5 Ways to Use Video in B2B Marketing

By 2019, 80 percent of internet traffic will involve video. In addition, video can help customers move through the sales pipeline. It’s not necessary to make a viral video to make video marketing effective. B2B companies have found that their videos, while viewed by fewer people, are just as important in their sales cycle. Research from Google shows that 72 percent of business buyers use video in their product consideration decisions, watching up to 30 minutes of video before making a purchase.

Before you think people at work are just wasting their time by watching videos, Forrester reports that 59 percent of Executives would rather watch a video than read text.

73 percent of B2B companies report a positive ROI on video marketing.

This article will look at 5 ways b2b companies can use video in their marketing including social media, product demonstrations, customer testimonials, search engine optimization, and email marketing.

1. Social Media and Video Marketing

   

In February, 2017, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I see video as a megatrend.” Indeed, Facebook has doubled down on how video is used on the platform, favoring posts with video and encouraging live streams. 8 billion videos are played daily on the site.

68 percent of marketers have used video in their Facebook strategy, and 87 percent of them considered it an effective strategy.

Facebook is not the only game in town, though. Business purchasers use Linkedin as their social media platform of choice.

Dutch company Schouten & Nelissen found that developing short videos and promoting them on Linkedin allowed them to reach potential customers at a cost of less than 5 cents per view.  When airline KLM wanted to reach business people to promote their Worldwide Business class offerings, they were able to achieve a 33 percent watch rate on Linkedin.

Twitter can also be an important B2B marketing medium.  80 percent of customer service requests are now done by reaching out on Twitter.  By searching Twitter, you can find out what concerns are on your customers’ minds and create videos addressing these issues.  Video can also allow you to express your brand’s personality. In an environment where you only have 280 characters, a video can increase the length of time that consumers consider the message.

Consider developing video specifically for the platform rather than repurposing existing video across social media. Twitter says native video is more likely to be viewed, is viewed from start to finish more, and more people remember them.  Videos made for Facebook specifically have different dimensions and are viewed more than videos uploaded to the platform from YouTube.

Additionally, consider livestreaming some of your content.  Twitter’s Periscope is favored by younger viewers, but these millennials are becoming important business decision makers. Many companies have found that their Facebook Live videos are among their most successful social media posts. While Linkedin does not have a native app for video, it is possible to link YouTube Live directly into a Linkedin Post.

2. Videos Are the Best Approach to Product Demonstrations

You probably remember your English teacher imploring you to “show not tell” in your writing. Today’s businesses have a better way to show their products than writing a descriptive essay. Videos allow businesses to demonstrate their product to their customers.

   

The most iconic example of video product demonstrations was BlendTec’s “Will It Blend?” series on Youtube. The company stuffed a variety of products including an iPhone and golf balls into their blender to demonstrate that it would pulverize just about anything. One video blending a Justin Bieber CD generated more than 2.8 million views.

While B2C companies have the upper hand in having their video go viral, B2B companies can use video effectively, especially for high-ticket sales.  Siemens, for instance, has used product demonstrations to effectively highlight the benefits of their gas turbines, products that can cost in the millions of dollars. When purchasing managers are comparing products, the videos give the edge to Siemens.

3. Customer Testimonials

Every marketer knows social proof is key to making the sale. There is no better form of social proof than a customer singing your praises on video. You can share these videos on your own webpage, on video sites like YouTube, and on social media.

   

B2B companies also find that presenting customer testimonials as case studies advances their sales process. OnDemand Advisors allows its customers to speak for them, and their best videos like the one featuring Ray White, Chief Marketing Officer of ICUC Social, are highly specific. White speaks of going from 40 to 300 leads a month and getting 90 meetings with customers each month after using the help of OnDemand Advisors.

Evernote featured a video testimonial from William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves bakery. The video was filmed on site and showed how pastries are made while Werner talked about how the bakery uses the product on a day to day fashion in his business.

4. Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization is usually thought of in terms of using proper keywords and building backlinks. However,

Google tries to provide the most value to the searcher, and one way people perceive value is time on site. People stay on a page up to three times as long if it has video on it.

