Since the first video was uploaded to YouTube in 2005 (yes, unbelievably YouTube is barely 10 years old!) we have now come to a point where over 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute and almost 5 billion videos are watched every day! Regardless of whether your brand uploads a video to YouTube or not, these figures highlight just how popular online video has become as a method of digesting content.

When considering these figures it is unsurprising that something we hear frequently from customers regarding video is whether they are missing out by not using it. Surely their brand should be getting a big chunk of those 155 billion monthly views? That may be a little ambitious, but it’s certainly an engaging channel which B2B brands are, generally speaking, failing to take advantage of.

The good news is it’s not too late to join the party… in fact don’t tell anyone, but there are not as many people at the party as you’d think from all the noise they’re making. Time to get stuck in then… so here are our top 5 tips to video success for B2B brands:

1.    Stick to your campaign objectives

Remember that video is just a (potentially very effective) vehicle to market so don’t build a campaign around an overwhelming desire for video, but instead start with an objective just like any other campaign then integrate video into the mix if appropriate. Ensure the objective is crystal clear as it will likely help to inform the subsequent steps.

2.    Don’t be boring

Consumer marketing may have stolen a march on video as a channel to market, but it is a myth that that is the only place where there is fun to be had. B2B brands should not be dull and video is the perfect platform to grab attention, engage viewers and resonate with them. A recent post looked at how to make ‘boring’ products appear more interesting to social channels, and while the post may have focused on the financial sector, the principles still apply…  use inspiring stories and add personality and people will be hooked.

Here’s a recent example of a video ad from Barclays. No frills but they do get their message across effectively and provide useful information for customers.

Just be sure that you are being authentic to your brand as creating a personality which doesn’t ring true to your brand will lead to failure.

3.    Length is kind of important

In a report on the digestion of video online by the C-suite, Forbes found that the majority of senior execs prefer three- to five-minute formats, while just 9 percent prefer longer than five minutes, and 36 percent have a preference for videos that are shorter at just one to three minutes. Admittedly, the study in question is over 5 years old, but it remains an interesting indicator of the duration of the opportunity to engage. That said, with the phenomenal popularity of TED talks, which can be up to 18 minutes long, it is clear there is demand for more in depth thought-leadership pieces. The bottom line is that it all comes down to purpose: humorous and shareable brand awareness videos could be 20 seconds or less while case study content which will need to cover more detail may need to be longer. Full thought leadership pieces may need to be longer still.

4.    Remember the call to action

Remember that campaign objective? If it was 100% pure brand awareness then you can probably move on to Step 5, but the chances are there is at least an element of demand generation so make sure there is a strong call to action somewhere along the way. Perhaps you want to guide the customer to find out more about a particular product, link to a specific product landing page, sign up to a newsletter or download a document of some kind? Whatever it is, be sure to either reference as appropriate in the video itself or add an annotation of some kind.

5.    Measure results and adapt

Which ever platform you use to host your video (it doesn’t have to be YouTube after all) you will almost definitely have access to analytics to record views. Hopefully you will also be able to identify if you’re reaching the right people and even use CRM to track opportunities and revenue. Be sure to repeat and optimise the positives and learn from the negatives.

Remember that video allows you to engage your audience using more senses than just visual or audio but both together, and as such you have a better opportunity to connect with the viewer. Bear in mind the above considerations and your chances of video marketing success will be greater. 

For getting senior buy-in on video marketing, take a look at this MyCustomer post on “How to make a case for video marketing”.