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B2B Video marketing

How can B2B companies use video to attract, engage and improve conversion without falling into the gimmick trap?

Integrating video into a website and sharing through video sites has great potential to build awareness and establish trust before a transaction. We're now seeing many more marketers using video as discussed in my previous post on inbound B2B marketing. In this post I'll use examples to review different approaches B2B companies can use video to really bring their offering to life.

Using video to help with visibility in search

At the last check, it was estimated that approximately 48 hours of video were being uploaded to YouTube every minute. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how valuable is a video when video search dominates internet search?

This data from YouTube is further supported by a recent survey which confirmed that B2B marketers need to focus on videos and images as part of their SEO strategy. Video appeared most frequently, and in over 70 per cent of Google search results, images were second and appeared in over 30 per cent of results.

You can’t create a "viral video"

The real trick with video is that only relevant and engaging video works. You can’t set out to create a viral video. Your audience decides if a video will go viral. Only when you start to think creatively about the type of video to shoot and post online, can you expect to produce something that ensures your stand out from the crowd. Video can help drive favourability and conversion even if isn't viral, so you should also think how video can help support the customer journey.

Tell a story worth telling

The traditional corporate video is dead. People don’t have the time to watch them and even less time to share them. And if they do, they will only watch it once. There is little interest and viral opportunity in a dull product demonstration video or a stuffy presentation delivered in an even stuffier conference room.

The best video content avoids broadcast and is information, helpful or entertaining. It is important in video for B2B buyers that you avoid talking specifically about products but create an interesting perspective on your company and what it does.

So, think about your company’s personality. What does the company stand for? What is its mission? What pain does it solve for its customers? Who are your advocates?

Five ways to think differently about B2B video

Examples of good B2B video are notoriously difficult to come by, but here are some credible examples that might help to get your creative juices flowing and help to position your business a little more effectively.

1. Corporate / product video with a difference

Let's start by looking at this impressive, and admittedly high production value, video, is the glass campaign from Corning which has achieved 15 million views on YouTube. We’ve selected this one more to illustrate how far you might stray from what you do in order to create a little magic.

In my next example, Rolls Royce focus their corporate video around their people, why they joined the company and what they are striving to achieve.

2. Interviews

In the packaging sector, SCA has been running a design competition for several years and they create some interesting interview videos that are very different to the Corning example but which are used to convey important messages to interested audiences. This is a recent addition to YouTube so the viewing numbers are low, but it again demonstrates a focus that is deliberately shifted away from their core business in order to secure more interest.

3. Testimonials

Eloqua are a marketing automation (email marketing) giant of the content marketing space.

In this montage of simply-shot talking head videos, easily replicated with a basic video camera and tripod, respondents are giving feedback on the benefits Eloqua has brought to their business. Powerful stuff and content that can be easily spread online, used at shows or embedded in email.

This example shows how these videos can be placed on B2B publishing sites for awareness.

4. Video blogging

Our contemporaries over at SocialMediaExaminer.com are having tremendous success driving repeat customers to the website.

One reason for this is the use of video - see this example on content marketing

So, supplement your blog and add some moving images using a built-in microphone/camera, headset or free screen-cast software like Screenr that allows you to make a video from what is on your screen.

5. Hosting conference presentations & discussions

Finally, in the food ingredients trade, media owner William Reed Business Media, achieves notable success at trade shows by equipping journalists with equipment to record thoughts and perspectives at a show. These are quickly turned around and uploaded to the web, sometimes same day. View this example.

Summary

B2B buyers are hitting the Internet searching for new products, services and suppliers, and video is playing an increasingly important role in bringing companies to life – acting as your first impression. Once created, video can be used in a variety of ways, whether on the web, embedded email, as social media content, at exhibitions and conferences or as a press release.

By Rene Power

René Power, has been the Smart Insights Expert commentator on B2B marketing for over four years. He consults, talks and trains on the deployment of the full marketing mix within trade B2B sectors including packaging, food, science, construction, engineering and professional services. He specializes in integrating digital with traditional and demystifying digital marketing, social media and content marketing for trade B2B companies. A Chartered Marketer, René authors the The Marketing Assassin blog, shares updates on Twitter @renepower and you can connect via Linkedin. Rene also authored the recently updated Smart Insights Expert members guide: 7 Steps to Brilliant B2B Digital Marketing guide.

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