Ah, JHS Pedals. Known for their pedal mods and their original pedal designs. Every week their owner Josh Scott gives us a relaxing vlog of in-your-face distortion, drooling (usually over Boss Pedals), and stellar gear demoing.
If you were not in the loop, you would never realize that his vlog is a part of a larger marketing strategy to brainwash you into buying his pedals.
That was a joke (of course), but it holds some truth to it. That truth is that content marketing is one of the most powerful means of enticing users to purchase companies products.
A Golden Circle
A content marketer named Simon Sinek coined a concept known as the golden circle. It looks like this:
1. Why? Why are you doing this?
2. How? How will this help me?
3. What? What are you selling me?
(editors notes: you should probably make it look like a circle…)
If you look at most manufacturers, the focus is on the “What” section. What they do, what they sell, etc. They then work their way back to the “how”. “How will it help us”. Then they work their way back eventually to the “why”. “Why they make things the way they do.”
However, JHS’s (and many other companies) success comes from flipping this concept on its head. Instead of trying to sell us on his pedals, one could probably watch a few of his videos before you realize he even sells them himself.
Ok… So, why is he doing this again?
JHS’s owner is so passionate about guitar and pedal companies, that he will create unbiased demos where he shows off his favorite pedals made by his competitors and usually throws in a quick, “oh, and here is one I make too, I based it off of this other pedal, it’s pretty cool too.”
He will even create videos that do not even relate to his company at all but rather focus on helping the consumer make a good purchase decision in their price range. JHS creates boutique pedals, most of them selling at about $200-$400 dollars. So, why is he creating buyer’s guilds for the “best pedals you can buy for under $100 dollars“?
It’s all about building report. Let’s think about how JHS’s vlogs apply to the Golden Circle.
We understand that JHS Pedals is passionate about guitar pedals, and his willingness to show off other companies products demonstrates this passion in a very easy to grasp way.
The JHS Pedals vlog also serves as a brilliant tutorial for how to use guitar pedals in a real-world application. Unlike other pedal companies that simply show a pedal and give a quick demo of its sound, Scott will talk about how the pedal can be used, what genres typically use it, and why it sounds the way it does.
This approach helps to show both Scott’s understanding of its customers needs but also helps show the customer how many applications they can use their pedals for in a real-world scenario.
In most episodes, Scott will include his products in his demos as well, showcasing them as an option or an alternative to other companies. He usually stresses that his products are not “superior”, but simply options. This humble mentality has helped him win over many fans by giving them the impression that he is not trying to lie to anyone about his pedals being the best.
Scott will also separate his promotional content from his vlogs, to also better help the end buyer to understand what is promotional, and what is informational.
Cool. Explain to me again why this works.
In a rock star’s world, anyone claiming to be the best will immediately face harsh critics, but by approaching it in a humble and interesting way, JHS Pedals has gained many loyal fans of his work. You don’t need to be able to afford a thousand-dollar guitar rig to be able to appreciate JHS’s videos.
In a way, helping people to get hooked on guitar effects at a lower cost means that JHS will remain front of mind for when they eventually are able to afford to upgrade their rig. When the time comes to buy a new pedal, they will instinctively think back to JHS and how they have helped them in the past.
Be nice to people! People value authenticity, and will reward you for it with their business. What may seem like a terrible short-term strategy can produce amazing long term results!