Video marketing is often perceived as having little importance and relevance in a B2B environment due to a lack of data, analytics and consumer trends that underpin B2B video marketing’s creation and distribution. Within this type of marketing, there is often a negative outlook when predicting how an end-user will consume content and behave when exposed to different stages of this type of marketing strategy. However, when utilising video with a creative and user-first mindset, video can be successfully deployed in multiple ways to enhance several stages of the B2B marketing process.
Within the ever-growing digital environment that encompasses our lives today, video has become the go-to medium for digital communication. Figures produced by Cisco state that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic, fifteen times higher than the figure produced in 2017. This increase has been attributed to the development in user technology, bandwidth and processing power. In addition, it has been reported that more online video content is created every 30 days, than all major US TV channels in the past 30 years. This vast amount of created content is another direct reflection of the amount of video content that is being consumed. According to Hootsuite’s 2021 Digital Report, 89% of UK internet users watch videos online, with 75% accessing them on mobile devices. This trend has only snowballed with the arrival of COVID-19, a recent survey conducted by Statista on B2B companies in the US found video marketing was one of the most popular forms of new marketing tactics planned to be explored in 2020. This was also reflected in Wyzowl’s 2021 Video Marketing Report in which 47% of marketers said video marketing was made necessary by new challenges created by the pandemic.
Where to integrate video in your marketing process
Video is a dynamic content format that can be effective at any stage of your marketing strategy. Whether it’s in the awareness, consideration or decision-making phase, video can be utilised to communicate key messages to your target audience. Wyzowl state 94% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service, with an additional 84% of respondents stating they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
Furthermore, analysis of this data in a business-specific environment by Forbes, found that three-quarters of executives watch work-related videos each week. Just over half share work-related videos with colleagues every week, and 59% prefer to watch a video on a topic rather than reading about it. What type of video content are executives watching? According to Statista the most widely utilised video types in global B2B advertising communications included social media videos, webinars, demos, explainer videos and how-to tutorials.
How to create effective B2B video strategies and content
An audience-first approach is best practice when considering your video strategy and content.
Each video should never be conceptualised in isolation, instead, it’s crucial to think about the customer’s journey. One piece of content doesn’t need to tell a user everything about your company or its products and services, it just needs to tell them enough information to get them to the next immediate step. Define your message and decide on the most effective way of getting it across. By doing this it allows you to easily create micro-campaigns that build intrigue, prime leads to decision making and nurture existing clients.
Furthermore, by improving your understanding of what the audience needs at each touchpoint, you’re better positioned to capture their attention. As a result, you are able to make more informed decisions on which format to use, video type and length, and the creative approach required.
When curating video content, it’s easier to fathom the process in 3 phases.
Phase 1, the early attention phase. The initial attention window of your viewer is small, therefore It’s vital to generate initial curiosity and ensure that you don’t demand too much from a viewer at first, being funny or dramatic can work well here. At this stage, videos should showcase a scenario that provokes a strong reaction. Cultivate a connection with the audience by outlining shared frustration or problem they may have, then address it in a light-hearted, entertaining way. These videos need to be short and punchy, conveying the key messages within the first five to ten seconds.
Phase 2, the consideration phase. This phase typically involves a number of people with various information needs, so videos are required to introduce a product’s benefits and associated features (for the technical executives), while others should provide an understanding of what it’s like to work with the company (for the management teams). Formats that work well here include explainers, case studies, webinars, how-to videos and virtual tours. The challenge is to be authentic. These videos can be two to five minutes long as their purpose is to educate the viewer requiring more time and space to allow for learning to take place. However, again it’s crucial not to bombard the audience with too much information as they only need the key messages to answer their frustration or problem highlighted in phase 1.
Phase 3, the decision phase. Users are now closer to purchasing and can be considered potential customers. This means they’re more likely to respond to increased detail in product information which may also convey ideas on values and place an authentic human face to the service. This is where in the past, video hasn’t traditionally been used but is now increasingly being deployed in a number of ways. The use of testimonials from existing customers, can support prospective customers to feel reassured they’re making the correct decision. Welcome videos can also be deployed to introduce the company, adding a ‘human face’ and demonstrating customer service. FAQ sessions and webinars can also be used to showcase the knowledge of the sales personnel who’ll finally conclude the deal. Finally, full-length product demonstrations can support the onboarding process for prospective end-users.
Employing these content tactics will humanise your brand, entertain your target audience and integrate sales while displaying service and values in action. Even though you’re dealing with a business, the bottom line is, the target audience is a human. Personalised video communication exudes effort and makes people feel special, which will all work in your favor.
Which channels are the most effective for video content in the technical industry?
YouTube and LinkedIn rank consistently across multiple studies of the top channels for B2B video consumption and distribution. In addition, both platforms allow for effective video content campaign distribution with their detailed audience targeting tools. However, both platforms require slightly different approaches when being integrated into your strategy.
63% of video marketers plan to include LinkedIn in their 2021 video marketing strategy as the audience found within LinkedIn literally means business. They’re on the platform to network with industry members, discuss solutions and expand their portfolio of products and services. This means companies run a lesser risk of being intrusive with B2B promotions resulting in higher opportunities for engagement, profile building and conversions.
For the audiences who are not yet sales-ready or organically engaging on this platform, marketers can make use of the advertising and retargeting features. LinkedIn allows you to target by location, and then by attributes based on the company (sector, size, connections), demographics (age and gender), education, experience and interests. Because the majority of LinkedIn users maintain their profiles with up-to-date information, LinkedIn’s targeting data is rich and reliable. In addition, the retargeting feature can focus specific video marketing efforts to the most qualified prospects resulting in higher-paid engagement rates and lead returns for reduced ad spend as LinkedIn’s lead conversion rates are 3x higher than other major ad platforms.
YouTube reigns supreme as the best platform for watching and uploading video content with 89% of users favoring the platform for watching videos and 87% of marketers stating it had been an effective channel for them. You may ask, why is YouTube marketing so important for my B2B brand?
Firstly, YouTube’s robust platform and two billion monthly active logged-in users can help attain the results needed as the traffic it generates can assist with improving SEO. YouTube is not just a social media platform, it’s also a search engine. This means marketers need to optimise their content so it can be easily found on YouTube and even Google as these two platforms are heavily intertwined. In short, making sense of YouTube’s ecosystem will greatly assist with SEO ranking. By using keywords, the description field, key theme tagging, choosing a category, adding subtitles and making an effective and creative use of the thumbnail feature, your YouTube videos will thrive.
In addition, the platform is the best setup for creating and separating product, service, or brand campaigns thanks to its ability to showcase content that is both short and long, as well as its smart playlist features that can help segment different content types to help users navigate efficiently.
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