February 04, 2015
Case Study

B2B Content Marketing: Video campaign leveraging pop culture lifts new leads generated 20%

SUMMARY: B2Bs are people, too. Bringing fun and creativity to a B2B audience is a strategy that can set one business apart from the pack.

Learn how Fiberlink, an IBM company, uses video content to nurture leads and infuse trending entertainment elements, such as "Game of Thrones," to gain business for its platform, MaaS360. The result of the creative video effort at Fiberlink netted a 20% increase in new leads generated for the company.
by Erin Hogg, Reporter

Fiberlink, an IBM company, provides products and services for enterprise mobility management and security solutions. Leveraging its platform MaaS360, the company provides a secure productivity suite, secure document sharing, a mobile enterprise gateway and advanced mobile management to businesses of all sizes.

Touting the ability for companies to use MaaS360 to manage corporate-issued smartphones, tablets and laptops, Fiberlink supports more than 6,000 customers, ranging from small businesses to large global enterprises.

Fiberlink operates in enterprise mobility management, which involves managing data on mobile devices, being able to lock and wipe devices as well as triage lost devices. The solution manages content distribution, including PowerPoints and Word documents, and allows corporate employees to edit those documents in a secure environment.

Fiberlink provides a bring-your-own-device environment that's a true separation of work data and life data, according to Rob Patey, Marketing Manager, Fiberlink.


The challenge that Fiberlink and many brands face is to fill a huge content stream, according to Patey.

"Google has essentially thrown down the gauntlet over the past few years, saying you can no longer regurgitate. You can no longer slap together two pieces of articles and say we're keyword dense to try to fake the system," Patey said.

Fiberlink's content had to be original, sharable and something potential customers wanted to engage with versus the usual corporate pabulum. It also had to generate new business.

"We must now fill a multitude of facets within the sales funnel at this point," he said.


Fiberlink leverages white papers and e-books for content marketing and to help educate potential prospects about the current state of mobile device management.

To add a human element to their content marketing efforts, the team at Fiberlink also creates an array of in-house produced webinars and video content to further draw in, and engage with, potential customers.

The team aims to make some videos humorous, leveraging pop culture trends in movies and shows. One of those campaigns included a webinar sharing the differences of mobile operating systems and discussing how Fiberlink's MaaS360 provides complete control across all of them.

Instead of taking a traditional approach with a slide deck and talking heads, the team turned to leveraging the popular HBO show and book series, "Game of Thrones," and produced their own version, "Game of Phones."

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Fiberlink's solutions are targeted at IT teams to help them deliver end-to-end security and management systems through its enterprise mobility management platform.

Companies using the MaaS360 product range from small businesses to educational institutions, public agencies and global enterprises.

In highly regulated industries, including health care, finance and government, data security is a high priority, and Fiberlink aims to provide a solution to help avoid breaches and meet industry compliance standards.

Step #1. Partner with a vendor

Previously at Fiberlink, the team leveraged YouTube to host its video content. At that time, there were no capabilities to add calls-to-action in video, which meant that prospects wouldn’t be driven back to the Fiberlink site to learn more.

Additionally, the team wanted to have more control on how thumbnails and video pages appeared to viewers.

"You'd get a choice of three different pieces of your video that it would randomly give to you, and you had to put one of those on front, and if you had somebody talking and their mouth was open in all three, you had to pick which was the best one," Nathan Salla, Web Interface Designer, Fiberlink, said.

Fiberlink partnered with a video marketing platform to be able to add in calls-to-action at the end of their videos, which would take viewers to a free trial of its keystone product or drive them to more resources related to a video's content focus.

In addition to the look and feel of how the video content was presented, the team leveraged the platform to gain deeper data insights from video performance.

"So really, at the end of the day, from my analytics standpoint, [the video marketing platform] goes a step beyond just the basics offered by YouTube, not to disparage YouTube. Their abilities and insights have grown exponentially over the years, but they are a consumer and a business application," Patey said.

The platform was implemented to also tie into Fiberlink's marketing automation provider. This allows for deeper insights gained from video analytics, including what videos users are watching and heatmaps of video sections viewed the most.

