video camera

Online video has quickly become one of the most popular medium in the B2B marketer’s digital toolkit. And for good reason. Video, with its immediacy, popularity, and viral potential, represents a unique opportunity for B2B brands to reach a receptive audience with a truly authentic and captivating message.

For B2B tech brands, video may also be a powerful sales tool. According to a recent report from IDG, which surveyed more than 2,200 business and IT decision-makers, nearly 95 percent of respondents use video to research a technology product or service. And viewing tech-related videos positively correlates with their purchase behaviors. Of the B2B tech buyers that watched product or service related videos, 46 percent said they purchased a product after viewing a related video. The report also found that after watching such a video, nearly two-thirds of respondents actively researched the product or service further and nearly half visited a vendor’s site or contacted the firm directly for more information. These are powerful findings for any B2B tech marketer looking to capture prospects’ attention and lead them through the buying process.

So, where does video fit into your marketing strategy? The first step is identifying what type of information your prospects are looking for at each stage in the buying cycle and mapping out what type of video will be most effective in delivering that information to them, ultimately helping to moving them through the sales process.

There are three main types of videos you can make for this audience: corporate brand videos, product demos and testimonials or case studies. Corporate brand videos can generally be ruled out as an effective sales tool. While they play an important role in telling a firm’s story to a larger audience, especially recruits, they generally do not provide the type of information a prospect is looking for when making a purchasing decision.

We saw this first hand with one of our technology clients. Research revealed that when making a buying decision, their clients – superintendents of public schools across the U.S – were most influenced by their peers, especially those from neighboring districts. As a result, we created a video series showcasing testimonials directly from customers, highlighting their positive experiences with the firm and how they had been able to leverage the firm’s technology solutions to achieve significant cost savings for their districts. A prospect could access these testimonials through an interactive map on the firm’s website, thus receiving the type of localized information they wanted at that stage in the buying process.

Video can also be a powerful tool for explaining a complex or confusing concept. Another key insight from our research of this client revealed that prospects were wary of their proprietary software. Many referred to it as a “black box” because they did not understand the complex algorithm that made the technology so effective. To counter this skepticism, we created a demo video that simplified the software and clearly communicated its benefits to the customer.

Both of these video initiatives have been highly effective for our client, helping them communicate their unique value proposition to prospects in a highly engaging manner and, ultimately, lead them through the sales process. Importantly, the videos provide prospects with the right information at the right time.

For any B2B marketer looking to incorporate video into their marketing strategy, the key first step is to understand what type of information your prospects need throughout their decision making process. Paying attention to this sort of data, and tailoring your online marketing strategy so that you are serving prospects what they want when they want it, will go a long way toward informing and influencing their buying decisions and improving the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts.