To grab attention, video marketing in the B2B segment is becoming increasingly important. After all, moving images provide a host of advantages. We explain here which strategic approaches you should consider in advance and how your entry into video marketing can be a success.
Millennials: video is medium No. 1
The generation of videos for marketing purposes is becoming increasingly important for companies year after year. The millennials group (born between 1980 and 2000) above all, as well as the generations after, prefer today to consume content through online videos, compared to other communication forms. Surveys and studies confirm that video is an established advertising tool.
Even in a purely B2B context, video content is the preferred channel among millennials for researching products and services from the business-customer segment, according to an analysis from the marketing advisory company Merit.
And among decision-makers across all generations, video as a medium has become well established. According to a Forbes study on video use among managers, 75 per cent of those questioned view work-related videos at least once a week; two-thirds visit the website of the company afterwards.
Marketing specialists are increasingly reacting to this higher significance of video content. According to the marketing study Getting Media Right: Marketing in Motion from the market research and marketing advisory company Kantar, from September 2019, 84 per cent of marketing specialists want to boost their investments in online video advertising in the next 12 months.
Advantages of videos in B2B marketing
There is a reason why video marketing is so important in the marketing mix. Especially in B2B, the production of moving images for content has a host of advantages:
- Like no other medium, videos can help to visualise products and services in B2B, which normally require explanation, and get users excited about the topic.
- Videos can communicate the same information about a company’s offers in a much shorter time than text, brochures or graphics.
- On mobile end devices, which millennials in particular use more than other target groups, videos are easier to consume than comparatively short text.
- With well-made videos, you (still) stand out from the mass of marketing content.
- Videos create an emotional relationship between the company and customers in a way that hardly any other medium can.
- Videos contribute to better visibility in search results, as they increase the dwell time of visitors on your website.
- Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and even Pinterest are relying on videos more strongly today than ever. They are more prominently positioned than images or text.
- Videos have a better chance of going viral through social networks and being seen by thousands of people, without you having to pay for this advertising.
Consumers prefer today to consume content through online videos, compared to other communication forms.
Functions of marketing videos in B2B
Marketing videos can fulfil a host of various functions. These are the most significant kinds of video in B2B which enterprises should consider:
- Explanatory video: Particularly in B2B, the benefits of the products or services are often not obvious at first glance. Explanatory videos help to clarify the advantages of an offer. Animations or visuals can support the speaker’s information.
- Product film: This video centres on the product too. But this video features the style of an advertising film, which summarises the most important product propositions and sales arguments.
- Image film: An image film profiles the company and its employees with the aim to increase trust, credibility and authenticity. Such a film may be up to 10 minutes long and should be produced by a professional to ensure a positive emotion is aroused in the viewer.
- Event film: Events of all kind – such as exhibitions, congresses or celebrations – can be caught on film and prepared for a follow-up report. Attendees thus have a memory of the company; absentees can gain a picture of what they can expect at future events.
- Webinar: A webinar is a seminar which is streamed live on the Internet. In this live film, speakers and participants come together in a virtual conference room. The film can then be published later on the website or the company blog.
Strategic considerations for B2B video marketing
The path of a company film – from an idea to its execution to its placement – is quite sophisticated. Which is why a marketing strategy should be developed. It ensures the objectives are also achieved. You should keep the following points in mind before getting down to action:
Select a video tool
If you do not want a third party to be in charge of the production of your marketing video, you need the right video tool yourself. The spectrum ranges from intuitive beginner tools to professional cutting programs. Well suited for companies are, for instance, the video tools Animoto and Shakr.
Define the target group
Who do you want to address with this video first and foremost? Potential customers in the awareness phase? Or regular customers whose loyalty should be reinforced? There are various formats depending on the individual phase the user is in. Short videos help to generate awareness using informative instructions and tips. Videos which focus on special promotions for regular customers or on software updates support more intensive customer loyalty.
Select one or several platforms
In the course of a well-thought-through video marketing strategy, you should determine which channels and platforms the video should be broadcasted on. Those that come in question are:
- Your company website
- Your company blog
- Your YouTube channel
- Your company page in social networks such as LinkedIn, XING, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Third-party websites and channels
Here, too, the format depends on the target group. If this is clearly and closely defined, professional networks like XING or LinkedIn could be a better match than wide-reaching Facebook. Image films, for instance, are good for YouTube or your own website.
A marketing strategy should be developed. It ensures the objectives are achieved.
Define the length of the video
Before you generate video content, you should determine the format depending on the marketing objective. Decisive is above all the length of the video. For instance, explanatory videos for a broad audience should not be any longer than 2 minutes; afterwards, people’s attention span rapidly decreases. Short videos are generally suitable for Facebook Timeline or your own website. Longer videos of up to 10 minutes can be embedded on webcast platforms such as YouTube or on landing pages, where more detailed information is sought after. Longer formats are best as image films or to underscore your status as an expert in a certain field.
Create a script
Before you get started, you need a script:
- What do you want to show?
- Which persons should appear in the video?
- Which text is spoken from off screen?
- Which subtitles will you Need?
At the end of the video, at the latest, is where a call to action should always appear which leads to more content.
Tip: Use the already existing content on your website or your blog, which are simply in text or images, and turn these into video content.
Give the video a powerful title
The user has to know why they should watch the video and which added value they can expect by doing so. Therefore, give the video a powerful title, add hashtags and keywords to the video thumbnails. Thumbnails are small preview images which show the video in search results and on video platforms.
Best practice in B2B video marketing
HORSCH Maschinen: Farming Heroes
Just how impressive video marketing for B2B can work is proven by HORSCH Maschinen GmbH, a German manufacturer of special agricultural equipment for land cultivation. In the campaign Farming Heroes, HORSCH turns the farmer into a superhero fit for the big screen. He is kitted out with a futuristic suit that unites the manufacturer’s machines – from tillage to seeding technology to crop protection. People, vision and technology thus merge to form a harmonious whole.
The story is explained on the landing page and a so-called Hero Creator lets every farmer upload a photo to slip into the role of a superhero. After all, Farming Heroes is about all the farmers and company managers worldwide who set up their operations in a professional way that make them fit for the future, thus making an important contribution to nature and society. The campaign was accompanied by the hashtag #FarmingHeroes.
In addition to the high awareness which the video generated, the number of conversions increased, according to the marketing manager Daniel Brandt. About 1 per cent, or around 5,000 of the first 500,000 viewers of the YouTube video, downloaded a pamphlet, completed a dealer search, or made an appointment for more information.
HORSCH won the German Award for Online Communication 2019 for this video marketing campaign in three areas: B2B Communications, Metal & Engineering, and Video & Series.