Let’s face it. Most videos aimed at B2B tech buyers are pretty boring. Ok, most of them are really boring!  Yet video marketing is growing at an exponential pace. According to eMarketer, spending on digital video is expected to increase 39 percent by next year, making it one of the fast-growing advertising segments.  With this type of projection, the challenge for B2B marketers is not whether to do video – YES! – but how to make videos that grab the attention of their buyers and deliver positive ROI. To do so, marketers need to review the “how” in making more impressive videos that engage buyers, as well as the “where” to place the content online.

So video, how the heck to start….

What’s the goal? If you’re looking for leads, you’ll produce a different video than if you’re looking to retain and upsell customers. The first rule of thumb for B2B marketers is to understand where their video content fits in the lifecycle of the customer and to tailor the content to that audience. Using a video to create great social buzz through a contest or promotion works well for early stage awareness and exploring phases, while video with meatier content on how a product works or tips and tricks work better for buyers further along in the purchasing cycle.

Context is another important item to consider. Think about where the video will live and be viewed. What supporting info is around the video? Is it supporting a call to action? All of this will help you determine what content and tone is most important.

Here are some additional quick tips:

Be Original: Everybody loved the “Old Spice Guy” and the Dollar Shave Club is a great video, but a million people have tried to copy those formats for their respective companies – And the copycats fall flat. Even with comedy, its important to stay true to your brand and voice.

First 10 Seconds:  The first 10 seconds can make or break the success of your video – so make it count.  According to research by Visible Measures, nearly 20 percent of viewers drop off in the first 10 seconds.

Short is sweet:  Recent research from video hosting company Wistia shows that 50 percent more people will complete a 1 minute video vs. a 2 minute video. Across our B2B network of IT professionals, we find that videos under 2 minutes perform best – especially if it’s a video designed to introduce a product or a brand. If you’re covering a more in-depth topic that requires a longer view time, try breaking up the content into more digestible sections (called chaptering) to help viewers get to the piece of content they want to see quickly and efficiently.

Beware of the Talking Head:  No one really wants to watch an executive speak into the camera for too long.  Add graphics, product b-roll, or thoughtful cut-aways to make the finished product more entertaining for viewers.

Call to Action:  Inspire the viewer to want more. Make sure the video leaves them wanting to take the next step in getting to know your brand.

Link IT:  Be sure to embed or include links that can take the customer to the next stop in the purchasing cycle.  Don’t leave them hanging on where to go to find out more.

Tags matter: Be sure to properly tag your video with key words designed to optimize it for search and social media. Most B2B videos contain domain specific knowledge that if tagged correctly, can significantly improve your search rankings.

Where am I supposed to put this? 

For the majority of B2B marketers, traditional TV networks and major media sites are just not cost-effective channels for promoting video.  Where consumer marketers need millions of consumer views to be successful, B2B marketers can reach success with just a few hundred views from the right base of prospects.

YouTube is a solid starting point to host videos for many companies, and you should definitely be there. However, the audience is quite broad for videos with a business focus. As a result, B2B marketers are turning to industry-specific online channels as a promotional vehicle.  The options range from industry-specific business media sites to social media channels like LinkedIn or even more targeted vertical networks in the industries your B2B organization cares about. For example, my company Spiceworks is a network for IT professionals.  These more targeted sites offer cost-effective options for promoting your video to the B2B buyers that matter.

And, if your budget is really low, consider targeted email campaigns that embed or provide links to your video. Email channels are still performing quite well in most B2B markets

 Show me the money!

First off, be sure to keep tabs on your completion rates. These will show whether or not users consumed your full message. The shorter the video, the more likely a user will view it in its entirety. A quick analysis of viewer dropoff points can help you adjust your creative approach for future videos.

Second, be sure to monitor video views across channels. Just as with any marketing campaign, you may be surprised to see which channels performs best for professional targets.

Third, review closely the role your videos can play in guiding key buyers through the purchasing cycle.  Again, it’s not about quantity but the quality of viewers. In most B2B markets, just a few dozen video views by the right professionals can drive thousands of dollars in revenue – And that’s the measurement metric that doesn’t stink.

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