We’re in the midst of a digital-first age, where screens are a reflection – actually, an extension — of our realities. Even more so, post-pandemic, we find ourselves glued to our screens. How many video calls have you had this week alone? Exactly.
Even before the pandemic, Cisco had reported that more than 80% of Internet traffic was video content. Add video calls to the mix and we are talking about some serious video overload. With shrinking attention spans, creating meaningful and memorable video content is massive. And in the world of B2B, where today’s “handshake” is likely to be digital, having a compelling video strategy is paramount.
So how does the value of video translate into the B2B space? To begin with, 65% of executives will visit a company’s website after viewing one of their videos*. On top of that, having a video on a landing page can show up to an 80% increase in conversion. **
Now that you have the numbers, let’s look at how your company can use video in your B2B marketing strategy. And to help keep things simple, let’s align the use of video to a basic Sales & Marketing Funnel — Awareness, Consideration, Intent, and Purchase phases.
Have you ever bought from anyone you didn’t know existed?
Me neither. No one will ever buy from (or partner with) you if they don’t know about you in the first place. This is your company’s WHY moment. Why do you exist? Why should someone believe in your company vs. one of your competitors?
This is a great place for your company to have an anthem, mission, or sizzle reel (2 minutes max) – a video that introduces your company’s mission, the people/culture of the organization, or even the introduction of a particular product.
A crucial asset like this not only sets the tone for your company’s brand existence… but can (and should) be distributed across your entire company’s workforce to use within their professional network.
From a production value standpoint, make sure this one’s more polished than some of your DIY videos. This is your first (and maybe only) impression with your new audience. So don’t leave your first impression in the hands of a mediocre video-editing app on your phone.
Now, this doesn’t mean it has to be some blockbuster budget. You can still be scrappy and get something spectacular out of it. Point is, leverage a professional video production team to make this for you. Once you’ve broken the ice and caught their eye, you can begin to move them down to the next phase of the funnel… Consideration.
May I have your attention, please?
Now that you have a potential customer’s attention, it’s time to give them a deeper look into what you can do for them. This your HOW moment.
- How does your company provide greater benefits or solutions than that of your competitors?
- How does the service or product offering work?
- How can they learn more?
In this phase, you can leverage video to simplify the messaging for a complex offering – product demonstrations, graphics-based explainers, and even webinars. Give your new audience confidence in learning more, while positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Production value can vary from highly-produced to low-production (DIY). For products/services that have fairly complicated messaging, it’s wise to go with a production company or motion-graphics studio. Motion Design, 2D animation, scripting, pacing, and music can be wildly successful approaches to getting your message across in 2 minutes or less.
The goal for any video asset in this phase is to move your potential customer down the funnel. Another way to accomplish this is to leverage a teaser video (:30 or less) as part of a squeeze page (you know, those landing pages that prompt you to “register” or “sign up” for a course, webinar, or white paper). Adding a video to that squeeze page will help increase conversion, which now gives your company a QSL (Qualified Sales Lead) and someone who’s moving into the next phase… Intent.
If a picture is worth a thousand words… a video is worth a million.
In this phase, your B2B relationship has begun to take shape and there’s possible intent they want to work with you. Video fits into this phase in a myriad of ways.
First, if you haven’t leveraged product demonstrations in the earlier phase, opting more for thought leadership as your approach in the “Consideration” phase, now would be the time to go deeper into what your product or service offering does. This is the time to get a little more granular and demonstrate your product or service.
Another way to leverage video in this phase is to get customer testimonials. Customer interviews are good, but customer stories are fantastic! And I emphasize “story” because a good story always builds a more emotional connection between company and viewer. And unlike a DIY interview, working with a video creator/producer brings professional storytelling and scripting to the table.
Finally, much in the same vein as customer stories, I highly recommend doing several employee or company culture stories. People like doing business with people they perceive as compatible with them. So, showcasing your company’s culture and shining a spotlight on several individuals (on ALL levels of employee hierarchies) can be the thing that persuades your prospect to do business with you.
Remember, this is the final phase before signing the dotted line. By now, you should have used video to address the rational and emotional side of the decision-making chain, hopefully leading your prospect to the next phase… Purchase.
But wait… there’s more!
Well done! You’ve won a new customer or gained a new partner. And, if you’ve followed the recommendations above, video has helped your customer on their journey. But there’s still more you can do with video to engage your new customer or partner.
First, let’s talk about training. You have a complex or proprietary solution to help bring more value to your customer. You explained it at a high level in the “Consideration” and/or “Intent” phases. Now, it’s time to go into more depth with training modules (how-to’s) for your customer’s workforce. With training modules, your new customer has the ability to “grade” their workforce on product/service adoption.
Next, there’s Interactive Video, which as the name suggests, is a video that allows someone to go from “viewer” to “user”. Just like interacting on a website, your audience can click, drag, hover, gesture over various “hot spots” in the video, and actively engage with the video. Think of it as a sort of “choose your own adventure” where your video can actively lead the user down the path and messaging of what’s relevant to them. Their path and usage are 100% measurable. So no longer are you just dealing with “view duration” or purely “views” as your metrics for success.
There are two types of people in this world — Readers & Watchers.
As you can see, video can be the cornerstone marketing asset at all levels of a B2B sales funnel. Even with this article, a companion video asset (or short video series) could capture the attention of the “watchers” in this world. Not to mention, video helps with SEO. But we’ll have to save that for another article.
Like anything else in marketing, always consider your objectives, audience, and distribution channels. And for goodness sake, have some sort of budget. While you don’t have to be Spielberg or Lucas, please don’t think of video as a nice-to-have. Think of it as a must in your sales & marketing toolkit.
* Forbes: Video in the C-Suite:
** EyeView Digital
About the author
Paul is a seasoned marketer who wakes up in the morning ready to solve problems, connect ideas to people, and team up with others to create better experiences. Always striving for improvement, he’s passionate about forming meaningful relationships and making today’s experiences purposeful, impactful, and fun.
Throughout his extensive career in Marketing and Client Relations, Paul has excelled in building key customer relationships through networking, identifying business opportunities, and converting prospects to client engagements. In his over two-decade career, he has worked at companies such as NBC, BKV, and LionStar Films. Paul always follows an approach of transparency, empathy, and trust.
Head of Client Relations at Launch, Paul builds meaningful relationships with brand marketers, strategists, and technologists. Whether it’s in the B2B space or B2C, his goal is to help brands connect deeper with today’s consumers, bringing them digital experiences that exceed expectations. He also co-hosts “SpeedBumps Live”, a weekly web show where he and Javier Santana spark insightful conversations regarding marketing challenges and the evolution of marketing with senior marketers.