This might come as a surprise many of you—it certainly surprised me—that the top three social networks for B2B marketing are: Twitter, LinkedIn, and…YouTube. Yes, YouTube. Twitter and LinkedIn aren’t terribly surprising, but YouTube beat out both Facebook and Google+ for third place. So what does this mean? When you’re developing your client’s digital strategy make sure YouTube is in the mix. YouTube is both a B2C and B2B tool because those “business” viewers are still real people who are behaving like the consumers that they really are. Think about it. People behave the same way when looking for products and services for their business as they do for themselves.
Maybe Not So Surprising After All
When I first read this study from B2B Marketing I was as surprised as you might be right now. After I had some time to reflect on it, it hit me— of course YouTube is popular for B2B marketing—businesses are made up of people and people love to visit YouTube (by the millions daily). People visit YouTube for entertainment, learning, product reviews, and product information. When you’re looking for a new lawnmower, TV, or laptop you will probably watch a video or see an ad on YouTube at some point in your search. So why would it be any different when you’re looking for a new CRM or project management system for work? It wouldn’t be and turns out it probably isn’t. If you’re working with a B2B brand, it makes perfect sense to have a YouTube channel with product overviews, demos, lessons, and any other video content (testimonials, press releases, etc) for current and potential customers to view. Even if your target market is “business focused” it’s the people in the business making the buying decisions, so target the people with the videos.
While this report is new, word must have been spreading around about how powerful and effective YouTube is for B2B marketing because according to the same B2B Marketing study, between 2011 and 2013 YouTube jumped 11% in the standings—knocking Facebook to fourth place in the process. The question is—what’s next/what now?
How To Leverage YouTube For Business Clients
This study reinforces the best practice of using YouTube as a business’ hub for its videos. Remember, this strategy uses a four-pronged approach to getting the most out of YouTube for business videos:
1. Customers finding and watching a business’ videos its YouTube Channel
2. Embedding the videos on a business’ website
3. Embedding/sharing videos on a business’ own social media accounts (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+)
4. Customers/viewers sharing the videos on viewers’ own social media accounts
Using this four-pronged approach, any business client you work with will be able to get exposure for its videos from: a YouTube search, a Google search, its corporate website, and a range of social media platforms.
How Different is B2B From B2C Really?
As a final thought, it occurred to me while digesting these findings, that we as strategists and marketers often compartmentalize B2B and B2C tactics into completely separate silos. While granted, the language and outlets for B2B and B2C campaigns differ in many ways, that however speaks more to the mindset of the target audience than the marketing principles in general. If nothing else, these data from B2B Marketing reveal that a tactic often associated with B2C marketing (videos posted to YouTube) can also work with B2B marketing if we recognize people behave similarly when researching consumer or business products.