People are also more likely to link to a page with video on it.  For instance, SEOMoz has a highly engaged following and when they produce helpful informational videos, their fans generally share them widely.  Dollar Shave Club, on the other hand, was virtually unknown when they started using videos. Their entertaining videos went viral, not because of the product, but because people genuinely enjoyed them and wanted to share them with their friends. In both cases, these shares generated hundreds of backlinks for their respective companies and allowed them to rise in the search engines.

You can also leverage video into written content by providing a written transcript. This allows you to generate additional content cheaply and quickly. The natural language used in spoken videos is perfect for the LSI writing preferred these days by Google.

Finally, when there is a video on the page, Google often uses it as a snippet next to the listing on its pages. People are far more likely to click on a link that features a picture of some sort. Google measures the amount of clicks a listing gets in its search algorithm.

5. Email Marketing Enhanced by Video

Including a video in your emails can increase open rates by 19 percent.  Most email servers including Gmail and Outlook do not allow people to play the video directly in the email. This forces people to click through to YouTube or a landing page if people want to view the video. Some marketers shied away from placing video in their emails for this reason.

This is a mistake, because part of the success of email deliverability is the click through rate. Emails that contain video are 65 percent more likely to generate a click.  You generate this click by including a static image with a play button.

Notegraphy uses a 71 second explainer video in its welcome message for new users. The video, which plays on YouTube has already received almost 120,000 views.

Using the word “video” in your subject line can also improve open and click through rates.  Other words that imply there is a video in the email can work as well. Patagonia had a highly successful email with the subject line “FORCE – Watch the full film”.

Types of Videos

There are several types of videos that can be used in different parts of the b2b sales cycle.  For instance, at the beginning of the sales cycle, you can use company or personnel introductions, discuss topics important in your industry, and use entertaining and viral videos to introduce your company to a new audience.

As people start to consider your product or service, product demonstrations, customer testimonials, and longer in-depth videos can help the customer to focus on you rather than the competition.

Closing videos can include personalized video made directly for the customer.

After the sale is closed, video can improve your customer longevity as well. For instance, educational videos explaining how to set up or use the product can help with stickiness.

Video can be used in many creative ways. It is only going to become more popular, so developing a video strategy now is imperative for all b2b businesses.

Contact us for more B2B marketing strategies for your business.

5 B2B Email Marketing Tips that Will Double Your Response Rates

When it comes to email, do you know whose message gets opened 100 percent of the time? Your mom’s! While there is no way to make your company have the emotional resonance of a mother’s missives, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from this anecdote.

Email marketing platform MailChimp reports that businesses using their service get about 20 percent open rate.  The kind of business sending the email matters though. For instance, Daily Deal sites usually see 14.92 percent of their list opening the email, while messages from religious organizations get opened 25.33 percent of the time.

But you don’t want to be “average” do you? These five tips will help you double your B2B email response rates.

   

1. Develop a History of Sending Valuable Information – You can train your list to open your emails if they know you will be enhancing their lives when they read what you write. Some companies deliver such valuable information that their messages become “can’t miss.” Others write with humor or panache that makes people look forward to the style of the email.  Companies that have poor open rates often send messages that are overly promotional. When you write with the reader in mind, they will look forward to the emails you send — and they will open them.

Mom Lesson – You open your mom’s email because you know that if you don’t, you’ll never hear the end of it. Plus, she might have some juicy gossip about your cousin Ashley. Moms write emails that we can’t afford to miss. Your corporate messages should do the same.

2. Test Your Sender – Think about the information email clients like Gmail and Outlook provide readers. They see the sender, the subject line, and perhaps the first few words of the email itself. That means that the person sending the email is a key factor in whether someone chooses to click on it or hit the delete button.

Who is your email coming from? Is it coming from a company brand name or a real person at the company? If the person sending the email is known to the reader — either personally or through “branding” — they’re more likely to read it.  If you’re getting low open rates, look at who is in the sender line of the emails and consider doing A/B testing to see if a different sender gets better results.

