Orapup: How Video Sold $1 Million In Merchandise Before Going Into Production

Video sites like YouTube have become invaluable tools to help visually instruct consumers on how to use a new product, according to Jeffrey Harmon, Orabrush co-founder. The company invented the dog tongue cleaner, Orapup, that sold $1 million in inventory even before the $50,000 mold was made. It takes content. And I've become obsessed with the reasons behind creating and optimizing it.

Instructional videos help to sell new products. Unlike Orabrush, where humans use the scrapper to clean their tongue to eliminate bad breath, an organic-base flavor entices the dog to lick the tongue cleaner. Video allows the company to demonstrate the gadgets use, but where does search engine marketing come into play?

Reaching a YouTube audience meant selling to video viewers 45 and older -- the top-selling demographic for the Orapup product on the site, according to Jeffrey Harmon, Orabrush co-founder. "We want to create such great video content that we naturally rise in the search engines," he said.

Search is great for products that have super-high demand or brand awareness, but the products we bring to the world are so different that you have to build the demand first, Harmon said. He notes that searches on engines for gadgets that solve bad breath for dogs remain small, so the focus has turned to optimizing the YouTube video content.

The biggest dilemma became finding keywords and phrases that consumers would search for on an engine to find a pet product that solves bad breath. So Orabrush conducted a massive survey showing people a bunch of videos. One of those videos would contain information on Orapup. The participants were asked what they would search for on Google to find the pet product, and then type in the first string of searches.

In the keyword research the company would use to optimize the videos, some phrases were very generic -- such as "the dog product." Overall, Harmon said, Orabrush managed to identify a massive amount of possibilities to "make sure we're not losing anyone in the funnel."

The dog tongue-cleaning device sold $1 million before the product went in to production through crowdsourcing and presales, eliminating the risk of investing in a mold that cost between $50,000 and $100,000. Next year you might find it on the shelf of your favorite retailer.
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