Is Video Content Topping B2B Marketing Priorities?
Some say video content is by far the most effective way to connect with B2B buyers at all levels, from millennials to top executives. But should video dominate content marketing and replace other forms that are the basis of so many well-researched and successful B2B campaigns.
One report produced last year by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs found that 70 percent of surveyed B2B marketers are creating more content than they did in 2013 and that 76 percent are publishing video content[i].
Video is used not solely to gain awareness, as was widely believed a few years ago, but as something watched during the entire path to purchase. “Seventy percent of B2B buyers and researchers are watching videos throughout their path to purchase,” according to thinkwithGoogle[ii].
Furthermore, according to that Google report, YouTube U.S. data reveals that more than 895k hours of some of the top B2B videos from brands were watched in 2014 with half of surveyed researchers viewing 30 minutes or more of B2B videos during the research process.
One of the reasons video is gaining in popularity is because B2B is recognizing the importance of marketing to millennials, those born around 1980 and the first generation to grow up with the Internet. A Google commissioned survey found that nearly half of all B2B buyers now fall into that category[iii].
Those millennials appear to be the B2B marketing sweet spot, so if you’re only targeting top executives, you are missing up to 81 percent of non-C-level influencers who have a say in the buying decisions.
Still, while video may indeed become the predominant form of content marketing to reach this key B2B audience, there’s not much in the way of hard evidence to indicate we’re there yet. While one report says 82 percent of B2B marketers reported success with video marketing initiatives[iv], it’s not really clear why they believe that to be so. In fact, says CMI, only 21 percent of those it surveyed say they are successful at tracking content ROI.
In addition, as AdAge reported recently, “Nearly half — 46% — of the video ads running across the desktop and mobile web never had a chance to be seen, according to Google. That figure is based on the video ads the search giant has served across the web, but doesn’t include YouTube.”
Undoubtedly those numbers are driven by B2B content, but without firmer B2B video ROI data there is no reason to overcommit to one media at the expense of other, tried-and-true forms of content. Plus, according to CMI, marketers say their video is often driven with content culled from newsletters, blog posts, case studies and white papers.
The CMO Council has an interesting report that content circulates throughout organizations in three different manners: top-down, bottom-up and middle out[v]. So an effective marketing strategy still requires understanding of purchasing motivations and pain points at different levels within different organizations.
Sales and marketing groups often complain that purchased prospect lists don’t generate enough qualified leads. Only by digging into a target organization’s particular influencer patterns can marketing teams rest assured they’re able to identify decision makers in their key accounts. Going the extra mile with phone confirmation discovery generates better results and pays off with insights into how the purchasing process works at a key target. Watch this short video for information on how SimplyDIRECT builds custom target account lists with up-to-date, role based contacts, and firmographics to assist sales enablement efforts.
[i] “B2B Content Marketing: 2015 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report.” http://www.reelseo.com/b2b-video-content-marketing/