Video Marketing Tactics for the B2B Marketer

When thinking about promoting an organization with online video, most people think about Businesses targeting consumers (the B2C approach), however, the amount of B2B marketing that’s going on today is completely bucking that trend (roughly 70% of B2B solutions market with video), and the way that content is being optimized is creating some interesting results. Why are B2B companies engaging in more video marketing? Well, as difficult as it may be to conceive, B2B businesses are staffed by (brace yourselves), people. And, like any customer after any other product or service, many of them feel overwhelmed when staring down a company white paper or brief. Summing up that message in a 60 to 180-second-long video can prove to be a powerful way to introduce people to your idea, while leaving the finer details up to those other mediums.

So how can you optimize your video content to raise awareness of your brand? Here are some tactics we’ve found that do just that.

Just as the content you produce needs to change to address a wider and slightly more savvy audience, you can also learn a lot from the techniques B2C marketers use. It starts by merely being present, a concept that might actually be foreign to many B2B marketers, particularly those of you in enterprise. SEO can be a powerful tool but it only works if the customers you are going after can actually find your content.

Tagging your videos with keywords/phrases

Anyone who’s at all familiar with SEO is no doubt also familiar with keywords and metanames. These tags are available in most online video sharing sites, and act as terrific bait for search engines. While, understandably, much corporate video is hidden behind a firewall, it helps to have something online that is public facing as with this Deloitte video designed to promote the book “Mass Career Customization and the Corporate Lattice” (which in turn promotes Deloitte’s consulting services.) When deciding on what your keywords are going to be, it’s critical to think about how YOU search for information, yourself. Increasingly, businesses find other business’s through the same kinds of keyword searches that consumers do.

Doubtless, you ask questions, or type in specifics when trying to solve a problem. Say you are a technology provider such as Oracle. You’ll want to make sure you come up in search results when someone asks the question, “what is cloud computing?”.

In terms of the types of videos that work well, consider everything from straightforward explainer videos (essentially commercials) to more visionary kinds of videos that are more likely to be shared. “Be interesting”, is probably the best advice anyone can give.

Create Value

While creating a straight ad is the most direct way to spread your message, it may not be the most effective. No doubt, whatever the B2B product or service you’re looking to promote creates some sort of value for the end-consumer, so shouldn’t the media you’re using to reach them do the same? Going back to the Deloitte example in our first tactic, people will watch an ad for what a marketer is promoting and then (if they sit through it all), will decide whether or not they want to become a customer. That’s where the trail ends. Something that creates VALUE for the viewer, however, has the potential to be shared, talked about, and possibly even promoted on a large culture blog like BoingBoing or Laughing Squid, which would lead to promotion on other platforms or news outlets. This video (and the book it promotes) are full of useful information about a sea change taking place in the American workforce and are useful in their own right. One assumes the Deloitte folks are so clued in that it might make sense to pay them for their expertise (and you’d be right). Here’s another example:

This video, produced in-house by the company, DNS Made Easy, doesn’t take the time to tell you about how wonderful their company or product is, electing instead to educate the viewer on what is normally an incredibly complex subject (hence the 6-minute runtime). This same company has a host of videos up on their website and YouTube channel. As an experiment, go there and sort their videos by “Most Popular”. You’ll notice that the top-viewed videos are either tutorials on how to use the interface, or their motion infographics that educate the viewer instead of directly selling to them (the exception being the explainer that was used as a pre-roll video). While it’s debatable how many conversions were drawn from the top 2 viewed vids in their library, the brand awareness that number of views creates, isn’t. While you should have a few explainer videos to do the straight-sell and tell people what you do, it doesn’t hurt to produce something like this every now and again to engage your viewers, build awareness, and possibly generate new leads. Now that you’ve produced your dream video, let’s talk about…

Closed Captions

Along with being a generally nice thing to do for viewers that are hearing impaired, creating a transcript for your video and uploading the captions through a service like YouTube is actually an incredibly powerful SEO tactic. That caption file is loaded with searchable keywords and questions that DO get picked up by most search engines. While not as high a priority as using appropriate tags, this is still a good step to take in getting more eyes on your video. Sometimes it really does pay to be the nice guy!

Using your existing channels to promote the content

Whether it’s your company blog, website, social media channel, or video sharing site, your video needs to be on it, it needs to be tagged, and you need to tell people about it. That said, it’s not a good idea to SPAM your customers and make them want to ignore you. It is, however, a good idea to get that content up onto your channels, talk about it, and what impact it will have on your potential customers.

According to a report by, only about 19% of marketers list conversion as an objective. While that may be, they also note that having a video on an organization’s landing page can increase conversions by upwards of 80%. Numbers like these are important to factor in when optimizing your video, and creating new bonds with your customers.

Got any more killer tips on optimizing the performance of online video? Why not shout ’em out in the comments below?

Nick Vaka is Creative Director at Visually. You can follow him on Twitter @NickDesigns

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