Necessity is the mother of invention. For example, former U.S. Navy SEAL, Randy Hetrick, was a squadron leader who needed to keep his troops in peak condition no matter where they were deployed. So, he conceived the TRX Suspension Trainer.
Hetrick used boat repair tools to stitch together some extra parachute webbing, quickly tested several prototypes while in the field, and presto – military commandos found an ideal physical training system in the form of the TRX Suspension Trainer.
While it may be obvious how to use standard exercise equipment, it’s not quite as apparent how to use TRX trainers at first blush. But, thanks to YouTube, fitness-seekers can learn the ABCs of TRX total body workouts from the inventor himself – or from the product’s huge YouTube user community – in the time it takes to access the TRXtraining’s Channel on YouTube.
Typically, TRX aims to spend $40 on online advertising for each sale it generates from its ads. When TRX tested YouTube for some of its campaigns, specifically for the launch of its new TRX Rip Trainer, the company generated an advertising cost per sale of $14, about 65% lower than their average.
John Packowski, the manager of search, comparison, social, e-commerce, and digital marketing at TRX, is the first to admit that the muscle behind the company’s marketing campaigns is YouTube. In addition, he learns more from his YouTube and Google ad reps in terms of structure, well-designed content, and timing.
Over the last decade, the lightweight, portable, and innovative Suspension Training equipment and exercise programs have changed how pro and amateur athletes train for sport, improved the way soldiers maintain combat readiness, and transformed the way exercise instructors work with clients. With 107 employees and a rapidly growing international sales force, TRX is contributing to a fitter society and improving millions of personal health profiles.
In the past, TRX had a basic YouTube Channel, but it was not being monetized, notes Packowski. While video is undeniably the best medium to showcase TRX products and programs, the TRX videos were too long, and the content was hard to find.
“When our YouTube rep started working closely with me about how to reshape our existing video assets, and demonstrated some best case scenarios to successfully leverage the finer points of YouTube’s emerging product lines, I knew I had the best strategic advisor imaginable. It’s a great continuous partnership,” he said.
Packowski began to re-prioritize the company’s product messaging, edit content to capture viewer attention front-and-center, and focus it more sharply on benefits. He ramped up with small TrueView in-search and in-display video ad campaigns, and then updated them with overlays and strong calls to action. “I was delighted to see an immediate lift in awareness as well as increased conversions stemming directly from YouTube,” he says.
When TRX recently introduced a new product – the TRX Rip Trainer – Packowski mounted a YouTube TrueView in-search and in-display video ad campaign that was the “most successful video campaign I’ve done in years in terms of cost-effective conversions.”
When TRX was included on YouTube’s 2010 Holiday Wall, the sales pitch was: “You may not be able to fit a treadmill into a Christmas stocking, but you can definitely give the gift of fitness in the form of a TRX Pro Kit.” And during the 2011 holiday season, TRX promoted their searchable collection of Christmas gift ideas via TrueView video ads.
“The minute the holiday TrueView campaign switched on, search traffic increased and conversions lifted,” says Packowski. During the December 2011 holiday period, TRX’s YouTube channel banner – which touted Holiday Sale offers – was responsible for 7 percent of all holiday sales conversions through the paid search channels.
With TrueView ads, TRX had a new kind of win under its belt that drove more users to a landing page than ever before. TrueView works by displaying engaging video ads to qualified prospects before they watch premium content on YouTube. The user has an option to skip after 5 seconds and the advertiser only pays for the view if a prospect makes it past the 30 second mark or clicks on the video.
To add an additional twist to the January fitness boom, TRX targeted holiday shoppers using TrueView remarketing. Prospects who saw a TRX video ad but didn’t purchase were targeted with a special New Year’s promotion that drove even more sales at the start of the year.
By coincidence, the TRX system was featured on the syndicated American television morning talk show, “Live! With Kelly,” adding yet another dimension of success to the season. Using the flexibility of the YouTube advertising platform, Packowski quickly re-allocated his budget to capitalize on opportunity of being featured on the show hosted by Kelly Ripa Show, and watch traffic spike in near real time.
TRX has a huge community of passionate users who are never satisfied with the norm. They work up new ways to work out, using the equipment specifically to train for golf, tennis, and other sports, or just to maximize workouts. User-generated video is all over the TRX YouTube Channel, intertwined in the TRX web site, and is pushed out to Facebook and Twitter as well.
Using video in paid search ads has proved to be the most visually effective, highly flexible, and cost-effective online tactic Packowski has yet executed for TRX. But he’s not done trying to improve. Moving forward, Packowski says, “Because YouTube video ads are the most targetable, flexible, controllable tool out there – and delivers the best ROI for video advertising – I am fully committed to it. I welcome the opportunity to learn about everything new YouTube does.”