B2B marketers are using video more and more. In fact, they reported 10% and 8% increases in their use of YouTube and Vimeo respectively in 2018 compared to 2017. Videos are primarily shared via social networks including LinkedIn and Facebook, which B2B marketers ranked as their top-used social media sites. So while an informative, entertaining or inspiring video can be a great marketing tool, its level of success hinges on how well it works for social media viewing. Video marketing is in fact one of most effective marketing strategies for B2B businesses.
The most popular and successful videos on social media fall into the categories of awareness-stage and consideration-stage content. In other words: the videos with the greatest positive impact are those that are shared on social media as informative and interesting content, rather than promotional.
But how do we get there? How do we take ideas for videos and package them into something shareable and entertaining that can be viewed across these social platforms? These four B2B video marketing tips will help you create mobile- and social-friendly video content that gets your company seen.
Tip #1: Select the Right Video Topics
The specific types of videos you make depends upon the buyer’s journey stage for which you’re using the content. Most successful social media videos for B2B marketing are made for audiences either in the awareness or consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. That means that the viewer is either:
- just beginning to research and learn about the need they have that may lead them to seek your products or services, or…
- thinking about the product or service you offer as the solution to their need
For awareness-stage videos, work backwards from a particular question that one of your buyer personas might have—like, “How do I create LinkedIn Sponsored Content?” Often, this is a question you might answer with a blog, which can be a great starting point to create an informative video: facts from the blog can be used as overlaid text (see tip #3) in a video of stock footage or B-roll. These awareness-stage videos are very popular on platforms like Facebook and are a great way to share information with prospects who may not have taken the time to read a whole blog, or to tease blog content for prospects who will want to click the link you share in the video’s description to learn more.
For consideration-stage videos, you can start to make your content a bit more specific to your company and what you provide. This is a good opportunity to create “behind-the-scenes” videos that let prospects know what you’re all about. These videos are great not only for ordinary social media posting, but also for sponsored and targeted posts. Users who have already visited your website are the perfect audience towards which to aim consideration-stage video content about your company.
Tip #2: Figure Out the Right Ratio and Resolution
The aspect ratio of a video is the proportion of its height to its width on the screen, or its dimensions. You need to determine what aspect ratios your video will be viewed in before shooting, taking note that different social networking and video-sharing sites will support different aspect ratios, and that your video will be viewed on the mobile versions of those platforms.
If you don’t use the correct aspect ratio, viewers could see a confusing, unclear or incomplete image. The best way to make sure that your video is always properly viewable is to choose the platform with the smallest aspect ratio and use that as a frame of reference (literally) throughout shooting. This way, you’ll know where words and images need to be in the frame so that even if the entire shot isn’t visible to a viewer because of the platform, all the important visual information while remain present.
These days, you don’t need the latest, high-tech camera to capture a quality video, but you do need to make sure that the resolution you’re capturing in is the resolution your video will be seen in. Much as with aspect ratio, you’ll need to look at the sites you plan on sharing your video on and see what resolutions are supported by their code. The wrong resolution can affect image clarity, which is especially important if your video contains text.
Tip #3: Use Closed Captions and Overlaid Text
Since so much marketing content is being viewed on mobile devices and in public places, many people are scrolling with their sound off or volume low. Closed-captioning videos have always helped make content inclusive and accessible to a wider audience, and it serves an additional purpose now.
Your videos need to have the right text and images so that someone watching without audio will understand the story the video is made to tell. This text can be a literal transcription of what someone on-screen is saying, or it can be placed over B-roll or stock footage and summarize a longer-form blog. Whichever way you choose to incorporate text, make sure to get outside input on the effectiveness of your video without sound: it’s hard to tell if the video makes sense when you know the material so well, so an objective opinion can alert you to anything confusing or misleading in your video.
Tip #4: Re-Purpose Content
If you’re shooting your own video materials and not just using stock footage, you may find that the most time-consuming aspect of production is the initial set-up and recording of the video itself. You can make quick changes with editing later, but recording video is a time-sensitive process that’s hard to replicate if you find you need more footage later.
The best way to make sure the time you invest in shooting and creating video is commensurate to the amount of useful content you’re left with is to record more than you think you need. You never know what footage will be usable, and this is a way to make sure you at least have enough for the video you plan to make. You should also plan to make both a long-form and short-form version of your video content, and that applies to videos you make with stock footage as well.
Because different social networks have time limits on the video you can share, having a short-form video that makes sense on its own but can also be used to tease its long-form counterpart is a perfect way to make sure your videos are getting viewed and your time making them is well-spent.
Social Videos that Make a Difference
Sharing your B2B marketing videos through social media helps them reach the widest-possible audience and helps your social media content break through the clutter. The prospect of making social-ready videos can seem daunting, but when you follow these subject-matter and format guidelines, your social media marketing initiatives will shine in no time.