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You Suck at Photoshop

Posted by on February 25, 2008

You Suck at PhotoshopThere is a video series on YouTube called “You Suck at Photoshop.” In these video tutorials Donnie walks through a few tips and tricks in Photoshop. Nothing special, right? Wrong, these videos collectively, have a few million views. All these people tune in just to watch someone tinker around with Photoshop for 3 minutes.

It turns out that Donnie’s videos are unique. Each particular tutorial is based on a story, for example; Donnie broke up with his wife and now wants to place his wedding ring on eBay. He then creates a tutorial on how to make an attractive picture of his wedding ring. Once the picture is finished, he puts the ring up on eBay. But wait! Donnie changes his mind, he wants to keep the ring, but alas it is too late, the ring is now displayed on eBay for all to see. This is one example (of many) of how Donnie interweaves a story into his Photoshop tutorials.

Donnie was able to capture 2 markets, the Photoshop tutorial market, and the “I want a funny video,” market. It doesn’t matter if you know how to use Photoshop, you will still laugh at his tutorials and find yourself engaged in his stories.

Now, imagine if Adobe had made those videos. In less than a year, Adobe would have millions of people watching their videos, learning about Photoshop and wanting to buy their products, do you think sales would increase? You betcha they would. Large companies throw some of their old video content on sites such as Youtube and then complain that nobody is watching their videos, well just because you throw up a video on Youtube doesn’t mean people are going to watch it.

So what are some of the key ingredients for creating successful viral marketing videos (or other viral marketing content in general)?

  • tell a story
  • make something entertaining
  • make sure whatever you create has spread-ability, meaning it’s easy to share/spread
  • make something worth talking about
  • use non-scripted content (or not obvious scripted content), save the scripted stuff for your corporate site
  • scarcity is the new ubiquity, focus on your niche
  • engage in the conversation with your viewers/searchers/etc.
  • start the process by telling your friends/family/co-workers, utilize sites like digg, mixx, etc. to jump start the conversation
  • ask for feedback
  • listen to feedback
  • change it up, sure your stuff may be great one month, but eventually it will get boring
  • don’t make your content too long but don’t make it too short either, find a balance

Adobe currently has 9 videos uploaded on youtube, all uploaded within the past few months. Collectively only 2,791 people viewed these videos (they are about other Adobe products, non-photoshop). Compare that with the 209,349 people that viewed Donnie’s “You Suck at Photoshop #7,” video in just the past 2 days!

Here we have a multi-billion dollar corporation vs Donnie. One has access to virtually unlimited resources; the other makes videos from home. One has a multi million dollar marketing budget the other probably has a virtually non-existent marketing budget.

This is a great example of how some large corporations do not understand how to utilize social media marketing to their advantage. If I were Adobe, I would politely invite Donnie out to dinner and ask him for a few tips.

If you have any more items to add to my list please, let me know and I will amend the blogpost and give you full credit for your idea. As usual, I’d love to hear all of your ideas/comments/feedback. If you would like to see some of the “You Suck at Photoshop” videos I created a Squidoo Lens that houses all of them, enjoy!

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  • korkie

    I want ‘Donnie’ to teach me Photoshop.

  • ytica130


  • max191

    Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful.
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  • thanks for sharing the information, great site, will revisit again.

  • Adobe currently has 9 videos uploaded on youtube, all uploaded within the past few months. Collectively only 2,791 people viewed these videos (they are about other Adobe products, non-photoshop). Compare that with the 209,349 people that viewed Donnie’s “You Suck at Photoshop #7,” video in just the past 2 days! yeahhh

  • nice post!

  • Anonymous

    booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo you suckkkkkkkkkk