Since the dawn of television, consumer-facing companies have used the emotional impact of video marketing to drive brand awareness and sales. While B2C companies primarily use video marketing, B2B brands are increasingly recognizing the power of video for bolstering their marketing and lead generation efforts. Just take a look at what customer relationship and engagement platform Zendesk is doing with this humorous, playful, and engaging overview of their service.
Video is useful for B2B marketing in that it’s quick, educational, professional, and entertaining. In a recent survey, Tubular Insights found that 73% of B2B marketers said video makes a positive impact on their marketing ROI.
The former Head of Marketing at Vyond and current CMO of Solutions by Text, Stacy Adams, discussed the power of video for B2B marketing in one of LinkedIn’s broadcasts at Content Marketing World. Stacy’s conversation with LinkedIn was full of B2B video marketing insights, so we thought we’d dedicate a post to sharing what we learned as listeners.
Why video is powerful for B2B Marketing
In B2B marketing, your customers are organizations. The decision-makers at these companies are busy, so they expect marketing that is fast to absorb, yet still informative and engaging. Here’s how video delivers on all of these fronts:
Video is quick to consume
Business leaders are busy, so they don’t have time to wade through a wealth of marketing materials. Even the prettiest PDF will get lost in the shuffle if it takes too long to read.
With video, marketers can get right to the point, delivering messages quickly in a manner that can be consumed anywhere. Unlike PowerPoints or lengthier written content, a well-crafted marketing video can pack a lot of information into a short time frame through the combined use of narration, graphs, and visual cues.
You may not have the budget to secure a big-time actor like Keanu Reeves, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow website-building service Squarespace’s example and create a short piece that highlights the basics of using your product. Squarespace’s commercial shows Reeves walking viewers through building a site on their platform, from choosing a domain name to selecting an appropriate design template, all while clocking in at under two minutes.
Video is a powerful educational medium
B2B products are a significant investment, so companies want to learn how they work and why they can be beneficial to their bottom line. Video is an ideal platform for teaching them because it enables you to show your product in action. A real-time demonstration, complete with actual footage of a product, can help illustrate its features and how a company’s employees can use given tools to do their work more efficiently.
Making the most of video’s educational capabilities, marketing company Method created a “How-To” video for their product.
The video walks through all of the features and benefits Method’s tools offer, such as call logging and an easy dashboard for managing multiple support cases. It’s easy for viewers to remember what makes the product useful after watching the video’s engaging narrator, who voices pain points from his daily work life that Method relieves.
Creating educational content requires you to know your audience deeply. When crafting videos for educational purposes, always consider your buyer’s level of familiarity with the topic at hand.
Video is a professional Solution
B2B products are often a major investment. As a result, B2B buyers want to make sure that the products they’re evaluating seem credible and trustworthy.
Even with zero production experience, marketers today are able to create professional-grade videos with accessible tools. There are plenty of user-friendly programs today that meet high-quality production standards but are simple enough for beginners to use, such as:
- Wistia’s Soapbox is a screen and video recorder that enables you to capture your screen and accompanying high-quality video from your computer in real-time.
- Our own platform, Vyond Studio, enables anyone to create compelling animations with drag-and-drop editing and professionally-designed templates, characters, props, and more.
You’re not going to become Netflix overnight, but that doesn’t mean your content can’t feel professional on any budget.
Video is entertaining
B2B marketing should be professional—but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. More and more B2B companies, like Expensify, are creating fun marketing videos to delight customers and make their content stand out from the countless messages that executives and employees encounter daily.
In this video, expense-management software Expensify takes a humorous approach to introduce their product with a few well-known celebrities. Expensify’s typical customers may not all be world-famous rappers, but the playful music video style is sure to grab the attention of, and get a laugh out of, the professionals considering the software.
The benefits of video marketing for B2B are clear, but now it’s time to get started actually creating content so you can start to reap the benefits of the format.
How to create a high-quality video on any budget
Video has a reputation for being expensive to create, but that is a myth. With planning and the right tools, B2B marketers can create excellent video marketing content on any budget.
Before you even think about beginning production, create a storyboard—a visual representation of the different scenes you’re planning to capture. Planning in advance will help save time during production, as you know the scenes and content that you need to capture long before you hit “Record.”
