Video’s Role in B-to-B Marketing
Author: Tom Wilde Tom Wilde is the CEO of RAMP, a Boston-based SaaS company.
Marketers are adopting video at an amazing pace. The Content Marketing Institute notes that video use grew from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012, which can be attributed in part to lower production costs and powerful publishing options that make it easier than ever to produce and deliver high-quality marketing video.
As a B-to-B marketing tool, video is effective: A Forbes Insight survey revealed that 75% of business executives watch work-related video. Importantly, when presented with the same information via text or video, 60% of the survey respondents said that they preferred video over text-based content.
What’s more, video compels viewers to action: In an IDG survey, 54% of B-to-B tech buyers reported that they visited a vendor’s website or requested more information after watching a video from that vendor.
But just having video isn’t enough—it needs to be effective at helping you acquire, engage and convert prospects into customers. Here is how to unlock the value of video for these three stages in the buying cycle:
Acquisition: Content-based marketing is growing as a means to attract potential customers: The Content Management Institute reported that spending on content marketing increased from 26% in 2011 to 33% in 2012. And a core tenet of content marketing is getting found as a result of the content you publish. However, video’s core metadata, which makes text-based content visible to search engines, is all but invisible to search. So to make the investment in video content worthwhile (i.e., enabling it to be found by prospects), you can add transcripts to your video to significantly increase the amount of searchable content, but you must make sure these transcripts are exposed to the search engines you care about as well as to your own site search.
Engagement: Once your video is found, you want to make sure your visitors are actually watching it … to completion. According to Wistia, short videos are watched 72% of the way through versus longer videos, which was only watched half way through, so keep videos short and put the best content first. Timeline navigation or “jump-to” interaction in the video player enable a “lean-forward” video experience that has a proven, positive impact on user engagement. In RAMP’s own studies, lean-forward video experiences drive an average of 3.36 – 4.29 times as much time on site as videos without these features.
Convert: Unfortunately, most organizations simply post their video to YouTube, but have yet to incorporate clear or compelling calls to action. Video, uniquely, plays over a “timeline” across which you can trigger related content and CTAs that are precisely targeted to the video message. These can take the form of dynamic and clickable links in and around the video player that connect to whitepaper download offers, surveys/polls, coupons for products/services and other traditional CTAs. Importantly, by attaching them to the video timeline, it is possible to have multiple CTAs on a single video, with each one targeting or reinforcing a different message.
Video is already proving to be an effective tool for B-to-B marketers, but by continuing to make video more discoverable, engaging, and actionable, it can have even more impact across the funnel.