Cat videos are not the wave of the future, but in 2011, it set the stage for all those in marketing.
The message: produce content that is digestible (and in this case, hilarious), and even if it is completely satirical, you will end up with 2.1 million views.
Content continues to evolve, and more marketers are becoming reliant on imagery and video in their content efforts as a means for generating traffic, engagement, and leads. According to Multichannel Merchant, video is the top function merchants plan to add to their e-commerce sites over the next 12 months, with nearly 40% planning to include videos in their online merchandising efforts.
For B2B marketers, video and photo content are surpassing the finely crafted written content. In fact, 70% of B2B content marketers use videos and the use of video has risen from 52% in 2011 to 70% in 2012 (Tweet This Stat!)
How B2B Marketers Can Use Video
Using video to encourage sales: As a company, you probably don't want your customers to have buyer's remorse -- the regret associated with making a purchase that they weren't totally sure about. An infographic published by the video content strategy firm Invodo puts the influence of video in stark perspective. According to the data, 52 percent of consumers feel more confident about their purchase after viewing video content related to the product they've bought. Cisco is one brand putting a human face to the products they deliver instead of a one-sheet of passive language through their series of video data sheets. Granted, these are not going viral, but that is not the goal. It's to teach customers about the product visually.
Using video to create content:GE is another early adopter when it comes to new platforms. Its #Vine video #6SecondScience Fair resulted in over 400 video submission in one week in which they were able to use and be the hub of the creations. If your goal is to create more USG content, video is a viable method if done correctly.
B2B Best Practices and Tips
Social networks are a place where conversations and sharing takes place. Content and images have an inherent sharable characteristic that plain text content just doesn't. Video and imagery does just that. Here are some tips on how to execute video properly.
- If your goal is to create shareable video content, find a way to trigger an emotion with a bit of old-fashioned inspiration. According to Unruly's Science of Sharing report, some emotions spark greater shareability than others. For example, exhilaration is 3X more likely to get shared than those that produce a weak or negative response, says the data. Videos that produce multiple emotions such as warmth, happiness and hilarity, have a better chance according to the study. When you aim at producing one single emotional response, you have nothing to fall back on.
- Don't dump your whole budget on the production without optimizing or marketing the asset. A study conducted by Pixability analyzing YouTube performance of the world's top 100 brands showed that video publishing rate increased an average of 73% annually since 2009, yet 50% of the videos created received fewer than 1,000 views (Tweet this stat!).
- Optimize the video when posting to Vimeo or YouTube. These are both search engines so maintain your video tags.
- If you post it, they will not come. Align your video marketing push with offline marketing strategies and online strategies. Connect your social channels to the videos, use the link in your tradeshow materials, and promote it throughout your site. On average, the top YouTube brands had 330 times higher Facebook sharing and 89 times greater Twitter sharing than poor YouTube marketers had, according to the Pixability study.
- Use paid search to drive traffic to your videos. Instagram recently is providing more opportunities for ads within the picture and video sharing tool, according to Online Media Daily. With 150 million people using the platform to share their pictures and videos, businesses have a considerable audience available to market their products and services. Instagram only recently allowed users the capability to record and post 15-second video clips, but it already has drawn the interest of marketers who see a lot of potential in using the shortened format to target users of the photo-sharing service.
Making video part of your marketing and sales strategy is a smart policy going forward, but make sure you do it right. Don't just produce one video and move on: use consistency. The best performing brands publish high volumes of content on a regular schedule and maintain the assets they have created by updating them or removing them if they are no longer relevant to the channel.