Research
Metalworking Marketer
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“Oh, I see” . . . Video Can Add Weight and Interest to B2B Marketing Efforts

 

Video courtesy of Graphic Works

 
By Mark Semmelmayer

Chief Idea Officer
Pen & Inc. Marketing Communications

Think about your average day. How often do you access any type of video “content”? Watching TV or streaming video on a phone or PC? Check. Viewing a video on Facebook or YouTube? Check.

The average individual makes multiple uses of video daily for entertainment, instruction or information. But, that’s “consumer” behavior, right? Does video content hold the same value for the B2B customer? In my opinion, it can (and, increasingly will) when crafted and used to meet specific objectives.

What Makes Video So Powerful?

The media world of the 1960’s was abuzz with the theories of Canadian academic Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan coined the expression "the medium is the message," the term global village, and predicted the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it was invented. A central tenet of his book, “The Medium is the Message” was the profound way video imagery changed the communications landscape.

In McLuhan’s mind, the world was transitioning from “cool” media to “hot”, influenced by both the immediacy and impact of the information conveyed. Think TV as opposed to print or radio. Video led the way. It was there, now, and real. Many feel the images of torn bodies, delivered daily via the nightly news, played a pivotal role in changing America’s opinion of the Viet Nam war.

Today, video in B2B, crafted and delivered with the right message in the right way, can also hit hard.

OK, So Video Resonates. But What’s Its Impact in B2B?

Few of you think corporate buyers spend time cruising YouTube for business related information. Yet, a research project, undertaken cooperatively by Forbes and Google, found 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business-related websites weekly. “Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video. Younger executives may be more fully engaged with this type of media, and appear more likely to make a purchase, call a vendor, or respond to an ad.”

That commentary about younger execs is telling. Over several years, Gardner’s own Survey of Media Usage in Manufacturing has shown a trend toward younger purchase decision makers. Old hands retire and younger guns take their place. There’s no doubt this younger audience, who cut their teeth on digital media, will continue to invest greater trust and reliance on information obtained digitally.

These folks do cruise YouTube regularly. To get a selling message to them, make the leap to video.
What’s the Objective of B2B Video?

To more fully engage potential customers. Statistics show <20% of them aren’t willing to talk to a salesperson before they’re ready to buy. Video produces a realistic customer experience that helps get them to the table. Broken down, the best objectives can be defined as video being produced for:

  • Engagement: visual information is easy to digest.
  • Search engines rank videos higher: you’re creating content to be found!
  • Trust and credibility: seeing is believing.
  • Appeal to younger decision makers: their natural inclination is towards video.

 

Where and How is the Use of Video in B2B Most Powerful?

The Forbes/Google data cited earlier found videos about product features, how-tos and professional reviews most useful to buyers. But, anything your target audience might find interesting or valuable can make impactful video. Don’t limit the scope of your video “thinking” to your website or the web, either. Good video usage generally fits into four categories. Some thought starters:

  • Your website (and your social media sites)

Use the right of proprietorship to deploy video in as many meaningful ways as possible:

Ø Website/homepage scene setting

Ø Content marketing (the best ways to help potential buyers ‘get’ what you’re offering; show off your expertise . . .)

Ø News releases/podcasts

Ø Case studies

Ø Client testimonials

Ø Community Social Responsibility

Ø Webinars

Ø Recruitment

  • General web use (including broader social media, industry and association sites, etc.)

Pretty much the same as above, crafted to meet the interests of influencers as well as buyers:

Ø Content marketing

Ø News releases/podcasts

Ø Case studies

Ø Community Social Responsibility

Ø Webinars
 

  • Mobile use

There probably isn’t a sales force on the planet not equipped with an iPad, laptop, tablet or Smartphone. Make videos mobile friendly for up-close and personal use with customers:

Ø Content marketing

Ø Client testimonials

Ø Case studies

Ø News releases/podcasts

Ø Community Social Responsibility

  • “Live”/Event Use

Using video at live events can be very exciting. Sales meetings are a great venue. You need sales to be enthusiastic brand ambassadors, so pump them up. The same is true for influencers or potential customers at trade shows. Engage them before your rep approaches them.

So How Do I Create a Solid Video Marketing Program?

A good question…but you already know most of the answer. Developing video is really no different than creating other “segments” of an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) program. Research, target audience information/identification, objective and strategy development and tactical message deployment. The difference maker: inclusion of more influencers in your strategic decisions. Listen to them. Sales will have a view of what’s useful for the customer, as will engineering, manufacturing and product development. Used to best effect, your video content will be meaningful and accessible to their counterparts in customer companies. To borrow from Mr. McLuhan, it takes a village.

One Cautionary Note . . .

Before becoming a B2B marketer, I came up through video and motion picture production and ad agencies. My first agency advertised to local businesses with a headline: “Because your mother-in-law shouldn’t be writing ad copy.” That goes double for B2B video. Hand-held, self-shot videos from a smart phone may entertain on YouTube and Facebook, but projecting a professional video image requires at least a modicum of professionalism in its production.

Where produced video is concerned, viewers expect to see production values at or near broadcast quality levels. Bear that in mind, because production costs money, and budget is a part of your video strategy. You don’t need to go overboard, but the quality of your video reflects immediately on the viewers’ impression of your company’s and products’ quality and credibility.

Need more information?
Mark Semmelmayer
Chief Idea Officer
Pen & Inc. Marketing Communications
Marietta, GA
770-354-4737

LinkedIn

 

About the Author

Mark Semmelmayer

Mark is a past chairman of the Business Marketing Association (BMA), the 2015 recipient of BMA’s prestigious G. D. Crain Award and an Inductee into the Business Marketing Hall of Fame. He is a former national Chairman of BMA and an officer of BMA’s Atlanta Chapter. A 40-year B2B marketing pro, including 32-years with Kimberly-Clark, he’s the founder and Chief Idea Officer of Pen & Inc. Marketing Communications, a consultancy in Atlanta, GA.

 

Comments are reviewed by moderators before they appear to ensure they meet Gardner Business Media’s submission guidelines.
blog comments powered by Disqus