“The “play” button is the most compelling action on the web.” – Convince & Convert
Thanks to visual media sharing sites, like Vine, Instagram, Vimeo, YouTube, Facebook Live and Periscope, video blogging (vlogging) is at an all-time high.
Millennials across the globe are now building multi-million dollar businesses from the comfort of their bedrooms. B2C companies are expanding from oversaturated product ads to 30-second tutorials, and engaging with their audiences in a fresh, and more personal way.
But is this just a B2C sport, or is there room for B2Bs in the vlog game?
Digging Into the B2B Video Landscape
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, B2B marketing can remind us of a college lecture. The information is there, and valuable, but occasionally it can be monotonous and/or not as engaging or innovative as other content. Blogs can provide an air of lightness through quirky metaphors, an eye-catching CTA, or a funny photo – but often aren’t enough to convert latent audiences into subscribers. So what do we do? We A/B Test, swap out a CTA, change colors and fonts, and even beg. But, what if we just alter the way we offer the information?
Think about it this way: the success of an inbound marketing program is contingent upon content. Video is just another means of presenting your content.
Content is comprised of your unique message tailored to your unique audience. This is constant. The variable within your content is the unique way you choose to present your message. That’s a lot of uniqueness!
Within the B2B sphere, most companies use emails, blogs, infographics, and white papers as a means of distributing their content - but we aren’t limited to that. Video Marketing is just one more way to package your information and nurture leads through the sales funnel, and is a very enticing one to consider. According to a 2016 report, adding video to your marketing plan has some real value:
- Companies using video enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-users
- Video on a landing page can increase conversion by 80% or more
- Businesses using video grow company revenue 40% faster year-over-year than organizations without video
- 70% of marketers claim video produces more conversions other than content
- 8% is the average conversion rate for websites using video compared to 2.9% for those who don’t
- Videos in emails increase click-through rates by 200 – 300%
With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why many B2B companies are leveraging video content as part of their marketing strategy. According to Brighttalk, the usage of video marketing in B2B has spiked dramatically over the past few years - 79% of North American marketers and 83% of UK marketers used the tactic in 2015.
And although the idea of a vlog can seem like a steep hike, it’s really not that tough to get started.
First thing you need to do is get your team on board. Do some research, then sit down with your Account Managers and Content Curators and present the idea. A new, engaging way to present content with the goal of increasing leads – who wouldn’t be open to that?
Now, take the information you have on vlogging and pair it with the information that you know about your buyer personas. What kind of content would they want to see? What is the best way to get this information to them? Take time to map out a strategy for getting the right message, to the right people, and the right time.
Remember - All Video content is not created equal! Video can be as simple as a GIF Animation or as extensive as a 1-hour tutorial. Categorize your video content as you would an asset. For example:
- Level 1 – GIF, Screen Share, Candid Video – Minimal editing (Think: Blog)
- Level 2 – 1 – 3min Video - Limited animation, advanced editing (Think: Infographic, Brochure)
- Level 3 – 3+ min Video, Webinar - Extensive animation and/or editing (Think: White Paper, eBook)
Level 3 assets will require more prep time, but can prove to be very valuable resources with a long shelf-life. L1 videos aim to provide some quick insight and prompt viewers to check out the full blog post, or reach out directly, if they are interested in learning more.
Also – Don’t forget to smile! One of the larger benefits of video is that it tends to be more personal than other content. Let your personality and your company culture shine through so that people feel more connected with you and your team, and hopefully, your content!
Schedule it out! Treat your vlog plan like you would any other content calendar. What are you going to talk about? How frequently do you want to post content? Where will it be posted – on your social media accounts, website, resources page, blog, or all of the above?
Recording a vlog might require a little more time than writing a blog. But, a vlog can be as giving a high-level overview of your most recent post, with a follow-up link for more in-depth content.
Determine who the best people are to be a part of this team. Who are our internal influencers? Who will people “tune in” to see/hear? As you navigate through your content, play off of the strengths of your team. If Patty knows a lot about lowering your PPC cost-per-lead have her outline the script or even be talent in the video.
*TIP: Keep in mind the time it will take to edit the video and make sure it gets included in your timeline.
Starting a vlog is relatively inexpensive. You can purchase a starter camera, mic, and tri-pod for under $400. An additional cost to consider are video editing. If someone within the company (Cough: our Graphic Designer) has the ability to edit video you can save, but if not, hiring freelance talent on a retainer might be an affordable option.
Whether your audience is a beauty-obsessed teenager or the overwhelmed Marketing Manager at a Fortune 100, the amount of time you have to capture and keep their attention is limited. Even with a unique value proposition, B2B companies should be focused on what they can do to differentiate themselves within their industries. Video is a surprising and engaging means for sharing information with your audience. Plus it’s fun - who doesn’t like fun?