As BtoB marketers turn to interactive tools and tactics to engage prospects and optimize lead generation campaigns, research shows that video is becoming an increasingly viable source for engagement and enhanced response.
According to Forrester Research, video in email campaigns can increase click-through rates by as much as 2-3 times. In a recent webinar titled “How to Increase B2B Leads 200% By Using Video,” Joe Eldridge, VP & Co-Founder at Visible Gains, offered a BtoB take on how marketers can integrate video into campaigns for effective customer engagement throughout the sales cycle.
While YouTube is the common starting point for many videos, Eldridge said there are many more opportunities to integrate video into emails, landing pages and product demos. According to a 2009 video marketing benchmark report, online video is second only to word of mouth for its ability to influence decision makers in every stage of the purchase lifecycle. Video can drive awareness of a brand’s product and/or service, leads, customer acquisition and loyalty.
The following are four key objectives driving video usage among BtoB marketers, according to Eldrige:
- Achieving higher email open and click through rates associated with the opportunity to watch a video;
- Achieving higher conversion rates associated with watching a video (theory is that people that are tentative on the offer are more likely to take it);
- Putting a face to the company and increasing brand perception by connecting with prospects using a short authentic video;
- The opportunity to better explain a complex product or service offering using a thought leader in the business.
In any demand-driven effort, tangible ROI is imperative. Eldridge said video marketers should measure opt-in (who actually clicked through to watch the video); bounce rates (how many dropped off before the video ended); completion rate and conversion rate. Eldridge noted that 17 seconds appears to be the “magic number” when video viewers drop off.
“You need to be measuring these things in order to really talk about ROI, particularly with an overview video,” Eldridge said in the webinar. “It’s got to be compared to the actual key components to ROI for video: time spent; cost (production); and what impact it has on your funnel (increases in leads/opportunities). Funnels work faster with video. That means more sales efficiency, which is a good thing.”
Eldridge offered the following benchmarks for video success:
- Opt-In rate of greater than 40%;
- Bounce rates less than 10%;
- Completion rate greater than 80%;
- Conversion rate greater than 40%.
Although video has been commonly viewed as a costly endeavor, Eldridge said it’s a misconception, and there are simple ways to create video content without breaking the bank. “Business casual” videos can effectively communicate company messaging and overviews within 1-to-3 minutes, while product overviews can give prospects a detailed explanation for visual impact. But Eldridge cautioned marketers to be aware of several things to avoid, like music intervals, fading to black, lengthy segments and overt humor (which, he said, he difficult to pull off in a BtoB video.)
By utilizing video throughout the customer lifecycle, marketers can leverage a funnel-focused approach to interactive marketing. Eldridge offered the following “types” of video for BtoB marketing:
- Engage- By giving prospects added content, companies can connect to increase downloads of e-Books, white papers, webinars and other sales materials, expand on company events and offerings or post topical information relevant to prospects;
- Nurture- By providing an overview of specific products or services, marketers can keep in touch and share demos and testimonials for added value;
- Close- By sending follow-ups or proposals relevant to prospects, marketers can make the connection between the audience and the sales prospects to demonstrate authenticity and credibility.
During the webinar, Eldridge compared approaching video with learning to swim: get your feet wet by simply taking footage of something familiar; learn to do something simple, like an interview clip or voiceover diagram, and practice regularly. “The consumption habits for video are going through the roof and that is creating the drive for marketers to use the medium,” Eldridge told DemandGen Report. “With regard to adoption for a BtoB given marketer, the key stumbling block is education on how videos can be created and used for effective business communications. We have had very strong interest in educational material and our coaching program and we have found that over 90% of marketers that are successful with their first 2 videos then operationalize the creation of regular videos across multiple parts of their customer lifecycle.”