In a bid to stay relevant in the YouTube era, B2B marketers are using more video content than ever before.
Video can be used to simplify complex information for decision-makers, and also to capture their attention and create brand awareness. That's why in a 2018 LinkedIn report, 62% of B2B marketers rated video as the most important format they used for content.
We've asked marketing experts to explain how B2B marketers are using video content, why such content is becoming essential for B2B brands and how you can get started.
Chris Stasiuk, founder and creative director of Signature Video Group, defines B2B video marketing as "the creation and distribution of video content by a company that does business with other businesses (as opposed to directly with consumers)." Video content could come in many forms such as instructional videos, expert interviews, case studies and more.
Many B2B brands distribute video content through popular social media platforms like Youtube, LinkedIn and Facebook. Others put video content on landing pages or announce webinars through email marketing. Stasiuk said B2B brands should be doing all of this and more. "A great B2B video campaign does one of three things: entertains, educates or inspires."
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"Video is important for B2B because typically the information being conveyed to a B2B customer is more complex than the B2C customer," said Marilyn Heywood Paige, VP of marketing at Inciting Marketing Solutions. It's much more challenging to explain the value of enterprise software than, for example, common household goods.
"Video can transmit complex ideas and build an emotional connection with the viewer much faster and more compellingly than other mediums," added Paige. That's why product demonstrations are one of the most widespread forms of video content for B2B. Many of these take the form of live webinars, where leads can opt-in ahead of time.
While most B2B brands are using video content to educate viewers, Stasiuk still sees the value in entertaining and inspiring them. "A well-executed campaign can help you find new prospects, increase conversions, reduce man-powered engagements and delight existing customers," he said.
Industry experts offered three main areas for marketers to focus on:
While many B2B companies are producing brand-specific video content, fewer are creating content that's audience-centric. Most B2B audiences like seeing whiteboard-style videos and industry expert interviews, not just 'about us' clips. You want to create a compelling story that taps into viewers' emotions, but to do this, you need to understand your target audience and their pain points.
When determining your target audience, you'll want to consider the problem you can solve for them and any objections they may have for buying from you. "Once you know the answers to these questions you can build content that goes to work for you," said Stasiuk.
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When developing the video content itself, Paige recommends writing down the three main ideas you want to convey to the target audience by first researching your competitors. "Look for gaps in their storytelling that you can leverage or ways in which your product or service is different from what they offer," she suggests. You'll also want to include several clear call-to-actions throughout the video to keep viewers moving along your sales funnel.
From there, you'll want to outline the most crucial visual elements needed to convey your message. Paige recommends you collaborate with someone experienced in video messaging as they "often can add things you won't think of and will know how to achieve the results you want." It's critical you make the content compelling and relevant from the start, as a person at work will only spend a few seconds watching before bouncing.
Although it's a lot of effort, if you develop high-quality video content it's reusable in the future. "The best part is that you make this content once, and it works for you 24/7 online," said Stasiuk.
Analytics are essential to driving real business results from video content. That's why 85% of companies reported using some form of video analytics. "In terms of analytics," Stasiuk said, "you can track a project by metrics like views, engagement and time watched." Using these insights, you can see what works for your intended audience and make more informed decisions about future video content.
"While the number of views your video garners is nice, the real measurement is in the calls to action,' said Paige. How many leads reached out as a result of your video? "That is the true measurement of success in B2B video marketing," she concludes.