Has anyone ever asked if you use video as part of your company’s marketing strategy and you politely answer, “Well, we’re a B2B company, so we don’t do video?” That might have been your response five years ago, but lately, more B2B companies of all sizes are embracing this medium, once the bastion of consumer businesses with enormous marketing budgets.
Even SMBs (small and medium-size businesses) are adding video to the marketing mix, along with other content tactics like social media, white papers or case studies. In its most recent B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, the Content Marketing Institute found that 60 percent of surveyed B2B companies are using video to engage prospects at different stages of the buying cycle.
Do Videos Engage Prospects?
But can videos be useful if the buying cycle for your products or services is six months or more? The answer to that often-asked question is, “yes.” According to MarketingProfs, “The key to video strategy for B2B marketers is to mix brand (top of funnel) videos with direct response, or DR, (bottom of funnel) videos. That requires two different types of creatives: one designed to raise awareness and the other designed to drive purchase.”
In other words, you can engage your prospect with a brief brand awareness video, then follow up with a longer piece that’s shared when the prospect reaches a decision phase. In this decision phase, you can engage the prospect with a more comprehensive video that spotlights your offering’s distinctive features and benefits.
According to Vidyard, the ideal length for an awareness video is 30-90 seconds. For prospects in the critical consideration or decision stages, videos of three to 10 minutes are typical.
This short video, produced by Volvo’s truck group (B2B), was created to demonstrate a single product feature quite memorably.
The video below produced by the software firm Slack blurs the line between top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-the-funnel content in a two-minute piece that introduces the product by emphasizing its benefits and features at work in a client company. Pro tip: Case studies, in video or print form, consistently rank as the most effective content tactic according to numerous surveys and research.
When it examined a quarter million videos posted by B2B companies, Vidyard discovered “The majority (56 percent) of videos published were less than two minutes long, while 12 percent were more than 20 minutes.”
Who Watches Videos?
Believe it or not, B2B prospects will watch your product and service videos at high rates. HubSpot claims 65 percent of viewers watch at least three-fourths of most videos. IDG says that “Ninety-five percent of tech decision-makers watch technology-related videos.”
How to Get Started
To co-opt the familiar phrase of an ancient philosopher, the journey of your first video begins with one step. Whether your video is produced on a smartphone or by a commercial production company, you just have to create an idea and get started. In Linkedin’s helpful guide “How to Stand Out with B2B Video in 2018” it shares a continuum of projects ranging from “shoe string to blockbuster.”
A few video genres Linkedin notes include the ubiquitous talking head, interview, webinar, instructional/educational, and testimonial. Choose one, and go to work.
If you’d like to get started with minimal investment, check out Vidyard’s blog post on how to make a B2B video using a smartphone.