Tom Sawyer said it takes a lot of friends to whitewash a fence. Hillary Rodham Clinton says it takes a village to teach a child. And YouTube is saying it takes a genuine community to build a channel. But, if you’re a B2B marketer, then is it really necessary to “engage with (your viewers) and build a genuine community around your channel and what it stands for?” That’s what Version 3 of the YouTube Creator Playbook now tells us to do. This seems like great advice if you’re promoting , , or . But what if you’re responsible for B2B marketing at Google Analytics, Adobe Systems, or Cisco?
An Introduction to B2B Video Success Via Social Practices
Now, some of the important tips, best practices, and strategies that YouTube has compiled in the Creator Playbook make perfect sense if you have a B2B channel. Even B2B marketers need to use programming to “build a cohesive channel strategy and viewing experience.” And you’ve got to use optimization to “ensure your videos reach the widest possible audience.” But, do you really have to become a community organizer, too?
I know, that’s asking a lot. But if it were easy, then we’d all be getting the minimum wage.
Get it? Got it? Good.
So, if you can’t manage programming, optimization, and community all by yourself, then you’ve got to assemble a team. And, if you don’t have the B2B marketing budget to hire a team of professionals, then you’ve got to round up your friends, family, and colleagues and cleverly persuade them to trade you small treasures for the privilege of doing your work.
Hey, if Tom Sawyer could do it, then why can’t you?
To help you get started, I’ve compiled a couple of important tips, best practices, and strategies that, God willing, will appear in “Schmooze Optimization 2: The Search for More B2B Video Success.” (There’s been a new breakthrough in B2B video marketing: Instant posts. They’re out in ReelSEO before the how-to video is finished!)
As we all know, blog outreach works for B2C marketers because “blogs and other sites are always looking for great content to feature that is relevant to their audience.” And it can also work for B2B marketers who reach out to blogs with “high quality, tailored content that is relevant to their audience.”
So, the first step is to use an influencer marketing platform like Traackr to find the influencers who are the most relevant to your business and the most likely to impact your bottom line. Traackr’s influencer search engine delivers the influencers that matter most to you based on your targeted keywords.
Subscription rates for Traackr starts at $399 a month, based on an account with a single, active campaign, and increase based on the number of active campaigns running in the account at any given time. There’s also a one-time setup fee for each account, which covers setup, training, and premium access to an account management team.
Now, if you can’t get the bean counters to approve the budget for Traackr, then it helps to know someone like David Waterhouse, the Head of Content at Unruly Media, who also writes for the and the Unruly Blog. He also has access to the , which has been collating video sharing data for seven years and now stores data from over 300 billion video streams, as well as a new algorithmic tool called ShareRank, which allows advertisers to predict the “shareability” of their social video advertising content before it is even launched.
Then, you need to build a relationship with Waterhouse before asking him to whitewash Aunt Polly’s fence for you. So, you might shoot him an email and tell him that you will be speaking at SES London 2013 on Tuesday, Feb. 19, in the session on the “Keys to Success with B2B Video.” You could casually mention that you’ve read his post, “ ,” which calls “Google Analytics In Real Life - Online Checkout” a brilliant new B2B ad.
Then, you can nonchalantly ask him if he’s seen any brilliant new B2B ads from Google? And when he tells you about “Google Analytics In Real Life - Landing Page Optimization,” don’t forget to thank him.
And even if you discover “Google Analytics In Real Life - Site Search” on your own, give him a tip of the hat for that one, too. It always pays to suck up to influential bloggers.
Cross-Promotion and Collaboration
Next, cross-promotion and collaboration works for everything from comedic musicals and adventures of remote-controlled cars to special effects and holistic living. And it can also work for B2B marketers if you “think holistically about your YouTube community.”
For example, SES London is Europe's leading digital marketing event. And 17 companies are sponsors and exhibitors. But one of these companies collaborating with SES London and promoting one of its B2B videos on the SES Conference & Expo channel on YouTube.
Which company is it?
Well, imagine asking your daughter-in-law, Melanie R. Jarboe, if she’s seen any brilliant new B2B ads. She’s an Associate at Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, a general practice law firm in Boston. She represents families who have children with special needs as well as individual clients with disabilities.
And imagine your surprise when she shows you “SES London 2013 Adobe BS Detector.”
Now, admittedly, she is your daughter-in-law. So, she probably knew that you were going to be speaking at SES London. And, considering that you are her father-in-law, it’s possible that she may have been looking to purchase a BS detector.
But, ignore that and look over there! Do you see the brilliance of Adobe’s strategy to cross-promote its B2B content to a relevant audience?
According to Adobe’s exhibitor profile, “Effective advertising starts with putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. Adobe Media Optimizer, part of the Adobe Marketing Cloud, gives you a single view across your media channels, so you know which placements and messages are producing the best results. What's more, by giving you a precise forecast of how your advertising will perform, Adobe can help you make the most of every dollar in your budget.”
That’s brilliant, simply brilliant. And don’t ask too many questions about why your daughter-in-law saw that before you did.
Finally, social media works for B2C marketers because “social media is a great way to turn your fans into a social army that will help you broadcast your content out to their personal networks.” And it can also work for B2B marketers if you use Facebook “to interact with your fans in different ways,” use Twitter “to interact with your fans in a conversational way,” and use Google+ “to engage with fans and other YouTube creators.” And don’t forget LinkedIn, which is the social media site that B2B marketers use most.
So, the first step is to use a social media analytics platform like SocialSnap, which brings together hundreds of metrics from multiple data sources (including custom sources and metrics unique to your organization) into a centralized location in order to make it easier for B2B marketers to compare and view data points in context, and to set goals and track progress against those goals over time.
Basic plans for a full license to all of SocialSnap’s data and features start at $500 a month and scale up to meet the needs of enterprise clients and agencies. Or, starting at $50 per month, you can get 2 free social channel reports with the purchase of 3 additional reports. There’s also special pricing on packages of 5 or more reports.
And, if you can’t get the bean counters to approve the budget for SocialSnap, then finally, if all else fails, you can politely ask your fans and followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to give you a hand. You might tweet something like “I’m speaking at SES London 2013 on the Keys to Success with B2B Video. Have you seen a brilliant new B2B ad that I should mention? #b2bvideo” or you could post a similar message to LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.
Who knows, maybe Leslie Drate, the Manager of Social Media at Cisco, might discover one of your messages in a bottle and take pity on you. She’s responsible for the planning, operations, and marketing strategy of Cisco’s global video strategy and corporate blog program. And she’s an expert on the Cisco video landscape and building effective videos for the B2B audience.
And she might give you a poke reminding you about the “Hackers of Troy | Cisco Systems.”
Now, if none of these new plays work, then read “Schmooze Optimization: What it is and Why it Expands Views, Engagement, and Earnings on YouTube” twice and call me in the morning.
And cut me some slack. When it comes to engaging with viewers and building genuine community around your B2B channel, there are no guarantees. If you want more predictable results, then go jumpstart your traffic with some video ads.
And, if you can’t get the bean counters to approve the budget for Google AdWords for video, then what more can I say? I think it was Confucius who said that money talks and BS walks.