If you're a B2B marketer, churning out awesome content in the form of whitepapers, articles, case studies, and the like is good—but you're going to need more if you want people to keep paying attention.
Today's audiences love watching online video.
Studies show that online video improves email click-through rates, sales conversions, and search engine rankings; it's no wonder marketers are funneling more budget dollars into this tantalizing medium.
So what's a B2B marketer to do to capitalize on all the video love?
Start producing more video content. But where's all this new video content supposed to come from? Don't worry, just take a look at the following list of content sources that are right underneath your nose. You'll have more ideas than you could possibly exhaust in the next 18 months.
Online video has just begun to boom, which means you have a golden opportunity to take content you've already created, update it, and release it in video format.
For example, take the key points from a whitepaper you wrote four months ago, add some new insights and create a few five-minute-long educational videos.
Or, collect blog topics on a common subject and create visual slides that illustrate key points, show how things have changed, and predict what's to come in the future. Narrate those slides using a voiceover... and your video is ready.
Innovating with video gives you a second chance to showcase content that few may have ever seen.
Studies show the vast majority of people who download whitepapers, special reports, and the like never read them.
You'd be wise to assume that anywhere from 70% to 90%, or more, of the people who downloaded your last whitepaper fully intended to read it, but didn't.
What's more, many of those who did download your report will not even remember having done so after a few weeks or months.
So video gives you a chance to come back up to bat with updated content in a medium that is more likely to be consumed.
Creating video will also win over those who did read your whitepaper the first time around. By providing a video version of a topic they enjoyed, you're one step closer to making a sale.
- Videos are easier to pass around. It's much easier for your prospects to email a video link to someone than to attach a PDF file. Videos are also more likely to be welcomed by the recipient, as watching a three- or four-minute video is more appealing than reading an eight-page whitepaper. As your videos get shared around your prospect's organization, more key influencers are likely to see and consume the content.
- You have enough right now to get going. Odds are you have enough content to repurpose into video that will keep your audience interested for the next several months, maybe longer.
2. Whitepapers: Create Video Executive Summaries
Create short video executive summaries to go with your whitepapers and...
- You'll increase downloads of your whitepaper. (Just be sure to locate the video on the public landing page, before registration is required.)
- You'll increase sharing of your new whitepaper. Make it easy to share by including one-click sharing tools such as email-a-friend, share on LinkedIn, etc.
3. Case Studies: Create Video Versions
If you’re committed to creating case studies by going to the trouble of interviewing clients, why not take it one step further by capturing the interview on audio (via the phone) or video (via webcam or live interview)?
Audio recording is easy to do and can be edited into your video as a voiceover. But directly capturing the interview on video is just as easy nowadays and needn't be a logistical nightmare.
4. Webinars: Snip and Expand
Have you delivered webinars? An hour-long webinar can be snipped into several shorter video topics.
Taking things further, you can go deeper on key topics from the webinar by creating additional slides.
Or, add value by addressing common questions you received before, during, or after the webinar.
"Bookend" the webinar segment with a short introduction and conclusion—in the form of new slides with a voiceover, or a spokesperson from your company speaking on camera.
5. Give a Sneak Peek at Upcoming Content
Why not build some buzz and anticipation about your upcoming webinar (or whitepaper, or product launch) a few weeks in advance with a brief teaser
video that will stimulate registrations and conversion.
You can also increase live attendance at a webinar by sending out video reminders leading up to the event; you'll have more "warm" leads to follow up with after the event.
6. Tradeshows and Conferences: Interview Customers
Get more out of your tradeshow and conference budget by recording video of conversations with customers and colleagues. Here's how.
Do a roving-reporter update. A conference attendee from your company could record this type of video amateur style, with a portable HD camera. (Or you could hire a videographer to join you.)
Uploads to your company blog or website can be done the same day, and notifications of the videos can be sent to your email list during the live event. These video uploads will...
- Position your company as being in the center of the industry action.
- Piggyback on your customers' awareness of the event, increasing their likelihood to view the video.
- Give you an opportunity to participate in the real-time discussion about the event on social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Host a More Formal Roundtable. If you're planning a formal gathering with customers and clients, why not host a roundtable discussion about key industry issues and record the conversation?
The added benefit: All participants can use the footage to create content that's useable for their audience, thereby increasing your exposure exponentially.
(Note: Hiring a videographer may be much more cost-effective than you think. After you've budgeted for flights, accommodations, and conference fees, the cost of hiring a local videographer is merely incremental.)
7. Create a Content-Rich Microsite
If your organization is already committed to content development as a marketing strategy, odds are you're familiar with the concept of creating a content-rich microsite to showcase your published materials.
The microsite can be branded in your corporate brand, or you can create a new brand for putting the content front and center while your brand is positioned as the site sponsor. One example is CMO.com, which is branded and developed by Omniture.
And, of course, a microsite is a great venue for videos.
8. Get Personal with a Q&A Session
Most B2B marketers are struggling in their attempts to make authentic connections with customers. According to Forrester:
"As business-to-business (B2B) marketers recognize the power of video for creating emotional, engaging connections with prospects, most struggle to make this medium personal and persuasive.
"As production costs drop, capturing buyer attention with video requires marketers to step outside their comfort zone and replace lackluster corporate collateral with live-action demonstrations and stories."
One great solution is to shoot a Q&A session, showcasing a person from your company who delivers key messages in a relaxed, casual manner by answering questions.
Putting a human face to your organization helps establish credibility and is the best way to demonstrate authenticity. Q&A interviews tend to take on a genuine, sincere tone, which resonates with viewers.
When choosing your on-camera personalities, consider the company president or founder, and others whose job titles match those of your target audience.