Business Video Marketing Report: The Definitive B2B Marketer’s Guide to Using Video to Drive Brand Awareness, Leads, and Sales
1. Business Video Marketing Report:
The Definitive B2B Marketer’s Guide to Using Video to
Drive Brand Awareness, Leads, and Sales
Table of Contents
Introduction to B2B video marketing: Understanding the market, its potential,
and what your competitors are doing.............................................................................................4
Step 1: Define your purpose.........................................................................................................7
Step 2: Pick the right video type for your purpose......................................................................... 10
Step 3: Let’s talk length............................................................................................................. 12
Step 4: Just be yourself............................................................................................................. 14
Step 5: Executions.................................................................................................................... 16
Step 6: Choose the right distribution channels.............................................................................. 18
Step 7: Encourage people to watch your videos............................................................................20
Step 8: Help it spread virally.......................................................................................................23
Step 9: Optimize for conversions.................................................................................................25
Step 10: How to maximize your video’s impact.............................................................................27
Step 11: Analyze the results........................................................................................................28
Step 12: Bring it all together, and repeat......................................................................................32
APPENDIX 1: TOP TIPS...........................................................................................................34
Top tips 1: Video likes company (don’t make it lonely).........................................................34
Top tips 2: Utilize what you have.......................................................................................34
Top tips 3: Leverage events.............................................................................................35
Top tips 4: Make sure your video works across devices......................................................36
Top tips 5: Make it interactive .........................................................................................36
APPENDIX 2: CASE STUDIES..................................................................................................37
Case study 1: Using events to harness high-quality content efficiently and economically,
by John Sweeney at Demandgen UK...............................................................................37
Case study 2: The creative process and execution, by Phil Booker at Geniusbar...................39
Case study 3: Creating sustainable video campaigns, by Jerry Vine at Wasp
Barcode Technologies..................................................................................................... 41
Introduction to B2B Video Marketing:
Understanding the market, its potential,
and what your competitors are doing
Throughout 2012, video marketing for B2B marketers undoubtedly showed an upward trend in both effectiveness and popularity,
and most industry observers expect this to continue into 2013 and beyond.
Some of the reasons for its popularity include:
The ability to succinctly and effectively deliver well-crafted brand and product messages
The chance to communicate with more personality, reflecting brand and product positioning
Its effectiveness in generating leads and converting them to sales
Its increasingly important role in boosting SEO results
The diversity of content types that video can accommodate — from executive interviews to themed cartoons
The corresponding diversity of budgets that can be used to create video
Advances in technology that allow videos to be displayed across multiple devices
Executives’ increasing consumption of business-related video
Together, these advantages of video marketing — a subset of content marketing — are driving its adoption by B2B marketers from
all types and sizes of companies across the globe.
Here are some relevant findings from a variety of
respected industry reports and trends to back up
Research firm and reviews publisher Software
Advice recently found in its 2012 B2B Demand
Generation Benchmark Survey that video was the
second most popular type of content used across
channels, as shown by this graph (right):
In another study (left), B2B Content Marketing: 2013
Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends —
North America carried out jointly by MarketingProfs and
the Content Marketing Institute, it was found that video
had the largest increase of any content marketing tactic in
2012, jumping by 70 percent from an already hot 54 percent
increase in 2011.
Reprinted with permission from Software Advice
Reprinted with permission from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute
Findings from Searchmetrics could partly help to explain this trend. They found that, of all content included in Google’s general
search listings, video appeared most frequently, being displayed in over 70 percent of search results.
Perhaps more important than its impact on SEO are the results video has had in generating the desired response from target
A study from the Web Video Marketing Council and Flimp Media suggests that the use of video embedded in an email is a
powerful tool, with 88 percent reporting that email with integrated video improves campaign performance, 76 percent acknowledging
that it generates high click-through rates, and 72 percent believing that their prospective clients are more likely to buy after viewing
video content sent via email.
The B2B Content Marketing Report also illustrates that a significant majority of B2B marketers — 58 percent — believes that video
is an effective form of B2B marketing.
So if you believe the reports and buy into the reasons why video can be such an effective marketing channel for B2B marketers,
let’s look at how you can make it happen, and how to achieve amazing results with it.
Step 1: Define your purpose
Approaching any type of marketing campaign with strategic intent — i.e., with a defined purpose or outcome — really is a no-
brainer. It’s the first thing you’ll hear in any Content Marketing 101 blog, so I won’t spend too long on it. However, it can’t be skipped
completely, not only because of its importance, but also because of the ease with which people can miss this step in their rush to
make amazing videos and jump on the bandwagon.
First, let’s look at why you should define a purpose before you create your first content marketing video campaign:
Reason 1: A defined purpose will save you money because you can create very specific, targeted videos with simpler messages,
so your videos can be shorter and you won’t need to spend money on creative ways to appeal to “everybody.”
Reason 2: With more crafted and targeted messages, you’re more likely to see a response that gives you a return on your
investment, as it will resonate more effectively with the customers who actually want/need your product or service.
Reason 3: Getting your video found by your potential customers will be cheaper and easier to achieve than a catch-all video, too.
Rather than competing against big-budget competitors to have your video ranked for broad search terms (which are expensive to bid
on in Google Adwords), you can focus on the more cost effective long-tail terms that better match the video’s content.
Hopefully those three reasons are good enough to allow us to move on and talk about achieving this clarity of purpose, which
prompts the question: “What do we mean by purpose anyway?” Well, it actually means a couple of things...
First, what response are you trying achieve, and what metrics will you use to judge if you have achieved it (i.e., what will tell you that
the video has been a success)? There are myriad different purposes you may want to use your videos for, including:
To make a sale
To generate an inbound lead
To position your brand or build brand awareness
To demonstrate a new product or service
To educate a market
These are all legitimate strategic purposes.
You’ll note that items not on the list are “to generate views,” “to go on location to Hawaii,” or “to prove to my class of ‘86 that I can
be really cool and creative.” The first may be a metric for gauging success, the second may (if you’re very lucky) be a by-product of
execution, and the third is something you just need to get over. None of these are a good reason to create marketing videos, though.
Once you’ve decided what outcome you’re striving for (and how its success will be measured), the second purpose you need to
define is what audiences you are trying to reach. (This is directly related to the first list.)
For example, there is no point in trying to make a video that appeals to junior executives with no purchasing power if you’re
trying to clinch a sale, or a video to educate the market if the landscape is generally well known among decision makers.
They have to be in sync.
Some questions to keep in mind:
Are they senior decision-makers, mid-level influencers, or observers who may be making decisions five years hence?
Do they speak your industry language (e.g., a techie to a techie), or are you trying to reach a different type of
executive who may not be so familiar with your industry jargon (e.g., a results-driven sales outsourcing company trying
to reach a new market that’s a creative, product-obsessed one), or someone not in your industry at all
(e.g., a government regulator)?
Do they care more about numbers and metrics, or vision and aspiration; details vs. big picture; process vs. creativity;
layers of bureaucracy vs. flat structure, etc.?
The best way to come up with an answer to this second question is to imagine you’re having a conversation with your “perfect
customer” at a trade show. How do you greet them, what do you talk to them about, and in what manner? This is roughly how your
video should address that same “perfect customer.”
So now that you have your purpose — a measurable outcome plus a target market — it’s time to pick the right kind of video to
appeal to that segment and put a swing in your metrics barometer.
Traditional or irreverent
Formal or informal
Technical or colloquial
Step 2: Pick the right video type for your purpose
There are nearly as many types of video as there are purposes, which is great because it means you can usually find a pretty close
fit between the finished video and your desired outcome. However, it does provide you with a somewhat complex web of choices.
Here are just a few of them:
Then you have to think about the tone:
Corporate or creative
Market leader or new entrant
Humorous or serious
Collaborative or competitive
Then there are the finishing touches to think about:
Of course, these lists go on (and on, and on...), so that’s why it’s so useful to know your purpose, and then you can more easily
eliminate the styles and tones that definitely won’t fit, and concentrate on those that will. (We'll talk more about tone and personality
in Step 4.)
Deciding on the right video format
When choosing the format of your video, think about your existing brand and the brands of your major clients:
Is your existing website cartoonish, like Hipmunk, Mailchimp, and Team Treehouse?
Or does it focus on ease of use and design aesthetic, like Heroku, Dropbox, and Square?
Maybe it’s designed to show thought leadership, like Accenture, KPMG, and McKinsey & Co.?
Perhaps it’s more utilitarian and full of information on features and benefits, like 37Signals, Leads Explorer, and
Or heavy on testimonials to inspire trust and credibility, like Balsamiq and Badgeville?
Once you’ve thought about this, the above list starts to get easier: The first set of companies would do well to stick with animation;
the second, a time-lapse video; the third group, an interview or presentation; the fourth group may go with the whiteboard or product
demo; and the final group, talking heads or case studies.
One assumes that your website is optimized to appeal to your customer base, but it’s worth pausing for a moment and looking at
your five highest-priority target customers and seeing if the style of their corporate communications are similar to yours. If not, how
will you resonate with them?
With your purpose in mind, and a style of video chosen to suit that purpose and the existing style of your online brand, it’s time now
to look at the choice of video length.
Step 3: Let’s talk length
Everyone knows length is important, but no one can agree on what the perfect length is.
According to this graph taken from Forbes Insight’s report, Video
in the C-Suite, the majority of executives prefer 3- to 5-minute
videos, while only 9 percent prefer longer than 5 minutes, and 36
percent still prefer 1 to 3 minutes.
A quick search on YouTube and Google finds that most B2B
videos with hits in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions,
tend to be between 90 and 120 seconds in length.
However, that only goes to prove that they’re popular in general; it
doesn’t show whether they were effective at achieving the desired
outcome within their targeted market.
Then there are always counter-examples, where longer videos
have performed incredibly well. The entire catalogue of videos on
TED are one counterpoint to the “shorter is always better” argument, as is one of the most watched B2B videos of all, Corning’s
A Day Made of Glass, which has reached over 21 million YouTube views, and is more than 5 minutes in length.
Again, you may ask the question, “How many of these views are from executives looking to buy Corning’s glass, as opposed to
viewers like me who are happy to buy into their vision of the future, but have no intention of purchasing their product directly?”
Reprinted with permission from Forbes.com
This concept of reaching the right audience is one of the problems with YouTube. It is huge, and has an extremely broad and diverse
range of viewers, most of whom will be consumers, and casual viewers, who may happen across your video by chance or mistake
(i.e., they are not typically in a B2B marketer’s target market).
My suggestion on finding the right video length is that the length should be a function of your stated purpose.
You can’t really provide thought leadership in 90 seconds, so you’ll need videos closer in length to those found on TED, which are
often up to 18 minutes long. That may be pushing it for many brands, but certainly a target range of 8 to12 minutes is a good
estimate for these kinds of videos. However, you wouldn’t want a product demo to run for 10 minutes when you communicate the
key features in 90 seconds.
Humor can be achieved in 30 seconds or less, while gravitas or educational content may take longer. Testimonials can be 10
seconds long, whereas case studies may have more impact if they have sufficient details and run from 2 to 5 minutes.
At this point it’s best to approximate your video length depending on purpose (outcome and audience) and the complexity of the
message; then, measure and refine according to the actual results, as there is no golden rule.
However, if you’re an absolute stickler for golden rules and have no time or budget to experiment, it seems your best bet would be to
create videos 2 to 5 minutes in length, and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.
Now, we’re agreed length isn’t everything, so now you have to consider personality too, and how your videos reflect your
Step 4: Just be yourself
With a video type chosen, and a target length decided upon, it’s time to start thinking about the content of the video, and particularly
about how you want to portray your brand.
There is one simple, golden rule for this decision — be yourself.
You don’t want any major incongruity between your existing brand and the content of your video. This needs to play into the narrative
you develop, how the script is written, and what your call to action is.
Bringing together steps 2 to 4, let’s look at some hypothetical examples:
New Horizon Sales is a start-up trying to prove that its new 3D Claytronic sales reps are the future of the direct sales industry. Its
purpose is to educate the market on a brand new, untested technology, and to do so it will need to reach the highest-level executives,
regulators, and sales directors.
To achieve this, the company may choose a series of documentary-style videos showcasing its Claytronic sales reps out in the field,
with each video focused on one of its key advantages, such as effectiveness or reduced costs. Each video would run between 3 and 5
minutes due to the need for a narrative to be established, and the key educational points to be conveyed.
To measure its success, the company would run a market survey before and after the launch of the video campaign, to measure
awareness of, and attitudes toward, its new technology amongst its target market, as well as how many inbound enquiries it generates.
The call to action could be as simple as, “Learn more about the future.”
Big Data Corp., a fast-growing SME in the competitive Big Data and Analytics space, is trying to establish its solution as being the most
advanced in the market, with the most talented team.
Its purpose is to position its brand as a thought leader, targeting data scientists and strategic executives at FTSE 500 firms, and to generate
leads for its sales team to follow up with.
To achieve this, the company could produce videos of its talks at industry conferences and interviews with happy customers and its lead
product developers, with a focus on proving its technical competency. These may run between 10 and 15 minutes in length, as big-picture
topics are explored, and the company needs to prove its depth of knowledge and technical proficiency.
Each video would have a strong call to action, and have buttons next to it, allowing viewers to download white papers, or contact a product rep.
Success would be measured by the number of leads generated, and probably a market research survey to see how the company is viewed
vs. its competitors, in terms of innovation and thought leadership, before and after the video campaign.
BadAss Software is a software company vying for the business of freelancers, to help with its accountancy, CRM, and invoicing needs. Its
purpose is to generate direct sales from very small companies and freelancers.
To achieve this, the company may choose a more irreverent tone delivered via cartoons that make fun of more expensive/corporate software,
and finish with a specific call to action, for instance a free trial, or perhaps even giving customers the chance to star in a future cartoon as a
caricature of themselves, for the best case studies submitted after the trial period.
Video length is probably 90 to120 seconds to capture the attention of freelancers juggling multiple tasks, with just one feature delivered per
video. Success is measured by the increase in sales, and how many times the video offer code is used in claiming a free trial.
So, now that we have an idea of how purpose combines with the basics of video type, tone, and length, let’s talk about actually making the video.
Step 5: Execution
Now you’ve completed the planning stages for your video campaign, including defining the objectives, target market, video style, length,
and tone, it’s time you got the ball rolling and produce your first video. But what happens next? What steps do you need to take?
The first thing you do is take your overall campaign and break it down into single, discrete messages, and hold yourself to one per
video, where possible.
You then craft a storyboard around that message, with core components including:
An attention-grabbing introduction/initial characterization/scene setting
A resolution/punch line/solution
A call to action
With the core message laid out and a storyboard in place, it’s time to call in the professionals to help shape and refine them, and get
you towards the finished product.
So who you gonna call? No, not "Ghostbusters." As with many things, the answer is, “It depends.”
If you’re going to produce animation, you don’t need to hire a film crew, but you do need an animator or design studio; for customer
testimonials you may not need a voiceover, but you will need one for a whiteboard illustration.
In general, you’re most likely to need some combination of the following services:
A studio/animator/film crew
Music and sound effects
At this point, we’re hoping you have an amazing, well-crafted, well-targeted, high-impact video that delivers your brand message to
the right market. Brilliant! Let's go home and watch the leads and $$$ roll in, shall we?
Well, not quite. We’re only half way there at this point. Now that we have this awesome video, it is time to get it properly distributed,
encourage people to watch and share it, maximize its impact, and measure our success.
