One of the big challenges of integrating video into B2B marketing campaigns is understanding buyers' expectations and effectively delivering on them. Do decision-makers seek out video at specific points in the sales funnel? Are certain platforms more effective in reaching the target B2B audience?
The promise of video lies in its ability to present more complicated concepts visually when text-based explanations can sometimes leave buyers equally or more confused than when they first begin their search for a B2B solution. In the broadest terms, a buyer initiates his or her research by seeking out information relating to a business, the market in general, competition and reputation (1).
Where do purchasers go seek out content that guides them in their journey?
B2B marketers indicate social media channels are the most commonly used ways to connect with buyers, but it's not very effective. E-newletters are another option that ranks highly in terms of its benefit to connecting with B2B buyers. However, next to in-person events and webinars, video is one of the most influential kinds of content marketing.
What makes video effective?
One of the biggest benefits of video is its adaptability to the different points in the sales funnel. For instance, B2B purchasers who are in need of a quick jolt of information about a business and its place in a specific market often turn to short videos to get a clearer picture of what a company does.
Should marketers allow open access to this type of content or use a Web form to collect leads? There are a few arguments for creating gated content. First, it helps companies aggregate more robust information about the people accessing content beyond their IP address and other metrics delivered through Google Analytics. Second, it helps brands distinguish their content (2). Without going as far as building a paywall around a webinar or video, marketers send a signal to buyers that the content is higher quality than what customers can find through a quick search on YouTube.
What channel options do B2B marketers have?
There are a number of choices regarding where businesses can post their videos. An informational blog can be a logical home for video content as it interweaves with articles and infographics to give purchasers a more complete view of the organization. Companies can create individual landing pages on their website dedicated to video content and use search engine optimization best practices to drive traffic to the site with strategic keyword placement in the titles.
Social media channels are increasingly popular choices for video posting. In fact, Facebook is fast becoming the No. 1 site where brands put their visual content (3). Between May and June 2014, there was a 50 percent increase in video posts from brands in their attempt to increase awareness among buyers. The social network is predicted to surpass YouTube in terms of volume of videos.
However, LinkedIn may present the greatest promise among B2B marketers because of the site's popularity as a meeting place for business professionals. With a LinkedIn profile full of followers, a business can foster a dialog and improve lead generation by posting video that explores a particular pain point in the company's sector. Seeing as 72 percent of senior executives further explore an organization's offerings after viewing a video, it's a viable way to help push prospects along the sales funnel (4). By raising an issue and providing a solution in a brief, visual format, B2B marketers can position themselves as thought leaders and demonstrate their engagement in the business community.
B2B marketing that integrates video can be highly influential among buyers looking to get information quickly and be able to process it without having to spend a lot of time. It's also a way to initiate conversations with leads and prospects on social channels, which helps generate more business.
1. "Reach B2B Execs with Snappy Video"
2. "The Chasm of Expectations Between B2B Marketers And Buyers"
3. "Brands Are Increasingly Posting Videos Directly to Facebook"
4. "Creating B2B Engagement onLinkedIn with Video"