In case you haven’t noticed, online video has been surging in popularity.
YouTube alone gets over 100 hours uploaded to it just about every minute.
The Adobe Digital Index report, released late last year, found a 43% year-over-year increase in viewing of free online videos.
And while Forrester Research sees U.S. online video advertising increasing at a 13.7% compound annual growth rate, it notes issues like advertising fraud “loom large.”
So with that in mind, should data center services simply be advertising on video content owned by large publishers? Or should data centers invest in creating
their own helpful, educational video content?
In this post, we’ll look at eight data centers with active YouTube channels, evaluate at how they’ve approached video content, and offer suggestions for driving more net new leads and sales opportunities from their video content strategy.
With 47 videos and 73 subscribers, Colocation America’s YouTube channel definitely has some video content skin in the game since establishing itself on YouTube way back in 2008.
And many of the videos look like they were created with Animoto, a cloud-based engine for turning images into videos with royalty free music. This approach is quite different
CyrusOne Data Centers
CyrusOne Data Centers’ YouTube channel currently has 57 videos and 73 subscribers since launching in 2011.
It doesn’t currently have any playlists and its home page is quite sparse, with just an uploads section.
Most of CyrusOne’s videos are either tours of specific locations, highlights of unique CyrusOne data center features, and client testimonials.
Unlike most of the other data center services examined in this post, which are largely ignoring prospects navigating the first 60% to 90% of the buyer’s journey, CyrusOne actually did have the foresight to create a few educational videos. Topics include an introduction to peering, the difference between a switch and a router, the importance of networking, an explanation of cross-connects, and why companies use the cloud.
Expedient Data Centers
With 40 videos, 158 subscribers, and nearly 100,000 views since launching in 2010, Expedient Data Centers’ YouTube channel definitely seems to be showing signs of success.
Expedient is also showing signs that it’s actively engaged on YouTube with three videos uploaded during the past two months.
It’s organized its YouTube channel into playlists for data center videos, cloud computing videos, and ask the cloud experts videos.
Sporting 79 videos and active on YouTube since 2009, just two years after being founded, IO’s YouTube channel includes IO.tv, presentations, previews, special appearances, and animations.
When you first arrive at the IO.TV YouTube channel, you’ll find an auto-play video explaining how mobility is disrupting data centers, explained by a Senior Cloud Engineer at IO, Lindsay Salisbury.
Although it hasn’t uploaded anything new since April, IO has uploaded a dozen new videos since the start of the calendar year.
PhoenixNAP Global IT Services
With 23 videos and 63 subscribers, PhoenixNAP Global IT Services has a similar level of investment in video content and similar underwhelming subscriber following as the other data centers profiled in this post. PhoenixNAP Global IT Services also launched its YouTube channel right around the same time; late 2011.
When its YouTube channel first launched, PhoenixNAP was creating some short one-minute videos on a weekly basis, featuring Ray Powers, vice president of implementation.
The remainder of the channel’s content is mostly testimonial videos plus a few videos that explain different services and differentiating features of PhoenixNAP.
QTS Data Centers
The QTS Data Centers’ YouTube channel has 25 videos, 74 subscribers, and launched in 2011.
When you first arrive on the channel’s
Most of the video content created by QTS Data Centers introduces one of their data center locations, discusses its competitive advantages, or explains a type of service provided.
While this content is certainly helpful for those who are at the sales-ready stage of the buyer’s journey, QTS Data Centers would benefit greatly from creating more helpful, educational content that appeals to its ideal clients who are still in the awareness and consideration stages -- the first 60% to 90% -- of the buyer’s journey for data center services.
T5 Data Centers
With 33 videos and just a few handfuls of subscribers since launching its T5 Data Centers YouTube channel in 2011, T5 Data Centers resisted the temptation to auto-play a video on its channel home page – which sports just the default stream, without customized layout.
Unlike some data centers that have uploaded batches of videos in spurts, but been inactive for long stretches of time, T5 Data Centers has uploaded new video as recently as two weeks ago and about a handful of new video content during this calendar year so far.
Nearly all of its video content talks about T5 Data Centers, its locations, and its competitive advantages. This kind of video content is very helpful for sales reps when prospects are coming down the stretch on the final 10% to 40% of the buyer’s journey – the
Like many of the data centers mentioned in this post, T5 Data Centers is missing an enormous opportunity to educate early stage ideal prospects on issues that matter most to them in the awareness and consideration stages of the buyer’s journey – typically the first 60% of the 90% of the decision making process, when prospects are not yet ready for a sales conversation.
Right in line with the volume of videos for others looked at in this post, Via West’s YouTube channel currently has 41 videos and 57 subscribers since getting established on YouTube back in early 2012.
ViaWest has organized its videos into some playlists about security and compliance issues, information about ViaWest, and a handful of client testimonials.
The majority of content on ViaWest’s YouTube channel was uploaded in 2012.
Like most of the colo data centers in this post, nearly all of its content is geared for late-stage prospects that have already navigated past the awareness and consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.
The Bottom Line
Most of the colocation data centers with a presence on YouTube seem to share a few common characteristics.
Despite these eight YouTube channels being associated with some pretty sizable companies, some even publicly traded; most are barely dipping their pinky toes into the pool with just a few dozen videos created over the past several years.
Another common finding: There is very, very little
Nearly all of the videos are either location-specific tours and feature explainers.
While this kind of sales enablement content can be very useful, it only becomes relevant when you’ve attracted marketing qualified leads using other channels.
If data center services want the opportunity to attract website visitors and generate leads that are in the first 60% to 90% of the buyer’s journey, in the awareness and consideration stages, the video content strategy needs to change quite drastically.
Instead, each data center needs to
- Identify who their ideal buyers are
- Invest in developing buyer personas that pinpoint what prospects actually care about early on
- Support this with keyword research, and
- Create helpful, educational content that addresses the hundreds of most common questions that your best prospects care most about
What kinds of video content are working best for your data center service? What’s actually attracting net new website visitors and leads, which ultimately close into new sources of clients and revenue? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
And if you’re struggling to connect the dots on how content, including video, translates into leads, sales opportunities, and new clients for your data center, be sure to download our free eBook on “Inbound Marketing for Colocation Data Centers.”
Topics:- Data Center Colocation