We’ve been following some chatter in the b2b circles on the validity of viral marketing for b2b.
And, if you are wondering if we’ve caught the b2c viral bug—the short answer is no.
The long answer is that we, as b2b marketers, aren’t focused on mass popularity as a means for getting a potential prospect’s attention.
Wouldn’t it be really exciting for 10 million people to share your video? Exciting, yes. Profitable? Probably not.
As we’ve mentioned in a couple of blogs lately (here and here), the nature of b2b buying decisions isn’t impulsive or hype driven. B2B products are often a much larger investment than many B2C products. For instance, many of our clients sell systems and services that are million dollar investments. The decision to choose these products is built on value, ROI, relationships, trust and a guarantee that our clients will stand by their products to get the job done right. These are products that are often used by a business much longer term than many B2C products. So it’s a decision that a prospective B2B customer doesn’t take lightly—one that wouldn’t be affected by any old cat video. A job or professional reputation could be on the line.
As our client's communicators-in-chief, we focus on education, thought leadership and explaining their message to enhance the quality of views of a digital asset and not on quantity or virality. In other words, we want a video to be seen by people who want to see it and learn more about the product. It does us no good to gain a million views on a product only needed by 100 companies a year.
But what about the claim that virality is free publicity? And that the exposure itself leads to more attention on your brand and your product in the spotlight.
Well, often this free publicity is not really free. Even with professional production and spot-on messaging many companies pay a lot to get their so-called viral video to become viral. In a recent article in B2B Marketing Magazine, Jessica McGreal highlights several B2C brands that have come under fire for paying for views which were not obtained organically and then denying it. Pay-for-views is becoming a business norm in the B2C sphere.
Our recommendation? Stop thinking quantity. Start thinking quality.
While a viral video may be alluring our focus is on engagement. Because, when a prospect engages with your video, by commenting, clicking-through or sharing, it is a better indication that they are interested in your brand and product. It becomes more active than a view. It becomes a better indication of what type of information your prospect wants and when you should follow up.
Ready to create an engaging video that offers a return on your investments? Learn more about how we approach creating content pieces and measuring that engagement.
Read the article that inspired this post here.