An explosion in video content has occurred over the past few years. Video content is crucial for everything from lead generation to growth marketing. Survey after survey has found it is far more effective than any other type of content when it comes to boosting your conversion rate.
In a recent survey, conducted by Wyzowl on over 500 different companies:
- Online video marketing was found to be used by 81% of respondents; a 21% increase from 2016.
- Nearly all businesses who are using video plan to continue in 2020, and 85% plan to increase their video marketing budgets.
- On average, prospects watch 1.5 hours of online video per day.
However, not all video content is created equal. It’s not enough to simply create some videos based on more traditional marketing content and hope it boosts your sales. Additionally, there is a significant difference between successful B2B and B2C video content. While B2C videos could be fun and engaging, B2B videos should be professional, educational, and be a good reflection of your brand.
One of the most effective ways to approach B2B video marketing is to adopt a forensic focus on using video content to improve your conversion rate optimization. In this article, we’ll show you how to implement this approach, by taking a look at the three key “pillars” of B2B video marketing: distribution, technology, and creativity.
The most important pillar in your B2B video marketing strategy should be to consider the distribution channels through which your customers will receive your videos. The design and content of your videos should be tailored to the context in which you want them to have an impact on your conversion rate. The importance of context is not only one of the key insights provided by the rise of UX design; it’s also extremely important in realizing a genuinely multi-channel marketing strategy.
Despite this, many B2B video marketing strategies still rely predominantly on “traditional” channels. Recent research by Vidyard and Heinz Marketing revealed that the main aim of most B2B marketers and salespeople using video content is to build brand awareness, educate customers and drive lead generation. The most popular channel used by B2B firms to distribute video content is still websites (79% of brands use them) email (67%), and LinkedIn (63%).
In some ways, this conservatism is easily explained: research also shows that using videos on landing pages will increase conversions by 86%. However, it’s clear that many marketers are missing a trick here. Social media platforms are no longer just for consumers, but are now also a very effective way of pursuing B2B marketing.
Producing video content that works on social media can increase conversion rates and can positively impact your budget for digital marketing. The same video content can be used across all your marketing channels. Proof, for example, makes it simpler for marketers and salespeople to add video content for specific audiences.
Every successful B2B marketing campaign today relies on technology. If you are already focused on B2B marketing, it’s likely that you already have a number of systems for serving ads to your customers. If you don’t, consider this a push to get you off in the right direction.
Moving into video marketing is a new and exciting adventure. You will need to have several systems in place to ensure that your videos reach the correct customers at the correct time. Additionally, these systems will aid in accounting for the increased bandwidth that video requires.
You will want to carefully map all the steps that you will need to complete in order to deliver video content to your audience. From the creation of your content to the way in which you segment your audience for personalized ad delivery. You then need to ensure that you have in place a reliable and efficient technological solution for each step.
For most B2B marketers, this will include the following:
- A video editing and creation suite that allows you to quickly create video content. This software should allow you to do so without a huge degree of technical knowledge: we are marketers, after all, not cinematographers.
- A sufficiently powerful web hosting solution that will allow you to store the large amount of data that video content consumes and that is fast enough to make these videos available for all of your customers.
- A system for personalizing the delivery of video marketing content. This process has become more challenging over the past year due to the death of the cookie, but there are still platforms that will allow you to tightly target your video content for specific audiences.
It might seem that we’ve forgotten about the most important part of B2B video marketing: producing great content. Without the strategic and technological tools we’ve outlined above, you’ll feel lost when it comes to producing creative content. With them in place, the stage is set for your creativity to flourish.
Historically, the vast majority of B2B video content has been quite the bore.. We often looked with envy at our colleagues working in the B2C space because of the extra freedom and creativity that they were permitted. We felt that trying to convince a CMO to invest in a SaaS system meant that we had to produce “talking head” videos that were primarily focused on proving our competence.
However, that’s no longer the case. In fact, it might have never been the case. Research suggests that viewer engagement drops off at two minutes, whether your video is being watched by an exec looking for business partners or a teenager looking for trainers. It’s therefore crucial that your B2B marketing has the same kind of hook as your B2C marketing.
This means taking a creative approach. That might sound intimidating, but don’t fear. The best way to re-think your B2B content, and to make it a little more engaging, is simply to take “inspiration” from some of the highly creative B2B video campaigns of recent years. From there, it’s possible to extract a number of key approaches to B2B marketing that will make your campaigns stand out in 2020:
- Use pop culture. Purchasing managers are no longer the boring bean counters that many still imagine they are. Grabbing your audience’s attention with a timely, apposite pop culture reference will improve your conversion rate, and also go a long way to improving your brand reputation.
- Highlight your values. Even huge multinationals like Deloitte are now getting on board with the kind of “socially conscious” video campaigns that used to be the exclusive territory of charities and soda producers. B2C marketers have long recognized that customers want to feel that they share the values of the brands they do business with, and it seems that B2B marketers are slowly catching up.
- Use humor (carefully). For too long, B2B marketing content has been a little too dull to be effective. It’s true that it’s difficult to be funny when talking about manufacturing processes or new encryption protocols, but we should realize that the people we are talking to are still people, even if they work at a huge multi-national.
As Tim Washer, Executive Producer of Rich Media Marketing at Cisco so eloquently put it, “Comedy can cut through all the noise, it makes the point in a very clever way, and it connects with people so they listen.” Just be careful, because inappropriate humor is a leading cause of marketing fails.
A Holistic Approach
Taken together, the three pillars of successful B2B video marketing are a holistic approach to marketing. It’s no longer enough to simply have multiple distribution channels, advanced personalization systems, or even to create great content. Today, success in B2B marketing needs to be based on all three.
For this reason, you also need to look at your conversion rate in a similarly holistic manner. If your videos aren’t getting any views, look at changing your distribution channels. If people are watching but not buying, think about your personalization strategy. And if nothing else, take a risk and produce some truly unique and fun content. Trust us, your B2B customers are not as boring as you might imagine.