According to Content Marketing Institute’s benchmark report on B2B marketing trends, 79 percent of marketing teams made video content a key part of their strategies, and 62 percent agreed that it was highly effective. B2B consumers respond well to videos because it communicates the type of information they are looking for in a convenient package—when it’s done right.
There’s no doubt that video marketing content such as promotional clips and webinars are only going to become more popular as time goes on. In fact, according to Cisco’s predictions, 80 percent of consumer traffic will be driven by video content by 2020. This means that B2B marketers must be prepared to step up the game in terms of video to accommodate for this future trend.
Here are four ways to jumpstart your video marketing strategy to keep your brand relevant in the B2B industry.
1. Develop a Catchy Video Series
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to branding, and the same goes for video marketing. B2B marketing is often focused more on establishing thought leadership and brand recognition than just pushing a product sale on a customer. That’s why most B2B companies run an insightful blog, post case studies and infographics, and invest in personal branding for their leaders. Building trust and recognition with customers should be a core value of any B2B company’s marketing strategy—and their video marketing is no exception.
As you start to create more video content, make sure that every detail matches up with your brand persona. Developing a series with a signature format, catchy slogan, music, aesthetics, and so on is crucial for gaining a loyal following, and it helps to build brand recognition.
ExactTarget is an example of a B2B brand that really nailed their video marketing through catchy messaging and an engaging format. In a partnership with marketing experts Jay Baer and Kyle Lacy, ExactTarget discusses the latest trends and developments of the week in the industry. They incorporate branding throughout the videos using subtle color schemes and logos, but they let Baer’s and Lacy’s personalities shine through to create informative but entertaining content that B2B customers enjoy.
2. Create an Awesome Video Host Personality
The personality of the video host is equally as important as the aesthetics, format, and catchy messaging. The host needs to be highly relatable and authoritative, while still being entertaining. If your brand videos feel in any way similar to a boring lecture you heard from your college professor, chances are that your customers are going to mentally check out. Instead, through their personality, mannerisms, and overall demeanor, video hosts can use emotion and empathy to market to clients.
This is one of the key factors that help Gary Vaynerchuk and Neil Patel make such a powerful impact with their videos. Both of these hosts are clearly knowledgeable and have years of experience, but their personalities are what ultimately make their videos enjoyable.
If you decide to use the same host or hosts for each video, make sure that their personalities are able to shine through without contradicting your brand voice. For example, if your brand voice is more casual, it is totally acceptable for your hosts to be a little humorous. On the other hand, if your brand voice is geared toward professionals, it may be best to stick to a more informational approach.
3. Master the Outlets Where the Video Content Will Live
With all the different video channels out there these days, you need to understand that viewing habits differ from platform to platform. Whichever one you choose as the primary home for your videos, you should have a feel for the ideal video length, audience segments, and the nature of viewer interactions.
Referring back to Content Marketing Institute’s report, it is important to note which social media channels perform best with B2B audiences. LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube topped the list, whereas more B2C-driven platforms like Facebook and Instagram were less effective for reaching their customers. Brands will need to optimize their content to fit in best with these channels. Pay attention to the trends and research of your niche audience’s preference with these outlets.
4. Don't Rely Too Much on Scripts
Viewers like to see hosts and brand personalities showcase their true colors in a candid light. While they should certainly stick to the topic at hand, it is no fun listening to robotic script reading that can make a relatively boring subject even more uninteresting. This goes back to your host’s personality. While the overall aesthetic of the video should match up with your marketing goals and brand voice, it is ok to let your hosts have some fun and offer their own opinions when appropriate.
This is especially important if you decide to include live video. The reason why this type of content connects so well with audiences is because it is authentic and anything could happen at any moment. Try to achieve a “newsroom mindset” approach when you go live. Have a point and a purpose, but open up room for unscripted discussions as well.
While your hosts should certainly follow prompts to keep them on track, let some of the video content flow from the heart and with the flow of the conversation. Doing so can also help your rankings on many of the top platforms because it increases engagement and appeals to audiences.
One easy way to do this is through a live Q&A session. Each question can be aligned with a specific topic related to your industry. While your hosts may have some subject points plotted out ahead of time, they can also adlib some of their answers and discuss their viewpoints with each other, similar to the Facebook Live event that The Hodges Partnership hosted related to marketing ROI questions from their customers.
Video marketing is going to become even more important as brands continue to compete for buyers’ attention. It is important that marketers understand the best practices to use to engage with their audience through this medium. Catchy messages and entertaining hosts are important elements, but marketing teams must also optimize their content for each channel and allow a little wiggle room for unscripted content, especially during livestreams. By following these principles, B2B businesses can prepare their marketing strategies for success through video content—both now and in the future.