Step 6: Choose the right distribution channels
When considering how to get your video out to the right audiences, you need to consider a few options. The obvious one is to place
it on your own website. This should be done of course, but this alone is not enough unless you already have a very high volume of
traffic from your target market. Even then, it has its limitations, as you need to encourage new visitors, not just existing ones, to view
A second option is YouTube, which is a great free option to put your video in front of potentially hundreds of millions of viewers.
It seems like a no-brainer, but again, there are some limitations. The ability to own your conversion funnel and tailor the way you
capture leads is critical to the effectiveness of your campaign, particularly if you’re trying to drive sales and define a high-quality
pipeline of prospects. Unfortunately, the tools to achieve this are not available on YouTube.
Therefore you need to look for a more focused, business-centric distribution channel that gives you more control over how you
capture leads, encourage a direct sale, and represent your brand around the video.
You should also consider how many companies block YouTube because of its non-work related content, a point made by Magnet
Video in the article, 5 Reasons B2B Marketers Should Avoid YouTube for Video Lead Generation Campaigns.
It also highlights that:
“Fortune 500 Executives often cite bandwidth costs, the HR risks and liabilities associated with objectionable content,
and the productivity impact on employees as the top reasons for blocking YouTube.
Deliverability is the key to every lead generation campaign. Video is an engaging marketing tool, but only if the video
plays for the target audience. If your marketing video is blocked, there is no way it’s going to generate leads or
conversions. Using an online video platform to deliver B2B marketing videos instead of using YouTube greatly increases
the chances that your video will be seen and your campaign goals will be met.”
There are also the pre-roll adverts you have to consider. Do you want your audience clicking off of your videos before they’ve even
begun, or having half their attention span taken up before your content kicks in?
Ideally, what you should be looking for is a hub where executives go to specifically educate themselves about new developments in
their industry, watch business videos and build connections in their market. There are probably some options specific to your industry,
but cross-industry platforms that may work for you include BrightTalk, SlideShare, and Xavy.
Step 7: Encourage people to watch your videos
Once your videos are out in the world through the right distribution channels, the next step is to encourage people to watch them,
and this can be broken down into three distinct parts:
1. Use SEO to help people find you on your chosen channels
2. Tell them why they should watch it
3. Offer social proof to overcome their skepticism
Let’s tackle each one in turn...
SEO – Help them find it
The core components for getting your video found via SEO are pretty straightforward:
Title: Make sure your title contains the key words from your core messaging, placing the more important words toward
the beginning. Keep it to 60 characters or less if you are placing it on YouTube. Also include keywords in your filename.
To find the appropriate keywords you can use the YouTube keyword tool, Google Trends, the Google Adwords
keyword tool or any one of a number of proprietary tools.
Metadata: Because search engines can’t crawl the actual content of the video, you need to give them a helping hand,
and create a description that contains your keywords. Only 55 to 70 characters will typically be displayed on YouTube,
but you can write longer descriptions than that.
Tags: Tag the video properly, again with your keywords.
Additional text: Use additional text around your video if it’s embedded on your site, or a distribution channel that
allows you to customize the real estate around your video. This helps search engines to find it and display it correctly in
Use a video site map: Even better, create a specific video site map so you can explicitly tell the search engines
where and what your videos are. There’s a very useful guide to video sitemaps for major hosting platforms here.
Choose the right thumbnails: Having the right image as your thumbnail could have a huge impact on click-throughs,
so ensure that you use the best one, and test to see if it can be improved.
Links: Again, like normal SEO, the number of links that point to your video (on YouTube or elsewhere) will help drive up
its rankings across search engines.
User behavior: Late in 2012, YouTube overhauled the basics of its ranking algorithm, to specifically focus on
engagement, measured by the time a viewer spends watching your video, rather than simply the number of views it
gets. So consider these two things: Don’t mislead people about the content, or they’ll simply click off it straight away
and you gain very little; and make sure your content is good all the way through, and not just packed into the first 15
seconds. Comments, likes, and shares will all help your overall ranking, too.
Tell them why they should watch it
One of the keys to getting people to watch your video is providing enough information to help them decide if it’s relevant to them.
As highlighted in an interesting blog post by John Bottom in his blog, BaseOne:
“People skim-read headlines. This is the big problem: Video is a format that you cannot skim-read. The busy user has to
quickly assess whether they will gain from investing their time in a piece of content. Expecting a busy person to choose a
10-minute video over a piece of text/image they can scan in seconds? Forget it.”
To combat this problem you need to provide a really good, accurate synopsis.
For example, think about bullet-pointing the top three benefits they will receive from watching your video, or summarizing the plot
points if it has a narrative, or giving a run-down of speakers if it is a highlight reel — you get the picture.
Even better, consider getting the whole video transcribed so that they have a text version to skim if they prefer. This will also help if
they are in a situation where they can’t watch a video. Giving them the content in text form will ensure that they still take away the
message, and if they enjoyed it, then there’s every chance they’ll return to watch the actual video when they can.
Utilize social proof
Even if you’ve tagged it appropriately and provided a fantastic synopsis, you can still face skepticism from a potential viewer. After all,
why should they take your word for it?
This is where the idea of social proof comes in, as you can use likes, number of views, vote rankings, comments or any combination
of the above to show them that others found it useful. As they see a groundswell of support for the content, they will be more likely
to trust it as a useful source of information.
Step 8: Help it spread virally
Once you’ve convinced someone to watch your video(s), the next stage is to encourage them to send it around their network,
creating a viral effect that could considerably reduce your own marketing costs, and increase the number of views. So, how can you
achieve the “holy grail” of a viral video?
I’ve broken this down into three main areas to consider:
If you don’t ask, you don’t get
Don’t be coy about asking your viewers to share your videos with their networks, particularly if your end objective is brand building,
education, or some other purpose that needs wide distribution and isn’t necessarily about creating inbound leads or sales. Make it
your call to action: “Enjoyed this? Then share it with your network” is all you need, just to prompt them to pass it on.
Make it easy for them
Make it as easy to share, download or embed your video as possible. Ensure that wherever you host it, including on your own site,
you provide quick share buttons to LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, as well as via email. Let them download it so they can
watch it offline and show it to anyone they’re with, even when they’re not online. Let them embed it on their own site, and then all of
their audience will be able to find it, too. You may also want any comments to show up in their social feeds.
Content is king
It may be one of the most overused clichés in marketing, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. What your video contains will
ultimately be the key ingredient to whether it is found, watched, and shared with others.
However, if we’re specifically talking about how to get a viewer to share a video, then there are probably five main themes that will
be most effective:
Controversy: Controversy can simply be going against the established wisdom of your industry, but however you
deliver it, controversy always courts interest and spreads fast. As an example, this is a pretty controversial video from
Kixeye that picked up a lot of press coverage and viewers:
Humor: Everyone needs a little light relief during their 9 to 5, and people love to share humorous videos with friends
and colleagues. A well-crafted and delivered video that makes your audience laugh will go a long way, literally.
Unfortunately, genuinely funny is perhaps the hardest of all these suggestions to do well, so make sure you test it quite
widely before doing a “general release,” otherwise you’ll end up with people laughing at you, not with you. Check out
this series of videos from Kinaxis that does “humor with a message” well:
Surprise/novelty: Anything remarkable or out of the ordinary will always get people sharing, just so they can be
the ones who helped everyone else “discover” it. Anything that could get you asking questions, thinking differently, or
feeling inspired would fall into this category. The RSA series of whiteboard sketches is a good example of thoughtful,
interesting videos, as are most of the videos on TED.com.
Utility: If your videos help executives with a specific problem, give advice, or explore future trends, they are likely to be
shared with their colleagues who face similar challenges. Sharing a useful video is an easy way to be helpful to others,
and it will likely increase your stature as a thought leader in that particular area, too. Most videos on Xavy are good
examples of this.
Ego: People love to share videos that feature themselves. Interviews, talking heads, and montages are all good ways
to capture third parties, who are then more likely to share them with their friends and colleagues. Awards videos would
also be good for this purpose. Be somewhat wary of this approach, though, because if the content isn’t very good,
then it won’t spread much beyond that first degree of separation.
Step 9: Optimize for conversions
So once you’ve got people watching your videos, how do you make the most of it to achieve the objectives you set back in Step 1?
Well, if your objective was simply to garner as many views as possible, then you can reread Steps 7 and 8 and probably skip this
step; but if you want the viewer to take an action other than sharing the video with his or her network, you need to optimize for
Here is how you can do that:
Include a call to action: So many videos don’t include a call to action, and they miss the whole point of existing.
Make sure yours has a call to action, and make sure it’s in line with your original purpose. If you want leads, ask for
their info; if you want sales, ask them to buy; if you want a dialogue, ask them to comment.
Keep it simple: If your video has a single message, then it’s easier and clearer to ask for a decisive action from the
Measure: Ensure that you measure where viewer numbers drop off, and either cut the video length down to that point
or at least place relevant calls for action before the drop-off points.
Make it easy: Surround your video with calls to action so viewers can just click on a link, fill out the form next to it,
or hit the share buttons. Make sure the actions are placed around the video, as well as in the video, so that they are
simple to use.
Make it interactive: With a service like Mozilla’s Popcorn, you can now make your videos interactive in the actual
video frame, so experiment with how that affects your call to action.
Give options: You might only ask for one action, but you could give more than one way to accomplish it. Some people
hate web forms and would prefer to email, while others prefer to phone in. Don’t confuse them by giving 10 options,
but give two or three that you know are the most-used communication channels for your customers.
Incentivize: Give them some immediate incentive to share their details with you or to buy now — an exclusive white
paper, a time-bound discount, a prize draw — to help nudge them over the edge into action.
Experiment: Don’t just put up your video and calls to action and leave it — experiment. Web copywriters are
obsessive about testing the impact of their words, their positioning, their surroundings, and even their color or font to
optimize conversions. You should try different things too, and see what work best.
Step 10: How to maximize your video’s impact
Now that you have your video campaign ready, you’ll want to ensure that it has the maximum impact. This means you should
consider three main ways to enhance its impact on your overall B2B marketing strategy:
1. Make it part of a multichannel campaign with white papers, research, blogging, etc., so that there are multiple touch
points and media that executives can engage with. Not everyone loves video, so having a transcript of it is a good idea. Similarly,
it’s probably good to offer a white paper around it, as that remains one of the most popular forms of B2B content marketing
around. Proprietary research and data, blogs, and podcasts are all also highly ranked for engagement by the business viewer, and
effectiveness by B2B marketers.
2. Try to time your campaigns around your events calendar. Release your videos in the month leading up to the event, so they
help create buzz and build awareness before you get there. It may also help customers to become more familiar with your brand, and
to feel like they understand your company before they meet with you or your reps at the show.
It’s also a good idea to capture video at the event and release it afterwards. Capture interviews at your stand (remember: ego),
create a time-lapse video showing the buzz around your stand, or create a montage of the event’s best moments. It’s likely that the
organizer will want to help you distribute that last video, and you want to be in front of his or her audience.
3. Don’t just rely on YouTube as your only distribution channel (going back to Step 6). Get it up on your own website, and
definitely consider business-specific content portals like Xavy, where executives go to watch professional content, and it’s easier to
get your content discovered by the right people.
Step 11: Analyze the results
Measuring success will ultimately come down to what your original purpose was, and what
you decided the outcome should be, but here are four common examples:
Sales and revenue
In theory, this should be the No. 1 outcome for any commercial company. So how do
you analyze the performance of a video when your outcome is to generate more sales
You can do something like this:
Let’s say the video cost you $1,000 and you got 20,000 views. That cost you $.05 a view.
If you converted 5 percent into a lead, then it cost you $1 per lead.
Let’s say 70 percent of those leads are time wasters or gave you bad data; so you’re left with a cost of $3.33 per lead.
Then maybe your sales team converts 10 percent of those leads into a sale, so each sale cost you $33.33.
Let’s say each sale is worth $500 to you over a customer lifetime (which is a very small amount in B2B sales).
Then the ROI of the campaign is 1,400 percent.
Not a bad return on investment at all.
Perhaps you’re not judging your marketing team based on the ability of the sales team to convert the leads, but rather on the
effectiveness of your videos in generating them in the first place. How should we measure the success of this?
There are a number of options. You could look at the total number of leads a video generates vs. some other form of marketing.
(There should usually be a comparison made, as your job is to see not just how effective a marketing channel is, but also how much
more effective it is than other channels, so you can make smart decisions on where to allocate your finite resources.)
You could look at quality of leads (taking it one step further down the sales funnel); man-hours to leads generated to see how time-
efficient they are; or you could measure what types of leads they generate vs. other channels (e.g., are they more senior, or from a
My suggestion is to keep it focused on the money, at least in the first instance; i.e., how much are you spending per quality lead
versus other forms of marketing?
So it would look something like this:
Let’s take the same number from above for the video, and assume that Channel B is a white paper.
The white paper costs $700 to produce, and generates 500 downloads, of which 30 percent again have the correct data and are
deemed worthwhile for contacting by the sales team. This makes each quality lead worth $4.66, which is more expensive than your
quality leads per video. Your video also has the added benefit of generating all that exposure to 20,000 viewers, which is hard to
achieve for a white paper that must be downloaded to read.
Therefore, in this hypothetical example you may consider spending a larger portion of your content marketing budget on video,
supplemented by white papers, to ensure that you›re maximizing the effectiveness of each marketing pound.
Perhaps your purpose was not to generate leads, but to create a conversation around your products and brand, and get engaged
with your market. How can you measure this? There are three reasonably simple ways:
The first is to take the total number of views and find out the average length of a view, so that you have some
measure of their engagement in the content.
The second is how many mentions your brand (or product) gets before, and then after, the video has been released,
across the media channels you watch. What is the new total number? What is the percent increase? Can you
measure the sentiment? How often is it being tweeted and retweeted, or quoted in the press as part of an ongoing
conversation? Has it actually generated a debate?
Finally, you might look at how many comments it has generated on your own site or other distribution channels that
you’ve used, to gauge whether it has been successful at generating a conversational response.
You may care most about brand awareness, in which case you’ll have four main metrics to measure:
1. Total number of views: How many people are actually watching your videos?
2. Number of shares: How often are people sharing it, and with how many people? This is worth diving into deeper.
Don’t just look at how many times it’s been shared, but look at who is sharing it: i.e., are there 10 people sharing it,
but they have tens of thousands of twitter followers; or are there 100 people sharing it with little impact beyond their
immediate network of 100 followers?
3. Number of mentions: Similar to the engagement metric above, how often is your brand or product now mentioned
online, across forums and in groups, via Twitter, and on blogs? You’ll want a special social media monitoring tool to get
this measurement, but it’s worth it if this is your core objective.
4. Brand recollection: A classic market research technique. How many people are familiar with your brand before,
and then after, your campaign?
Step 12: Bring it all together, and repeat
Hopefully you’re still with me on this 12-step journey; and don’t worry, we’re now at the final step.
To recap, your B2B video marketing strategy should take the following steps:
Step 1: Define your purpose
Step 2: Choose the right video type
Step 3: Then choose the right length...
Step 4: and the right tone to reflect your brand
Step 5: Then create the video
Step 6: Distribute it properly
Step 7: Make sure people find it and watch it
Step 8: Get people sharing it
Step 9: Optimize conversions when people view it
Step 10: Maximize the impact of your videos
Step 11: Measure their success against your purpose
Which brings us to Step 12: Bring it all together, and repeat.
Just like you can’t hope to create one product and reap the rewards forever, it’s the same for your video campaigns. What was
fresh last month won’t be next month, so you need to keep repeating the process, each time learning and getting better at it as you
measure and refine your output.
My suggestion would be to aim for something new at least once every month, and base your campaigns on quarterly or four-monthly
cycles. So for example, you may plan to produce four videos, all based on brand awareness, which will be released once a month
for the first four months of the year, perhaps in the run-up to a major trade show; then the next four months will be focused on lead
generation post-event, again with a new video released each month; and then finally, with brand recognition, leads, and a whole lot
of marketing data and metrics in your pocket, the final four months may be pushing toward sales, as your videos specifically target
those most likely to buy.
This need for constant content is probably why the MarketingProfs/CMI B2B Content Marketing Report shows that the
No. 1 difficulty for marketers is getting enough content for their campaigns. Problem though it is, I would suggest it’s essential to
your video success; otherwise you’ll be left with outdated, uninteresting content which does little to help you reach your original
To help you further with this specific problem, there are a couple of ideas in the Top Tips section in the appendix.
APPENDIX 1: TOP TIPS
Top tips 1: Video likes company (don’t make it lonely)
It may be tempting to go for broke, invest all your budget in a single high-production video and hope it’s a breakout success that
transforms your brand image, puts you ahead of competitors on thought leadership, or drives millions of pounds in sales.
While this is not impossible to achieve, the vagaries of online attention mean it is a huge gamble to do this. Instead, you should
see your videos as plural, as part of a wider campaign to generate ongoing, sustainable outcomes as defined by your purpose.
Then, as this purpose may evolve (from educating a market, through thought leadership, to sales, etc.) you can match your video
content to suit.
You’re also likely to get it wrong — or at least not optimal — the first time you create and launch a video (not to mention a lack of
momentum, unless you’re already a household name), so you’ll need time and money in reserve to make changes and improve on
your first effort.
To save on time and budget, why not shoot three to five videos at the same time as part of a related series? Then, you can release
them when the timing best suits you.
Top tips 2: Utilize what you have
You’d be surprised how much video you already have, or could have at your fingertips. If you’ve spoken at an industry event, why not
ask if they filmed it, and if you can have a copy of the video? Check to see if any of your executives have been on TV, or if you’ve
done any recording of product testing and development.
If you don’t already have content, then there are plenty of easy ways to generate good content that lets customers see inside your
company and feel more connected:
Staff interviews (from the executive team to the tea boy)
A “day in the life of” video of a handful of your staff
Guest interviews if your customers are in the office
A tour of your office or campus building
Even videos of your staff dancing
Top tips 3: Leverage events
The second best way to get easy content is to leverage events.
Events provide you with a cornucopia of great content opportunities, including:
Interviews with international staff who are not normally on hand
Interviews with your visitors to the stand
Interviews with the speakers at the event
A time-lapse video to show the buzz around your stand
Live product demos (with a delighted/impressed audience in the background)
Capture your presentations (if you’re speaking on stage)
A mini-presentation at your stand (even if you’re not on the official program)
The key is to be creative and utilize resources like business events as efficiently and effectively as possible to generate a lot of
original content in one go.
Top tips 4: Make sure your video works across devices
More and more executives are accessing content on the go, across multiple devices including iPads, other tablets, and smartphones.
You need to make sure that your videos — and the surrounding real estate around them where you may have calls for actions and
other conversion tools — are optimally displayed when viewed on these devices.
When choosing your distribution channels, ensure that at least one of them is properly formatted for responsive design, and to allow
video playback across multiple devices (remember, for instance, iPads don’t support Flash).
Top tips 5: Make it interactive
Tools like Mozilla’s Popcorn are starting to innovate with what you can do in-screen with videos, such as adding dynamic content,
maps and asking for a response within the frame of the video.
To get a better understanding of the possibilities, you can experiment yourself here or watch their TED talk here.
APPENDIX 2: CASE STUDIES
Case study 1:
Using events to harness high quality content efficiently and economically, by John Sweeney at DemandGen UK
Q: What was your purpose?
A: We wanted to stand out from the crowd and our competitors in the most economical way possible. The key was to position
DemandGen as thought leaders in our particular niche, and showcase our strengths as a brand to build awareness and generate
We’ve also used them to help with sales pitches by including them in RFPs or utilizing them to create microsites for our sales team.
Q: How did you decide on the format, length, and tone of the videos?
A: We specifically didn’t want the videos to be inward-facing; i.e., we didn’t want them to be us talking at our customers, because
we didn’t think that is particularly interesting.
What we did think would be useful and interesting to customers was hearing from one another, industry speakers and our partners,
so that they got a rich sense of what’s going on in the marketplace around them.
This made the format reasonably easy to settle on — interviews at conferences. The length is variable and completely depends on
the content, which is the most important factor.
An added benefit of featuring our customers in our videos is the credibility and trust it imbues our brand with when people are first
trying to get to know us.
Q: How did you create them?
A: It took a lot of up-front preparation to make sure we got high-quality videos. We certainly didn’t just turn up onsite with a camera
and hope for the best.
We made sure we contacted people we wanted to feature ahead of time, and confirmed time slots with them. We briefed them
onsite about the format and what we were looking for, and coached those who were a bit camera shy.
You also have to be cognizant of what else is going on around the event, so you have to ensure you’re not scheduling any interviews
during keynote speeches or other activities taking place throughout the day.
Q: What distribution channels have you used?
