March 04, 2015

Video in Your B2B Content Marketing Mix

It seems that each year is “The Breakout Year” for video in content marketing. 
2015 is no exception. For good reason.
Video's rise in consumption reflects an inevitable march toward total world domination!
Here are just two of the forecasts from the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI).
  • It would take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2018
  • Globally, IP video traffic will be 79% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013
These forecasts cover IP video traffic overall--which includes the streaming of a lot of entertainment content plus a relatively small slice of B2B marketing video.
Still, they demonstrate a couple of trends for B2B marketers.
First, content creation, distribution, delivery and engagement technologies, including mobile, have improved enough that it is feasible to access all that video.
Second, people really like watching video!
Plus, for B2B marketers, platforms are getting more sophisticated. Along with measurement and tracking, there’s more capability for viewers to engage with your video—click on calls-to-action or navigate to other content—without a lot of friction.
Q: So should you consider video for your B2B marketing?
A: Yes, clearly.
Q: Should you rearrange the deck chairs (and the budget) to focus on video?
A: Let’s see.

It's the Content Marketing, Stupid

Luckily, tried-and-true Content Marketing best practices come to our rescue here:
  • Who are your targets?
  • What information needs do they have in the intersection of their jobs and your offerings?
  • Do they show an affinity for consuming information as video?
  • Where in the engagement cycle will video have the most impact?
The answers will depend on your target personas and their information needs overtheir engagement cycles. It cannot be stressed enough that the decisions of if, when, where, and how to use video cannot be properly made until you have the usual discovery, analyses, and content planning completed.
For each content opportunity, ask yourself questions like, do moving pictures enhance the information transfer and increase engagement? Would an infographic or text piece work better?

Wired for Video

Keep in mind that video has one trump card: it is Brain Candy!
From facial recognition to audio & language processingemotional susceptibility, and plain old motion detection, our brains are wired to respond to video. More precisely, they are wired to keep us alive in a real world full of scary interpersonal dynamics and nasty predators hidden behind bushes.
By leveraging all that evolutionary wiring, video is currently the best stand-in for real-life brain stimulus. (Do stay tuned for my future article, “Holograms in Your B2B Marketing Mix!”)
To boil it down, your market and content planning will let you answer the question: Is there incremental value in the video presentation of your content over--or in conjunction with--written text or infographics?

Don’t Video in a Vacuum

Whether it’s a tent pole or a supporting content piece, in most cases, a video should not be a one-off, standalone piece. It should be integrated into a content plan, including planned promotion pieces, supporting copy, and additional premium content. The creative can be leveraged into posters, infographics, and blog posts. Longer videos can have trailers and teasers. The video can have a call-to-action to the next information need in the engagement map.
To make your videos discoverable and shareable, have a plan. Research and use the right keywords in the titles, descriptions and tags. Don't forget to name drop customers, products, technologies and notable personalities appearing in the video.
More generally, optimize your video channel for the right look and feel in-line with your brand.

Planning First, Video Second

So should you be embracing more video?
First, do your target market and content planning. Then you'll know.
(Hint: Yes!)

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