Television isn’t what it used to be, leaving many marketers wondering about the effectiveness of video marketing in general, and for B2B in particular. Jerome Langford, middleweight copywriter at Admind, examines the trends and challenges and concludes that there are still opportunities to be found in video marketing for B2B.
The world’s first television advertisement dates back to 1941 (for watchmaker Bulova, by the way). Much has changed over the past eight decades, but video ads have never relinquished their crown as the premier marketing channel, both in terms of potential impact and price.
It’s this distracting price tag that’s the biggest sticking point when companies shy away from deploying video marketing. Depending on your ambition, in terms of cost, the sky’s the limit once you’ve paid 100 extras and hired a helicopter for your tracking shot…you get the idea.
Getting Spielberg dreaming aside, putting together a script and storyboard, and editing it into reality, is ultimately a more expensive and time-consuming process than creating your typical marketing assets, from posters to podcasts. The complexity increases even more once you pull out typography videos or stock footage and talk about location rentals, sets, and actors.
Seems like there’s a lot of reasons not embrace video marketing. So what is actually the case in favor?
Well, for starters, 70% of B2B buyers watch videos before purchasing products. And not only do they gather more points of view, but these points of view have a much greater impact. Studies show that we retain 95% of the message from video content, compared to just 10% via text. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then videos are worth a thousand static banner ads.
Compared to other digital channels, video offers improved open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, social media shares – you name a metric and it probably tops it. In general, humans are just hard-wired to love moving pictures.
If you don’t believe it could really be that brutal, do some soul-searching. When you think of the best advertisement you’ve ever seen, what comes to mind? For the vast majority, it’s a TV commercial – despite the fact that many of you reading this will hardly have seen one since the rise of streaming services.
What about when you share content on social media or content is shared with you: what are you sharing? What are you bothering to click on? Raise your hand if you said long podcast interviews or white papers. Good on you, but for the rest of us with short attention spans, video hits the sweet spot of being digestible and memorable enough to stream.
If so, why has video marketing been the playground of B2C companies for a long time? There are long-standing excuses: B2B has less budget to play; B2B requires more substance than style; sales and lead generation should come first, branding far behind.
But those excuses conveniently ignore that you don’t need to create $10 million Super Bowl ads to start taking advantage of video marketing. Creative brand ads are the exciting flagship option, of course, but don’t underestimate the value of bread and butter, more cost-effective options like how-to videos, customer testimonials and case studies.
Technology is opening doors in the video marketing space faster than businesses can get through them. We’re not saying now is the time to open the company’s TikTok account, but you can reach potential customers with nothing more than an account with a phone camera and a bit of enthusiasm. It can even be as simple as adding animation to your existing marketing production – anything that adds more energy, movement and visual interest.
There’s a pervasive fear that going the video route is either “all pork” or “no pork” – that there’s a risk your production will undermine your brand by not being smooth enough. But you should let go of the preconception that anything but the most carefully choreographed bespoke video will do.
Video content presented by real customers or team members provides authenticity and a human connection that speaks to people. They provide vital validation of purchasing decisions (known as “social proof”) and anchor your brand in the real world – and hopefully show that you deliver real value and results.
The fact is, at an advanced level, marketing is simply about delivering a message. Videos remain the most powerful weapon in your arsenal to land and stick a message. How elegant, technical and cost-effective is a case-by-case assessment – and you have more flexibility than you might think.
So when is video marketing suitable for B2B? We would always argue. If you want more eyeballs, better memorization, and improved returns, pull out that director’s chair.