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Selling in the B2B space can be challenging for a variety of reasons. It can be tough to identify the right person within an organization to target—or persons. The decision-making process may be long and populated with a number of different people who must be influenced to close the sale. And, especially for B2B technology marketers, products can be complex.
For all of these reasons and because, at least for the foreseeable future, face-to-face sales may be out of the picture, video can be a technology marketer’s best friend.
Kyle Elliott, MPA, CHES, is the founder and career coach behind CaffeinatedKyle.com and specializes in high tech and Silicon Valley. “Video is a marketing secret weapon,” says Elliott. But, he says: “While many marketers harness the power of video to appeal to consumers, they often struggle to use it strategically and effectively.”
Jim Costa agrees. Costa is a professional photographer and video producer. His own YouTube channel has more than 4500 completed projects and millions of views. He uses social media videos, particularly through YouTube to advertise and grow his business as well as the businesses of his clients.
He follows some very specific, and targeted, approaches to promote his own videos as well as his clients’. Costa releases new videos every week on Wednesdays by 12:00 p.m. PST “like clockwork.” Once published live on YouTube, he links to the videos on his other social media sites to draw traffic to his YouTube channel and his business. “having a regular release schedule is critical,” he says. “You must think of your channel content like your favorite TV show. It airs at the same time on the same channel every week.”
Regular releases and strategic cross-promotion, says Costa, are the key to creating a comprehensive growth strategy. And video is a great tool to do just that.
“In my opinion, videos are an extremely important part of every marketing strategy,” says Sandra Kaminska-Paciorek is marketing and PR manager for Nibble Video. “Since the majority of businesses had to shift to the online world in 2020, the digital space is more saturated than ever. To beat the competition, marketers need to be creative in ways of promoting their brands and videos are a great way of doing so.” In addition, she notes, with social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter introducing “stories,” marketers will be looking for ways to use options and video is a great way to do that.
Especially during the pandemic, video has offered B2B marketers and business development pros the opportunity to get in front of key audiences virtually.
“Speaking directly to the camera using selfie mode is a powerful opportunity to speak directly to and directly with your audience,” says Elliott.
In addition, driven by the popularity of sites like Instagram and TikTok, video doesn’t have to be expensive to produce. B2B marketers can easily create their own videos in-house. As Elliott says: “I prefer in-house video creation as it is cost-effective, authentic and resonates well with my target audience,” says Elliott. “Cellphones have developed dramatically over the last few years, making my iPhone a powerful video capturing and editing tool.”
Strategy for 2021
Elliott says that he will be “doubling down” on video creation in 2021. “There is no better way for prospective clients to experience my energy than via video.”
Jason Wong has been building eCommerce companies since he was 15 years old. With his background in supply-chain management, product development, and digital marketing he has generated significant revenue for his own brands and the Fortune 50 clients that he consults for. In 2021, says Wong, he plans to optimize more for SEO keywords and search intent. This is, he says, a way for YouTube to recognize what your video is about and recommend it to people by using YouTube tags. “Your first tag should be the target keyword when attaching tags to your video,” he says. “This allows YouTube to understand the content better. The rest of the tags should be variants of this keyword.” Tags, says Wong, are important to YouTube’s algorithm, so it’s important to include them.
Kaminska-Paciorek says that video use on social media channels is likely to see rapid growth in 2021. “Social selling is already a trending buzzword among the digital marketing community as we all know that people buy from people—not brands,” she says. Her plan for 2021 is to produce more in-house content with limited editing. TikTok has proven that homemade, unedited video content can be as successful as a professional video,” she says.
Kaminska-Paciorek is already seeing interest from her clients in producing more video explainers. “Animated video explainers work magic when it comes to boosting on-site engagement and increasing conversions and they make catchy social media content too,” she says.
As you consider how you will use video strategically to build awareness and business in 2021, here’s a recommendation for a New Year’s resolution based on a recommendation from Costa—vow to fill out all of the backend YouTube information on every video you post. “The description, the keywords, the subtitles—all of it.” Doing so, he says, will allow YouTube to properly categories your video so it can be found much easier.
Costa also recommends linking to other videos on your channel. The goal is to encourage viewers to watch your entire video and then click through to other videos. “If people fully watch one of your videos all the way through and then click over to another video on your channel, YouTube will promote your videos to other watchers which will grow your channel further,” he says.
Clearly, 2021 is going to continue to be a strong year for video. How will you build video into your 2021 marketing strategy?
Linda Pophal, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Published on Mar 9, 2021
<p>For the foreseeable future, face-to-face sales may be out of the picture, but video can be a technology marketer’s best friend. A look at how B2B technology marketers can leverage video to capture and engage customers in 2021.</p>