Are you using video in your content marketing efforts? If so, you’ve got plenty of company. Seventy-nine percent of B2B marketers say they’re using this tactic – and for good reason. Video leverages the power of sound, vision, and storytelling to bring your products and services to vivid life.
While it’s true that marketers understand why they should use this tactic, it’s also true that not all marketers using video are experiencing excellent results. In fact, for many, the results are falling flat. Albert Einstein famously said, “Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”
If video is the future of content marketing (and I’m arguing that it is), how can B2B marketers more successfully unleash its power to more effectively connect and engage with customers?
Why Video Is the Future
The majority of your target audience is watching video; in fact, many of them prefer it. Seventy-five percent of executives report watching video as a content marketing tactic at least once a week. According to Douglas Karr, writing on Spiceworks: given the choice, 59% of executives would rather watch a video than read an article.
Perhaps as a natural outcome of that executive interest, 73 percent of B2B marketers say that video positively impacts their return on investment. The ROI of this marketing activity is also easier to track since it “lives in confined players” (such as YouTube) and, as a result, travels differently through social media than other types of content marketing assets.
Research also found that video marketing is the most popular form of content with end users and is a growing part of the content marketing mix, partially because of its significant contribution to ROI. So if B2B marketers use more video tactics in the future, how can they capture maximum results from their efforts?
How Big Brands Are Using Video for Content Marketing
Marketers create videos for a variety of purposes, such as building brand awareness, generating leads, and boosting online engagement. But regardless of the goal, your efforts can be inspired by examples of brands that are capturing results. Here are four strategic approaches to video content marketing.
1. GoPro: Promoting Social Good
GoPro is using videos featuring real people to talk about real-world issues that resonate with its target audience. The company’s videos have captured an audience of approximately 4 million subscribers on YouTube. Through its “GoPro, Be a Hero” series, the company features average people doing amazing things.
For example, GoPro published “GoPro: Fireman Saves Kitten,” which has over 30 million views and 381,620 likes. The two-minute video clip tells the story of a fireman (using GoPro) who rescues an unconscious kitten from a burning house. The story is heartwarming and creates positive emotions, inspiration and a desire to do good.
- Identify topics that will resonate most with your target audience.
- Use video to cover those topics and bring them to life, invoking positive emotions.
- Leverage your target audience’s natural desire to view social good through video.
2. Intel: Painting a Picture of Success
The company’s “Meet the Makers” series tells amazing stories about people making a difference through their use of Intel’s products. Note well: in this video series, Intel is not the hero. The company’s customers are. At the end of the video, the tagline asks, “What will you make?”
For example, this short video clip features Shubham Banerjee, who built a low-cost Braille printer using the company’s Intel Edison technology, giving 200 million blind people an affordable method for reading. The video clip has over 1 million views.
- Share the spotlight. Intel makes customers the star of the story, and uses video to tell their story on a deeper level.
- Subtly include product features. The Makers Series features Intel technology, but it’s very subtle and cleverly woven into the story.
3. Samsung Mobile: Helpful Professional Tips
This is similar to Intel’s strategy in that Samsung subtly features its products through video, but the focus is on helping the viewer build new skills and the company posts on Facebook as well as YouTube. The videos feature professionals sharing insider information, creating trust and providing value to the target audience. For example, photography expert Jessica Lehrman in the video below.
The video focuses on one single thing: how to use the rule of thirds when composing a photo. The post has over a million views and almost 3,000 likes.
- Keep your message simple.
- Keep the video short.
- Feature a sympathetic authority for “how to” or “tip type” videos.
- Focus on helping your audience get more value from your products or services.
4. Hootsuite: Entertain Your Customers
Hootsuite created a video titled “Hootsuite’s Game of Social Thrones,” that put a fun spin on its services – and went on to have over 1 million views.
Hootsuite connects with its audience by confessing, “At Hootsuite, we’re big fans of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’” The new season had just arrived when the company posted this clip, and the company clearly created its own version of the opening sequence.
The company draws similarities between the series and its services by explaining that “…uniting warring kingdoms is a story we know a thing or two about. Hootsuite unites social networks under one platform so businesses and organizations of all sizes can collaboratively execute social media strategies across multiple platforms and accounts all from one secure web-based dashboard.”
They also include a call to action in the video, which drives viewers to the sign-up page.
- Understand your customer’s likes and dislikes, and capitalize on those in creative and innovative ways.
- Don’t be afraid to get creative with your videos, making the clips more memorable.
- You can tie to a cultural phenomenon – if you do it really well. (But woe to those who do it badly.)
4 Tips for Success
- Create the right video length. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to creating a great video, but there are some general length guidelines. First of all, know which devices and platforms your customers are using, as the best length of a video can vary by platform. For example, desktop users watch a video for around two minutes, while mobile users stay longer – nearly two and a half minutes. Facebook users tend to value shorter content, while YouTube viewers enjoy longer content. The ideal YouTube video tends to be around three minutes long.
- Don’t forget a call to action. Like other content marketing efforts, your video should include a call to action. But with video, you don’t have to wait until the end – in fact, you shouldn’t, suggests AdAge. With video, you should include your call to action in the first 10 seconds.
- Leverage analytics and adapt your strategy. Once you’ve published your video, determine which videos your target audience engages with most. Which platforms are generating the most views? When are viewers dropping off? These are questions you’ll want to answer for maximum ROI and to guide future content creation.
- Use interactive elements. For example, in-video links, quizzes, and surveys can all boost your video’s effectiveness and engagement levels.
Using Video in the Future
Successful integration of video into your content marketing promotes deeper engagement with your customers. But when creating these assets, it’s important to continually ask “Why are we doing this?” It’s also equally important to ask “Why do my customers care?”
Marketers must become less like traditional marketers and more like storytellers – because when you tell great stories that resonate with your target audience, you can drive engagement to entirely new levels.
Does your content marketing mix include video? Please share what’s working – and what isn’t – for your company.