B2B’s New and Ridiculously Obvious Social Media Revenue Stream

Tony Compton, Managing Director
GettingPresence

Today’s good news? A new revenue stream is staring you in the face.

Today’s even better news? Anecdotally, I’ve seen no company tap into this new source of revenue. Yet.

Today’s best news? Many executives won’t go after this new source of revenue. They’ll either be out of their comfort zone, claim it’s not a core competency, or want to invest in outdated sales and marketing programs. A number of execs simply won’t know what to do, or how to do it. Social video technology is throwing them off of their traditional game.

All of the above equals tremendous room for opportunity for those who can connect the revenue dots which I will lay out for you.

The Outdated Model of Hosted, In-Person Customer Conferences

I’ve produced numerous business conferences and company events, and I’ll challenge anybody on identifying the most important aspect of an event. My contention is that attendees want to hear about, and learn from, industry peers who have faced similar business and technological challenges. That’s it. That’s what drives attendance. That’s what drives value. Everything else pales in comparison. The CEO keynote, the analyst sessions, the thinly-veiled vendor demos are fine, but they’re not what drives the most interest. Nor do 6:00 am yoga classes, open bar happy hours, private concerts, fun runs on the beach, weekend golf outings, or your chance to win yet another iPad from your favorite exhibitor.

Moreover, customers don’t really need to see you. Not in-person anyway. You may have great products and fantastic services, but few need to see you in-person at a customer event, especially when travel is involved. Sales and account executives must be on client sites, and meaningful personal and professional relationships are developed over time, but they’re no reason to support an outdated model of customer event production.

Whether you’re hosting your own customer event, or participating in another company’s get-together, you know that they can be fun, and yield some return.
On the flip side, they’re exhausting, time consuming, expensive one-off events.

Imagine continuous customer roundtables and industry interactions throughout the year, and not waiting until your once a year event to bring everybody together.

The New Social Media Revenue Stream

It’s easy to understand how using the Periscope or Meerkat live video streaming apps can create a very healthy and steady new revenue stream. It’s a three-step process:

  1. Sunset outdated methods for producing, or participating in, outdated customer events.
  2. Develop video content and regular programming on Periscope and/or Meerkat to attract industry-specific audiences.
  3. Market and sell access to that audience to partner companies which would normally sponsor your customer events, and anybody else interested in accessing that audience.

From 3-Day Events to Year Round Participation

Now the pushback on this idea begins. I’m an advocate of taking the five-, six- and seven-figures (or more) invested in every exhausting customer boondoggle conference, and placing it in creating dynamic, interactive, continuous, and reliable Periscope or Meerkat video content.

(Disclosure: I’m not advocating any one video app. In fact a third app, Blab has also been making its way onto the scene, and is worthy of further investigation.)

Place yourself in the boardroom while examining sales and marketing proposals for the 2016. Either you can have one, three-day customer conference at the end of September at a heavy cost, or you can develop programming and live streaming video content throughout the year at a similar or lower cost. And once you develop your social video audience, you can turn and sell access to it to the same sponsors which would normally participate in your once-a-year event. Only now there will be a growing and timely audience to sell throughout the year.

If you develop your streaming media audience properly, all those with an interest in promoting their products and services into your space will have an interest in sponsoring your video content. But instead of going through the mechanics of attending another customer conference, you’re providing a process which is far less taxing and potentially much more rewarding when compared to a hit-or-miss customer event.

Point/Counter-Point

Not only will this idea encounter resistance, some will become very territorial and overly protective of the traditional methods of producing customer events. They’ll hang onto their outdated customer conferences as if it’s their only lifeline. Understandable, but times are changing and social media is pushing the boundaries.

On the 1990s side of the executive table, some will be vocal about the need for hosting traditional customer events, and how they bring everybody together. Part of the talking points list is that sales brings prospects to the event, relationships are strengthened with partner companies, product people sit with clients, the company gives its roadmap, etc. If pushed, the 1990s side of the table will want to compromise and include live video streaming as part of a traditional event. Some will claim they already do this. Be careful. In this case, interactive video is not meant to complement outdated customer events, but to replace them with more meaningful social media experiences.

On the 2016 side of the same executive table, visionaries will describe how ongoing, interactive social media channels of video communication will cultivate specific target audiences throughout the year, and into the next. Real-time feedback is gained, case studies are creatively shared, and demand is more than generated. The audience is actually much stronger than the one that made it to last year’s in-person event, and holds outstanding value to an impressive lineup of sponsors. The value embedded in all aspects of pioneering live streaming media content greatly outweighs the taxing,
all-in approach to the once a year event endeavor.

What You’ll Quickly Need to Learn

Have you ever seen the movie Quiz Show? Do you recall how television commercials were presented in the 1950s, live, by a host? If you or members of your team find it difficult to stand in front of a camera to deliver interesting content, learn. And do so quickly. Because one way of generating revenue in this new age of B2B Social Media Marketing is to sell commercials to your company’s exclusive audience. Commercials and sponsored content which will have to be delivered by your on-camera talent, live, to your audience.

The new Apple TV material I saw yesterday states that apps are the future of the way we watch television. Periscope is among those apps featured by Apple.

Ready or not, all of us are now in the television business.

Visit: www.gettingpresence.com, or email: info@gettingpresence.com