A: The content is part of a full marketing mix including webinars, white papers, briefing documents and attending or sponsoring
They have primarily been used on our various websites and on YouTube, but also in microsite for our sales team and in direct sales
Q: How successful have the videos been?
A: Showing potential clients our videos has made a very strong impression. It reinforces our strengths as a company, from the
competencies we have that solve specific problems for our clients (like lead storing), to brand awareness about our global presence.
There has been a very strong correlation between customers viewing our webinars and videos, and then engaging in conversation
with us. In fact, I don’t think there have been any new customers in recent times who didn’t engage with our brand first through
video or webinars, before becoming a customer.
Case study 2: The creative process and execution, by Phil Booker at GeniusBar
Our brief was to create an animated case study for Research Now (the world’s largest online market research company),
demonstrating the effectiveness of their product ADimension. The case study in question was a successful project they had
delivered for Debenhams and its creative agency Steel.
The purpose of the case study was to introduce their services to new clients. It needed to appeal to both a U.K. as well as
a U.S. market.
The final animation needed to be viewed on all platforms, and the project had to be delivered for under $10k.
The creative process
Research Now provided us with a basic concept to make the animation in a “fairy tale” style, along with some sample copy. We took
this copy to an established children’s TV script writer, who in turn wrote a perfectly rhyming 12-verse “modern fairy tale,” telling the
whole story of the campaign from concept to delivery.
We then took this copy to a freelance graphic designer who specialized in “hand- drawn” animation, which we felt was the best style
for the fairy tale theme. The artist then drew the storyboard, as well as creating a sample five-second animation, which in turn were
presented to the client for sign-off prior to full production.
The next stage was to record the narration, as the pace and delivery of each verse would dictate the speed of each animated scene.
We felt a mature, male voice would be the right tone for the “once upon a time” style of delivery. Once the actor had been selected,
we sent him off to a recording studio for a two-hour session, which was enough time to record a few takes and the final version. The
recording was then tweaked with a few post-production effects, and sent to our animator as a WAV file.
Once in receipt of the voiceover, the full animation process commenced, developing the storyboard concepts to produce each verse.
The animation was produced in Flash, which would then be converted into an MP4 format at a later stage, so that it would be
accessible on all viewing platforms. This process took about 15 working days.
With a few additional sound effects added, the first version was then ready to be played through to the client, and was received
extremely well. The client did decide that one of the verses needed to be completely redrawn with a new angle, along with other
smaller changes to other verses. It was also felt that music needed to be added to enhance the fairy tale theme. At this late stage,
to source and edit a piece of music that would run throughout the production would have involved a near-total rebuild; however, we
settled on adding a musical sample to the intro and the exit, which worked very well and did not take away from the crucial vocal
Those at Research Now were extremely happy with the final product. The video has been embedded into their website, has been
used for social media campaigns, and has enabled them to introduce their ADimension product to new audiences that would have
previously been difficult to communicate with — meeting the main purpose of the video.
As a postscript, the production was delivered within budget — so it was a fairy tale ending for all involved.
You can view the video here.
Case study 3: Creating sustainable video campaigns by Jerry Vine at Wasp Barcode Technologies
Q: What was the purpose of the video campaign (e.g., brand awareness, lead generation, direct sales, etc.)?
A: The reason Wasp Barcode created online videos was to promote brand awareness and to help generate leads. We thought
people would have a better experience seeing our products being used in the real world. We create several types of videos including
customer testimonials, how-to videos, product videos, training videos, and now six-second Vine videos.
Q: How did you decide on the format, length and tone of the videos?
A: Over the years of using video analytics and YouTube Analytics, I’ve been able to understand where people start engaging with
and leaving the video. The tone of the video was created to be very fast-paced, entertaining and engaging, so that people watch
most of the video. Based on my experience, most of our videos are under 60 seconds, and we use lots of close-up shots where you
can see the speaker’s eyes. Here is an example.
Q: How did you create them?
A: I create all my videos with a Canon T3I DSLR with a 50mm lens and a Zoom H2 digital recorder. I use Adobe Premiere or Final
Cut X to edit my videos. I have won many awards with this sub-$1,000 setup. As long as the lighting and audio are high quality,
it really does not matter what type of camera you use. Many people are using iPhones to create videos that are better than those
made by some professional studios.
Q: What distribution channels have you used, and which worked best?
A: I distribute my videos by first uploading them to YouTube, and then putting them on my website and creating a video XML
Sitemap. Then I turn on Adwords for video advertising to seed the video with a few thousand views. The next step is typically
creating an article for a major website and embedding the video within the article to build major back-links. I also share videos with
my friends, family, and customers, and ask them to socially engage with the video. Here is an example.
Q: How successful have the videos been as measured against your initial purpose, and how have you measured it?
A: Videos are now Wasp Barcode’s best site-referral lead. Viewers who come to our website from our YouTube channel stay on our
site for a very long time, and tend to convert to leads at a very high rate compared to all other referral traffic.
About the Content Markting Institute
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. CMI teaches
enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through compelling, multi-channel storytelling. CMI’s Content Marketing World
event is the largest content marketing-focused event. CMI also produces the quarterly magazine Chief Content Officer, and provides
strategic consulting and content marketing research for some of the best-known brands in the world. Get more content marketing
resources at ContentMarketingInstitute.com. CMI is a division of Z Squared Media, a 2012 Inc. 500 company.
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