Of the many misconceptions out there about content marketing, the one that drives me most crazy is the false idea that it’s basically synonymous with “blogging.” Just start a blog, write a few posts and move on, right? WRONG!
Content marketing is a multi-faceted approach for increasing brand awareness, driving web traffic, boosting demand generation and – perhaps most importantly – enabling sales teams. And when I say multi-faceted, I mean multi-faceted. B2B marketers have a number of tools at their disposal beyond the typical blog post. There are also whitepapers, research reports, infographics, eBooks, podcasts, and, of course, videos.
Last year’s B2B trends report from Content Marketing Institute listed online video among the most popular tactics for marketers in 2012, with 70% of B2Bs naming it as a key part of their overall content strategies. That marked a 12% increase from the previous year’s report, and it’d be no surprise to see the number rise even higher by the end of 2013.
Still, you don’t need a survey to tell you that online video is extremely popular with content marketers these days. The number of video marketing articles being written on a daily basis is enough to secure its place as a trending topic. So why is video so popular with B2B organizations? Here are five reasons to consider.
#1. Video extends your reach.
There’s no way around it – people are crazy about online video. YouTube rakes in over 4 billion hits each day, and believe it or not, not everyone’s clicking on clips of cute kittens and celebrity interviews.
B2B companies can take advantage of the power of YouTube to expose their messages to exciting new audiences and increase brand awareness in a way that text-based content can’t always match. Let’s face it – YouTube is among the top three most visited websites on the planet. I don’t care how often you blog; your company’s website will never be able to compete with that.
#2. Video gives you more bang for your buck.
Video content also provides a great way to get more mileage out of your existing content by repurposing it in new formats. Different people consume content in different ways, so it’s important to get your messages out there to accommodate the various preferences of potential customers.
Blog post topics can be transformed into short videos (how-to tips and lists often work best). Webinars can be broken into pieces and shared as multi-part series to extend the life of your content. Survey results can be summarized as short video infographics. These are just a few examples, but think about all the different ways you can reimagine your existing content into new assets, and I’m sure you’ll find some creative and powerful ways to use video.
#3. It’s great for SEO.
Video also creates a more engaging experience for visitors, which is a critical part of Google’s mission to identify the highest quality content. By embedding video content on your company webpages and blog posts, B2Bs can provide prospects and customers with more to interact with, extending the time they spend on your site and increasing the odds that they will share your content with others – all of which helps your overall SEO value.
You can also take additional steps by creating a video site map and including metadata with your content to give search engines more information to crawl. This will result in your video thumbnails being pulled with your search results in Google, creating a visual element that will encourage more clicks.
#4. It’s mobile-friendly.
Consider this – smartphones outsold PCs for the first time ever in 2011, and with the iPad flying off shelves in record numbers, the tablet market should reach the same heights any year now.
This means more people than ever are walking around, essentially, with little portable TV sets at all times. For B2Bs, this presents a huge opportunity to get your message out in front of people anytime, anywhere.
This is especially valuable for email marketing purposes, as studies have shown that simply mentioning the word “video” in an email subject line can have a positive impact on open and click-thru rates. Combine that with the fact that email access is one of the most common functions for tablet owners who use their devices for work-related activities, and implications for mobile video content are pretty obvious.
#5. It’s practical to create.
Finally, today’s technology has made it simpler, faster and less costly to create impactful video content than ever before. B2B companies no longer have to break the bank or hire professional agencies to get into the video marketing game. Nearly every smartphone has a built-in video camera, and affordable software means you don’t need to be an expert to create quality content. In fact, you can even use tools like PowerPoint and Photoshop to generate powerful videos without ever picking up a camera.
These are just five reasons why online video has taken off with B2Bs, but they all lead toward the same conclusion: there’s simply no excuse not to make video a part of your overall content strategy. And even if you don’t, your competitors surely will.
Do you use video as part of your content marketing strategy? Share your experiences in the comments.