Video killed the radio star – but it can breathe new life into your B2B marketing

By 20th June 2016 Design, Marketing, Web

Video. It is something that we have been thinking about a lot lately. (Although to those who remember them, it’s ironic that something so current should still be using that word, when traditional VHS cassettes became obsolete years ago!)

As a small to medium B2B business, you may think that video is not for you – after all it’s all about Taylor Swift and cute cats isn’t it? Well yes, in part – but there is so much more to video than selling music and filling a slow Friday afternoon with amusing snippets – and successful companies are increasingly waking up to the fact. Not just global brands with massive budgets either. 

Before we look at why you should pick up a camera pronto, here are some mind boggling video stats:

  • YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google
  • 1 hour of video is uploaded to YouTube per second.
  • 500 YEARS of YouTube video are watched EVERY DAY on Facebook
  • Over 3 BILLION HOURS of video are watched each month on YouTube
  • The most watched video EVER on You Tube is Gangnam Style, with 2.5 billion views since it was uploaded in July 2012!

Why bother?

Let’s forget all about that for a minute though and get back to basics: your company exists to sell a product or service.

Video is simply another aspect of the marketing and sales process that can be used to speed up and progress the decision making process. Quite often a B2B product or service may be more complex than B2C and take more explaining, or require more investment, again another reason why showing, rather than telling can be more effective and compelling.

Not to mention that if you don’t have the resources to physically be able to get in front of people, a video can work hard for you 24/7, 365 days a year and repay your investment.

Rather than needing lots of text on a web or brochure page, a video captures attention and will be more memorable. And for time poor professionals, it is easier to watch a 90 second or two minute clip and absorb the information, than it is to skim read lots of text without zoning out. This is backed up by research that shows people only remember 30% of what they see – but an amazing 70% of what they see and hear.

Content is king and if you can create video content that informs, engages or inspires, rather than feeling like a really hard sell, then you are well on the way to creating a warm lead or even converting to a sale. Think about what you want to achieve from your video – what is the objective? For example:

  • dispel a fear (this will be complicated to use),
  • correct a misconception (this product is not for people like me)
  • or reinforce a view (this will save me time)

Here are just a few examples of ways you could think about using video:

  • Demonstrate your product in action – showing it being used in a variety of situations, environments, devices or applications. Get the viewer identifying with it and thinking ‘yes this could be for me’.
  • A tutorial or walk through highlighting the various features and their benefits – perhaps with tips for getting the most out of it – demonstrating value for money.
  • A real life case study can be one of the most powerful endorsements – tell the story of how your product or service made a difference to a customer (or several of them)– how did it solve their problems, save them time or money, add value to their business etc (Remember that inspirational TV ad from 2013 – about how Google Chrome helped one woman launch the Cambridge Satchel Company from her kitchen table?)
  • If your facilities and your people are key to your brand, then showcase them with a video that gets across your company values and personality. Perhaps the fact that you are a UK based manufacturer is a key selling point, perhaps it is traditional craftsmanship skills, hand-made techniques or cutting edge technology that set you apart – then tell that story and take your viewer behind the scenes.
  • Time lapse videos can be fascinating – perhaps one of your product being built, created or manufactured – or how your product or services have helped to create or build something else, or a before and after transformation.

Don’t be predictable

And remember just because it is B2B doesn’t mean it needs to be dry or boring, in fact it must be the opposite to capture and maintain their attention. You are selling to people – not robots, who are used to seeing and engaging with content as ordinary consumers in their non-professional life. So think about how you can make it interesting, entertaining, human and engaging, while still being professional.

A little bit of humour or quirkiness, coming at an old topic from a new angle, putting a different slant or perspective on things, telling a story, the music, graphics – all these things will make your brand more memorable and the whole experience more enjoyable. People buy people and if you can make them feel something, show them some personality or passion, then they are more likely to develop a connection with your brand.

The importance of planning and scripting, or story boarding could fill a whole other post – so let’s leave it there for now.

The clincher – it helps with SEO

The final reason that you should consider video is that it will help you with Search Engine Optimisation – that all-important ranking of your company website in the search engine results.

According to Quicksprout.com, videos get 50 times better organic page ranks in Google as against plain, static text results. And you have probably noticed that in Google’s blended search engine results, relevant video content dominates the top half of the page.

So once you have created your video content you should ensure that you optimise it when uploading. In a nutshell, without getting all techy about SEO, this means giving it titles and descriptions with key words that help Google understand what the video content is about and therefore when to include it in relevant search results.

There are various resources out there which explain how to do this – such as this handy, step by step video SEO guide from Quicksprout.

But let’s not put the cart before the horse – first you need to actually create a great video – and we hope this has inspired you to think about how you could utilise the medium going forward – because if your competitors aren’t doing it already – they soon will be.