If you’ve been weighing the evidence to decide whether now is the time for video in your B2B digital content marketing program…the short answer is YES.
Video’s steady rise in user popularity got a boost in 2020, as folks hunkered down, and many were forced to work remotely and use digital communication early in the year. Many stayed there, watching more online video than ever before.
At the same time, the current economic landscape has led to cuts in budgets in marketing and beyond for some companies. That means businesses need to create the most engaging, effective content possible — to do more with less, if you will.
Together, these conditions have only increased the potential for B2B online marketing video content to deliver ROI across marketing, sales, and customer service in 2021. But don’t just take our word for it. The data support a case for brand video as a vital component of an effective B2B inbound marketing strategy.
Let’s dig in and explore how to make the most of the opportunity.
Use of Video is High Among Marketers
86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool,
up from 85% in 2019, and 61% in 2016.
HubSpot cites the 2021 Wyzowl State of Video Marketing report, which shows a huge shift in use of video as a marketing tool between 2016 (61%) and today (86%). Note that growth jumped dramatically between 2016 and 2018, and has only ticked around in the mid-80-percents during the past few years, suggesting an opportunity that some marketers are still missing.
How do these percentages point to opportunity? Consider these points:
86% of businesses report using video as a marketing tool
93% of marketers who use video consider it an important tactic in their strategy
More than 99% of marketers who use video expect to continue using it
87% report positive ROI from their video content (a rocket-blast up from the mere 33% in 2015)
84% say video has helped them generate leads
Of those who don’t use video, 69% expect to start in 2021
Audiences Prefer Video Over Other Media
85% of people want to see more video from brands in 2021.
Long before 2020 rolled around, video became central to our lives. Now, it’s ubiquitous:
When asked how they’d prefer to learn about a product or service, 69% would choose a short video
94% of marketers agree that video has increased understanding of their product or service
People are TWICE as likely to share video over other types of online content
91% of marketers believe that the pandemic made video even more important for brands
We stream video for entertainment. We play, pause, and replay video content for DIY projects. We use video resources in our research to solve complex problems in the workplace, to evaluate and compare potential products and services, and to access technical support for products we already use.
Marketers who are paying attention have taken note of video’s storytelling superpower: All in one medium, you can show AND tell, getting your point across to your target audience, more quickly, simply, and effectively.
Think back to some of the trends that swept the country in 2020, as the isolation of pandemic lockdowns closed in and people looked for connection and ways to take care of themselves. Maybe you participated in some of them. There were memorable home workouts, whipped coffee, and sourdough. There were countless home office DIY projects.
Wistia reported a 120% increase in hours watched per week from early March 2020, peaking toward the end of April, as people adjusted to pandemic life. Even before the lockdowns began in the U.S., Wistia saw a 42% increase in weekly uploads over 2019.
All the interest in online video points to increasing competition for attention in 2021. To cut through the increasing noise and connect with users, Wistia recommends a few lessons from TikTok that resonate perfectly with B2B content creators:
Carve out and own your niche
Embrace the authenticity of less-than-ideal production conditions
Keep the narrative simple
Video Marketing Content Gets Results
86% of video marketers say it increased traffic to their website and 83% say video helps increase time on page.
86% believe video increased traffic to their website
83% report that video has helped increase time on page
84% say video has helped them generate leads
94% agree that video increases user understanding of their products and services
78% report that video has directly helped increase sales
While attracting viewers is obviously important, watch time is an important indicator of how engaging and effective your video content really is.
Video has not only continued to play a major role in driving business performance; it has become a vital tool that’s useful at every step in your customer’s buyer journey. Video offers a starting point for learning about your product or service, getting to know your company culture, and much more.
Interactive, navigable video content puts users in control, improving user experience and strengthening video’s contribution as a decisive factor in transforming a prospect into a purchaser.
Social Media and Video Content Work Hand in Hand
Over 1 billion hours of video are watched daily on YouTube in 100+ countries and 80 languages.
When considering distribution channels for B2B marketing video content, social media is no longer just an option: It’s an absolute must.
LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — the top social networks — have helped companies build brand awareness, push fresh content, and even attract and recruit skilled workers in a shrinking labor pool. They’ve improved their functionality to offer higher-quality video streaming and more interactive features to help advertisers connect with audiences.
The line between personal and professional use of platforms is also blurring. Remember, a lot more happened in 2020 than “just” a global pandemic. Brands went out on a limb in some cases as they sharpened and articulated their positions on political upheaval, racism, justice, and in many cases, hyperlocal support for those most affected by the pandemic.
Many B2B buyers and potential new hires are evaluating companies’ content in their decision-making process. In fact, a brand’s support for people during the pandemic ranked higher (56%) than offering value for the money or producing high-quality products (both 49%). Social media platforms continue to maintain a strong ecosystem for video, with webinars performing extremely well:
YouTube remains on top of social media with 89% of video marketers using it
Facebook dropped lower in marketers’ focus, but remains strong at 70%
LinkedIn follows close behind at 63%
TikTok’s use doubled as a marketing tool, from 10% in 2019 to 20% in 2020
62% of video marketers used webinars in 2020, up from 46% the previous year
Of webinar marketers, 91% say they were successful
Now’s the Time for (Lights, Camera)…Action
Have you put off incorporating video into your B2B inbound marketing strategy? If so, now’s the time to start — or risk being left in the competition’s dust.
The most often-cited reasons marketers don’t invest in video content include concerns about expense, ROI, time, and simply not knowing where to start. (Of course, no one wants to make a bad video.)
We can help. To get started, check out our exhaustive library of video marketing resources, all specifically tailored to the needs of B2B marketers in complex industries. Naturally, our resources feature videos you can watch, too.
It’s important to keep in mind that working with an efficient, expert team can actually help your marketing video production investment achieve greater ROI — while saving time and making the absolute best use of your resources, from internal personnel to budgets.
So, if you’re looking for help creating engaging, compelling video content that supports your B2B inbound marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Weidert Group. We’re ready to help you create content that attracts, engages, and delights your audience — and that generates leads and drives sales.
Posted by Isaiah Wells Isaiah is our Director of Video and spearheads our video capabilities and services. He brings more than 15 years of experience creating video assets for a variety of industries and has worked with clients including Pfizer, GE, and Briggs & Stratton.