5 Ways to Use Video in B2B Marketing

Mark Huber

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.

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