Vidyard recently reported that the primary objectives among B2B marketers who are exploring video marketing strategies are brand awareness, online engagement, and lead generation. This data implies that B2B marketers are looking at video to satisfy multiple customer needs in all parts of the sales funnel. In order to do that, B2B marketers need multiple video formats targeted at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
While there’s high interest in video content marketing, there are three primary challenges that are holding marketers back:
Inevitably, budgets will increase as greater executive support is placed on content marketing and its ability to drive return on investment (ROI), and resources will be added or sourced to third-party content marketing firms. That leaves creativity as the intangible challenge that B2B marketers must overcome.
How can marketers get creative with their video efforts? These five video marketing formats will help drive sales and marketing efforts at all levels of the buyer’s journey.
In the age of search and the Internet, many potential buyers are savvy enough to do their own research. Busy decision makers don’t have time to talk to pushy salespeople or peruse pages and pages of an eBook or white paper. By providing engaging product videos that highlight the most efficient uses of your product and are segmented across several use cases, you’ll create a library of videos that for multiple prospects at different stages of their journeys. Not only will you meet an immediate informational need, but these videos will perform well in search. (That is, of course, assuming you optimize the pages those videos are published on. If you don’t, call me—you need help.)
Look at your business partners, customers, and the industry influencers you follow on social media for subjects to be used in video content. Focus on those who have large social followings and will help promote the content you create after it’s published. Interview your subjects about their experiences in the industry, trends, and overall best practices. Most importantly, make your interview highly informational so the videos are sourced and linked to by industry publications. In addition to satisfying your curious reader base, the backlinks will help boost the overall visibility in search engines.
Your public relations and marketing teams work hard to get those speaking engagements at conferences for your executive team. Keynotes, panels, and fireside chats can be a great source of video marketing content and can be sliced and diced later on for smaller, snackable social posts that highlight insightful commentary. The key is to cover the discussion of industry trends, cutting-edge technology, and the other forward-thinking topics your target audience is interested in. Find out what your audience is searching for in search engines and what they’re talking about on social media to further validate and optimize the content that is created. Wrap those videos with search-optimized content on your website and not only will your article pages rank well in search, but your videos will, too.
You love your customers, and hopefully they love the work you’re doing for them. Most customers like to talk about themselves and how successful they are—so exploit that. Set up a Q&A or an interview that highlights the success of your customers. Not only is that video something your customers will share, but the next time the sales department asks you for a referral, you can send them the video. Instant credibility. The video acts as living proof for prospective customers that your company knows what it’s doing and has achieved great success for other companies in the industry.
Do you have a cool manufacturing plant like Apple, or a colorful data center like Google? Probably not. But I bet you do own some pretty advanced machinery that your prospects will be excited to explore. Don’t be afraid to show them your process, how you operate, or what you do differently. A customer isn’t just buying your product or service, they’re buying you—as a company, as a partner, and as someone to have their back. You can even spin the video into a social media contest. Who wouldn’t want an all-expense-paid trip to Idaho to tour your factory?
It’s one thing to produce strong, engaging video content—but it’s even more important to have a distribution plan for it. Studies show that company websites and YouTube are the most important platforms when hosting your video content. And email or newsletter campaigns come in as the most effective means of driving engagement. After each video is produced, it’s critical that it’s published to YouTube with a search-friendly description and embedded into a piece of content on your website. That page can then be leveraged via email and paid social-media amplification to get more eyeballs on your video content.
How are you utilizing video marketing to generate awareness, build loyalty, and acquire new customers? Tell us in the comments below.