The Internet has a habit of helping you to lose perspective. If you spend too much time online, you begin to forget what’s normal and what the rest of the world sees as a bit weird. It’s so easy to get used to certain Internet terminology, images or memes that you forget that not everybody in the ‘real’ world knows what they are or what they mean. When you get a reminder, it can leave you feeling a little silly.
I got that feeling recently when I foolishly clicked on a link to an article about the ‘strangest trends on YouTube’. Now, I spend a lot of time online, but I’d like to think that as a B2B marketer I stick to the brighter, more normal, avenues of the Internet. And ‘strangest trends on YouTube’ is quite a claim. But, on the whole I will say that the article did mention some pretty weird videos. So weird, in fact, that I urge a little caution before you have a look for yourself.
What made me feel silly was the presence of the unboxing video. Something I’m very familiar with. I have (whisper it) watched a couple of these. They’re a little odd, but to me they’ve become as common as the success kid meme.
The article reminded me just how easy it is to dismiss content you find online as ‘weird’ or ‘niche’. We find something like an unboxing video, think ‘that’s a bit odd’ and then move on. As B2B marketers we can never afford to turn down a learning opportunity and when a video you dismiss as odd has over half a million views, it may be time for a rethink.
So, without delving into some of the true oddities that appeared in the article, I’ve chosen three popular YouTube trends that do have some learning to offer B2B marketers. Starting with my own secret shame…
The unboxing video to those of you who have been totally confused since I brought up the issue, are videos of people taking things they’ve bought out of a box. It’s that simple. The videos usually offer you a first look at a product, usually tech, unless you’re lucky enough to get one early.
That potential glimpse provides an insight into why these videos are so popular and the potential learning for B2B marketers. People like to feel like they’re getting the inside track. If you can create content that offers, or gives the feeling, of insider information you can tap into that need to get a ‘first look’ at a product. These videos also demonstrate a desire to see the small details of new products. With technology in particular, people devour every piece of content related to a new tech product. For B2B tech companies, that offers plenty of scope for creating content that meets that need.
Organization videos aren’t as popular a trend but there are quite a few out there and many run view counts in the hundred thousands. The process is simple; people film themselves re-organizing a section of their home or office.
Again the appeal here fits right in with proven B2B marketing tactics. It’s all practical advice. You get to see how someone else overcame a problem you are familiar with. At a glance these videos seem both frightfully dull and incredibly bizarre. But when you break it down, their popularity makes perfect sense.
You get a practical example of a peer overcoming a common problem, while also receiving an insight into how others perform tasks. When someone tells you which container they use to store which shampoo and why, you get a huge amount of information. You get an insight into the choices others make and how your problems can be approached. There’s no reason B2B content can’t meet the same needs.
The flippant reaction to reaction videos is to call them ‘videos of other people watching videos’. Which is true, and shows why they’re dismissed as weird. But that doesn’t explain their popularity.
What they provide is opinion on a familiar topic from people who are either an expert or a relatable layman. In other words, you get to hear what other people think of something you like/dislike. Not only that but you get to see their first time reaction. This kind of insight is always popular. For B2B marketers this reinforces the need for opinion and reaction in content.
As an expert in your industry you can provide opinion that will interest both prospects and peers. You just need to choose topics that your target reader/viewer is already interested in.