Four steps for successful B2B video advertising

Maximilian Seeburg, MD at Videobeat Networks Ltd, presents four steps for successful B2B video advertising

B2C advertisers have been taking advantage of video advertising for a while now. With their opposite numbers, B2B companies, the majority have not yet fully explored the capabilities of video.

According to recent research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and from our own extensive experience, we've witnessed that B2B companies spend the largest part of their advertising budget on search engine marketing (SEM) (66 per cent). These are closely followed by print or other offline promotion (57 per cent) and traditional online banner ads (55 per cent) with email marketing also being prefered to video marketing that does not yet hold a large proportion.

The issues in these mediums lie in the lack of the advertiser being able to tell their rich story, and build individual relationships with each potential buyer- The advertiser is seen as solely that, an advertiser and not a story teller. In a world whereby the consumer is always connected, B2B companies cannot stay behind.

At present, companies without an adequate mobile, social and engaging video advertising strategy are seeking a way of reviving their strategies as yesteryears methods are slowly declining in their results.

Research from Cisco predicts that by 2019 at least 80 per cent of all internet traffic will be streamed video content. The time for B2B companies to set up a solid, video advertising strategy, therefore, is now.

Here are four simple steps towards a successful video campaign for B2B video advertising purposes:

1. Strategy

The creation of a successful video campaign starts with defining your goal: what would you like to achieve with your video ad? Are you interested in conversions, leads and web traffic or do you want to increase brand awareness, brand contact, watch-time and social interaction?

The second step is collecting the data you need to reach your goal and defining your target audience. Who would you like to reach, at what time and on which location? Make smart use of the data that is already available.

Once you’ve set up these parts of your strategy you’re able to allocate a budget together with the creative assets if you have them available. If you don’t have a large budget, always keep in mind to work with the options you have; authenticity is most of the time more valuable than high-quality content. Next, you can think about what story you want to tell.

Remember it’s all about the viewer; what does he or she want to see? And how do you want to come across as a company? In general, your audience wants to see other people and giving the company a face makes you come across more reliable.

2. Creative

Once you’ve set your strategy right, it’s important to think about the content of your creatives.  It’s always good to start with an attention-grabbing introduction that sets the scene for the remaining content, and the company. Do you want to explain something, overcome a challenge, activate your audience or do you want to take them on a journey with your content? The core of your video should be clearly defined.

Whether you have a large or a small budget for your content creation, keep in mind to engage the viewer and give them a real time experience. To achieve this, you don’t always need a film crew or a studio (and all associated costs) to create something awesome. Make use of the marketing assets you already have in-house, such as your logo, photos and video footage. You can re-use these materials at any time.

Moreover, with very short attention spans these days due to technology it’s better to keep your videos short. Research conducted by Cisco reveals that the sweet spot for B2B video length is 60 to 90 seconds. We recommend a clickable call to action either in the beginning or at the end of the video. Once your video is finished and uploaded tags will do the rest; use descriptive keywords, thumbnail images, links and make your video sharable with social links.

3. Distribution

Blanket coverage can be used for branding campaigns for the biggest of the biggest global brands, but to inspire other businesses into purchases, you must direct your video to the right audience at the right time. Therefore, think wisely about which (social) media platforms you’re going to use to distribute your content.

Because the B2B sales cycle is much lengthier than the one of B2C, you’ll be courting your future clients on (social) media channels for quite a while. Think about how your social media strategy helps reaching your overarching business goal to get the most out of your video posts. Linkedin is the number 1 B2B social media as the platform counts most of the Fortune 500 CEOs and C-professionals to their members and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A strategy that solely focuses on Linkedin however, contradicts the requirement of rich storytelling as Linkedin strengths for networking are not matched by its video effectiveness. Fluidly combining the professionality of Linkedin and adding further touch points on the personable Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube provide the professional approach during 9-5 with the personal touch points when the viewer is at their most relaxed and approachable.

Your company’s area of previous success is something that can definitely be utilised. Think of the platforms, where have you previously had the most engagement and traffic and of course, use these platforms to further the already strong following. E.g If you know your consumers are Facebook orientated, use this. The comfort zone must always be left though, it is not to say that equal budget must be split for all, but there are always, without fail, consumers on differing platforms that are not found on certain social sites.

Furthermore, a highly personalized and well-organised YouTube channel helps to address the right audience. It’s advisable to organize your video content by individual buyer persona to make it easy for brand’s personas to navigate right away to relevant content. A company with amazing content, but a lacklustre YouTube Hub is similar to putting your best employees in an office without a computer.

Additionally, you can feature your videos on publisher’s sites to target and retarget your audience in real time. It’s highly important to work with proper SSPs – the platforms where you buy ad space on publisher’s websites. Think carefully about the types of websites where your video will be shown; do you reach your future clients there, and does the featured content harm your brand’s reputation? If you wouldn’t want the website on your work history folder, why would they?

4. Measure, optimise and repeat

One of the best features of video advertising is the fact that the success of your content is measurable down to the finest detail. so you can always optimise it. However, don’t forget to keep your ultimate goal in mind, allowing a cloud to blur your goal can result in a diluted campaign.

There are many different ways to generate many different leads or conversions with video advertising, but the foundations of your campaign must be solid. To find out which tactics work best for you it’s advisable to test your video campaigns. You can try out A/B testing or multivariate testing by differentiating between sub-audiences, creatives and platforms to see which one performs better. With the results from these test you can optimise your campaign and repeat the whole process from beginning to end again, adjusting the flow of the positives whilst reducing the flows of the lower performing.

As the video advertising world changes daily, with capabilities, options and variables increasing exponentially, it is vital that you do not rest on your previous results and believe that is a repeatable strategy that will work forever and always. The new wave of video advertising is always around the corner and it is vital that companies are there and ready to catch every one.