"At the end of the day, we're trying to drive revenue from our videos, not merely create 'Chocolate Rain' so a million people will love us. Not [that] a million people are ever going to love us. There [are] always only going to be a subset of the world that likes [a] mobile device management solution," Patey said.

Step #2. Create in-house videos

Fiberlink has made significant investments in online video content to differentiate the company in its marketplace and better engage audiences with stories and content journeys. They use video at every stage of the buying cycle to engage, educate, qualify and convert business.

Patey and Salla create the in-house videos for Fiberlink, teaming up to write the content and design graphic animations for the videos.

For a small team, it's a large undertaking, and they both make time to complete videos after main projects are taken care of.

A video with complex animation, such as the "Guardians of the Galaxy's Mobile Devices," featuring an animated alien, generally takes up to 200 hours to completely animate.

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Patey generates ideas and copy for each video, working with Salla to perform voiceovers in the videos.

Filming is kept simple, starting in its early stages as being recorded on an iPhone and then once the program developed, using professional video equipment.

One of the driving forces behind the video effort stemmed from a digital summit Patey attended in which he learned that 80% of a sales process is done via search before a sales team ever talks to a prospect.

"Why video? Because we must fill that 80% stream, and we must fill it with a branded message, especially in the age of social," Patey explained.

Patey added that in an IT market, he has found that the voice that is the smartest carried the furthest.

"Those guys are pretty smart when it comes to Reddit and Twitter and any other thing that gives you exponential reach of voice across the Internet. So that's why [we use video]. These videos are just an essential element of what I don't even want to call the marketing funnel anymore. I want to call it the marketing web because it's just not a straight shot anymore," he said.

Step #3. Develop video content for lead generation

In keeping an engaging tone with potential customers while still providing educational content, the team looks to think out of the box for many of its videos.

One webinar this year was centered on the three top smartphone operating systems: Apple, Android and Windows. The webinar's title, "Game of Phones," was a play on words from the HBO series, "Game of Thrones," and kept the theme in the webinar, referring to the devices as "houses:"
  • Apple as House Lannister — leader of the smartphone realm

  • Android as House Targaryen — playing on the device diversity that was once keeping Android in exile, now turned a powerful OS

  • Windows as House Stark — full of battle scars in the battle for mobility

To promote the webinar, the team created a trailer, appearing three days before the main event via social media and promoted on the site.

Once the webinar live broadcast was complete and the video replay was ready to be posted on-demand on the Fiberlink website, it was gated behind a registration page to capture more leads.

After the on-demand webinar had been posted, the team continued to monitor new leads coming in who were filling out the registration pages.

"These videos that Nathan and I created eight months ago just generated six or seven inbound leads last week. That's not bad for something you just throw on the Internet … there is a high probability that a sale will come from that," Patey said.

In addition to webinars hosted by the Fiberlink team, they also produce ungated video content featuring thought leaders at Fiberlink to address specific industry verticals.

For example, the company's "Ask a MaaSter" series brings on knowledgeable team members who work with specific industries to help explain how the platform can address specific issues, such as HIPAA compliance for the health care segment.

Two cadences exist with this video content — high-level mobile device management topics in the industry, such as a video on the ABCs of device management, and videos targeted to prospects deeper in the funnel filled with more content from senior-level Fiberlink employees.

Having been acquired by IBM, Fiberlink also shares thought leadership pieces from experts at IBM as well.

For hot leads looking for more information on the MaaS360 solution, videos and webinars that are more product-based are leveraged to address specific questions prospects may have, such as how to enroll their business' smartphones in the solution.

"Everybody's afraid to do long content because essentially they don't have anything to say. If you're going to do a four-minute video of pabulum, you should be terrified to put it out there, but if you've got four-minutes of valuable content and something to say, we've proven that somebody will sit there for the full four minutes," Patey said.

Step #4. Promote the videos

To get more eyes on Fiberlink's video content, posts are shared across social networks to generate more engagement.