Mom Lesson – You always open the messages from your mom because, well, she’s your mom. She gave birth to you. Similarly, when you get an email from that creepy person you went on a date with 3 years ago, you never open it.  So, you know that who sends the email matters. Figure out who in your company your email list responds to and use them to send your direct emails and autoresponders.

3. Improve Your Subject Lines – The subject line is the “headline” of your email and just like a headline on a newspaper article draws readers into the content below, your subject line has to compel the reader to open your message. There are a few things you can test that might improve your open rates.

  • Keep it casual – Think about the emails you get from friends. They usually have subject lines like “lunch?” or “what’s up?” Too many business email writers try to make the subject line formal. These subject lines scream “corporate advertising, do not read me!”
  • Use lowercase – One of the easiest ways to “keep it casual” is to use lower case letters in the subject line. A proper newspaper headline capitalizes the first letter of every word — and that’s because that’s what works in print to draw readers in. The principle of “your subject line is your headline” can be taken too far though, and using capitalization principles meant for another medium doesn’t necessarily translate to B2B email marketing.
  • Inspire curiosity – The best email subject lines tease the reader. If all the information is in the title itself, there is no reason to open it. But, if it intrigues the reader, they can’t help but to “open the box and see what’s inside.” This allows you to engage with the reader in a deeper way through the message itself.
  • Personalize the message – Okay, we know people are selfish and vain. A person’s favorite word is usually their own name. So, take advantage of this psychological fact and personalize the message. Most email marketing platforms have a feature where you can input a token to customize each subject line. Using it means that you have to ask for the information on your opt-in forms, but when you do personalize, you will usually see an uptick in open rates.

Mom Lesson – Write your email subject line to your customers the same way you’d write it to your mom and watch your open rates skyrocket.

   

4. Do List Maintenance – Many people think of email as “free” and they send messages to people who don’t want to receive them. That’s a mistake because they do cost you money (most email marketing platforms charge more for bigger lists) and if you send the wrong messages to people, they will not open when you send them ones they are interested in. You’ve trained them to not open your emails.

The first thing you should do in terms of list maintenance is cull the people from your list who never open your emails. Most email marketing platforms have a feature where you can see who has not opened the past X emails and allow you to cut them all from your list.

The other important maintenance task is to segment your list. For instance, you might have separate “prospects” and “buyers” lists. You can go even further and segment your buyers into the job title or level of the person you’re sending to (i.e. an IT Director will respond to different messages than a purchasing manager or CFO). Obviously, groups of people have different pain points to address in email messages and one size does not serve all.  The more precisely you can craft your message, the more likely people will respond to it.

Mom Lesson – Think of what you’d tell your mom about your bachelor party vs. what you’d tell your best friend. If you want them both to think highly of you, you need to send them different messages. Same goes for your customers and prospects.

   

5. Re-send the Same Message – Think about your own email habits. If someone sends you a low-importance message, you’re more likely to open it if you’re not super busy. So, there are times when a “let’s have lunch” message get opened and other times when you think “I’ll get to that later (and never do.)

Customers are in the same boat. They are more responsive at different times. You can test for the best times to send the message, but even the most responsive time won’t reach everyone. So, don’t be afraid to send the exact same message a second time to people on your list who didn’t open it the first time. They won’t hate you. In fact, they probably won’t recognize that you sent it before. Some companies have found that just sending a copy of the message a second time gets an entirely new group to open their email.

Mom Lesson – If, on the off chance your mom sent you a message and you didn’t respond, do you think she would let you off the hook? No, she’d probably send you another message (this time using annoying all caps text). So, don’t let your customers ignore you either. If at first you don’t get the open, try again.

You Can Improve Your B2B Email Open Rates

There are some companies that send out emails and hear crickets while other businesses with a similar list regularly get more than 30 percent of their customers to open their mail. Use the strategies in this article to reach more people more of the time.

Want to learn more demand gen strategies for your B2B business? Contact us today!