The explosive growth of video marketing isn’t limited to the B2C space. Video is just as important to your B2B marketing strategy as such well-oiled tactics as email and search.
In the online video hosting company Vidyard’s 2018 Video in Business Report, it was revealed that nearly 90% of digital marketers are already using video as part of their online marketing strategy.
In this post, we’ll outline five best practices of a good B2B video marketing campaign and include examples of how actual B2B companies used video in their campaigns.
How businesses use video
The Vidyard report revealed that B2B content is predominantly viewed on desktops rather than mobile devices (89% versus 11%) which may be due to the longer, more educational nature of B2B videos.
Businesses are also publishing more videos than they did in the past, with the average number of new videos posted in a one-year period at about 377 in 2018, versus 293 in 2017. B2B videos take a variety of formats. Here’s a list of some of them:
- Marketing campaign videos
- Event invitations
- Customer testimonials
- On-demand webinars
- Product demos
- Sales enablement videos
According to the Vidyard report, B2B videos aren’t always high-production affairs. Most of the content is produced as simple demo videos created by employees or internal teams.
The use of video in B2B marketing varies by industry, with High Tech producing the largest average number of videos by the company at 637 versus retail which produces an average of 56 videos by company. Here’s a breakdown of the average number of videos by industry from the Vidyard report.
Data Source: Vidyard
Video marketing best practices
While it may seem overwhelming to incorporate video into your marketing initiatives, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Think of video as an extension to your content strategy, only in this case you’re not writing a blog post, you’re creating visual content (in the form of video!)
As such, it can help to understand the best practices for an effective B2B video marketing campaign, particularly if you’re just getting started with video.
1. Social media is key to your video’s success.
In HubSpot’s 2018 Guide to Video Marketing, social media factors largely into the success of online video. Four of the top channels where consumers watch video are social platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
This is important because social media viewers are more receptive to certain types of video than, say, consumers binge-watching a show on Netflix. People respond to authenticity on social platforms and tend to watch video with the sound off (for example).
This LinkedIn ad uses video to get Facebook users’ attention. It links to a landing page on LinkedIn’s website and, like many Facebook videos, the sound is automatically muted though the subtitles are on.
The ad has over four thousand interactions (likes and comments), more than 500 shares and nearly five million views.
Image Source: Facebook
2. Your video should tell a story.
In the spirit of authenticity, try to use your videos to tell a story rather than bombard people with sales jargon or overly promotional language. Here is a great example of how SquareSpace uses customer stories to help communicate what their service is all about. This video is just under five minutes long and has a bit over 2200 views.
The video opens with a bit of intro text explaining its purpose, then immediately goes into the first customer story. Each story highlights key selling points of SquareSpace (elegant design templates, ease of use, immediacy, self-sufficiency, etc.) Using customer testimonials and stories is a great way to highlight your key products and services without seeming overly promotional.
3. The first ten seconds of your video are really important.
Since about 20% of video viewers click away from a video after the first ten seconds, you’ve really got to make those ten seconds count.
You’ll lose even more viewers after thirty seconds and again after about a minute. By two minutes, you can expect to lose nearly 60% of viewers. Don’t sweat this too much when making videos that last longer than two minutes, just keep it in mind so you can make the first 10, 30, and 60 seconds really pop.
This 5-minute video promoting Salesforce’s twenty-year anniversary is the perfect example of a powerful opening to an authentic video.
4. Use video to educate clients and prospects.
The beauty of online video is that you don’t have to stick to a certain length for it to be effective. You can use a long-form video to showcase your expertise in a given topic. No one does this better than HubSpot. Their YouTube channel had more than 1200 videos available—for free—at the time we wrote this piece.
HubSpot’s videos vary in length from very short branding-type spots to ninety minute livestreams of events (and everything in between.)
This 90-minute Keynote from HubSpot’s 2018 Inbound conference received over 26,000 views. It’s essentially just a livestream video that was taken at the event, but the image is clear and the video has a very authentic feel to it, drawing the viewer into the event as if they’d attended it in person.
5. Go viral!
This isn’t as much a best practice as it is a way to leverage the combined power of video with social media. Viral videos tend to be associated with B2C brands and campaigns, but creative B2B videos have just as much chance to go viral as any other videos as long as they incorporate elements like emotion, humor, and authenticity. Don’t be afraid to experiment (within reason).
Here’s an example of a video from Slack that hits all of these points. This video received over 1 million views on YouTube.
Digital video is here to stay. Cisco has predicted that over 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2021. The accessibility of digital video combined with the sheer number of video platforms and services has created a wide variety of new opportunities for B2B marketers to showcase their products, services, and brands through video ads, tutorials, livestreams, and more!
It’s an exciting time to be a B2B marketer. You now, quite literally, have the power of video at your fingertips. By following these straightforward guidelines and staying authentic, you can make video work for you.