It’s a busy time for the publication of survey results concerning B2B Marketing… and video as a B2B marketing tool is a clear winner. We start with insights from the crowd sourced B2B Content Marketing Report, which was authored by Holger Schulze, the manager of the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn:
The popularity of whitepapers as a B2B content marketing format is declining in relation to more interactive, easily digestible formats such as video. Overall, B2B content marketing is seen as an increasingly effective strategy. More than 82% of survey respondents are planning to increase their content production over the next 12 months.
The Most Effective Tactics
- Customer testimonials and case studies are considered the most effective B2B content tactics by survey respondents.
- Videos are now viewed as the fifth most effective content type to reach B2B audiences. Video case studies (including customer testimonials) are therefore extremely effective.
- Whitepapers suffered the biggest drop in perceived effectiveness from last year’s survey – moving down from second place to sixth.
According to SiriusDecisions, the #1 issue preventing Sales Quota achievement (for the third year in a row), is the inability of Sales teams to effectively communicate value propositions. And, according to a recent survey by the DemandGen Report, 68% of B2B prospects rely more on content to make key purchase decisions than they did a year ago… AND the research indicates that not all content is created equal:
Short Attention Span Theater
78% of B2B executives indicated they have less time to devote to reading and research. So it makes sense to produce content that is concise, entertaining and persuasive.
Today’s business buyers are clearly more informed. They research potential solutions online. As a result, CEB Global and others report that sales reps are allowed into the decision process later… on average after two thirds of the buyer’s journey is completed. Forrester reports that 76% of deals go to those who help the buyer define their needs (in other words, those involved early in the decision process).
How Do You Reach Them Early?
When they don’t want to talk to a sales rep, won’t read a 12 page white paper, and won’t sit through a half hour PowerPoint presentation? B2B solutions are complex. It isn’t easy to communicate features, benefits and value quickly. Prospects will invest the time to learn about your solution once they understand the benefits, but how do you communicate those benefits in a way they will consume early in their buy process?
B2B Video Marketing
As a form of content, video is a multi-sensory experience. Movement, images, colors, words, emotions. People (including business prospects) find videos more appealing than written words. There’s real science behind why we are drawn to video. Dr. Susan Weinschenk, a behavioral psychologist, has uncovered four core reasons why humans are drawn to video:
- It’s all about the motion. Since the Stone Age, we’ve survived by noticing the movement of objects around us. Fail to notice? Get eaten. We have evolved to pay attention to things that move.
- We focus on the face. The ‘Fusiform Facial Area’ is a part of our brain developed to interpret human facial expressions. It hard-wires us to focus on human faces for information (this applies to both live actors and animated illustrations of human faces).
- Voices deliver greater meaning. When we hear a human voice speaking, the timber, pace, volume, etc. add meaning to the words being spoken.
- Seeing is believing! When we see people have emotional experiences (versus reading about them), we have a greater connection and are more apt to believe.
- There’s an ever increasing amount of clutter and noise online.
- Your prospects have a finite amount of attention.
- You need to get their attention to establish a relationship.
- We are wired to enjoy video, and it’s increasingly viewed by business executives.
Video is critical for B2B marketers because it enables them to show and tell their stories in a format that grabs attention and holds it. Here’s a brief sample video we produced as a proof point:
[field name=”Brightcove acSellerant Promo”]