? Despite not being haute couture, Forever 21 has managed to get their customers' cameras rolling. Here are a few ways to know if your product has what it takes to be "haul worthy":
1. You Offer Special Deals: It doesn't matter what your product is, if you offer something valuable to the "lucky customer in the know", then you're ahead of the game. Deals can be more than coupons. Musicians might consider offering a free one-day-only download. If you are a blogger, offer a giveaway (like a copy of your favorite book) for the first person who tweets about your latest post. Just make sure whatever you do is exclusive and recurring so people will feel compelled to tell their friends.
2. You Allow Your Customer to Get Creative With Your Product: Fashion is a great way for some people to express their creativity, but think of ways in which your client can be creative with your product. How do they interact with what you are creating? Do you have a medium for people to offer suggestions? Consider the last time you simply asked for feedback on your product. What are other ways that someone would use what you have to offer? By allowing people to get creative with your product, you are starting a conversation that might lead to further public interest and more ideas.
3. Your Product is Made for Your Client:This one is kind of obvious. No one will hype your company if you do't keep your end user in mind when creating your product. If you make something for a particular group of people that's worth talking about, then that particular group of people will talk about it. And when they do talk, they get to know each other, and that's when you'll see a true community of loyal customers grow.
Have you ever created a haul video? What was it for? If you haven't made a haul video, what would you make it about? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Werther Terry