Business-to-business relationships are being expanded in living color.
‘Businesses are people too’ is an old saying in the marketing industry, one reason why the digital tools that are already widely used in the business to consumer space are being increasingly exploited by business to business (B2B) companies selling applications and services to other businesses.
More B2B companies are adopting techniques such as live chat and social media based customer relationship management (CRM) to smooth their ecommerce activity. But one of the biggest areas for growth comes from the creation and distribution of video - including promotional films, customer case studies and presentations – to help B2B marketers communicate their messages.
A study published by The Content Marketing Institute in December 2015 found that the number of UK marketing companies investing in YouTube video content had jumped from 68% in 2014 to 81% in 2015 (Vimeo was used by 32% and Periscope by 5%). Almost half (48%) also employed webinars and webcasts for marketing purposes, and 12% also asked their audience to subscribe to video series (and 8% to subscribe to podcasts). All of this information was pushed out to a variety of devices, everything from desktop PCs and smartphones to tablets and internet connected televisions.
Increased content demands solid streaming solutions
B2B marketing is likely to make up only a fraction of overall video content, given the smaller number of companies being targeted compared to the mass ranks of consumers in any given country. But its growing adoption amongst B2B marketers and increasing sophistication will still put pressure on fixed and mobile broadband links, data centers and content delivery networks needed to deliver to end user devices and store it at centralised hosting locations.
There is good reason to believe that the length and quality of that B2B video content will be particularly demanding from an infrastructure perspective. The products and buying processes involved are more complicated and require in-depth explanation which tends to make B2B videos longer than typical B2C equivalents. The relationship between the buyer and seller is deeper, purchase prices higher and the buying negotiation between both are more complicated due to the increased bargaining power of the individual buyers. All of this often demands a greater focus on video and audio quality to prop up the brand and reputation of the seller.
Successful B2B content creates greater demand for streaming services
Early examples of successful B2B content include a tongue in cheek YouTube video filmed to showcase the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) research stream of consultancy firm Deloitte Canada in 2013. Elsewhere, web conferencing and collaboration company GoToMeeting produced video case studies highlighting customer applications of its technology.
Both of the Deloitte and GoToMeeting marketing messages are between 90 seconds and two minutes long. A longer example comes from Finnish computer security company F-Secure which sells anti-virus and malware products and services to businesses across the world. The ten minute ‘Brain Documentary’ tracked its Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen as he travelled to Pakistan to interview the two brothers who created the first ever computer virus ‘Brain’.
Video Marketing for Page Ranks
Search engine optimisation (SEO) company Moz has taken its video marketing strategies – and the volume of content produced - to a new level with a campaign dubbed Whiteboard Friday. This involves Moz releasing a new video every week, each of which features one of their employees, associates or digital marketing experts offering SEO tips and guidance whilst standing in front of a whiteboard. Early videos from 2007 lasted around five minutes, were hosted on iFilm or YouTube and were shot in 240p resolution. The latest – produced in March 2016 - lasts for 8 minutes and is available in full high definition 1080p.
These are just a few of the best examples of the medium – B2B video marketing content is growing every year and as long as business people want to view and share that content on whichever device they happen to be using, marketing companies will continue to produce more of it.