Get Played! The Five Elements of Effective Online Video Marketing
By Rory Carlton, Principal, Arketi Group
Over the past year, the use of video marketing has rapidly increased. Researchers have found that half of Internet users watch videos at least weekly and three-quarters watch professionally produced online videos regularly. Once considered complex and expensive, video is rapidly finding its way into the business-to-business (BtoB) marketing mix. As such, this article centers on the five elements of effective BtoB video—but there are lessons here for BtoC integrated marketing and PR professionals, as well:
The Power of a Meaningful Message
The first element to ensure success in your BtoB video is the planning your message. Figuring out exactly what to say and how to say it needs to be done long before you step in front of a camera. Scripting, not “winging it,” is the way to go.
Videos are unforgiving and viewers have little patience for digging for information—they want it handed to them and quickly. Unless you are seasoned, on-air talent, “winging it” more then often results in a rambling video. In a best-case scenario, this means much more post-production editing and work to produce a crisp video—but often it nets you an unproductive and ineffective video that viewers will quickly move past.
Bet You Think This Video Is About You, Don’t You?
The second element of effective BtoB video is the idea that it’s not all about you. When creating a video, ask the question, “Why should the viewer care?” Here are a few surefire ways to ensure videos are focused on the viewer:
- Include a real customer interview in the video or make it a straight up video testimonial.
- Make a video about a know customer pain-point or benefit and give tips on how to alleviate the pain.
- Introduce a true customer situation in the video.
By placing someone like your targeted viewers into your video, it will be more relevant, engaging and ultimately help you better showcase your company.
Let’s Be Real
The third element is authenticity. You’re not producing an infomercial, you’re producing relevant and useful content, so don’t get carried away with overboard glitzy production techniques. In today’s world being gritty not glitzy is likely to be better received by viewers. That said, you still need to create a professional video with compelling content. Remember, steak, not sizzle, is what BtoB buyers are seeking.
Wait, What’d You Say?
Let’s face it, attention spans among everyone—especially those in the “now” generation—is limited simplicity and brevity will win you viewers. A concise, crisp message delivered within a 90-sectond to two-minute timeframe is a recipe for success.
If you have a complex topic you want to cover, do it in short segments. Choose one simple topic and perfect it with each video segment. Viewers would rather watch three short videos versus one long video.
Spread the Viral Video
At last now it is time to unleash your video. The point of adding videos to you BtoB marketing mix is to spread your message to as many viewers as possible. That’s why it’s important to optimize your video, so they are “search-friendly” and available for anytime and anywhere viewers.
To successfully optimize your video for search, we recommend you:
- Host your videos on YouTube to reach the largest video viewing audience.
- Craft strong titles and descriptions that include keywords but are written for humans—not search engine spiders.
- Associate a text transcript with your videos so Google, Bing and other search sites can index your videos.
- Consider using a mass-upload services like TubeMogul.com if you want to reach a wide audience.
But the use of your videos should not stop there: BtoB videos can be used in a wide variety of ways, including:
- In sales presentations.
- As blog content.
- Spread via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media tools (consider using Twitvid).
- Show at a tradeshow or event.
- Run on a monitor in your lobby.
Today, creating videos is less expensive and easier than ever before. But remember that video is only a tool, not a marketing strategy. What makes or breaks the success of videos in the BtoB marketing world is the planning and preparation. Like painting a room, most of the work is in the preparation, and the devil is in the details. Follow these tips and you can create compelling, informative and, yes, lead-generating videos that spread your message and spark sales.
Rory Carlton is a principal of Arketi Group, a BtoB technology public relations and marketing firm. He has more than 25 years experience in BtoB technology advertising and marketing. Rory can be reached at email@example.com.