The world’s first televised advert happened way back in 1941 (for the watchmaker Bulova, by the way). A lot’s changed in the intervening eight decades, yet video ads have never relinquished their crown as the premier marketing channel – both in terms of potential impact and price.
It’s that distracting price tag that’s the main sticking point when businesses are on the fence about deploying video marketing. Depending on your ambition, cost-wise the sky is the limit once you’ve paid 100 extras and hired a helicopter for your tracking shot and… you get the idea.
Pipedreams of playing Spielberg aside, putting together a script and storyboard and editing it into reality is ultimately more expensive and time-consuming than creating your typical marketing assets. The complexity rises even further once you step outside typographic or stock footage creations.
Seems like there are a lot of reasons not to embrace video marketing. So, what’s actually the case in favour?
Well, for one, 70% of B2B buyers view videos before making product purchases. And not only do they gather more views, those views have far greater impact. Studies show that we retain 95% of the message from video content, compared to just 10% via text. If pictures are worth a thousand words, then videos are worth a thousand static banner ads.
Compared to other digital channels, video offers improved open rates, click-through and conversion rates – you name a metric, and it probably tops it. In general, humans are just hard-wired to like moving pictures.
If you don’t believe it can really be so stark, do a little self-examination. When you think about the best advert you’ve ever seen, what comes to mind? For the vast majority, it’s a TV advert – despite the fact that many of you reading this will see be seeing them less and less since the rise of streaming services.
How about when you share content on social media, or content is shared with you: what do you share? What do you bother to click on? Hands up if you said long podcast interviews or whitepapers. Good on you, but for the rest of us with short attention spans, video hits the happy medium of being digestible and memorable enough to pass around.
So, if this is the case, why has video marketing long felt like the playground of B2C businesses? There are long-standing excuses: B2B has less budget to play with. B2B requires more substance over style. Sales and lead-gen should come first, brand image a distant second.
But these excuses conveniently ignore that you don’t need to be creating ten million dollar a minute Superbowl adverts to start taking advantage of video marketing. Creative brand ads are the exciting flagship option, sure, but don’t underestimate the value of bread-and-butter, more budget-friendly options such as how-to videos, customer testimonials and case studies.
Technology is opening doors in the video marketing space faster than businesses can walk through them. We’re not saying now is the time to crack open the company TikTok account, but you can reach potential customers with nothing more than an account lead, a phone camera and a bit of enthusiasm. It can even be as simple as adding animation to your existing marketing output – anything that adds more energy, motion and visual interest.
There is an ever-present fear that going down the video route is either ‘whole hog’ or ‘no hog’ – that there’s a danger of your output undermining your brand by not being slick enough. But you should drop the preconception that anything but the most carefully choreographed, bespoke video will do.
Video content presented by real customers or team members offers an authenticity and human connection that speaks to people. They provide vital validation of purchasing decisions (known as ‘social proof’) and ground your brand into the real world – and hopefully showcase that you offer real value and results.
The fact is that at a brass tacks level, marketing is simply about conveying a message. Videos remain the most potent weapon in your arsenal to have a message land and stick. How stylish, how technical and how expensive is a case-by-case assessment – and you have more flexibility than you might think.
So ‘when is video marketing right for B2B?’ We’d argue always. If you want more eyeballs, better memorability and improved returns, whip out that director’s chair.
Here at bbp, we’ve created videos for a whole host of different businesses, including these examples for Worldpay, Keylane and Logitech. Whatever your video brief, we’re ready to dive in, so get in touch with our team today.