Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Phil Donaldson, Director of Marketing at PropelGrowth, a B2B financial services marketing firm in Princeton, NJ. He provides marketing strategy and tactics that drive content marketing programs for companies seeking to provide value to their customers. Phil is also a composer and musician who will use any opportunity he can to create music.
Video presents another unique challenge in content marketing, and B2B marketers are discussing and blogging on the topic with increasing fervor. In fact, a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs cites video as a leading marketing tactic used by B2B marketers. Because it saves time for buyers — especially busy senior executives — video has become a significant “go-to” content asset. As buyers become decreasingly trusting in sales content, capturing the voice of the customer helps support value add relationships.
With more tech buyers conducting research over mobile devices, video is easier to consume than, say, a white paper. According to a Forbes study, viewers retain 50% more information from watching video. Now, that’s efficiency!
YouTube garners around 4 billion views daily. For tech marketers, video has become a “must have.” With such growth and attention for video, you can believe that competition for audience attention will be high. Here are five tips to help you leverage video to gain attention, get customers to the next step of the buying journey, and shorten sales cycles
1. Know Your Buyer, Identify Their Need
Your company’s “best of breed” claim or long track record of [place boastful claim here] is not what buyers are looking for. It’s about their need to solve a business problem; not your need to brag. Try interviewing customers to find out why they purchased your solution. Get with Sales and find out what they’re hearing from prospects and customers. Meet your audience where they are with valuable content that enlightens and entertains. This may seem like a “well, duh!” issue, but you’d be surprised at how many people are talking about themselves.
2. Be Aware of the Buying Stage Your Video is Targeting
Are you looking to target the top or the bottom of the funnel? Do you seek to build awareness or facilitate the evaluation process? If you’re looking to be strategic in your marketing, each video needs to be informed by where in the buying process your target buyer happens to be. For instance, IT buyers prefer product demos at the evaluation stage. So, providing brief demos of specific capabilities can be very helpful. While you’ll want to educate from a higher level at the research stage, you don’t want to miss a golden opportunity for later-stage buyers.
3. Place the Video in a Continuum of Content
Many marketers create single standalone content assets and expect them to do all the heavy lifting in generating leads. This does not work. IT tech buyers tend to engage with 5 content assets before speaking with a salesperson. Your marketing message or story needs to live and build across various content elements. Your buyers will need access to a continuum of content to help them understand their needs and make a buying decision. C-level executives prefer video that is presented with supporting content. A short video embedded in a landing page as an intermediate step to an article or white paper can an effective way to drive conversions.
4. Make It a Tool to Be Shared
Video is a powerful educational and storytelling tool. It helps to create advocates within a target organization. Senior level executives frequently share video with their teams. Likewise, it’s a great tool for customer advocates to use to share content with their managers. Because it’s so easy to share and so quick to watch, video has the potential to deliver your message to people in the prospect organization that your salespeople can’t access.
5. Add Graphic Links to Your Video in Email Content
Adding a thumbnail graphic in an email which links to an online video helps to increase click through rates by 96% over non-video email. Sending emails with embedded video links can help drive conversions. The emails are also easy for the recipient to forward, making it even more likely that the video will gain access to others in the buyer committee.
Video can be a powerful tool in the hands of the right team with a solid marketing strategy and a bit of creativity. When we look back at a future B2B content marketing timeline, no doubt that this point in time will show a tick labeled, “The Age Of Video” (the video version will have lots of echo added when it’s read). What will be your company’s contribution?
For more information on how to captivate buyers with video, check out the white paper, “Promotional Video for Customer-centric Marketing.”