You know that video assets are a powerful way to connect with individuals on social media and beyond. But, what if you’re targeting businesses? While the business-to-business world has yet to embrace video to the same extent as B2C, there are strong reasons why B2B marketers should use video as well.
Research by Google shows that 70% of B2B customers watch videos on their path to purchase. Video tutorials, reviews, and advertisements have become a main source of information for researchers and stakeholders in the purchasing process. Leveraging these channels is a way of leading them towards a purchase at all different points of the B2B buyer’s journey.
Video Supports Long Sales Cycles
One of the significant differences between B2B and B2C marketing is the comparative complexity of the B2B sales cycle. In fact, a report from Marketing Sherpa suggests that over a third of B2B sales occur a full seven months after the initial customer inquiry.
Why is the B2B sales cycle so long? The most common reasons include:
- The purchase is just one of many priorities competing for the customer’s time and attention.
- The decision can affect many people within an organization, thus requiring careful thought and research.
- There are various stakeholders involved over the course of the purchasing process.
In many cases, converting B2B customers requires you to nudge them continuously towards the finish line. Closing the deal can require many more touchpoints than the typical B2C transaction.
Video marketing can support the B2B sales cycle by nurturing potential conversions at different points along the funnel. Initially, a short video can increase a customer’s interest in the product or service; longer videos can then cover the topic in greater depth.
That’s what Microsoft is doing with its new video campaign for Office 365 for Business. The featured video on their YouTube channel serves as an Office 365 elevator pitch. From there, interested customers can find video tutorials and product reviews that give them more reasons to buy in. Microsoft’s channel has something for buyers at all different points in the journey.
Video Boosts Your Other Digital Marketing Efforts
Closing a B2B sale online means hitting the customer on multiple fronts, including SEO (Search Engine Optimization), blog content, and social media. These efforts can all benefit from the addition of a video marketing campaign.
Here are just some of the ways video boosts other forms of digital marketing:
- Social media users are more likely to engage with video than any other kind of content, and on Facebook, video content reaches an average of 135% more people than photos.
- Marketing emails with the subject line “video” can increase clickthrough rate up to 300%.
- Including the word ‘video’ in a blog title can increase the number of people who click.
- Adding video to a web page can significantly increase its search engine ranking.
- Well-optimized YouTube videos can rank at the top of Google search results.
Point is, the reasons why B2B marketers should use video go beyond the returns generated by the video campaign itself. Great video content bolsters your web presence as a whole.
Personalized Videos Can Target Different Buyers
When video marketing was expensive, businesses had to target large swaths of customers at once to get the most out of their budgets. But the decreasing cost of video production gives you room to produce niche video campaigns for specific buyer personas.
Lenovo uses this strategy in the “Users Happen” campaign, which targets a number of relatable pain points in a hilarious, over-the-top way. You don’t have to be an IT manager to recognize a “power user” like Jane or a loveable dope like Chad.
Video Advertising is Growing on LinkedIn
Last year, the primary B2B social network started allowing users to upload native video files. So far, it’s been a success, with people finding expanded reach and greater engagement on LinkedIn through video. Now, LinkedIn is finally expanding the privilege to businesses with options for video ads in LinkedIn sponsored content.
LinkedIn’s deep advertising audience options will make it easier than ever to get your video content in front of your ideal customers. You can target existing email contacts on LinkedIn customers, or discover new potential customers by targeting a job title, industry, skillset, or company name.
Video Can Make Boring Stuff Shine
Face it: a lot of B2B transactions fall into the realm of what most people would deem boring. But that’s only because they haven’t seen it through the right lens. There’s a story behind every B2B transaction, and with video, you can bring those stories to life.
Take Slack, an inter-office messaging platform that means to replace such arduous tasks as ‘sending an email’ and ‘asking the person next to you if they have an iPhone charger.’ To date, this seeming-boring software has generated over a million views with its “So Yeah, We Tried Slack…” video campaign.
Another great example comes from Schneider Electric, a company that makes automated electrical systems. Not only does their imaginative “Butterfly Effect” campaign demonstrate the benefits of their product, it tells a triumphant (and hilarious) tale.
In Short: 5 Reasons Why B2B Marketers Should Use Video
- Video marketing can reach customers at all different points in the B2B sales cycle.
- Video can support your SEO, social media and blogging efforts.
- Video is cheaper than ever to product, allowing you to target niche buyer personas.
- LinkedIn lets you zero-in on specific kinds of customers with video ads.
- Video marketing can bring great stories to life, even in traditionally ‘boring’ industries.