68% of manufacturers stated they plan to increase their spending on video in 2010, according to a recent industrial marketing trends survey conducted by GlobalSpec.
In fact, video has rapidly become an important business-to-business marketing tactic, for a number of reasons:
- Higher bandwidth connections allow for smooth video streaming
- Video is inexpensive and easy to produce
- People respond to video—it takes less effort than reading and in an era where many are glued to the screen it’s a preferred medium
You can accomplish a number of goals with video – including promoting your brand, educating prospects and customers, and generating leads – by including a call-to-action at the end of the video.
To achieve marketing success with video, follow this three-step process:
Take One: Create
The first thing you need to decide is what you will make a video about. Start with analyzing the audience you want to reach and understanding what will be relevant and interesting to them. A demo of your products, an interview with an executive or industry expert, even a scripted skit with characters showing your value proposition are all appropriate subject matter.
Video, unlike other media, carries the expectation of some degree of entertainment with your audience. Therefore, you must find a tradeoff between providing information (interviews, demos, Webinars) and entertainment (drama, comedy, music). Consider an interview that includes a few “lighter” questions, or filming a scene that demonstrates your company’s value proposition or products being used in a memorable way.
To produce the video, any digital camcorder with a decent microphone should do the job. One big benefit of the proliferation of video and sites like YouTube is that expensive and elaborately-produced videos are no longer a requirement. That doesn’t mean you create a shoddy, poorly-lighted or hard to hear video; it means that home-made, handheld quality video has become acceptable, even hip. No need to spend thousands of dollars on a snazzy corporate production. In fact, don’t.
Attention spans are short, so keep your video short. Three minutes or less is a good guideline. Anything longer than that and you’re probably covering too much territory and should break up the video into a number of shorter segments. An exception to this guideline is if you are recording a Webinar or demo; in that case you may need to go longer.
For most videos, the first ten seconds are the most important. You must grab your viewer’s attention in much the same way that a headline or subject line must grab a reader’s attention. Therefore, carefully plan your first ten seconds to have maximum impact.
Take Two: Promote
To promote your videos, start by posting them online on your Web site and linking to them. GlobalSpec offers clients the ability to add video (and other social media) links on their company profile pages, which can help drive qualified prospects to your video.
Another best practice is to upload videos to YouTube and other video sharing sites. With YouTube, you can fill in a title and compose keywords. The keywords will help your video show up as a “related video” when other videos using similar keywords are played on YouTube.
Promote your video in e-newsletter advertisements and other e-mail marketing. You can link to videos from your e-mail signature. If you have a blog, use it to promote videos. If you host or sponsor an online discussion forum for customers, link to any videos that explain or show your products.
Take Three: Measure
As with any marketing tactic, you want to measure results so you can evaluate the effectiveness of your video marketing. And as with any online marketing, measurement is easy. In addition to the usual metrics such as page view and clicks on the video, try to track how long viewers watch the video. Are they staying through to the end or abandoning it? Is there a certain point in the video where drop off is apparent? When using, YouTube, take advantage of YouTube Insight, its reporting tool that tracks the statistics and performance of videos you upload to its site.
Learn from your results. You can discover which videos are popular with your audience and which are duds; also, which methods work best for helping your video get noticed and watched.