We’ve seen the examples, the evidence, the results that demonstrate video drives significant value and accelerated performance for B2B sales & marketing efforts. Video is more immersive, touches more of our senses than the written word, and can increase both intimacy and response rates throughout your pipeline.
But we still aren’t using it nearly enough. Why? Probably one (or more) of the following five reasons:
1. We don’t plan ahead
Of the companies with semi-active content marketing efforts, most still create content at the relatively last minute. There are editorial calendars in some cases, but the production time and bandwidth lends itself more to written than video content (or so we think, keep reading)
2. Writing feels faster & easier
You can write a good blog post or email solicitation or white paper from anywhere – your office, an airplane, grandma’s house over the holidays. Video takes more prep work, needs more equipment, and (we think) requires a certain set-up and background to make it work better.
3. We over-think the production
Most marketers (and those that lead marketing organizations) are used to video production happening in a studio, or with significant and expensive equipment, or with lots of people standing around holding something. Of course, effective video today sometimes takes nothing more than the webcam on your laptop, but we either forget that or are afraid that lower production value will negatively impact our brand.
4. We think we have a face for radio
None of us like how we look on screen. Enough said.
5. We don’t think we have time
This might be a summation of all four excuses above. We expect video to take a ton more time to execute, because we think it involves script writing & approvals, setting up all of the “shoots”, getting all of the equipment together, shooting then editing the video, and finally getting approval of THAT final version before it’s published.
These reasons for not using video in B2B sales & marketing are at the same time reasonable and ridiculous. Without getting into all of the common expectations for compelling content (focus on the customer, speak to their needs & priorities, communicate in a conversational manner, etc.), here are several considerations to help you (and your organization, and your manager) get over the above mostly-mental obstacles and incorporate more video into your sales & marketing in 2013.
1. Make the case for video internally
Before you create a few scrappy videos, make the case internally why it’s worth it. Demonstrate with real numbers and examples the impact video has had for others. Ask some of the leading B2B video vendors such as Vidyard and BrainShark for analyst reports, measurable best practice examples and more to make your case.
2. Start small and test fast
Your first video test shouldn’t be smack in the middle of your most important landing page. Start with a blog post. Or a video posted primarily to one or two of your social channels. Measure the relative change in performance – views, clickthroughs, shares, etc. These aren’t revenue-generating metrics, but they’re intended to show early/quick results and generate some momentum for your internal efforts.
3. Take a camera on the road and interview others
One of the easiest, fastest ways to create tons of compelling video is to interview others – customers, experts, analysts, influencers and more. Ask them questions your customers and prospects would want to hear answers to. The resulting film might not need to be edited at all, and you’ll have some great content to feed into your social, content and demand generation channels.
4. Answer customer questions with a video FAQ
Turn your customer service staff into video stars by filming them answering common customer questions. It’s content your company is used to producing anyway, but video creates more intimacy and relationship-building with the staff that’s engaging with your customers already anyway.
5. Have others (including your customers) create video for you
Why not ask your customers to submit their ideas, opinions and more via video? Wouldn’t it be awesome to assemble a video collage of your customers talking about their own best practices, success stories and more?
6. Begin A/B testing video in isolated marketing campaigns
Split test your next email or paid search landing page so that one message or page includes a video and the other does not. Start small to prove impact, and grow from there.
This list is far from comprehensive. What would you add? What strategy or tactic has worked in your B2B organization to increase the usage and impact of video?