*This blog was written in 2018 and updated in December 2020 in line with changes driven by COVID-19.
Video is awesome. It’s engaging, emotive and mega-easy to consume. From driving top of funnel engagement as part of your SEO strategy, to reaching buyers and improving conversion, video content offers major B2B opportunities. But just how do you maximize your chances of video success?
Since the onset of the pandemic, there’s been a rapid and significant shift to online. Consumer journeys have changed, and B2B seller interactions have largely moved to remote or digital.
According to Gartner (October 2020), 70-80% of B2B decision makers prefer remote human interactions or digital self-service. Safety is of course one reason for this, but self-service and remote interactions have made it easier for buyers to get information, place orders, arrange service and significantly reduce travel expenses.
As we adjust to the new realities of a COVID-19 driven economy, B2B revenue teams are challenged with keeping prospects and customers informed and connected. One of the most significant solutions to support this will be video. Cisco estimates that by 2022, 82% of all created content will be video, meaning video is the new ground over which the content wars will be fought.
So, as the crisis continues, businesses have continued to shift marketing strategies towards video. So we’ve updated this blog from 2018 with the latest trends in making the most of video:
1. Produce video marketing that turns on buyers
Create a video that fits your brand and tells an engaging story. Consider the buyer journey – where should the video fit and what tone is required? Is audio key to telling the message or is it visually-led? Make sure to get the balance and volume right. Remember, the right music can evoke powerful emotions too. The little things make a big difference.
Get the style, content and message right for the audience – a hands-on user will want interface detail whereas a senior manager is likely to want more strategic value. Also, don’t forget to give a Call To Action at the end of video.
Working remotely through the pandemic has altered marketers’ approach to video creation. When thinking about video marketing, we were accustomed to employing camera crews and tech professionals. But now low-budget videos are now leading the way in video marketing, with short form amateur videos that vloggers have been using all along becoming an amazing opportunity for creative content production.
See this example from McDonalds to demonstrate the shift from high production to basic authenticity.
When producing video, get your buyers in focus. What do they want? Where are they on their buyer journey? And how are you going to give them value? Think about the options at your disposal:
ANIMATIONS – a great way of showing a process or a solution that is complicated, expensive or difficult to access.
PRODUCT DEMOS AND ‘HOW TO’ VIDEOS – what better way to showcase products or provide buyers with new skills.
WEBINARS – offer valuable information through an educational approach that demonstrates authority.
Q&A/INTERVIEWS – a useful alternative to an arguably outdated FAQ page
CASE STUDIES AND TESTIMONIALS – are a great way to emphasize and showcase previous success stories
Companies are expected to join the global conversation, and consumers expectation of brands has changed. 65% of consumers say that brands’ reaction to the pandemic will affect their attitude towards that brand. Video is a great tool for starting these conversations and can help brands feel more human and accessible.
2. Publish video that gets found
Publish video on searchable platforms (e.g. YouTube). Make sure you optimize the title and descriptions. Use relevant tags, link back to relevant webpages and use buyer focused, plain English language.
3. Increase inbound traffic
To increase traffic, build and publish a web page for your video. Optimize the Page Title, Header, Headline and meta description. Write a concise engaging introduction and go further by featuring long form copy beneath the video. Also, don’t forget to optimize video for search:
4. Write search optimized headlines
Use a rich, descriptive and benefit orientated introduction paragraph highlighting why this page and content is of great interest, relevance and value to the reader.
Utilize long form copy on the page to enhance SEO and provide content in a complementary format.
Consider transcripts, related articles, key takeaways and links to your other videos.
5. Maximize traffic and views
To maximize traffic and views, promote your video on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Write a guest blog to increase authority around the video subject area.
Email your target audience promoting the video and create ads or heroes on your own website to get the video seen. Make sure you allow users to embed and share the video too.
And finally, to maximize your investment, ‘atomize’ the video content to create other smaller chunks of content to drive traffic.
6. Go live
Live streaming is also one of the most cost-effective video formats since the onset of the pandemic. Although not new, the popularity of live streams has increased due to COVID-19. People have more time working from home to watch a live stream and with things like live online fitness classes becoming commonplace everyone is more comfortable with it so it’s a great time to integrate this into your strategy.
7. Drive action: Pushing towards sales
The ultimate purpose of most videos is to drive sales and commercial benefit. So make sure you provide a clear relevant next step CTA for the buyer – whatever it is you want them to do. Suggest related videos – either selected or automatically through tags/playlist or recommend related downloads and deeper content.
With the sales process moving to virtual during the pandemic, planning your video content in the context of your buyer journey is critical. B2B buyers are researching more online than ever, and they’re looking for sales processes to be digitally led and easy to process – very different from the slow in-person approach associated with B2B purchases. Building video to make the buyer journey slicker, with a view to shortening sales cycles should be a top priority.
For a deep dive guide to video, take a look at this Video Marketing 101 Resource from Ledger Bennett.