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Why Leveraging Video for B2B Lead Generation is a Must

Why Leveraging Video for B2B Lead Generation is a MustFor today’s savvy marketers, learning to incorporate video for B2B lead generation can afford a definite competitive advantage. We live in a time when people want their information served up quickly and easily, and the B2B buyer is no different than anyone else in this respect.

Think of it this way: People have different preferences when it comes to consuming content. Some prefer to read, some prefer to listen, and some prefer video. The key to success when it comes to developing content to help fuel lead generation is to present information in a variety of different forms, allowing the prospect to consume content in the way they prefer. This means that for the B2B marketer, adding video for B2B lead generation just makes perfect sense.

There is no shortage of examples of effective use of video by B2C marketers, but let’s take a look at some ways that B2B marketers can incorporate video into their marketing and lead generation efforts.

Video for B2B Lead Generation Can Help Attract, Nurture, and Convert Prospects

Whichever medium a marketer uses, lead generation generally comprises three basic steps. Attract the audience, filter and nurture prospects, and finally hand off to sales to convert. Video can play an important role in each of these functions. Let’s take a look at how video for B2B lead generation can work:

Attracting B2B prospects with video. I’ll go in to some ideas about the different ways video can be used later. First though, I want to touch on why video can be so effective in attracting B2B prospects. Video has a big role to play in search engine optimization with video content proven to drive better SEO results. Google ranking can be improved with good video content, underpinned with metadata and keywords to get your content seen by more inbound eyeballs.

In addition, your conversion rates will be better when you use video for B2B lead generation. Web pages with video as a feature tend to have higher conversion rates than text or static images, making the medium just as attractive to the B2B marketer as to their B2C counterparts.

Video on social channels also plays an important role. After all, B2B buyers inhabit the social channels just as much as the average consumer, so utilizing video on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be very effective in catching the eye (and the attention) of prospects.

Identifying good prospects. It’s clear not everyone who views your video content will be a serious buyer; you can however use it in innovative ways. For instance, you can use video to complement CTAs on landing pages. Better still why not bring the CTA right in to the video. Technology exists now that allows marketers to add clickable annotations, CTAs, and embedded lead forms right into your video. What better way to encourage engagement than to present the prospect with options to act as you employ video to demonstrate your expertise?

Nurture and conversion. Once you have the interest of a prospect, video is also an ideal way to nurture the relationship. Email is the most common nurturing channel and video content can be used to build on the initial curiosity about what you have to offer. Customer stories, product explainers, and interviews with influencers in your sector all lend themselves to demonstrating expertise.

Follow up from the sales team can also be enhanced by the deployment of video. Video analytics can give insights into viewing activity, which can then inform and help direct the approach from the sales team. The sales team can also take advantage of the human and engaging nature of a personal video to reach out to the prospect. Obviously, these tactics aren’t a fit for every sales team, but it might be worth your time to experiment with video as part of your sales process and test it. Your customers, and their behavior in response to video, will quickly tell you what’s working and what’s not.

Generating B2B Leads with Email Video

For B2B marketers, using video in email is an effective way to stand out in your prospects’ crowded inbox, putting a personal element into the marketing message to attract and retain their interest.

Automated marketing solutions are now available, which can guide marketers through the process of adding a link to video on the company website or landing page, or even embedding video directly into the email message itself. Think you want to experiment with video for your B2B lead generation email campaigns? Here are some things to keep in mind about using video in email:

  • Customized landing pages should be used to prevent problems with email clients who don’t yet facilitate embedded video in email.
  • Add an engaging thumbnail or animated GIF as a still image for the video to improve click through rates.
  • Segment your email lists to enable the addition of personalization to video messages.
  • Create a video email gate to capture prospect data and, as previously mentioned, include a compelling CTA.
  • As with all lead generation strategies track, test, and analyze so that you know what is working to maximize ROI.

Leveraging Video for B2B Lead Generation 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways marketers can leverage video for B2B lead generation, and not only generate leads, but also guide prospects along their respective buying journeys.

Product demos. Video can help to present your product or service in a digestible way, during what may be a prospect’s first interaction with your brand. At this stage, videos should highlight benefits in a simple, specific, and concise way that makes visitors feel they’re gaining some value. 

Case studies. The use of real life case studies delivers authenticity to your claims, engendering trust in your potential customer. Adding video to the mix augments your message, not only making your content more likely to be consumed, but also adding an element of emotion that text can’t achieve on its own.

Gated content. As previously mentioned, lead collection forms can be added to video to garner data in exchange for premium video content. Is this always appropriate? I think not, as you might just chase potential early stage interest away. Gated video should be used judiciously, perhaps with an option to skip so viewers don’t feel pressured. You can always add a CTA at the end to capture details.

Video chats. B2B buyers are more likely to need some form of assistance than ordinary consumers due to the complexity of their purchases. Live agent support via video chat can work well for B2B sales and customer service teams, building rapport by personal interaction and giving opportunities to pick up cues from body language. By using video chat, agents are able to guide customers through complex or confusing issues, providing a level of support and clarity that just isn’t possible through traditional text chat services.

Video blogs. The company blog has become a cornerstone of the content marketing strategy for most B2B sales organizations. But how much of your carefully crafted content is read? Not as much as you may think according to a 2016 study from Hubspot which suggested less than a third of readers actually read blog content thoroughly. The same research found video to be the most-consumed content, with more than half of those surveyed paying close attention to video content.

That’s probably reason enough to add visual appeal to your blog through the use of video to attract more attention, demonstrate expertise, and build stronger connections with customers.

Video ads. Video can also complement paid B2B promotion strategies, offering the option to run ads prior to the video, or to overlay over the top of video content. If you get serious about exploring this, don’t forget to also look into increasing your video content views by supporting that content with AdWords for Video campaigns.

Video everywhere. Video content can be effective across all your marketing initiatives. Video can add depth and value to company About pages, your Google Pages listing (and other search engine directories). Video customer testimonials and customer reviews are increasingly popular, and with good reason. People like seeing (and hearing) what other people have to say about a product or service, and a video testimonial or review is so much more robust (and believable) than their written counterparts. In addition, video can be used for cart abandonment follow-ups, and in remarketing campaigns.

When it comes to video for B2B lead generation campaigns, you’re really only limited by your imagination.

One common question we hear about using video in B2B marketing is whether it’s possibly cost-prohibitive. Is it a tactic that only the big players can leverage because of their deep budgets? That’s what makes video so exciting, because there are a number of very cost-effective options out there, making video possible for businesses of all sizes.

If you would like to take a deeper dive in to some of the factors surrounding video in B2B marketing, it’s a topic my colleague, Shelly Kramer highlighted over at the V3B Blog: Video in Business: Benchmark Report 2017 and if video for B2B lead generation is something you’re considering, this report is definitely worth your time to check out.

Where are you and your company when it comes to leveraging video for B2B lead generation? Have you tried it? If so, what challenges have you encountered? If you’ve not yet tried video, is it on your radar screen for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

This article was first published on Integrated Marketing Association. 

Shawn Elledge