We’ve explored how to make a successful storyboard on our blog, but in essence, a storyboard should cover all of the details related to capturing and editing your content. Everything from 2D visual examples to planned narration should be included to help your marketers and production team make sure they’re entering the post-production process with all the footage and materials they need to create the video.
Utilize accessible, affordable video editing tools
Some professional video tools are limited to advanced filmmakers and are expensive to license and use—but that isn’t the case for every program.
Thankfully, there are plenty of accessible, affordable video editing tools to make even the most inexperienced marketers look like Hollywood creators.
- Vyond’s Studio is complete with templates and transitions to help you craft B2B marketing videos that move leads down the funnel. This video offers a relatively short tutorial for Vyond users who are just getting up to speed with the product. We also offer a free trial version of the product for users who are just getting started.
- Smartphone apps like FilmicPro unlock the full capabilities of your iPhone or Android camera. A film expert created this video to help new FilmicPro users make the most of the tool’s powerful settings and capabilities.
It may be tempting to try to use the same editing tools as big-time Hollywood production houses, but the simplicity of the above tools can help you focus on the valuable art of storytelling.
Invest in high-quality audio
Even visually stunning videos appear unprofessional when accompanied by scratchy or otherwise poor audio. To leave a positive impression on B2B customers, it’s essential to invest in high-quality audio. Here are some tips for capturing professional-grade recordings:
- Consider investing in an external microphone, whether lavalier or shotgun (with accompanying boom) to capture the best audio possible.
- When shooting live video, it’s difficult for camera operators to also manage the audio recording. Consider dedicating a separate team member to manage audio levels to ensure the quality is high.
- If your video will feature narration, consider hiring a professional voice-over artist via freelancer marketplaces, such as Fiverr or Upwork.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to produce high-quality work that meets the professional expectations of your B2B buyers.
How to build a B2B video marketing strategy
Long before you start filming, you should form a strategy for how you want to create and distribute your video marketing. By investing time and energy in strategic thinking, you’ll be able to form a plan for creating videos that move B2B customers towards making a purchase.
Develop an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar can help you stay on top of every element of video production, from shooting to editing to eventual release. Filming and editing both take time, so it’s critical to develop a calendar that realistically maps out deadlines.
To manage your video production pipeline, create an effective editorial calendar with these tips:
- Some videos, such as short-form social ads, will be faster to create than others, but in general, plan to release videos about two to three weeks after you’ve begun shooting.
- Consider creating a series of videos for your blog or YouTube channel, rather than just single marketing videos. A series will push you to build a dedicated audience by publishing regularly and by establishing your brand’s expertise in a subject.
- If you find yourself hard-pressed for content ideas, consider repurposing existing content, whether e-books, white-papers, or blog posts.
Video creation can require collaboration from a wide range of departments in your organization, so be sure to notify all stakeholders of your plans for release so they can all plan backward to make sure they’re not blocking any other elements of the production.
Build a Distribution plan
Ensure that your video marketing gets in front of your customers by strategically considering distribution channels. What social platforms does your target B2B audience use most frequently? Do they prefer to use email? Questions like these will help you decide the best methods for sharing your video marketing.
Here are a few tips to help you form an effective distribution plan for your video marketing.
- Consider sharing your video marketing, whether it’s ads or video blogs, on LinkedIn. The platform has a professional focus, so it’s ideal for reaching B2B buyers.
- Email is a particularly effective channel for video, as it can provide viewers with a refreshing break from the text-based content that makes up most email communications. Be sure to create an engaging subject line and visual preview and verify that your embedded video works across all popular email clients.
- Check whether the social platform you’re posting on plays video without sound activated. If so, include text or captions to pull in viewers without them needing to listen to your content straight away. Consider using Rev’s transcription service for fast, accurate captioning.
An effective distribution strategy is essential for even the highest-quality videos, so be sure to consider the most effective channels and goals for performance before making your videos live.
Attract B2B customers with high-quality video marketing
Your B2B customers are busy, so they’re looking for digestible marketing materials that are both educational and entertaining. That’s why video is an ideal medium for B2B marketing. Video’s ease of production, educational possibilities, and entertaining nature make it a powerful solution for moving B2B purchasers down your buying funnel.
With the right knowledge and tools, you can start creating B2B marketing campaigns right away. Don’t buy into the myth that you need an expensive budget and a film crew to create high-quality video marketing. With a bit of foundational knowledge and accessible video tools like Vyond, you have everything you need to start creating compelling B2B video marketing content.
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