The Secrets behind the Slack Growth Strategy [Video Marketing Case Study]

Teh secrets behind the slack growth strategy A video markerting case study

Probably you already know Slack, for those who don’t, Slack is a cloud-based team collaboration tool. Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams. But the impressive part is the Slack growth strategy.

After it’s official launch back in the beginning of 2014 Slack quickly became one of the fastest growing b2b SaaS businesses. Below you can see a graph of its explosive growth in daily active users and paid users till 2016:

slack growth strategy daily users and paid customers

Slack’s explosive user growth (Source: TechCrunch)

Today Slack has more than 3 Million daily active users, of which 940,000 are paying customers.
But behind Slack’s success lies also an effective video marketing strategy.

So let’s crack right into the Slack growth strategy from a video marketing perspective.

Driving Awareness

Back in 2014 when Slack launched the focus was on driving awareness. In August 2014 the team decided to use video as a part of their launch strategy.

They hired Sandwich Video, a video production company that does live action videos, and made the first Slack explainer video.

The purpose of the video was to tell people about Slack and how it can improve team communication.


Slack’s launch video

The production team shows in a humorous way on how Slack improved their own company.

Slack set out to define a new a market. Therefore it was important to educate people and help them understand the tools utility.

From a marketing standpoint Slack is “selling the innovation, not the product” as the founder Steward Butterfield sees it. One of the crucial parts of the Slack growth strategy, especially in the early stages. (Source: Medium)

Try to remember this as you watch through each of their videos.

Half a year later their numbers more than tripled, making it to 500,000 daily users on the app beginning of 2015.

Explaining Abstract Concepts

In October that year they went ahead and launched another explainer video.

This time they made an animated explainer video using 2D custom animation.

This animation style is good for explaining abstract concepts, making it perfect for explaining apps and software products like Slack.

Slack’s video – Communication Without Chaos

In this video we see a more high level approach explaining how they solve the problem, still focusing on awareness but also on the benefits of their product.

The most important part is the voice over, featuring the TED speaker and creator of 99% Invisible Roman Mars.

Setting the Right Expectations for Users and Onboarding

But soon after a while the Slack team was faced with a different problem. They found that many people were interested in their product, and had heard great things, but they weren’t clear on all its features.

In other words, potential customers didn’t know exactly what to expect from the product.

Slack once again turned to video to solve the problem.

They created something more concrete to answer frequent questions and showcase the product.

This time they went for the Screencast animation style.

Slack’s interface focus video

They showcased their user interface in an engaging way, which can be challenging when there are no human characters or changes in scene.

They focused on showing the little important details but avoided being too technical, keeping it short and sweet for the viewer.

After watching you get a clear picture of what to expect from the product.

Clearly video was working for them, but they didn’t stop there.

They went on to collaborate on producing six additional onboarding videos, all feature-focused using the same screencast animation style.

Making TV commercials for Promotion

In the end of 2015 the company followed-up with two great TV commercials which went viral throughout the web.

If you haven’t seen them, don’t worry, we’ve found them for you.

The first one uses 3D animation, another popular animation style and is about wild animals inventing flying umbrellas. Yep, you read that right.

But see for yourself:

Slack’s 3D animated TV commercial – Animals

Butterfield also says Slack is “selling better organizations, better teams” and this is clearly depicted this animated explainer video. It’s unique and memorable.

Notice also how they shifted to more show than tell as suppose in the previous videos.

Now if you were impressed by that one, you will definitely like the next one.

Slack’s TV commercial – Spaceship

Interestingly this one apparently started by making the catchy song from the 40s first (Song: “Count Your Blessings And Smile” by George Formby)

The messaging is very similar to the one in the previous video. This time the animated characters are building a spaceship as a conduit for amazingness.

The animation style is a mix of traditional 2D animation and 3D, very difficult to pull off.

The Result

It’s inspiring to see that a company that isn’t too afraid to try ideas that are a bit out there.

In all the videos the production quality is extremely high.

They aimed for the best and never backed down on quality.

Each of them is unique in its own way and generated tons of new business for Slack.

These are some of the key points among the others already mentioned in the case study, that made the Slack growth strategy successful.


Slack is a company that went all out on video.

They used different approaches to grow their company, tackling everything from awareness to onboarding and promotion.

You’ve also seen a quick overview of different animation styles and how they can work in your favor.

Truth is you can create and produce amazing results when pairing your knowledge about your users together with the honed skills of a professional explainer video company.

When you make a video for your audience you have the opportunity to speak to your audience and let them know, that you truly understand their problem.

You let them know that you care about their result and they will love you for it.

Also you don’t need to be a big company to achieve that.

I hope you can draw some inspiration from our post. If you’d like make an expaliner video to grow your company, contact us at: