Marketers know that video can be very effective for B2B marketing. You’ve seen the stats. You know video is on a meteoric rise. But how, exactly, do you build a killer B2B video marketing strategy? Where does video fit into your marketing pipeline? For many, the answer to those questions are still quite fuzzy.
Setting your goals, knowing what types of video are available to you and learning best practices for sharing your carefully-produced work will let you break into the world of video marketing – reaching customers on their favorite medium.
Building a B2B Video Marketing Strategy
Storyboarding, producing and editing videos takes a lot of time, effort and resources. Before jumping in, step back a moment and take stock. What do you expect out of video marketing? Who are you trying to reach? Asking these questions upfront will hone your strategy and pave the way for success.
Step 1: Set Specific Goals
What do you hope to accomplish by incorporating video into your B2B marketing strategy? Your objectives will set the course for the style, length, timeframe, and the type of video content you publish.
For example, if your company’s main goal is to enhance brand loyalty, stick to shorter brand narrative videos. These could take the form of an introductory video after signing a new client, customer testimonials or videos featuring office culture and employees.
However, if driving higher sales for a specific product or service is your endgame, you’ll want to focus your energy on how-to’s, instructional videos, product demos or even client testimonials.
Step 2: Match Your Tone to Your Audience
Who is your ideal audience? The tone of your videos needs to be consistent not only with your brand, but also with the people you want to reach. A video packed with funny, entertaining content may not be well-received by high-level, white collar executives with zero downtime for funny videos. Match your video tone to your ideal demographic.
For example, if your company mainly caters to smaller-scale, blue collar businesses, an educational video with a casual tone and a joke or two might be the perfect recipe to holding their attention. If your target is CFOs of multinational corporations, however, you may want to stick with the facts, maintaining a straightforward product or service pitch.
Step 3: Know Your Limits
If you don’t have cutting-edge video technology at your fingertips, let alone a team of experts to handle it, that’s okay. You can still create excellent content with the resources available to you.
Try short, selfie videos on a smartphone. These videos are great for offering sneak peeks into a new service or product, introducing a new team member, or giving an inside look at your company. Facebook Live videos are watched 3 times longer than non-live videos. There’s lots of potential here.
Don’t be afraid to dream big, however. By partnering with an outside agency, you can expand your capabilities for video production. For core, evergreen videos, turning to the experts can be worth the investment. These could include overview videos that introduce your company or product as well as case study videos.
How to Use Video for B2B Marketing
Once you understand your goals, audience, and capabilities, it’s time to decide what kind of video you want to create. This is an important step. Different formats are better suited for different purposes. Here’s some of the top types of videos for B2B businesses and what marketing purposes they are best used for.
The Brand Narrative Video
This is the opportunity to tell your company’s story. Many marketers have the misconception that marketing videos need a hyper-focused selling point. This is not the case for brand narrative videos. Instead, it’s a perfect way to introduce your business to your target audience.
The goal brand narrative videos is to build trust and brand loyalty within your client or potential client base. These videos develop an emotional connection to your company. Tell a story that brings out the feelings you want your company to inspire.
Product explainer videos can be extremely successful for B2B marketing purposes. Fleets of B2B companies offer the same kinds of services. What makes yours different? If your goal is to inspire your audience to sign up for one specific service or product (even if that means dropping their current service), product explainer videos can accomplish this by driving home what distinguishes your service from your competition.
When creating a product explainer video, make sure you emphasize why this service is necessary, why it needs explaining, and why it works better than other services like it. By walking the audience through the process step-by-step, it answers all their questions before they have the chance to ask. The only question left will be, “Why didn’t I use this service before?”
If your B2B business is interested in acting as a resource to other companies and showcasing industry prowess, webinars are great at using these techniques to generate new leads and increase authority. In fact, 60% of marketers try to incorporate webinars into their video marketing strategy.
Webinars are generally around an hour in length, so select a topic worth this amount of time. Research what your ideal audience members are talking about by searching through relevant hashtags, using Facebook analytics to find the most-mentioned topics in your industry and other resources.
\If your goal is to help your current client base use your services more efficiently, how-to videos are the best choice. For B2B companies, particularly SaaS companies, it’s likely that you hear recurring questions from clients. How-to videos give you an excellent way to address them.
Having an in-house expert perform the explanation showcases your company’s authority on the subject. Plus, publishing a video with answers to a specific question customers have asked emphasizes your business’ responsiveness to client needs, building trust and brand loyalty.
Thought Leadership Interviews
Thought leadership videos help B2B businesses demonstrate their proficiency in one particular field or topic. If the goal of your company’s B2B video marketing strategy is to establish authority and prowess in a specific facet of your industry, conduct thought leadership interview videos with an in-house expert or team of experts.
These videos allow your leaders to showcase their knowledge and expertise, and positions your company as a trusted resource and partner.
Company Culture Video
Similar to a brand narrative video, a company culture video gives the opportunity to demonstrate what your company is all about. Is your perfect client a youthful company with progressive ideologies? Or is it a long-standing business built on generations of hard work? Crafting a company culture video opens the windows for ideal clients to see not only what services you offer, but who you uniquely are as a business.
Often times when we hear “testimonials,” we automatically think “client testimonials.” If you have a customer that models your ideal client persona, feature them! They are able to authentically speak to what makes your product or service a valuable resource. Similar businesses will be able to pick out these features and say, “I’m just like them. These services will work for me.”
Client testimonials, however, are not the only form of testimonial video. Employee testimonials are a great way to spike work applications. Videos like this can showcase company culture, benefits and advancement opportunities to attract new hires.
Case Study Video
The case study video is one of the ultimate sales tools. It combines the relatability of a client testimonial with the trust signals of a thought leadership interview. Many B2B companies lose clients who believe they don’t need your services because they can “do it themselves.” The beauty of a case study video is that it showcases the complexity involved in performing the services your company offers. Just giving a taste of the process underscores your value.
Share Your Videos With the World
Your videos are created and edited, and it is time to finally publish. Where will your content live? What social media platforms are they best shared on? When should you publish? Glad you asked.
As with other forms of digital media, timing and placement are key. When you share video content can affect:
- Who sees it
- How many views it receives
- What devices it’s viewed on
- What platforms it’s viewed on
- How many interactions it receives
Your goals, the type of video and your audience will determine the best days and times to publish your content.
Where & When to Post
Facebook & Twitter: The Short, Fun Videos
If your goal is to
- Expand your audience,
- With funny, upbeat, company culture videos,
- No longer than 1 minute,
then, Facebook is your best option. Facebook generates high reaction numbers to video content and has sophisticated targeting tools. The best time to post your videos on Facebook is around 1 pm on Fridays. People are happier on Fridays (naturally), so lighthearted content appeals to that pre-weekend excitement. Also, videos posted at 1 pm receive the most shares, as opposed to those at posted at 3 pm, which receive the most clicks. Hitting that sharing sweet spot will expand your audience by placing your video in front of new eyes.
The average Twitter user only spends about one minute per day on the platform, so short videos perform well on Twitter. Twitter users, however, function on an entirely different schedule than Facebook users. Sticking with the example goals from above, the best time to post on Twitter are weekdays around noon. B2B businesses perform 16% better on Twitter during business hours, and 12 pm is peak break time during the work day.
LinkedIn: The Straightforward, Educational Videos
Let’s say the goal of your B2B video marketing content is to produce:
- Educational and straightforward product explainer videos,
- Around 10 minutes in length,
- Intended to reach high-level business executives.
In this case, LinkedIn is perfect for reaching those business professionals. While Facebook and Twitter generate lots of engagement, LinkedIn has a 277% higher conversion rate than either of the other two platforms. Best practices for publishing is to post between Tuesday and Friday in the early morning, between 7 am and 8 am. Business people tend to check LinkedIn in the morning, like reading the newspaper, so this day and time balance should reach the peak number of viewers in your unique audience.
These are just examples. So be sure to conduct your own market research and take a look at your social media analytics to track the best times and platforms to share your content.
Get Started with B2B Video Marketing
Every B2B company has their own objectives and capabilities when it comes to producing and curating video content. One company’s strategy may look a lot different from yours. That’s okay. There’s no one formula to rule them all.
As you build out your video strategy, measure performance, make adjustments and don’t be afraid to experiment. Customers want to hear from you, and today, video is one of the best ways to reach them.
Megan creates content and messaging strategy and writes copy that resonates with our clients’ target audiences. She specializes in writing for digital, social and emerging tech platforms, with proven success creating content for large scale social campaigns. Most recently Megan was a Senior Copywriter at VaynerMedia in NYC where she supported some of the agency’s major B2B accounts.