With a dedicated social media team member, content is pushed out smartly, leveraging only the most useful social networks for Fiberlink's targeted audience, such as LinkedIn.

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LinkedIn and Twitter are also used, with Google Plus utilized to help SEO. Patey explained that while the team does post on Facebook, they have found it to be more a personal network and not for business.

"I still think there's a bit of a bad etiquette if you go too heavy on Facebook and go after people on Facebook. It's that personal network still," Patey said.

When posting content on social, the team ensures to leverage popular hashtags in its industry, such as #mobility and #EMM (enterprise mobility management).

Step #5. Analyze video content effectiveness

Using the video platform's analytics, the team can view information on prospects viewing and interacting with videos.

As of recently, the capabilities of the video platform have been tied into Fiberlink's sales automation system, which allows the company's inside sales reps to view a lead's behavior with Fiberlink's content and help the team analyze when would be the most opportune time to reach out to them.

Before the automation element was implemented, the marketing team relied on form fill data from leads who watched a video on Fiberlink and were sent to an asset via the video's CTA.

Patey and the marketing team have found that with using video content, they have yet to create and market a video project that has not worked to help generate new business.

In the "Game of Phones" campaign, Patey and Salla noted that at first glance of the results, they did not achieve as many attendees for the live event as they would have liked to see.

However, the team then saw that the amount of new people to Fiberlink's content was higher.

From realizations like this, Patey and Salla noted that while videos with a more "just the facts" approach generated much of the same webinar attendees, the more creative and pop culture related topics, like "Game of Phones," reeled in new prospects for Fiberlink.

"I am a dork, so I can say this because they are my people. We got in a lot of the fantasy dorks, but they all need to buy IT software," Patey said.


At the end of the day, Patey, Salla and the team at Fiberlink have strived to make B2B communications more exciting, relatable and ultimately, "cooler."

"That's really what we want to do, and we've proven that it does bolster results. We've also proven that it's a lot of work."

As a result of the "Game of Phones" campaign, the team saw a 20% increase in new leads generated compared to previous, similar content campaigns.

Fiberlink attributes this lift to message differentiation, a fun and creative tone and the resulting organic sharing from the campaign.

In addition, the video campaign led to a 10% increase in downstream content consumption for those who engaged in the original video asset.

"If I look at what I've done in the same time period, take an eight week slot of time where we probably did two other types of webinars in that time period, I'm not getting the same longevity … it's more registrations and more leads each week that we would not have had had we not done this video and done it in this fashion," Patey explained.

For other content on the site, such as e-books, the team has discovered that those with a piece of video content, such as a trailer, tend to garner up to 3% more registrations to view the complete asset. When dealing with a mass volume of leads, a small uptick for Fiberlink can make a huge difference.

The biggest key to video content success, according to Patey, is being able to balance resources. Videos, such as "Game of Phones," take time and dedication to complete.

However, creating a message that is personal and entertaining in the B2B space has set the team's efforts apart from the pack.

"We all know we have to watch this stuff simply to get our jobs done at the end of the day, but wouldn't you prefer to be with the company who delivers the message in the most palatable form possible?" Patey explained.

As for future content efforts, Patey is aiming to dive deeper into the analytics of leads watching and digesting content to understand what content category sites prospects were on before coming to Fiberlink and what sites they were on after digesting content.

Patey firmly believes video will be what keeps Fiberlink moving forward, as video content becomes a more essential element of the Web.

"Every company just sort of keeps taking these baby steps deeper down the video channel, and it just makes sense as bandwidth increases and processors increase and our devices can do better. It's just going to be the next level of selling for everybody," Patey concluded.

Creative Samples

  1. "Game of Phones" trailer

  2. "Guardians of the Galaxy's Mobile Devices" still

  3. "Game of Phones" registration page

  4. Social post




Related Resources

Mobile Marketing: Use video content as a tactic to engage your customers

Content Marketing: Lord of the airline safety videos

How to Optimize Video Content for SEO: 7 Tactics to Improve Your Rankings

Content Marketing: How McGladrey built a strategy around content development [Video]

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