If a picture tells a thousand words, just imagine how much you can say with a video. Many business-to-business marketers are spending more time and money on the medium to find out.
According to a December 2013 study by Advertising Age, video is a bigger piece of enterprise content marketing budgets, with nearly two-thirds of B2B marketers saying they plan to increase spending on video messaging this year. That’s a significant jump from the 55.8% who said the same thing in 2013.
Writing for the Leads Generation Marketing Blog, industry consultant Belinda Summers notes that many B2B marketers are turning to digital video because it provides a measurable benefit due to the ability to track the effectiveness of campaigns with metrics such as click-thru rates and attention span. Summers refers to this paradigm as the “direct feedback loop.”
“When using videos as a content marketing platform, the feedback loop is built in, thanks to the linear nature of count and time elements in the analytics,” she writes. “Knowing how many times a video was played (count) and how long it was watched (time) can provide substantial data for measuring, as well as the avenue for direct interaction through comments.”
Still, feedback is only as good as the audience from which it resonates; and by all accounts that audience is getting bigger each day. According to Forbes, three-quarters of polled executives said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly, with 65% saying they visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.
Another recent study – distributed by the video marketing platform Vidyard – found that 61% of young executives say they expect to rely more heavily on business-class video over the next five to 10 years, and B2B brands are beginning to hire new talent to manage their video presence. Meanwhile, top video marketing platforms are now working to integrate their products with other marketing solutions, including social media and automation solutions, and CRM systems.
Yet, while consumer brands have been experimenting for some time with video marketing – and have recently begun pioneering short video messaging using Twitter’s click-video platform Vine – the learning curve has been steeper for the B2B community. But that is beginning to change.
Experts recommend that B2B marketers looking to formulate a video marketing strategy pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t in the B2C space. David Rose, COO at MagnetVideo, offers several tips for the B2B video newbie, including developing refined messages aimed at a highly targeted demographic, designing a compelling video landing page, and adopting a multi-channel approach that includes email, display/pay-per-click advertising and social media.
According to Rose, since the primary goal of a B2B video campaign is lead generation, having a solid analytics platform in place that can tell you who is viewing your video, at what times and for how long as well as how many of those views turn into conversions is a critical component of any campaign.
With next-generation tools available that enable even novices to produce highly polished video packages, B2B marketers are running out of reasons not to make the leap into this channel.