The time is now. The infrastructure has been built – fat pipes capable of carrying video without buffers and stutters have been laid. Dozens of streaming platforms with embedded analytics are available and affordable. Viewing devices are ubiquitous – every person who plays a role in a B2B buy decision has a computer, tablet or smart phone. Prospects are ready. Study after study shows that B2B buyers prefer consuming information via video over text or PowerPoint.
So why aren’t we seeing effective online B2B marketing videos? The laggards are the agencies.
Mac McIntosh is a friend and colleague. He’s also a B2B demand generation expert. Here’s what he said when I asked him about this phenomenon: “Online video producers who come from a marketing background know how to drive traffic, align with a marketing strategy, and include a compelling call to action. Producers from the video world know how to tell a story visually and hold the viewers’ attention with sight, sound and motion. What I haven’t seen much of (other than from a few big, expensive agencies) are video producers who deliver both: left and right brain, message and visual, strategy plus story. That’s what’s really needed.”
Let’s take a look at what’s out there. There are literally thousands of examples of what Mac is referring to. Here are just a couple:
IT Networking Equipment Case Study This is clearly a case where a video production crew did a credible job of documenting a case study in a story format, but little thought was given to the marketing aspect. The target prospect was not clearly defined, so they were unable to focus on the handful of benefits that would be most important to that prospect. The result is a lot of superfluous talking heads and a run time of six minutes – far too long. The context for the story is never articulated. It should state up front what this is about and why (the targeted prospect) should view it. They chose to post this on YouTube, instead of on one of the streaming platforms designed for marketing. The result is a weak call to action that appears below the viewing panel. It gives the prospect no reason to click through, and there’s no way to capture contact information from those that do.
Medical Billing Software Here’s one that’s built on a sales strategy, but the video production is nothing more than a PowerPoint with voice over. The images and graphics were given little thought. There’s no evidence of any skill or knowledge regarding visual storytelling, or an ability to grab and hold a viewer’s attention. At two minutes forty seconds, the length is suitable, but try to sit through the whole thing. Those two minutes may as well be two hours.
So Mac is right. Effective B2B marketing videos require both sides of the brain, art and science, visual storytelling and online marketing expertise. We’ll discuss how to go about achieving that in our next blog post.