In times past, online video was considered an option to get attention and eyeballs on a landing page or content page when text wasn’t converting really well. It was a flashy means of increasing time-on-site and hopefully providing information or entertainment to convince a visitor to dig deeper into what you had to offer.
A little later on, we started to realize that Google was interested in seeing YouTube videos rank high in search results (for obvious reasons) and we started exploring the option of using video for SEO purposes.
Recently, with the popular adoption of video messaging apps like SnapChat, video social apps like Vine, and live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, the list of options for using video to tell a story continues to expand.
Today, including video in your marketing efforts is really not an option any more. It’s a requirement. But is it still just a fancy way to catch peoples’ attention?
Video is the present and future of online media
Video is by far the most popular form of media consumed online and that trend shows no sign of slowing down. With various advancements and changes in the technology available, barrier to entry is nil and it’s simple and inexpensive to make effective video content.
So, it’s time to take the blinders off and move video out of the role of eye-catcher and into the mainstream of your B2B content marketing strategy at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Based on research on “The Changing Face of B2B Marketing,” published by Google, the idea that video’s role in B2B marketing is limited to building awareness is a long-held myth:
“70% of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase. That's a 52% jump in only two years. And it's not just light viewing. According to U.S. YouTube data, over 895K hours of some of the top B2B videos from brands were watched in 2014. Nearly half of these researchers are viewing 30 minutes or more of B2B-related videos during their research process, and almost one in five watch over an hour of content.”
Of course, video is still highly effective during the awareness stage.
A well-planned video, properly optimized for search, can rank very high on search for keywords and phrases your prospects are using. YouTube still holds the lion’s share of the market for SERP positioning at this point, but other services like Vimeo and Viddler also offer a host of different ways to distribute and optimize your video content to fill the top of the funnel with new eyeballs.
At this stage, short, attention-grabbing videos that both inform and entertain do best. Including a clear, foolproof call to action – especially with a clickable annotation if possible – is vital to generating leads and moving viewers down the path organically.
During the consideration stage, prospects are already aware of your brand’s basic story, but need more information to further engage with you and convince themselves that you’re better than the competition.
Video works extremely well here, too. Whether it involves in-depth product demonstrations, responding to frequently asked questions, client testimonials or offering tutorial-style content to display your brand’s expertise, video shines as a high-impact means of answering the prospect’s questions and subtly edging them closer to a decision to buy.
The final stage in the buyer’s journey is where they actually decide to buy… or not.
At this stage, purely educational content is moot. Your prospects should already know enough to make a decision. What they need now is incentive to do so and encouragement to do so NOW.
This is an excellent opportunity for getting creative with video sharing and live streaming video apps. For example, Periscope allows its users to limit the audience for a particular video to a handpicked selection of users. This, combined with Periscope’s automatic sense of urgency (the video is only available for 24 hours after the live broadcast,) could create an incredible flash sale opportunity for select prospects who are in the decision stage.
Similarly, videos designed to directly compare and contrast your products and services with the competition can help tip the scales in your favor if viewers are ready to decide.
If you aren’t currently incorporating video into your inbound marketing mix, you have no more excuses. Start today.
If you are using video to increase awareness, but relying strictly on text to educate and convert the folks you bring into the funnel, start getting creative and add those elements into your strategy today.
Finally, if you haven’t explored the newest video content options like Periscope or SnapChat, don’t hesitate. Dive in and discover how your brand can make video work at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
Need advice on how to incorporate video into your marketing strategy?