Why your enterprise is (or isn't) on YouTube: Google's demand generation problem

There are several key factors holding back the adoption of YouTube in the enterprise, but there are also key reasons you should be doing it anyway.

The Google acquisition of YouTube, which was born in a San Bruno, California diner in 2006 by three ex-PayPal employees, has now become the biggest content repository on the planet. As of a few weeks ago, one hour of video is being uploaded to YouTube every second. The site currently has about four billion daily video views.

(In the time it took you to read those last two sentences, fifteen hours of video were uploaded.)

Here's another stat that won't be a shock: 98 out of the top 100 Advertising Age Top 100 advertisers are on YouTube.

But, over the last five years, I've worked with 60 or 70 B2B companies, and most have told me:

  • We don't know how to prove we drove revenue from YouTube
  • We're not sure how to integrate our lead generation with YouTube
  • We like YouTube, but we're just not sure how to know how much resources are "enough" to allocate to it

The reasons are clear - there are three key hurdles holding them back from jumping on YouTube in droves. But then, there are some pretty interesting reasons that many of these very same companies keep trying.

Reasons enterprise companies may be avoiding YouTube, or adopting slowly:

  • Demand Generation: These companies lack a fully integrated demand generation program to back up any new leads obtained from social media channels like YouTube. Their own marketing and sales teams are not in alignment.
  • A Double-Documentation Problem: Not only does the YouTube Content Creator Playbook lack B2B best practices or vertical best practices, it also lacks any vendor recommendations, (well, besides Google Analytics) for closed-loop marketing or lead generation from YouTube. Keep in mind, this initiative was aimed at musicians, educators and consumer-oriented content creators, not B2B companies, so you can't fault the Playbook for a lack of B2B focus.
  • Integration: The integration of Google+ and YouTube was not fleshed out in the late 2011 premium content program launch and enterprise marketers are confused. And anyone who has ever worked in marketing knows that confused marketers do not allocate budget.

But there's a flip side.

Reasons enterprise companies are checking YouTube out:

  • Video search: In B2B sales, video search is a clear and proven driver for getting leads in the funnel. eMarketer stats from June 2011 validate the findings: B2B is using video more than ever to generate leads and execute content marketing strategies.
  • Successful examples: Demand generation companies like Marketo, Eloqua, and Oracle's MarketToLead tout the virtues of YouTube in all of their documentation.
  • Lack of competition: None of the other platforms who proclaimed to be the YouTube of enterprise ever took off as content platforms. Remember Ooyala, Kaltura, Cisco Show & Share, or 23 Video? Neither do we. The only platform that even comes close is BrightCove and if I had to guess, I think Brainshark may do more from a demand generation perspective.

Bottom line

In the next few months, as Google Plus and YouTube integration gets tighter and tighter (and Facebook's already tight integration gets better), look for much greater use of YouTube in the enterprise. The two key use cases you'll be seeing it in are marketing and training/education.

In marketing use cases, you'll especially see it being used in the earlier-to-middle stages of the sales cycle, especially when buyer education is needed. If that's where your company's marketing is lagging or where your sales are falling flat, it may be worth looking into it, pronto.

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Adam Metz is the VP of Business Development at Metz Consulting the social concept, a social customer management-consulting firm, based in Oakland, California. Metz has consulted with companies since 2006 on how to acquire, manage, monetize and retain...


I work with a lot of clients who still block YouTube. This is unfortunate because there are so many great training videos on YT. The videos have gotten even better since YouTube upped the limit on movie length. Adam - would you say that Google is a company that takes full advantage of YT. I'm thinking specifically about their Google Apps channel -


In the past, little B2B advertising was done on television or other video content delivery systems. It was mostly sales people, trade publication ads and shows, direct e-mail or snail mail, etc. Producing a video for B2B entails all of the production costs of a TV ad (or more, since the video probably won't be limited to 30 seconds), although the distribution cost is nil.


Do they advertise? Do they use Self promotion video - Sales Pitch Do the use How-to's for a particular product they are pushing? Are there any stats on which demand generation technique is best. I think one of the reasons businesses hold back is because good information is not available.


We don't use Youtube. It is blocked at the firewall because there is too much stuff on it that is either time-wasting or unpleasant - inappropriate for a work environment. Therefore we choose to forego the good stuff, training materials, etc. I think Google needs to set up some form of (chargeable) moderated or controlled content on a separate URL. Then businesses and schools could enable access to the controlled area while still blocking the less savoury elements.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are you using YouTube in your organization for marketing? For education/training? What is holding you back? Are you using some other platform?


Our business deals with a massive amount of personal health information that, understandably, management is scared spitless of accidentally, or maliciously, releasing into the wild. HIPAA fines can potentially crush a healthcare organization totally out of existence.


As a prior poster pointed out, the "useful" videos on YouTube are far outnumbered by the "useless" videos out there. Sure, it might be fun to listen to, or even sing along with, a karaoke video of your favorite song... but that's what you do at home, not when you're sitting in a cubicle surrounded by your co-workers. Plus, there are plenty of freeware/shareware "YouTube ripper" apps out there that will allow the corporate users to make the YouTube training videos they need available for perusal without opening the corporate firewall to the main site itself.

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