I recently read a Hubspot video prospecting case study about an experiment with B2B video. When incorporating video into their B2B sales strategy, their reps’ conversion rates shot from 1.5% to 6%.
That’s four times as many conversions with video as without.
Those stats got me thinking, so I reached out to Tyler Lessard of leading online video platform Vidyard, a frontrunner in video communications and connection, to find out what’s driving such high numbers.
Tyler understands how and why great video is having a bigger impact on audiences. He has explored new ideas in his web series Chalk Talks, and he shared some of that wisdom with me on this podcast discussing how to use video in your marketing funnel..
I learned that changes in audience expectations have lowered production costs and have created numerous avenues for businesses to use B2B video marketing to connect.
Customers and Prospects Only Have Eyes for B2B Video
It’s not just Hubspot that is looking into the reach of B2B video. Animoto recently did a survey on video marketing to find out how important video is for B2B marketers and why. They found that one in four customers will disregard products or services if the company doesn’t provide a video and that four times as many prospects would rather see an explainer video about a product than read about it.
Tyler found that B2B video has a much higher response rate than other channels. “Not three to five percent, three to five times higher response rates when using personal B2B videos in their sales outreach as opposed to not… We’re going from two- to three-percent response rates from our inside sales reps to eight- to ten-percent response rates when using B2B video.”
Marketers have really gotten into incorporating video as part of their overall marketing strategy, and it’s on a big trajectory. B2B video is expected to be 80% of online content in 2019. We know why we should use it and roughly how to do B2B video. Tyler says, “Now it’s much more of a strategic conversation about how do we leverage it more effectively, how do we scale that use?”
Creating Videos? Remember, Authenticity Trumps Production Value
Look at B2B video from other angles or as a multi-use solution to open your mind to its possibilities. A 20-second video taken in-house can sometimes be a more effective option than other forms of content marketing like emails or whitepapers.
Not only is B2B video growing in proliferation as well as results, but it’s also growing in strategy, purpose, and in its journey through the funnel. You can use B2B video at varying levels of complexity, formality, and cost throughout the funnel while saving the flash for the bottom and top.
While almost every marketer knows that video makes for great content, many don’t seem to know how to wield it. Tyler noted that businesses are restricting B2B video to homepages and “a couple of explainers and a product demo, and it’s just part and parcel of some of those initiatives.”
Your best tools are value and authenticity. Buyers no longer expect explainer videos to be highly-produced experiences. They expect B2B video throughout the journey, and they don’t expect anything more in most stages than what can be done in-house. It’s about how useful the content is and how authentic. Often, lower production values feel more authentic to prospects.
“You can do educational content, whiteboard B2B videos, B2B video interviews with thought leaders, customer stories, all of those with very basic equipment. Audiences expect it, and they love it, and in a lot of ways, authenticity trumps production value.”
Tyler brought up some questions every business needs to ask itself:
- How do we scale our use of B2B video to better support our business goals?
- How do we empower our B2B sales team with video?
- How can we use video explicitly to help us improve our current demand generation and lead generation efforts?
- How can we track the impact of our B2B videos back into our marketing and sales tools?
Higher ROI with low budget B2B videos is possible
B2B video as a marketing tool has been expensive in the past and cost-prohibitive for some companies, but that’s changing. Off-the-shelf capture and edit tools, cheap green screens, and stock footage can all be had for as little as $50 each and they cap out at around $300. You can hire freelancers on the cheap to polish the edges on sites like Fiverr. You no longer need to have $20K at your disposal to create great videos.
Delivering the videos that your target audience wants to see is made easier by using tools close at hand. Tyler pinpointed the most obvious and easy tool: the smartphone. “We’ve all got 1080p recording devices in our pockets, literally, that we can be using with a decent microphone and decent lighting around the office to record other types of content.” Grab tools online or at the big box store to capture and share video content. Entrepreneur has some great tips on how to get started with video marketing, including using B2B video testimonials and free screencasting apps.
Make Better Connections With Your B2B Marketing Videos
One way Vidyard is helping their customers revamp strategy is through personalized video communication.
“What we found is the really simple idea of enabling a sales rep to record and send a personal B2B video message via email, via social, via their typical channels, but putting their face on camera and doing things to visually represent to that individual that, ‘Hey, I did this just for you.’”
They’re using this concept to replace text-based emails with a one-sentence email with a video attachment.
“In that B2B video, it’s just me and the camera, I brought up something that’s relevant to you. I might write your name on a whiteboard. I might have your company’s website up on my screen share or something that. Little tips and ideas that reps are using to, again, add a few different elements to their outreach. The beauty of it is that one B2B video, even just the thumbnail of it in the inbox, that person immediately recognizes, ‘You did this just for me, it’s not automated. There’s a human behind this.’”
This tactic could be the key to building personal relationships with prospects that marketers and sales reps are continually reaching for. A recognized face is intriguing, and a video is easier to consume than three or more paragraphs of the written word. B2B video is already proving to have a greater impact than the tried but not true methods of the past and present.
You Can Do A Lot More With Video Marketing Than You Think
When you do have the budget to go above and beyond, spend it on innovative B2B videos that share the power of the experience with the prospect. Take it from a “lean back to a lean forward experience.”
Tyler talked about exciting changes that are interactive and somewhat like gamification. “You watch 30 seconds of a B2B video, and then it’s like choose-your-own-adventure: Are you interested in this or that? You could guide your own path. Or there are questions throughout the B2B video.”
There’s also a new avenue you’ve seen used in social media: personalization. “The ability to automate bringing in somebody’s name, or company name, or other information about them from their account into the B2B video itself. You get a little B2B video pop-up that says, ‘Hey, Dave. You’ve been friends with Tyler for five years.’ It’s neat and novel in that sense, but think about it in a B2B world. I could send a B2B video out to a hundred thousand people, and when it lands in your inbox, Dave, you see something specific to you or your name right in the B2B video.”
Using techniques like those strategically in the funnel will yield results. But don’t forget the rest of the journey. Make video a key element throughout your marketing and B2B communications.
Ultimately, Tyler thinks that we should consider getting beyond thinking of B2B video “as a separate channel or silo” and “using B2B video content that you may have today or creating some net new assets to help support and improve the existing programs you’re already doing.”
- How could I add video into my email nurtures to see if I can boost up my response rate on my email nurture programs?
- Could adding a video to our demo request page, or to certain places on our landing pages or websites, drive an incremental conversion rate on that page?
- What about using video to merchandise other content marketing efforts, like white papers and ebooks?
- Could our social media team use calls to action in video?
- Can I use on-demand webinars as a way to again drive leads all year round from those live webinars that we did previously?
Tyler has a Chalk Talk B2B video segment that goes into these questions and solutions in depth and expounds on integrating calls to action and tracking response, viewing times, and results.
“There are some really neat things there, and I think we’re going to keep seeing more interesting experiences with more advanced types of B2B videos. That’s on one side. On the other side is the exact opposite, which is just the democratization of B2B video as a simple content medium. This ties back to what we talked about earlier, just making it easy for any marketing or sales team to create content quickly, to share it out there and to track who’s engaging in it, and just make it an organic part of our marketing and sales processes.”
You can listen to the entire interview on video marketing on our B2B podcast.