Just about everyone knows that video is the new darling of the marketing world. In fact, many marketers—even those in the B2B space—have gotten their video marketing strategy down to a science.
It’s nearly impossible to scroll through one’s social media feed now without seeing at least three or four video advertisements. Many companies that engage in content marketing have even started creating original videos that stand on their own as a source of entertainment and education.
Considering that 81% of businesses plan to use video as a marketing tool in 2018 (up from 63% in 2017), this new normal isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
Basically, if you’re not using video as part of your B2B marketing strategy yet, it’s time to start. Keep reading to learn why video marketing is so important to embrace, along with five types of video you can plan and produce this year.
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When you think of effective, memorable video campaigns, you likely first think of B2C brands. While some B2B marketers take this to mean that video is only suited for companies that sell directly to consumers, that’s not the case at all.
As Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group, explains: “Videos are more accessible, better supported by technology, and can be more easily consumed by audiences than ever before.” As a result, “B2B brands are able to up their video marketing strategies to a whole new level of sophistication and reach.”
Although there are a few obvious differences between B2B and B2C marketing, B2B purchasing behavior typically follows B2C buying trends. So, while many B2B brands aren’t yet using video, it likely won’t be long until they do—and those that embrace the medium have the potential to see excellent results.
Among marketers who already use video as part of their marketing strategies, 97% say that it’s helped increase user understanding of their product or service. 76% say that it’s helped them increase sales. With these kinds of results, there’s no denying that video can be a valuable addition to a B2B marketing strategy.
In fact, Wyzowl’s State of Video Marketing 2018 Report found that 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video, and that 69% of people have been convinced to buy a piece of software or application, specifically.
In the same study, 85% of respondents said they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018, and 72% reported that they’d rather use video to learn about a product or service than text.
So, if you’re looking for ways to get prospective clients more engaged with your brand, video could be the perfect addition to your strategy—and an effective way to keep their attention throughout the research process.
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Deciding to incorporate video into your marketing strategy is easy, sure, but knowing where to begin is a bit more challenging. If you’re ready to incorporate video into your B2B campaigns, the following five types can all serve as great starting points.
One of the simplest ways to get started with video is by recording customer testimonials.
Testimonials have long been a part of marketing campaigns for businesses in all industries. As a B2B marketer, you likely already use them on your company’s website or in your sales materials. That’s because no matter how trustworthy a brand might be, consumers tend to trust other consumers’ experiences over advertising copy.
After all, even the most honest marketer in the world is ultimately trying to drive sales. It makes sense that people want to hear from other customers without that bias.
Written testimonials are a great start, but videos can be even more engaging. For example, FreshBooks publishes straightforward video testimonials in which their customers explain how they use the company’s software to manage their finances.
This is not only much more interesting than reading an explanation of how the platform works, it also gives viewers a first-hand look at how people like them use it.
Plus, this type of video is relatively easy to create. Once you’ve found a client that’s willing to provide a testimonial, shooting the video is as simple as recording them speak.
Of course, if you want to ramp up the production value with multiple angles, additional shots, and professional editing, that’s an option. You can even call in the big guns and partner with an agency or production company to shoot stunning, well-produced testimonials. But other than some light editing and the addition of a basic title card, the required work for a simple interview-style testimonial like FreshBooks’s is minimal.
This makes customer testimonials an excellent starting point for any business looking to experiment with video. They’re an effective way to give prospective buyers a third-party opinion of your products, and if you opt for a simpler style, you can create them relatively quickly and frequently.
If you’re already comfortable with simple customer testimonial videos and are looking for something more substantial to bite into, case studies are a logical next step.
This type of video also typically involves clips of clients discussing their experiences with your brand, but they dive into more specific use cases and include detailed explanations of the results clients were able to achieve.
For example, take a look at this Salesforce case study Slack created to promote their product:
Much like a standard testimonial video, it includes an interview with Salesforce’s EVP, Ryan Aytay. But the clips from this interview don’t merely provide a basic overview of how the company uses Slack. They create a clear storyline that details the company’s problems that led them to seek out Slack, and how the product helped solve those problems. It also features clips of other employees using Slack and shows the impact it had throughout the company.
