You’ve heard it said many times that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It might be an old cliché, but it’s a truth that’s brought to bear in B2B marketing.
Videos are the most engaging content used in modern campaigns. Proof-positive of this is the many B2C companies that, through video outlets like YouTube and Vimeo, have constructed viral campaigns with the help of social media. Just take the Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches”, the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” videos, or the incredible Decoded campaign of Jay-Z’s book.
But B2B companies should leverage the power of video too, especially in combination with the distribution power of social outlets. Consider these facts:
- 46% of B2B technology buyers have made a purchase after watching a video.
- 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text, if given both choices on a webpage.
For those reasons and more, B2B marketers need to employ video marketing if they want to stay on the cutting edge of lead generation and brand evangelism. And by integrating video with social media, your brand will immediately begin to immerse new followers in a more engaging experience.
Here are some ways to leverage the power of video and combine it with social for powerhouse marketing campaigns.
Construct a Variety of Videos Around Social Marketing Goals
The first step towards integrating a video campaign with your social presence is simply to produce the right kind of video content. If your company hasn’t yet produced a variety of videos to appeal to a diverse set of buyers, now is the time.
Creating your video content can be as simple as having the talented shutterbug use a high-quality DSLR—or, for a more sustained, long-term campaign, hiring a video marketing team to produce professional audiovisual pieces. Whichever route you take, the following types of videos are likely to do well when distributed via social channels:
- Processes and procedures. Show how clients get things done with your products and services. When prospects see your product in action, making a difference for a business like theirs, it’s a strong motivator to take a leap and invest more time learning about your brand.
- Customer case study. Here is where your loyal clients speak up for your brand’s value. Case studies come in third, with 38% of respondents choosing that type of content, as the most important collateral to see before making a B2B purchase—and putting such collateral in video form only extends its value. You’ll want the camera to be on your customer’s representative, so that prospects can see themselves in his or her shoes.
- Promotional. You’ll want to put less priority on purely promotional videos—prospective clients would much rather hear about how your product or service will help them attain their goals or simplify day-to-day activities. But having a few short, promotional videos ready to go is still important for cementing the connection between your brand presence and the solutions your clients need.
Here are some other principles to keep in mind:
- Focus on uploading videos to YouTube and/or Vimeo. YouTube, owned and operated by search giant Google, is the behemoth of social video, with billions of users and hundreds of millions of hours spent on the site every day. Vimeo has a much smaller audience of 100+ million viewers a month, but has the advantages of no advertisements and a reputation for “serious” video content with high production values. Dig deeper into your market segmentation for possible insights on whether one or the other outlet is better to focus on, or experiment by uploading unique content to both.
- Keep it short. B2B buyers are short on time, as hungry as they are for actionable or interesting video content. Distill the majority of your planned videos into sharply-focused messages that take no longer than a few minutes to get across.
- Employ outside-the box thinking. B2B marketing pieces are often data-driven and no-nonsense, but your visual marketing pieces should still stand out from the crowd. With the marketing team, brainstorm some creative topics for individual videos and video series. Don’t be afraid of taking bold, yet calculated risks.
- Focus on benefits over brand. If you talk just about how great your brand is, prospects might sense your passion but forget about what you have to offer. If, however, you emphasize how your products will change customers’ lives, you’re drawing them right into your brand’s value and leaving them hungry for more.
To understand which kind of video formats are suited for lead nurturing, sit down with your sales team and let them tell you what the most common concerns and questions are among customers. The people who meet face-to-face with your customers are particularly well-suited to offer great ideas for true-to-life video marketing content.
Once you’ve produced a series of videos in each category, you’re ready to distribute them on social media, where your potential clients are looking for solutions just like yours.
Start Posting Video to Social Media
In short, here’s how it works. After creating scripts for your videos and having them produced (or, outsourcing the job to a capable agency), you’ll upload them to a video platform such as YouTube. From there, you’ll share that video content with your social followers. Use your social media management tool to post selected videos to specific social networks by a set schedule.
A strategy that combines shared YouTube and Vimeo videos with exclusive video content for particular social profiles (e.g., such as unique videos for your Facebook followers only, a potentially powerful incentive for increasing social engagements) is a winner.
Video and social media integration might seem simple and straightforward, and it can be. But you’ll want to go a step further, and make sure the right videos are seen by the right individuals.
Target Specific Social Media Segments for Video Marketing
You don’t want to distribute your video content with a willy-nilly approach. A CMO is not going to respond to the same video, in the same way, as a middle manager.
By targeting specific cross-sections of your social media followers with specific videos, depending on who they are and where they are in your sales cycle, you’ll have an effective video campaign. For middle managers, you’ll want to produce videos that generate excitement about new ideas or technologies offered by your brand, as well as solid data that can help the viewer make a case to stakeholders. For C-level executives, you’d produce videos that provide a global view of how your services can improve the processes of a company as a whole, ultimately supporting a healthy bottom line.
Here’s how you can make sure the right videos get to the right prospects via social:
- Use your buyer personas. Your buyer personas reveal what your customers are likely to be receptive to, as well as what social networks they have the highest affinity for.
- Mention video content in discussion groups. If a certain video targets an important pain point, demonstrates a process, or drives home a key benefit, it might work as a great answer to your prospects’ questions, or as a natural part of the conversation in LinkedIn Groups or Facebook Groups. Of course, always be non-promotional and consider your audience’s needs first.
- Optimize video for both SEO and viewers. SEO still matters—and it can only help to have popular, relevant keywords and phrases in your title. For YouTube videos, make sure that you optimize with tags as well. Also keep in mind that “headlines” for your content—in this case, video titles—are the first things your prospects will see, and they will often click through to the video on the strength of the headline alone.
Once you have a detailed approach for choosing the right social networks, and you’ve optimized for the most viewers on each social outlet, you’re set for a thriving video campaign that will increase conversions and make your brand known.
Track ROI and conversions from videos
As with any marketing strategy, you’ll need to assess how well your video content is working for you. The way to do this is to track key metrics, such as view counts, web traffic, engagements and conversion rate for each video you produce.
Since conversions are the most important metric for B2B marketers when calculating ROI. The ability to track conversions from videos is both essential and difficult to achieve. Here’s where a good social media management platform, like Oktopost, comes in handy. When sharing a video on your social channels, Oktopost is able to show the journey from initial social click back to conversion, no matter how many stops were made along the way.
For example, a lead who clicks a tweet, is then redirected to watch a YouTube video and eventually comes back to your website and converts. Without a proper social media management platform, it would prove difficult to close the loop on this journey, and give proper credit to the YouTube video.
82% of B2B marketers report success with video marketing, so it’s not just a trend that’s going nowhere. As video marketing becomes even more popular in the B2B universe, it’s going to be important to fully integrate video content with social and produce stellar content that draws prospects’ attention to your offerings. Follow the tips above, and your brand awareness, lead generation, and conversions will be all the better for it!