The COVID-19 pandemic still leaves certain trends and how to budget around them unclear. Consumption of video content, however, continues to hold strong, and businesses should take note.
In any B2B industry, it’s important to remember that while you are marketing products and services for other businesses to use, you’re still talking to another human behind the digital screen. Recognize that this person is just like you–they’re trying to make the best decisions for their business. It’s a mistake B2B marketers make all too often: they think because their target audience is other businesses, they need to take on a more dry, clinical tone. That’s not necessarily the case.
We’re seeing video content becoming more of a necessity than ever before. It’s an engaging way to directly put your brand front and center. Not to mention, since the start of the pandemic, customers may still yearn for that “human touch” which has become less common these days. We can’t be everywhere at once, but with video marketing, we can make our customers feel like we are.
At UpCity, it feels like we’ve watched video marketing evolve from a trend to an outright indispensable form of content marketing. To explore this in more detail, we surveyed 600 respondents from both the U.S. and Canada on their production plans for the future, video marketing methods, results, and production tools.
Popular Videos for B2B Marketing
If you’re still unsure of how much to prioritize video marketing for the future, consider this: According to Wyzowl’s annual State of Video Marketing Report, 86% of marketers say that video has helped them generate leads. Further, 81% of marketers say that video has helped them directly increase sales, and 94% of respondents said it has helped them increase their understanding of a product or service.
The videos these marketers are creating that yield positive engagement results include demonstration and tutorial videos, web series, behind-the-scenes content, customer testimonials, and so forth. Our survey revealed that 17% of businesses focus most of their video efforts on demonstration videos, with both company culture and tutorial videos being a close second at 16%. Not only have these videos done wonders for engagement and reducing bounce rates, but they give B2B marketers a creative way to demonstrate their services.
It’s worth noting that each type of video will require a different production approach. If a business is on the fence about which type of video to produce, it’s recommended to think of the audience they want to reach and what the goals of their campaign are. Different videos will help achieve different goals.
As more businesses understand the value of video content, companies have been implementing video into their marketing strategies in a variety of ways. Our survey revealed a fairly even split on how businesses are handling video production, with a slight preference toward an in-house team, then a third-party agency or freelancer. The breakdown is as follows:
- 37% utilize in-house video marketing/production teams
- 25% employ third-party video marketing/production companies
- 27% work with video marketing/production consultants or freelancers
For small businesses especially, in-house teams are a popular choice because it helps keep costs low and shorten the production timeline. In-house marketing helps eliminate that back-and-forth of coordination, sending visual assets, and scheduling. It also eliminates the time it takes to convey the company brand and mission because an in-house team is already immersed in it, which keeps video content in line with the company’s goals and values.
The rise in more accessible and user-friendly software solutions also helps explain why we’re seeing an upward trend of pulling video production in-house and why we may see more of this in the future; however, this preference shouldn’t be a cause for concern to those employed by third-party video production companies.
In-house marketing has its benefits, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for everyone. For small businesses with limited resources and staff, dedicating an in-house production team to video content is simply stretching employees too thin, and can be costly in other ways.
For that reason, outsourcing video production can actually be more cost-efficient in the long run. Choosing a video production agency with an experienced team can guarantee a faster delivery of content because outsourcing takes the burden off of employees and allows them to concentrate on continuing work that prioritizes the customers.
The Pandemic Continues to Shape the Future
For some companies, budgets for video production are increasing since the start of the pandemic as audiences move more and more online. However, that’s not the case for all. In fact, our survey revealed that before 2020, respondents were rating video marketing as the second most important digital marketing channel that they prioritized, but would rate them as No. 3 today.
This trend aligns with what we’ve seen with social media and search engine optimization results, as well. The pandemic forced many small businesses to home in on where they want to grow results.
Right now, how video marketing pays off remains somewhat dependent on a variety of factors. If you’re wondering how to budget and prioritize it for your future, consider both the pros and cons that apply to your business model. Some argue that while it’s great for engagement, that doesn’t directly translate to ROI and converting leads. However, enhancing landing pages and blog content with videos can pay off in the long run as it helps attract qualified leads.
One thing that’s certain: the popularity of video isn’t going anywhere. Millennials and Generation Z consumers alike have made it clear–they just want to scroll down to the video.
Dan Olson is co-founder and CEO of UpCity, a resource that connects millions of businesses with over 100,000 B2B service providers they can trust. He is active in the Chicago startup community and has spent his career building technologies that enable businesses to gain visibility, build reputation, and grow revenue. Dan was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ Notable Entrepreneurs of 2019. He lives in the Chicagoland area with his wife, children, and two lovable dogs.