The popularity of online video hasn’t gone unnoticed by B-to-B marketers, who are eyeing YouTube and other video publishing services as a potential channel for their marketing strategies.
While most are still wondering where to start, retail research firm BIGresearch got a jump a few years ago when it created monthly video email newsletters highlighting its newest research (see hotlink below for previous Case Study). Last November, the company saw the explosion of video-sharing sites as a way to reach even more viewers and further publicize their research services to prospective clients.
“People have iPhones and other ways to access video from wherever they are. We can offer that service now. It’s our attempt to keep up with new opportunities for making the content available through different distribution channels,” says Gary Drenik, President & CEO.
We spoke to Drenik and his video production team to get their tips on using YouTube and other video platforms to broadcast their B-to-B content:
-> Tip #1. Create a YouTube channel to organize your videos
Most video-sharing sites offer free memberships to upload videos. On YouTube, each member’s video contributions are organized into “channels,” which act as your homepage on the service. Channel pages include:
o A description of the content creator -- in this case, your business
o A range of communication options, including the ability for users to email you, subscribe to your channel or share videos with friends
o The channel’s history on YouTube, including creation date, total number of videos added and most recent video
o Hotlinks to all videos uploaded by that member
Creating a YouTube channel is simple:
- Register as a user with your company’s name as your YouTube user name.
- Once registered, you can access the My Account section to change your channel settings to control features, such as allowing user comments.
-> Tip #2. Make videos with high production values
While the homemade look is fine for the general public, B-to-B videos should employ high-quality, professional techniques to reflect your brand and convey authority.
- BIGresearch partners with a local TV station to use its news anchors to deliver their monthly research briefings on consumer economic and retail trends. “We wanted to be professional and from day one have nice production qualities.”
- They also include animated charts, graphics and other images to help illustrate key data points as the presenter describes them, to “make the information come alive,” says Drenik.
-> Tip #3. Upload videos on a regular schedule
To create a following online, present new videos on a regular schedule that doesn’t cannibalize other video outreach you might do.
- Drenik’s team uploads new video briefings the last week of each month.
- Videos are only added to YouTube and other video-sharing sites after they have gone out to email newsletter subscribers, so those members get the first look at the monthly report.
-> Tip #4. Set different goals for your video audience
Drenik and his team developed their original video newsletters as a lead generation technique to help gather opt-in names and potential customers for their research services.
With online video hosting, there’s less ability to track who is viewing your content, so Drenik’s goal instead is to use online video to raise awareness about the company and reach viewers who aren’t already subscribers to the newsletter service.
- So far, Drenik’s YouTube videos attract 50-250 viewers each month. While that’s a small number compared to the company’s 20,000 video email newsletter subscribers, Drenik says they’re leveraging existing video content to reach out to viewers who might never have heard of the company but might be inspired to visit the site to explore more research.
- Halfway through each briefing, Drenik’s team inserts a 45-second pitch for potential customers to sponsor their video briefings or partner to develop custom video content for their own customers. Those spots include the telephone number and Web site so prospects can contact the company for more information.
-> Tip #5. Use video-sharing sites as your online library
Accounts on YouTube and other sites allow members to organize all their videos in one place, creating what Drenik calls “a library effect.”
- Video briefings from previous months are available long after they have gone out to subscribers, allowing viewers to catch up on data they may have missed or get historical perspective on consumer trends.
- The team members also use their YouTube channel to display other videos that aren’t appropriate for their monthly video email newsletters. For example, the company’s channel includes clips of BIGresearch executives’ recent appearances on national cable TV shows, such as CNBC’s ‘Power Lunch.’
-> Tip #6. Use different video sites for different purposes
There’s a wealth of video-sharing sites on the Web, and different services can provide niche applications for B-to-B marketers, depending on the features they offer:
- Use YouTube for reach and exposure. As the most popular online video site, creating a YouTube Channel can expose your content to the largest online audience.
- Use blip.tv to embed videos on your own or partners’ Web sites. One of the benefits of online video sites is that they allow you to host streaming video using someone else’s bandwidth. YouTube and blip.tv make it easy for users to embed video on their own sites without having to host the files on their own servers.
However, YouTube brands all embedded videos with a YouTube watermark in the bottom right corner. By contrast, blip.tv doesn’t place their logo on embedded video, which means the embedded video promotes only your brand. For this reason, BIGresearch uses blip.tv for embedded videos.
-> Tip #7. Test tagging options to reach viewers
Once you have uploaded videos to an online sharing site, you’ll want to make it easy for people to find them. This is where tagging comes in. Tags are like keywords that video sites use to organize content.
The tags you assign to your videos will help viewers find your videos in searches. They’re also used to place your videos alongside related content, which can help users find you even when not looking for you by name.
Like keywords for search marketing, or subject lines for email newsletters, the right tags can boost the number of users who see your content. Drenik’s team is still experimenting with tags to find the combination that delivers the most viewers, but the tags they have used include:
o Black Friday
The key is to test a range of different tags to see which deliver the best results. Useful links related to this article
Creative samples from BIGresearch:
Past Sherpa article - Video Newsletter Gets High Viral Pass-Along & Unusually Strong Clicks:
TubeMogul - uploads to the top video sharing sites, and provides analytics data:
SOS Video Communications - creates BIGresearch’s video briefings:
USA Access - the Web design and hosting company that manages BIGresearch’s video accounts on YouTube, blip.tv and other sites: