With all the things we do to make B2B marketing interesting, attention-getting and memorable, it’s a fact that there’s nothing like video. Video personalizes and humanizes communication in a way that words and even still pictures cannot do. It adds a human touch to marketing messaging that can be beat only by a face-to-face meeting. I’m not diminishing words and pictures, but, living in a world raised on television and movies, we’ve all been trained to respond to moving and talking pictures.
The arrival of YouTube in 2005 has made it remarkably easy for anyone to put video on the Internet, even a small B2B business like mine. In fact, I did just that in 2012 when my SEO resource, SharpNet Solutions, recommended that I could boost my Website’s SEO performance by adding video. Which it did.
I was so pleased with the result and with the company I chose to do the work that I recommended to the San Diego Direct Marketing Association (SDDMA) that they invite Greg McKinney, Founder and President of Webstorytellers, to be a speaker at one of their luncheon events. So, on Tuesday, I joined my fellow SDDMA members to hear what he had to say. Here are some of the highlights:
Why use video — the stats.*
If B2B marketers are not yet convinced about using video, these powerful stats may convince them. These numbers are based on reality today and don’t even include the projections on the huge future of video:
- The average user’s visit to a text-and-image-based Website lasts only 43 seconds. For a Website with video, the average lasts 5 minutes and 50 seconds.
- Customers who watch videos of products or services are 85% more likely to make a purchase.
- 75% of executives surveyed say they watch work-related videos on business-related Websites at least weekly. More than half watch work-related videos on YouTube at least weekly.
- 65% of senior executives have visited a vendor’s Website after watching a video.
- It’s estimated that 75% of U.S. smartphone users watch online video on their smartphones and 26% of them do so every day. 50% of tablet users watch online video content.
Ways to use video.
There are many ways to use video. The best approach is to have multiple videos that cover all these options. Length should depend on the location and purpose of the video. Like all marketing issues, length should be tested for each product and market.
- Testimonials and Customer Stories: One of my clients took advantage of a customer summit to record video success stories told by their customers. These were then edited into quick video testimonials for use on their Website. They also turned the full stories into case studies, which were put into a very popular content text-based offer.
- Meet the CEO/President/Owner/Employee, etc.: There are few faster or more effective ways to personalize a B2B company to its prospects than showing an exec or employee talking about the company, its mission, its commitment, or the benefits it offers to customers and clients. Greg recommends that these recordings NOT be scripted.
- Product Sales: One of my B2B ecommerce clients is adding video descriptions to products on their Website. They’ve made a huge impact on the company’s SEO and product sales.
- Present the USP: B2B marketers can present their unique selling proposition (USP) in a quick video statement that adds life to the words.
- Promote the Offer on Landing Pages: Videos produce better conversion from search engine ad or banner landing pages.
- Enhance Page Content: A video can be put on every page of the site to support or enrich the content of that page with testimonials, product details, etc.
- Video on Emails: Just like a video can enhance a Website, Web page or a landing page, it can do wonders for generating readership and response to prospect or customer emails.
What to pay for video.
The answer, of course, is, “It depends.” Companies can produce their own videos in-house for very little. But no company wants to project an amateur image. Using a professional video firm can significantly enhance the quality and results. Some resources are willing to do a simple animated video with voice over (like the one I had done) for around $1000. Using interviews, announcers, animation and more might cost an average of $5000 and up.
Video can be a cost-effective investment in better SEO, a more compelling Website and landing pages that convert. If I can do it, anyone can.
*The sources for the stats are available on request.