Everywhere we look, we can see that video is burgeoning to become the dominant communication channel. On mobile, at home, in the office, anywhere and any time, people are watching, and it’s estimated that the average person consumes 1.5 hours of videos per day.
It’s not a stretch to imagine that, since business professionals are people too (mostly), your B2B audience is lapping up just as much rich media sound and movement as much as everyone else.
Yes, the high engagement ratio, coupled with the ability to convey information more quickly than other mediums, has propelled video from a nice-to-have, to a must-have piece in the prospect conversion puzzle.
But where does video fit into the cycle? Well, since 57% of a customer’s purchase decision is made before they contact a sales team, sooner is better than later. Video can be highly effective in influencing prospects at multiple stages of the journey, and because it can tell such a rich story in a relatively brief time, it’s the perfect fit for time-poor executives who needs to get to grips with the salient points of a product or service, without actually having to invest too much time and effort. In fact, 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to watch the video than read the text.
Understandably, given the size of many B2B deals and the number of decision makers involved in the decisions, executives really do sweat over not just what to buy, but what to recommend to superiors and how to influence others in the organisation to back up their point of view. According to Google, 72% of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos to help guide them – with half of them watching at least 30 minutes worth of content. Anything that makes a purchase decision easier, a sales process more seamless and helps prospects understand why your business is best more quickly, will lead to better returns on your marketing investment.
“57% of a customer’s purchase decisionis made before they contact a sales team”
“72% of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos to help guide them – with half of them watching at least 30 minutes worth of content”
“82% of global internet traffic — both businessand consumer — will be video-based by 2022”
Why Video Marketing Is Important For B2B Businesses
Video, as we said, is growing. Global networking giant, Cisco, reports that 82 per cent of global internet traffic — both business and consumer — will be video-based by 2022. That’s a 7% increase from 2017. If your organisation isn’t yet prioritising video as a communication channel, you may already be lagging behind, especially given the latest high-tech technology trends available, such as 360 degree and virtual-reality based videos which are blowing minds all across the internet.
As video grows to become the internet’s primary content type, there are numerous benefits for B2B brands. Let’s analyse some of them:
Video nurtures trust
Trust is at the very core of conversions and sales, especially in a B2B setting where it can prove the difference between a one-time purchase and a lifelong client.
Because of the complexity inherent to B2B sales, any marketing needs to be both informative and persuasive, which combine to make your product or service more credible and more convincing than the competition.
This creates a sense of trustworthiness, which is why 57% of consumers say that videos gave them more confidence to purchase online.
Video is suited to the B2B sales cycle
Now, you might be thinking that actually you see more video in snippets on your Insta feed than you watch with any intent, but in fact video is a perfect fit for B2B.
In contrast to B2C sales, B2B generally involves higher order values, longer sales cycles and are often more complex in their offer than B2C. So, how we use video on the B2B context would be different from what you see flashing past on your social feeds. It’s also important to remain cognisant of the different stages in the purchase cycle and the different kinds of people who are influenced. This makes it important for B2B marketers to present their customers with a mix of top-of-the-funnel (brand and demand gen) and bottom-of-the-funnel (removal of doubt and lead gen) videos.
Working together, these different types of videos can be used to raise awareness and drive purchases.
Check out our example of a buying cycle paired with suggestions on what type of tactical content we can use in each stage:
Videos complements an integrated marketing strategy
When you’re marketing to business professionals, you need to ensure that you’re reaching them through more than one channel, with multiple touch points, over time if you want them to become a customer.
On social media channels, videos are shown to drive higher engagement. With the nature of social media algorithms, people are also more likely to see the content they ‘want to see’ which is determined by the type of content they typically consume. Thus, video begets video after video after video…
Email is yet another marketing channel that benefits greatly from the inclusion of videos. Just mentioning ‘video’ on the subject line of the marketing emails have been proven to increase the clickthrough rate by an astonishing 300%!
Even Google loves videos, and its algorithms determine that a website is more likely to make the first page of a search result if it contains a video.
Variety is a wonderful thing, and having video as part of your marketing mix in an integrated campaign offers up a wonderful storytelling opportunity amongst the drier content like white papers and reports, or the sparkly but more meaningless flashes of social media posts. Watching a video is also frequently seen as lower commitment than, for example, giving away details in a form to download and read an exhaustive white paper. This gives B2B marketers the opportunity to quickly deliver some enticing key points from a research piece through a video that can then encourage interested buyers to take the next step.
Video tells your story better and more memorably
For B2B brands, videos present a fantastic opportunity to weave an information-rich brand story into an easy, digestible package that’s also time efficient and compelling to engage with. And it’s not just the nuts and bolts that come across clearly in video. As humans, hardwired to respond to video, it frequently elicits an emotional response from viewers. We’ve all experienced that feeling of dread in the pit of our stomachs in the tense moments of a thriller, and the light-hearted elation as the heroes beat the baddies and finally get it together. But that’s not all it’s good for. In good news for B2B marketers, a combined study by Facebook and Nielsen concluded that even watching a video for under 10 seconds can help increase brand awareness and purchase intent.
Examples of B2B videos we’ve produced
Polli Chatbot Solution
Conquest Equipment team videos
Video helps broaden user understanding
Conversational tone and the important visual cues that people can pick up more quickly than reading help viewers to glean information and detail faster through video than by reading blocks of text. Users also retain information better by watching it in a video. This is particularly helpful in the case of complex products, such as software solutions, where the viewer has to first understand the solution and then be able to sell that in to colleagues and executives.
With a combination of props, visual cues, voice over, live action and demonstrations, organisations can break down their complex offerings, rendering it simpler for consumers to understand. This is why 72% of people preferred watching a video over reading text to learn about a product or a service.
Get video on your team
So, what did we learn? Well, video is really, really effective in B2B marketing. And, given that 81% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, it’s imperative you’re considering it for your B2B marketing strategy. But, more than that, you need to make video work for you in the context of your customers and your marketing mix. High engagement, alongside its proven ability to drive conversions, makes video marketing a very powerful tool if employed properly, even more so when it’s part of a strong, integrated marketing strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about using video in integrated B2B marketing, please feel free to get in touch.
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