Video marketing - misunderstood and under-utilized by B2B companies

Barb Mosher Zinck Profile picture for user barb.mosher July 18, 2016
Video's mobile dominance creates opportunities for B2B marketers. But video marketing for B2B companies is different. Barb Mosher Zinck has guidance for getting results through video storytelling - throughout the sales cycle.

Watching video is the most popular online activity. According to Forrester, it accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. Video has done a lot for the B2C market, but B2B also benefits greatly from the right video marketing strategy.

Aligning video to the sales funnel

It is true that the sales funnel isn’t as straightforward as it use to be, but that doesn’t stop brands from thinking in terms of how to engage with customers and prospects based on how the funnel traditionally works. Thinking about your video strategy, this way does help you understand what kind of videos to produce, who the audience is and what you end goal is for the video.

Different videos for different stages

Not all videos are alike, and not all videos should be made for the awareness phase, or “top of the funnel”. There are a few different types of videos you should consider creating in a B2B organization.

It’s a good time to point out that many often refer to the different types of videos as marketing, sales and support videos, but I think we need not think in terms of videos by department, and think more in terms of videos by stage of the customer journey.

  1. Awareness videos. These are usually short videos designed to create awareness of a brand. But they aren’t necessarily about the brand’s products and services, although some are. Some of the best awareness videos bring to light a problem, challenge or opportunity that relates to your brand in some way.
  2. Research and decision-making videos: Video created for these stages of the customer journey talk about the product and service and how they are used. They aren’t in depth technical discussions (that’s a later phase), but they provide enough information to help a prospect understand how the product is used and if it’s the right one for them. There’s a wide range of video types you can create here from high-level product overviews, pre-recorded demos and ondemand webinars, customer testimonials, how-tos, analyst discussions, and so on.
  3. Customer support and knowledge videos: Once the decision to purchase has been made the deal done; there are still plenty of opportunities to create great videos that engage the customer. These include details how-tos, DIY, tutuorials, training sessions and so on. You could also create videos that show how other customers have used your products and invite your customers to create their videos.

Forrester provides some additional ideas for types of video based on the purchase journey in the diagram below:


From Forrester Vendor Landscape: Online Video Platforms for Sales and Marketing (paid subscription required).

Here’s another diagram that gives you an idea of how much video you should create at different stages of the marketing funnel:


From Vidyard/Eloqua Whitepaper: The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Getting the Most of Video

Creating your video marketing strategy

Connecting video metrics back to a marketing campaign is necessary, if not critical. So what are the steps you should take? We get some guidance from Vidyard, an online video platform provider and Eloqua, a marketing automation provider, in the whitepaper The Modern Marketer’s Guide to Getting the Most of Video. [free registration required]

The paper offers six steps to a “killer video marketing campaign.” They are as follows:

  1. Have one clear call to action (CTA).
  2. Decide how you will measure performance.
  3. Create a compelling story.
  4. Build a dedicated landing page that makes video the star.
  5. Track quantifiable video data.
  6. Follow up with those who engage.

These steps could be used when creating any content asset, but there are also key differences to think about when you put your video campaign in place. Here are a few:

  • You need to know your CTA and how you intend to measure the video’s performance before you start creating the video. You need this to guide your video’s story. Without it, how do you know what you are trying to show people? What emotion are you trying to evoke and why?
  • Creating videos can be a much more expensive process. There are ways to do videos inexpensively, and you don’t have to be an expert filmmaker to create good videos, but they still take time. The story is the most important component - get the story right from the beginning. Also, as the paper clearly says, in B2B you aren’t trying to create videos that go viral - you are creating videos for a niche audience that with the intention of converting them. Who cares if your video goes viral if 90% of the viewers would never purchase from you?
  • A dedicated landing page can also include other supporting resources, but the video should take center stage. Sometimes in our efforts to drive better conversions we put too many assets on a landing page and end up confusing the prospect. If you create the video was right, then you shouldn’t need to clutter the web page with other content.
  • Tracking metrics is critical. Not just views, but things such as how much of the video was viewed, how many watched the entire video but didn’t click the CTA, how many did click the CTA, how much time was spent on the landing page, what devices were used to watch the video and much more. The right video platform provides a wealth of metrics that can help you fine tune your video, your CTA and your campaign overall.

Integrating video with other marketing systems

Any online video platform needs to integrate with your other marketing systems, such as CRM and marketing automation. You have to connect your video to a campaign and tracking the campaign within a marketing automation system enables you to continue the conversation or engagement with the prospect without a ton of manual work.

Connecting videos with CRM is useful in the sales qualification process as well as the service and support stages of the buyer’s journey. With CRM integration you can track what videos your customers are watching and use that information to improve on your video strategy by creating more of the good videos and improving others.

Final thoughts

If your customers are heavy mobile users, then you better be thinking video marketing. A recent Ericsson Mobility Report, states that video will account for 70% of all mobile traffic by 2021. Yes, that’s likely a lot of B2C consumers, but the lines between work and play blur a little more each day and decision-makers do use their mobile devices to research and make purchase decisions.

Distribution is key. Just because you create a great video doesn’t mean people are going to watch it. Social media is an important distribution channel (we talked about this last week), SEO is also important to get your video found in search. A 2015 video marketing report found that 75% of B2B marketers are optimizing video for SEO.

Video marketing is the perfect blend of storytelling and insightful data. You don’t have to create expensive award-winning videos to do video marketing successful; you just need a great story, the right audience and the metrics tracking to ensure it’s bringing the returns you expect.

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