Although this type of video requires a bit more work to create (and likely the help of an experienced video producer), the result is a final product that’s even more engaging.
While this example from Slack takes a more human-centric approach, many case study videos also incorporate concrete data that shows a product’s direct impact on a client’s revenue and other key metrics.
So, if you’re looking for ways to highlight your clients’ success (beyond simply listing stats related to their results), case study videos could be an excellent addition to your strategy.
It’s also worth noting that once you’ve created them, you can easily repurpose these videos into other content like social media posts and written, downloadable case studies. Even though the initial investment may be high, the potential ROI for your business is also high.
Among B2B marketers currently using video in their marketing strategies, product videos are the most popular type of content. In fact, one LinkedIn study of B2B video marketers found that 48% plan to create product videos in 2018.
The draw of this type of content is easy to understand. After all, the primary goal of most marketing campaigns is to drive sales, and the first step in selling a product is ensuring that prospective buyers know exactly what that product does.
While this is typically a fairly straightforward objective for brands that sell directly to consumers, it’s often a bit more challenging for B2B brands that offer more complex tools and solutions. Text-based explanations can work, but visual content is typically much more engaging—not to mention that it’s also much easier to understand.
So instead of telling prospective clients what your product does, you can use video to show them how they can benefit.
The video walks restaurant owners and marketers through selecting a theme, editing menus, and adding copy and other content. By the end, those considering using this platform should have a clear understanding of exactly what they’ll need to do to launch their restaurant’s website. If they were hesitant to use Squarespace due to a fear of it being difficult to use, that hesitation should be gone after watching.
So, if you’re looking for a more engaging way to explain how your product works, a video demo or tutorial could be the right choice for your business.
For B2B brands with particularly complex or technical products, it can be challenging to provide a thorough explanation—even with video. And it’s even more challenging to provide a technical explanation that’s interesting and engaging to watch.
That’s where animation can be a helpful addition.
To illustrate how animation can work for B2B brands, just take a look at the video we created for RAB Lighting to explain their LightCloud lighting control system.
The product featured in this video is highly technical, and a text-based explanation of how it works and the benefits it provides could easily overwhelm prospective buyers.
The animated explanation, however, is easy to follow even for viewers without much prior knowledge of the technology. Plus, the graphics are much more captivating than a block of text or technical illustrations.
So, if you’re looking for new ways to explaining complex products or concepts so they’re easy for your audience to digest, an animated video could be an effective solution.
Plus, while many businesses are already using video as part of their marketing strategies, few are using animation—meaning that incorporating it into your approach could help you stand out and differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Many companies focus their video content solely on the products and services that they offer. While these are logical subjects to cover in marketing content, it’s also important to recognize how effective video can be for giving viewers an inside look at your company.
As company culture becomes more of a focus in today’s workforce, employee-centric videos can be a great way to humanize your company and show the people behind the brand. This is helpful for giving clients a better understanding of your company, and it can contribute to the overall perception of your brand.
After all, if a client is thinking about trusting you to have a positive impact on their business, it can be helpful to see that your employees care about and enjoy their work.
The video features interviews with employees at all levels of the company and shots of their workspace and events. If a viewer were on the fence about partnering with the company, this type of video could give them a clearer idea of what to expect and ensure them that working together would be a positive experience.
Plus, given how engaging this type of video can be, culture videos are also great for sharing on social media. Most social media users don’t visit these platforms looking for technical product explanations and sales pitches, but they will still stop scrolling to learn more about the people behind their favorite brands, which makes this an effective way to engage your audience in a more casual setting.
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Video presents a ton of potential for brands looking to improve their B2B marketing strategies. If you approach it correctly, this content can be more interesting, engaging, and informative than other more common media like text and photos. So, if you’re ready to step up your campaigns and humanize your brand, video could be exactly what your strategy needs.
There are plenty of options when it comes to the topics you can cover. You can use video to share customer testimonials, highlight interesting case studies, provide product demos, show your company culture, and even create animated explanations of your products and services.
No matter what you’re hoping to accomplish with your marketing, video can be a valuable addition. And, given its potential for amazing results, there’s no reason not to give it a try in your next campaign.