According to a Forbes-Google Video in the C-Suite study, lots of senior executives watch work-related videos and in fact prefer video content over text. The study further found that these executives are open to sharing and viewing B2B videos on social media.
In fact, among B2B marketers, videos are already the third most popular form of marketing content, surpassed only by non-video social media posts and case studies. They have also been rated the most effective in converting qualified leads.
When executed right, videos have the potential to transform your B2B content marketing efforts. They allow you to retarget content across channels for different audiences. You can, for instance, repurpose videos you made for YouTube to be reused for blogs or ebooks.
They can also be strategically targeted at different points along the customer purchase journey, from brand awareness to conversion. Also, compared to text, they are easier to consume and are more likely to be shared.
At the same time, a video marketing campaign done wrong can be tedious, underwhelming and invisible.
There are five fundamental rules to make video content work for your B2B business.
1) Have the right content strategy
Your video strategy has to be in sync with your overall content strategy. It is important to identify ways to complement your existing content strategy with videos.
One study, for instance, found that email conversions could shoot up by as much as 500% with the help of personalized videos. Knowing this, your video strategy may also include email marketing as part of your portfolio.
Once your platforms have been identified, you may also look at specific business objectives across the sales funnel where you could leverage your video content.
Even though video marketing has strategic applications across the sales funnel, it is best to focus on your most critical objectives, especially if you do not have the organizational resources to manage a multi-faceted video campaign.
Given the higher engagement levels offered by videos, you may focus on marketing pain points that have not been adequately addressed by your existing content formats.
The final step in the process will be to identify the specific kinds of video that best serve your campaign goals. There are several kinds of marketing videos to choose from.
You could have videos focusing on building a brand or demonstrating business values, showcasing your product or service, as well as conversion-focused videos like case studies & testimonials.
The decisions you make here will have a significant bearing on the next phase of the process.
2) Figure your video production strategy
Video length is one of the most critical variables in this stage, as it correlates with platform characteristics, conversion funnel stage as well as customer expectations and behaviours across platforms and messaging objectives.
Take platform characteristics to start with. Social media videos under 90 seconds have an average retention rate of 53% compared to 10% for videos over 30 minutes.
A HubSpot study of the correlation between video length and customer engagement identified 30, 45, 60 and 120 seconds as the optimal length for videos on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube respectively.
Similarly, it also possible to map optimal video length to funnel stage. Vidyard suggests a range of 30-90 seconds for top-of-funnel videos, followed by 2-10 minutes for mid-funnel and possibly even 10 plus minutes for bottom-of-funnel content.
But platform-video length optimization is still not an exact science. Today, even Instagram and Facebook support long-form videos. And even though 75% of B2B videos are under two minutes, the average length across all videos work out to around nine minutes. So, it is possible to make long-form videos work.
For example, a B2B brand with long sales cycles may consider producing educational and interactive video messages through webinars while organizations looking for branding may create short video messages to create brand awareness.
The key to effective video marketing, however, is to understand the expectations and behaviours of your customers across platforms and funnel stages. And that is the next stage of the process; analytics.
3) Balance production strategy with marketing strategy
When it comes to video production, bigger is not always better. Studies show that B2B customers tend to prefer authentic and relatable content more than professionally done marketing videos.
This is also good from a marketers’ perspective since your marketing budget could be better served in promotion rather than during the production stage of your campaign.
There are a number of free video editing tools that you could use for your video production. However, it is worth pointing out that authentic does not necessarily mean unprofessional.
It is important to understand what triggers conversion among your target group and invest in production quality that this audience prefers.
4) Have the right analytics strategy
With B2B video content set to double over the next 12 months, more and more marketers are investing in intermediate and advanced analytics to track engagement and ROI. In fact, companies that invest in analytics are twice as likely to report better returns on video investments.
As video becomes a vital part of B2B content strategy, analytics can provide marketers with the customer engagement insights required to optimize their video strategy for maximum impact.
Most public platforms already provide the basic analytics support required to understand viewer numbers, view times, shares etc. But advanced analytics can generate more granular insights into viewer interactions, engagement and conversion.
For instance, IBM-company Fiberlinks uses advanced analytics to optimize videos targeted at each stage of the buying cycle and maximize engagement, education, qualification and conversion.
5) Tweak & repeat
Regardless of how scientific your marketing campaign is, there are still a lot of moving parts in a video marketing campaign. As a result, the performance and success rate of your campaigns is not always certain.
Analytics tools provide your business with all the metrics you need to analyze each aspect of your campaign. This includes details like where your videos were viewed the most, what channels generated the most leads, and which of these leads converted the best eventually.
All these details help an organization get a fair understanding of how well video marketing is aligned with your overall business objectives, and whether or not it has performed according to expectations.
Once you have the necessary inputs and have identified the factors bringing conversion rates down, you may tweak the campaign for the future.
For example, if you notice that viewer engagement has been falling after a minute of your videos, you may consider clipping the video short. Similarly, if you notice that conversion rates are down despite high engagement, it is possible that the Call-To-Action (CTA) is not prominent in your videos.
Your organization may also look at tweaking several components of your campaign and deploying a multivariate testing campaign to see what works best.
As the sheer volume of B2B videos explode, marketers need to invest in strategies that can help them balance volume with performance.
An effective strategy begins with a clear definition of the role and objectives for video within the content marketing mix. Marketers then have to ensure that they deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time and on the right platform.
They need to invest in the right analytical tools that enable them to continuously optimize video performance against objectives.
Finally, marketers must be willing to experiment with a video content strategy that works best for their B2B business.