You're creating videos and distributing them through Facebook, YouTube, your blog, and paid media opportunities to generate hundreds to millions of views. But are you forgetting LinkedIn, one of the most important channels for B2B marketers?
LinkedIn has documented research indicating that members of the "buying committee" are more likely to connect with vendors on LinkedIn than any other social media platform.
So, if video is good for business (Dell Inc. Enterprise Solutions Group increased its revenue 8% largely because its ramped-up video marketing efforts got 6.5 million views), and if LinkedIn is good for business, then combining the two makes sense.
Here are three ways to make that combo work for your B2B organization.
1. Turn your boring resume-looking profile into an interactive marketing tool
If your LinkedIn profile (or your sales and marketing team members') reads like an impressive resume, it might sell you (or your team) to HR executives and recruiters. But it won't do a good job connecting you with decision-makers and influencers. Your prospects are looking at your profile not because they want recruit you but because they are considering doing business with you. Your profile should be designed to "sell" you and your organization's products and solutions.
When you read my LinkedIn profile, you'll see my story, highlighting the difficulties I experienced as the director of creative services for International Paper (IP) when we needed to produce videos to explain the intricacies of antitrust regulation, printing technology, and the affect of quality on production.
When videographers focused on creating visually stunning, award-winning short films, the message that IP was trying to communicate often got lost. On LinkedIn I share how those experiences shaped the methodology I started to use when I left IP to start my own video marketing firm, which creates two-minute explainer videos.
Right below my summary, you'll find a one-minute animated video that reiterates our company's marketing messages in a way that prospects can visualize and remember. They can now see the value we offer, and why it matters.
In my profile's experience section, I created positions to show how I worked with technology companies in many segments of the IT industry: e.g., services (CA and IBM), logistics (UPS), manufacturing (Rockwell Automation). Under each position, videos showcase our work.
2. Generate more leads
Now, with a strong LinkedIn profile foundation that's filled with engaging videos, you and your sales/marketing team will attract more prospects. Plus, you'll have more prospects accepting your invitations to connect. Now what?
You need to nourish those relationships until they become viable leads. Most people's connections become "dead" connections if there is no initial interest. That's why you need to create a LinkedIn community that's alive with video content: 72% percent of senior executives research an organization after watching a B2B video marketing campaign, according to International Data Group.
That's why you need to be sharing videos with content that connects with target audiences, creates conversations, and leads to commerce. Then, create discussions based on the videos in your own LinkedIn community and in other LinkedIn groups that your targeted audiences belong to. The discussions should then link to your videos, which should include a call to action to download your whitepaper, webinar, e-book, or other offering so you can capture leads.
3. Improve your outreach efforts
At some point you'll want to take your LinkedIn conversations offline (i.e., out of LinkedIn and into a more personal and interactive connection—phone, a video chat, Google hangout, or whatever works for you). Before you do that, it's a good idea to provide additional material your prospect can watch or read before the call.
I know of an organization that provides prospects with an e-book to read before there is a phone conversation. If that organization gets the prospect to read at least 30 pages, there is an 80% chance of a conversion. Now, since visual information can be processed much faster than print, I suggest testing using videos instead of an e-book or whitepaper.
Videos such as customer testimonials and short product demos will certainly work well in this context. By providing such additional information, you will improve engagement, increase your prospect's comfort level with you as a vendor, and make the conversation flow more smoothly. Your prospects will begin to visualize how they might work with you before they even speak to you.
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In short, if LinkedIn is an underutilized marketing asset, then video content is certainly underutilized in LinkedIn right now. You should be taking advantage of that undervaluation—because it's easy to do, and because it will make it easier for prospects using LinkedIn for research to do business with you.