We all know that the “play” button is one of the most compelling actions on the web. In the digital world, it’s practical and more accessible than ever to reach your customers but harder than ever to get their attention. It is one of the significant reasons why the production and consumption of video in B2B marketing have grown so explosively in the past five years. From being the most desirable but expensive asset in the marketing mix, the video has become the ‘go-to’ tool for all B2B marketers seeking to engage customers at every stage of the buying cycle. Video has become a dynamic tool to share your brand’s marketing content, which packs in a lot of information into a small but attractive package.
Rise of the video in B2B marketing
B2B videos were traditionally created for conferences, seminars, and sales events. However, the B2B video dynamics changed with the rise of YouTube and mobile videos. According to reports by Forrester, by 2021, more than three quarters (78%) of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video. Despite this enormous potential growth in the videos, still very few B2B marketers are using it to reach out successfully and interact with their customers. According to a recent study, only 23 out of 60 companies got a passing score for using videos to engage customers beyond just repurposing speeches or advertisements. Video also humanizes B2B marketing messages, and in a way, other marketing tactics cannot. Videos offer a distinct customer engagement advantage for those marketers who use it to showcase their company’s big ideas, engage a new generation of buyers’ who prefer interactive content, and better connect to buyers’ needs and motivations than through any other medium.
Plan on implementing videos in B2B marketing
Without a complete integration into your content strategy, videos can feel like an expensive assortment of disparate assets. B2B marketers have had success with videos when it fits into a larger content plan. Videos should be used to reinforce your message across the entire life cycle, along with using it as a medium for sharing product demos or client testimonials. Discussed below are three steps describing how you can incorporate videos into your customer life cycle:
Step 1: Aligning production of videos to your customers’ needs across the life-cycle
Understanding the customer life cycle, B2B marketers can determine the type of video content that will most effectively engage buyers at each stage. More experienced B2B marketers also adjust video length and product quality based on customers’ changing requirements and content consumption preferences over time. What’s important is to keep the videos short in the pre-sale stages when targeting a broad audience. Buyers during this process are discovering solutions and exploring options, and therefore brief content is the key. It’s essential to keep the message concise and direct because it’s easy to lose viewers in the first 15 seconds. As they keep moving inside the sales funnel, provide them with webinars and other informative content. But make sure, the latter strategy is applied once they move further down the pipeline.
Step 2: Humanizing your video content by establishing compassion and empathy with your customers
Videos can tap into the buyers’ psyche and engage them more than any other medium. For most marketers, this will require brushing their storytelling skills to create a video that makes an authentic human connection. Stories and narratives not only create exciting or entertaining videos, but it also shows that you understand and share your buyers’ issues and concerns. Demonstrating empathy with your customers can catalyze new business opportunities as well as facilitate selling and cross-selling conversations. You can create content-rich and empathetic videos to captivate your buyers, create immersive narratives that mirror your buyers’ daily challenges and build a consistent theme to your videos through compelling storytelling.
Step 3: Picking a video platform to further the value of your videos
Online video platforms (OVP) help B2B marketers manage their video content and also track how well it performs. To prove that buyers are engaging with your video content and to determine how it affects the purchase process, B2B marketers should turn to technology that can help them:
• Consuming and organizing video content: One thing’s for sure- videos can be more expensive to produce than a white paper, datasheet, or any other social content. To maximize video usage, B2B marketers invest in an OVP. For instance, most OVPs let companies publish videos on different social channels based on metadata tags. Brightcove, a leading online video hosting platform, enables marketers to customize videos with different bumpers and trim the videos without involving an editor. It effectively creates a short social trailer that drives audiences back to companies’ websites. OVP cost varies widely, with a solution available for most budgets, so making this investment is essential, especially for B2B marketers who must tell a complex story.
• Delivering high-quality, engaging experiences: OVPs can integrate content across multiple social channels to cut down the number of times marketers need to upload and publish a single video. Top platforms also embed interactive elements into users’ audio-visual experience to personalize the video content and keep the viewers engaged. These characteristics make an OVP extremely essential in turning content into an experience that buyers will watch and remember for a long time.
• Attributing value to the video: The success metrics for video has changed considerably. The number of views or the view count doesn’t tell you anything beyond how many people clicked the play button. Top marketers must know and understand who all watched the entire video, who left after 5 seconds, and how long did they spend on a particular segment. You can integrate modern OVPs with enterprise applications like CRM and marketing automation platforms (MAPs) to inform lead generation efforts with specific video attribution data. The online video hosting platform, like Vidyard, is equipped to do multitouch attribution and can see which videos were viewed and were able to attribute revenue influence to specific content assets.
What works with videos is the fact that they are engaging and convey more in less time. Also, video content is more likely to rank up higher on search engine results and generate more traffic. Considering videos have a human connect, they make branded content more trustworthy. However, creating video content is not enough; it is the right strategy that would reap good returns.