Mon, 26 Feb 2018 17:13:18 GMT
B2B (business-to-business) marketers don’t have it easy. They sell products in need of detailed explanations with complex solutions, and are often met with high value, high risk, career-defining moments. There’s quite a lot at stake and quite a lot of content that needs to be communicated quickly and easily. That’s when video comes into play.
Video is now a must-have tool for all B2B marketers. Why? It has stronger opening rates for mailings, longer website visits by 88 percent, and is generally better at transmitting emotions. And, incidentally, video also has the ability to trigger buying decisions. Anyone who believes that this is only relevant for business-to-consumer (B2C) communications is wrong. Video, especially in B2B, should always be at the top of the marketing cache. Here are seven reasons why:
1. Mobile, mobile, mobile
The fact that our use of smartphones has also expanded dramatically in business communications requires no research studies as proof. Each of us experiences this in our everyday lives – via internal meetings, at airports, on trains and even during lunch. And that does not just mean reading through emails, either. Smaller screens, however, significantly reduce the desire to read longer text.
As we diligently click through videos on Facebook and YouTube, we expect these platforms to serve us content in video form – increasingly so in the B2B environment. As a result of several studies, mobile use cannibalises desktop use.
For example, in a Salesforce study conducted in October 2016, 84 percent of millennials (18-35 years) and 76 percent of Generation X (36-51 years) said that smartphones are key to their work. The more mobile our society becomes, the more important video becomes in the fight for attention and content delivery.
2. If a picture is worth a thousand words…
Even as business customers, we are people, with all of the emotions and rational decisions that distinguish us as unique individuals. Therefore, the separation between B2C and B2B is also artificial and outdated. Emotions are the key to familiarity between companies, brands and people. And no other instrument in the marketing mix transports emotions as well and efficiently as video.
We remember more of what we see and hear as opposed to if only one of our senses is addressed. Back in 2008, Forrester Research determined that one minute of video equals 1.8 million words. And video is increasingly gaining ground in terms of content overkill.
3. All video is not created equal
Corporate films. Explanatory videos. Livestreams. Webinars. These are just a few of the many different video formats to choose from in the digital world. Depending on the purpose and distribution channel, B2B marketers can now select from a whole range of tools. Complex products and services can be whittled down via animated explanatory videos; companies can transmit press conferences via livestream and even organise meetings via Hangouts and Skype; products are now advertised via social advertising in video format; HR departments are searching for new talent by having their jobs written and described by video. In today’s constantly changing digital environment, video has taken on a multitude of forms and the list is only growing.
4. Videos help with SEO
Videos embedded on web pages ensure that visitors stay longer on the site. The longer the traffic, the more highly rated your site becomes. Videos also play an important role in Universal Search, which refers to the integration of additional media like videos, images or maps – displayed above or amongst the organic search results of search engines like Google or Bing. If a company's core products or keywords are hard fought for text search and/or expensive to buy with search engine advertising, videos - especially with niche terms - can move to page one of your search (even if they only have a few hundred views).
5. Videos do not cost a fortune anymore
The production costs of an animated corporate video with 360-degree optics versus a virtual reality video versus a self-made smartphone video are immensely different. However, the success of user-generated content has shown us that this does not say anything about efficiency.
Take Red Bull’s parachute jump for example. A simple GoPro camera certainly beats a HD-produced walk through the production hall. The decisive factor is the idea, which must then be followed by channel-adequate production. In the meantime, even digital photo cameras or tablets are suitable for good video quality. And, what can be done favourably with a smartphone and action cameras shows, again, that user-generated content cuts through the clutter.
6. Good videos are shared more
Videos are among the most widely shared formats on the Internet – even if only a few become viral. But good, interesting or entertaining brand content truly resonates with everyone. For example, 92 percent of mobile video consumers share videos they watch on their own social networks. An accompanying seeding strategy and the targeted support of social ads can provide the video - in addition to social sharing - the right altitude.
7. Success is directly measurable
Videos on a website increase the conversion rate by at least 20 percent, according to ReelSEO (now called tubular insights, a marketing video guide.) In addition, explanatory videos increase the conversion rate by another 20 percent over other videos. The advantage of online videos is also that (almost) all important KPIs are directly measurable. Social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube use their analytic tools to provide insightful coverage of all the key metrics – from pure demand and retention to demographics and device usage. If a video contains a call-to-action, the effectiveness of these measures can also be directly evaluated via tracking codes – from webinars to direct leads.
All told, there are few reasons why communicators should not use video in B2B. Of course, there are different affinities in individual industries. But there is no economic segment in which video cannot make a big difference in your B2B marketing efforts. The time is now to implement it.
Claudia Leischner is President at gyro Germany