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What Your Video Strategy Can Learn From a Taco Truck
Keep your online video menu as limited as a food truck's menu, and as tasty as a side of rice and beans. And remember: Location is everything!

Behold the humble taco truck: a business role model wrapped up in tasty corn tortillas and garnished with coriander. While mobile food carts have been around since the invention of the wheel, only in the last 10 years have we seen the real renaissance of high cuisine on four wheels at a street corner. The internet has enabled street vendors to post their locations to social media in real time, offer online specials and ordering, and even crowdsource recommendations for what tomorrow’s specials should be. But at the heart of this centuries-old business model beats a simple recipe for serving up success. So grab a taco al pastor and let’s see what taco trucks can teach us about focusing our video strategy.

Limited Menu

The true taco truck menu has two or three items at the most. And forget about choosing from a list of 15 side options; there might be rice and beans, if you’re lucky. At its essence, the taco truck is about one thing: simplicity. They can’t offer a four-page menu because they can’t fit all the ingredients into the back of their 1984 Chevy P30 Step Van. The same simplicity can help you focus your video strategy. As your video selection grows, you might be tempted to add lots of different menus for accessing content. Popular Videos, Liked Videos, Recent Uploads, and lots of other options can be distracting to the viewer. YouTube channels allow you to display many different playlists. And when watching a video in a playlist, you are faced with eight or more additional video choices. The current LG Mobile Global YouTube channel page shows 27 different videos and 12 different playlists. A recent Columbia Universtiy study shows that customers who have 24 or 30 choices are 10 times less likely to buy something than customers who have only six choices.

Be On A Busy Corner

Location, location, and location are the watchwords of the taco truck. If customers are scarce, you can turn the key and head to a busier part of town. The same truth applies to your video content. If your amazing video that tells the story of your product in perfect terms is buried on a brand page four levels deep on your website, viewers will be scarce. North Face makes great backpacks, and I’ve bounced my laptop safely around the world in one for years. But its product page for the popular Surge II backpack has no videos. None of the product pages I checked had videos associated with them. I did find a short video related to backpacks buried in their Exploration Videos section, but the link was bad. Ouch. On the flip side, I visited the same Surge II product page on Zappos.com and found an excellent product video showing exactly what I would need to make a buy decision. In fact Zappos has up to a 30 percent conversion on product pages that contain a video.

To see what a really empty street corner for video looks like, it doesnt get much worse than the IRSvideos.gov webpage, provided by the US government’s Internal Revenue Service, which has an antiquated content structure, no screenshots of the videos, and no link to their much better YouTube page. In order to get customers to focus on your videos, they must be in a location where people will see them. Whether you’re creating your own video hosting platform to supplement your product pages or creating a channel on popular social sites, find out where your customers are and meet them there.

The next time you’re served through a window on a street corner somewhere, say a thank you to the lowly taco truck. And take a look at your approach to online video through their simple but powerful system. Limit your videos and playlists if you want to drive viewer interaction. And put your videos where your customers are congregating to support that interaction. In no time at all, your videos will be helping crank out business too.

This article appears in the Summer 2014 issue of Streaming Media European Edition as "What Your Video Strategy Can Learn From a Taco Truck."

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