Last week, B2B ABM software company Demandbase launched a hub for their streaming video content, called DBTV. It’s part of a new trend that finds a number of vendors ramping up their video offerings, in some cases approaching the production value and authority of what viewers would expect from a committed TV publisher.
Content departments have always had a choice to make about what kind of content they’re looking to unleash, and how much of it. With over-the-top (OTT) devices encouraging TV watchers to cut the cord (linear cable services, that is), the entire landscape for TV viewing has changed. This democratization of TV gives the green light to marketers who seek to launch their own streaming apps and similar video offerings. Just having a YouTube channel doesn’t seem to cut it anymore.
Who’s going after Netflix? Salesforce announced their own streaming service, Salesforce+, slated for next month. It will broadcast live events and on-demand content. In their release, Salesforce President and CMO Sarah Franklin draws comparisons with other content and product brands, including Disney, Netflix and Peloton.
Terminus also promises high production value with a trailer for their upcoming lineup (also launching next month), which will include a regular series hosted by Terminus co-founder Sangram Vajre. Vajre already has a significant following built around the vendor-agnostic “#FlipMyFunnel” podcast. The associated community boasts more than 10,000 members.
Phase One. Jon Leiberman, Demandbase VP of Content, Social and Influencer Marketing, indicated to us that last week’s unveiling of DBTV represents phase one of the strategy. Leiberman will also host his own video series on their DBTV hub, called “I’m Thinking of…”.
Leiberman has served in the content role for four months, and in his audit of Demandbase’s content, he found a lack of video.
“One of my initial ideas was, why don’t we do a streaming video hub?” he said. “We know it works for B2C, with the success of Netflix, so why can’t we make it work for B2B? That, coupled with attendance being down for virtual events, showed that it’s a hard ask to show up at a given time and commit to the event. It’s not how people are living their lives these days. They want it when they want it. Even for TV, appointment viewing doesn’t exist except for news and sports.”
Ungated for now. One of the open questions about this more robust video content push on the part of B2B tech orgs is whether they will treat this as standard lead gen or something more. Currently, Salesforce’s owned video content (prior to their fall launch) is gated, requiring its potential audience members to register in order to view the content.
Demandbase’s approach is more laid-back in this regard.
“The thought behind DBTV was, frankly, let’s be empathetic and think about how people in this world are consuming content, and how easily accessible we can make it in an ungated, digestible format,” said Leiberman. “Our hope is that they find relevant informative and content where they want to consume it.”
He added that this aligns with the company’s principle for B2B account-based experience. In the same way that marketers aim to find the right account at the right time, so, too, will the audience for B2B strategies find the right content at the right time.
Why we care. It might require a big leap of faith to compare content about ABM to the latest Netflix binge-watching, even for the most devoted B2B target market. But somewhere below this ambitious goal, a video hub or streaming app by these B2B leaders will still attract eyeballs and some engagement.
For Demandbase, a next phase includes allowing watchers to register under their own personae and filling out more video content to meet these sub-topic demands. The result could be a robust offering that will fill the need for business professionals and decision makers to self-educate while also being nurtured by an informed, data-driven nurture experience.
Everybody will know more about the magnitude and potential for B2B streaming content as others get their horses in the race. Because the B2B marketing audience is full of, well, marketers, expect these video content strategies to expand across the larger B2B space.