February 25, 2010
/ by Brandon Andersen
Once considered complex and expensive, video is rapidly finding its way into the BtoB marketing mix. Given video’s ability to drive engagement with customers and prospects, it has emerged as a must-have tool for savvy marketers seeking a competitive edge.
The rise of YouTube has made video a power communications channel embraced by today’s Internet-savvy buyers. According to a recent report by Cisco, video accounts for a third of online traffic today – and even more telling, by 2013, Cisco estimates video will account for a staggering 91 percent of online traffic. It’s no surprise that BtoB marketers are as eager as anyone to reach those eyeballs.
Telling Your Story
Video gives BtoB companies a new way to tell their story. Bypassing large chunks of dense Web site copy, today’s marketers can now humanize their company, brand and image through video.
People are more likely to watch a short video introduction to your company than read the three paragraph “About Us” on your Web site. By infusing people and personalities into their stories, companies are establishing real connections with prospect and customers.
Even better, many organizations are letting others speak for them. Using testimonial videos, companies are enlisting industry experts, customers and partners to deliver compelling peer-to-peer messages that showcase the value they deliver.
Extending the Value of Video
Leveraging videos assets on your Web site, in e-marketing campaigns and even in public relations efforts all help to spread your message.
Another advantage of video is its ability to serve as a new medium for sharing content. Marketers are using video as a creative channel to drive content marketing strategies, whether it be injecting the content directly into a video, or using the video as a promotional piece to direct traffic elsewhere.
Small business communications and IT services provider Cbeyond has been using its YouTube channel to extend the value of customer case study videos created for an advertising campaign. As part of a content marketing strategy, the PR team has been publishing these videos and case studies through interactivesocial media news releases as a way to reach prospects.
Video and Thought Leadership
Video also provides an opportunity to diversify thought leadership platforms. While white papers, bylined articles and industry surveys certainly help establish market leadership and build reputation, video – if used properly – can offer a uniquely engaging alternative to achieve the same goal.
Video’s rapid rise in popularity among BtoB marketers can be largely attributed to the emergence of social media and the affordability of the technology once exclusively the province of the Fortune 500. Today, a marketer armed with a good idea, high-quality video recorder, and the right editing software can produce something that we could only dream about just a few years ago. Video’s popularity among BtoB marketers is set to grow in the coming year so now is the time to start embracing the medium.
Rory Carlton is a Principal and Creative Director at Arketi Group, a high-tech business-to-business public relations and marketing firm. Rory has 25 years of marketing experience in the BtoB and technology spaces and has worked in various strategic roles for clients including BMW, IBM and Siemens. Carlton also serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Marketing Association’s Atlanta Chapter. He can be reached at 404-929-0091 ext. 20.
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