4 Best Practices To Optimize Your B2B Video Marketing Efforts

October 12, 2021
Contributor: Amita Jain

As more B2B buyers watch online videos to make important purchase decisions, a clear and thoughtful video marketing strategy is critical.

Online videos have traditionally been used for product demonstrations, but top brands are responding to the growing consumer appetite for videos by using them across marketing channels and throughout the sales funnel.

Embedding videos into landing pages, websites, social media, email, sales outreach strategies and customer onboarding can generate much higher user engagement than text-based content.

Despite videos emerging as the next frontier in digital marketing, many business-to-business (B2B) marketers still hesitate to include them in their marketing plans, due to limited budgets and complex production processes. 

But you don’t always have to break the bank or create perfectly polished videos to receive a high return on investment (ROI) on your videos. Gritty videos that are authentic, helpful and relevant to buyers can have just as much impact.

Below, we discuss four best practices for creating effective B2B marketing videos that move your customers down the sales funnel and improve their buying experience.

1. Align your video content with the right channel and funnel stage.

A basic yet often forgotten rule to make video marketing more purposeful is to know your buyers. As you create your video content plan, make sure it effectively reaches buyers at different stages of their buying journey (identification, research, intent, purchase and implementation) along with the right message that meets their needs. 

Your video content will be influenced by two factors: where buyers are in the sales funnel and on which marketing channel your video lives.

At the high-funnel stage (awareness), buyers go from being unaware of an issue to recognizing it and understanding the downsides of not addressing it. Videos on industry trends and thought leadership can lead buyers at this stage further down the funnel. Educational video blogs, for instance, are the best performing top-of-funnel content since they reach a wider audience.

Product overview and case study videos work perfectly for buyers in the midfunnel stage (consideration) who are exploring their options, comparing software and removing providers from their list that don’t fit their needs or budget.

At the tipping point of the purchase decision when a buyer is at the low-funnel stage (decision), video integration tutorials, free demos and use cases prove to be extremely valuable. Customer testimonial videos can build action triggers for purchase as well as help buyers across all stages of the sales funnel.

Examples of video use by type and channel

A strong B2B video marketing strategy should contain a mix of high-funnel videos focused on brand building and low-funnel videos designed to drive purchases.

Tips to align your B2B video marketing strategy with the buyer journey:

  • Use customer reviews to identify a more obscure customer need that your product can address. What are clients’ unmet expectations? Are they particularly enthralled by a specific product feature?
  • Create micro-level buyer personas to gauge what type of content buyers want or need to hear at different pivotal moments in their purchase journey and construct video messages to match those needs (full research available to Gartner clients). Focus your online video efforts on the important customer moments, and it will get you the most from buyers out of fewer resources.
  • Request feedback, leverage data from existing customer relationships, talk to your B2B audience, conduct live videos and understand what buyers expect from your business.

2. Educate and engage to develop deeper relationships with potential customers.

The B2B buying journey isn’t linear anymore. Buyers bounce to and from key decisions, such as identifying a business problem, exploring solutions and getting buy-in from six to 10 decision-makers.

In such a buying environment, capturing the attention of the target audience is only the first step. Craft videos that educate your prospective customers with helpful content and recommendations or resonate with them by building an emotional connection. Gartner research found that customers who think that information received from suppliers is helpful are three times more likely to make a bigger purchase with less regret.

Dig into your area of expertise to make recommendation videos. You can review the current products or services your customers are using or create a series of explainer videos. These will help you attract new customers, retarget cold leads, grow a loyal subscriber base and generate more engagement around your brand.

Tips for using B2B video marketing to nurture leads:

  • Short video clips ranging from five seconds to two minutes have a high engagement rate on social media and can be produced at low cost. 
  • Placing videos on your website can hook visitors who tend to skim through the text-heavy pages. Make sure your videos don’t negatively impact your page load speed, thus warding off impatient users.
  • An effective call to action (CTA) is important to push visitors further down the funnel. CTAs in B2B educational videos can involve trial versions of your software, links to your white papers or customer reviews in related videos. 

3. Leverage video customer reviews to build strong brand credibility.

Customer reviews and testimonials are like a firm virtual handshake with prospective customers. Actual customers speaking about your products or services give buyers the confidence that they have been tested by peers and can be trusted.

When combined with video, reviews and testimonials have a powerful impact on the audience. They humanize your case studies and marketing collateral, and create a personalized, emotional response to otherwise dry text descriptions or use cases. More than 50% of customers cite “people like me” as the most credible source of information about a product, according to Edelman Trust Barometer

Three ways to use video reviews

Customer testimonial

Show what others think about you with a simple, straightforward testimonial video where a B2B buyer relates their experience with your product or service.

Customer review

Help customers see how best to use your software in a lengthier customer review video, which speaks to the features of your product and how they benefited from them.

Case study

Show your product in action and depict how it solves a real-world problem by featuring your happiest and most satisfied buyers.

Video-based customer testimonials and reviews have an exceptionally high conversion rate and they can be placed at all stages of your sales funnel. Timely, verified user reviews can considerably amplify your product visibility and attract more buyers.

Tips for B2B video marketing using customer testimonials and reviews:

  • Keep costs down by shooting multiple customer testimonials at once. Rent a space, and invite buyers to share their stories. Focus your reviews more on the benefits than features, giving a personal touch to your product that feels less like marketing. 
  • Adjust the duration of your testimonial videos depending on the marketing channel. The ideal length for a customer review is between six to 30 seconds on social media, 30 seconds for a website homepage, and over a minute for YouTube.
  • Don’t wait for professional video equipment to get started. Record on your smartphone or webcam. Authenticity is the third-highest ranked value that U.S. consumers identify with, according to Gartner (full report available for Gartner clients). You can connect with your customers, perhaps even better, with unpolished clips showcasing normal people in natural settings.

4. Use tutorials to help customers understand your product.

While text-based guides are helpful, B2B buyers are increasingly seeking out video tutorials and product walkthroughs to understand a product or service.

Incorporating tutorial videos has a multiplier effect on user experience and retention. Easy-to-digest videos that clearly show the product workflow can build a positive onboarding experience for new users, while also increasing buyer confidence in prospects.

As your business evolves, you can use tutorials to launch new products or announce updates in order to increase utilization of your software, reduce churn rate and get upsells.

Tips for B2B video marketing with tutorials:

  • Create shorter tutorials for social media that fit the autoplay feature of social platforms. Font treatment and action-packed titles are some ways you can draw viewers’ attention on autoplay.
  • Embed tutorial videos at critical customer touchpoints, such as the homepage of your website, in a welcome email or on important product pages.
  • Use timestamps in tutorial videos to create key moments. It will help you rank your videos on search engine results pages and increase audience engagement.

Next steps

Adding videos to the marketing mix can cut through the noise and create authentic engagements that customers value. Start easy and with impact by integrating video customer reviews featuring real stories from real buyers.

Amita Jain

Amita Jain covers B2B content creation and strategy to help businesses reach their marketing goals. She received her master’s degree from King’s College London, United Kingdom. Exploring the world of art and reading fiction are some of her usual happy distractions outside of work. Connect with Amita on LinkedIn.

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