Why You Need Video In Your B2B Marketing Mix

This article originally appeared on CMO.com

The marketing mix continues to evolve. To stay ahead, B2B marketers need to be willing to take a leadership role, testing cutting-edge media to deliver messages to their audiences. It’s imperative to assign a percentage of the marketing budget to experimentation.

If marketers haven’t yet, this is the year to test B2B video. Video quality is improving, and with new in-stream options, it’s easier than ever for prospects to consume video content. Think video is just for consumer marketing? Think again. The next generation of business decision-makers is not only consuming vendor video, they’re sharing it among stakeholders. Even more notably, these shares are not necessarily coming from the C-suite that B2B marketers typically target; they’re coming predominantly from the middle of the management team and often from more junior stakeholders as well.

Marketers are beginning to recognize the shift to video and are getting on board,according to a recent survey by Regalix. The numbers alone may be compelling enough for some marketing teams to allocate test funds:

  • 84% of respondents expect their video marketing budget to increase in the next 12 months.
  • 83% of respondents agree videos are effective in meeting their content marketing goals.
  • 77% of respondents say their customers prefer video content to text.

Why Now?
The “year of video” has been every year for the past five years, and B2B marketers are a little late to the party. But video is more compelling now than it ever was for a few good reasons. For starters, social media platforms like Facebook now play video in-stream, providing a more seamless user experience. If video on Facebook sounds more like a B2C tactic, think again: The Drum recently reported that “90% of B2B companies using social media relied on Facebook for lead generation, while 53% use Twitter, followed by 47% using LinkedIn, and 33% looking to blogs as a great resource for leads.”

You read that correctly: More B2B marketers are using Facebook for lead generation than LinkedIn, for the simple reason that their audiences are there.

Another reason is that mobile video is more accessible than ever.About 44% of all online video advertisements were viewed on mobile devices in the second quarter of 2015, and that number will only grow as connection speeds increase and video quality improves.

Finally, consider that your target is getting younger. As more digital natives enter and advance in the workforce, marketers need to stay one step ahead in terms of technology to keep them engaged. These users are likely to be mobile-first and power users of social media and chat platforms that support video. They’re also likely to be stakeholders or decision-makers that marketers need to reach.

Budget Is Not A Barrier
Many smaller B2B enterprises shy away from video because it just seems too costly. And it’s true that a great video set may cost $10,000 or more, but it doesn’t have to. Apart from savvy vendors who offer low-cost packages for advertising use, many great online tools and apps can incorporate video from a mobile phone or tablet–most of which have high-enough definition cameras and microphones built in.

In terms of media costs, those don’t have to break the bank either. LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube offer affordable, easy-to-use self-service tools with excellent targeting capabilities. A lot can be accomplished within a capped budget, particularly if you’re using data to target and include a strong call to action within your video creative.

For a few thousand dollars, your organization can effectively test video and almost certainly prove that it’s worth a more significant investment.

Consider The Metrics
The most important metrics to consider as you test video advertising are as follows:

● How long was the prospect engaged with the video? Completions are the best KPI, but certainly take note of when users are jumping off. It may be an indication that your video is too long.

● Who is watching? Review the demographics of your audience and ensure you’re reaching your target user. If you’re not, you’ll need to review both your targeting and your content to ensure you’re making the most of your investment.

● What action are users taking after they engage? Are viewers doing what you want them to do after watching your video, whether that’s consuming more content, completing a form, or sharing? Define your calls to action in advance and measure their effectiveness.

In an era where everyone is busy and the battle for attention is greater than ever before, the time for video is now. Few decision makers have time to read every white paper or sit through a webinar, but many will take 60 to 120 seconds to watch an informative, entertaining video. It’s a channel B2B marketers have avoided for too long. Video is no longer a risk; it’s an imperative. Take the lead. Add video to your marketing plans today, and start engaging viewers with this accessible, powerful medium.