Marketers got skittish after Facebook’s do-or-die call to pivot to video failed a few years back.
In the continuum of love to heartbreak, where are you with video in your content marketing?
Were you burned by the pivot, or are you still a video believer?
In 2015, Facebook executives trumpeted “pivot to video” as their new mantra. Marketers and advertisers followed suit, pouring their budgets into video on the platform only to later learn that the metrics Facebook had tapped for its pivot intel, were, to say the least, miscalculated. A backlash followed, with articles denouncing this pivot with words like “fail” and “lie.” So if you’re nervous about dumping more dollars into video, we get it.
And yet, video is still relevant and still works. Among consumers ages 18 to 35, more than half report they’d be more willing to stay on a brand’s channel if video was included—a number backed up by recent research. According to Cisco, 66% of the world’s population will have Internet access by 2023. By that same time, there will be 29.3 billion networked devices—3.6 per capita. So why does this matter?
With the rise of streaming services, global internet access and the number of networked devices per capita, 80% of all internet traffic by 2022 will consist of just internet video traffic.
This is particularly important for B2B brands. A study by Wyzowl shows that nearly eight out of ten marketers feel that video has a direct, positive impact on sales. Not only that, but 94% of marketers have seen an increase in user understanding of their product or service, and 78% of video marketers have seen video directly help increase sales.
Today, video doesn’t just mean imagining preproduced videos. New social media features allow you to invest and get creative with your B2B video marketing. While YouTube remains as the top site for B2B video marketing, webinars and TikToks saw an increase in effective usage throughout 2020—a year where human connection was everything.
It’s time to take a fresh look at the format. Here’s how B2B video content is evolving.
What’s new in B2B video marketing
Microtargeted video strategies, livestreaming, new platforms for videos—here’s what’s driving results for smart marketers.
Livestreaming creates urgency.
Broadcasting in real time to your audience—whether it’s event coverage, a tutorial or a Q&A—generates excitement. “Consumers believe that if something’s happening live, it’s more important than if it’s not,” says Allen Adamson, NYU Stern School of Business adjunct professor, co-founder of Metaforce and author of Shift Ahead: How the Best Companies Stay Relevant in a Fast-Changing World. “If you say, ‘We’re going to be demonstrating our new soup mix in a live video,’ that sounds more exciting than, ‘Watch our new soup on this video.’” Theresa Cramer, editor of EContent, says audiences view live videos longer and engage with them more often than with prerecorded videos. Even better, once your live video does its job, you can repurpose the recording and get the best of both formats.
Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Vimeo Livestream, Periscope and Twitch are the go-to social platforms for live video content. But if they’re not the right environments for your audience—or if you want to reach into new territory—other platforms have been introducing live video capabilities.
For example, in 2019 LinkedIn introduced LinkedIn Live. For B2B companies looking to boost thought leadership and attract an executive audience, this is a big win. Even better, you can choose whether you’d like to broadcast to LinkedIn at large or target a select group of viewers.
Then there’s Instagram Live, which lets you livestream onto your Instagram Story. This can be a valuable tool for brands that want to interact with their viewers in real time—plus, you can now save your broadcast to your profile, making it available for your followers to share or view later. Wish you could combine the benefits of Instagram Live with the interactivity of webinars? With Instagram’s Live Rooms, now you can do that too.
Don’t forget about Stories.
While the platform has come a long way from its former days of the 24-hour-miss-it-and-it’s-gone Instagram Story, that doesn’t mean you should five up on the OG feature—especially now that you can index old Stories to your profile. “I believe in repurposing and recycling content across other platforms,” says Lou Bortone, a video marketing strategist and author of Video Marketing Rules: How to Win in a World Gone Video! “Instagram Stories is [still] a good way for brands to cross promote their more permanent content like blog posts.”