In the past year, with so many people forced to work from home, video elevated its importance in helping tech marketers communicate with prospects and customers. The drive to use video has also been fueled by the decreasing cost of bandwidth and 5G technologies that deliver more data at a faster rate. Prospects and customers now expect to see high-resolution video content all the time, which means the quality of the videos your B2B marketing team produces must keep pace.
To take on the challenge, many marketing departments have created teams dedicated specifically to producing video assets. This is the case at The Lenbrook Group of Companies, which provides innovative products for music lovers around the world through three brands—NAD Electronics, PSB Speakers, and Bluesound.
June Ip, the vice president of marketing at Lenbrook, recently said in a phone interview, “We want our video production team to be hyper-focused on quality and tight scripting so our videos will deliver effective communication to our target prospects. Considering TikTok, where amateurs produce fantastic video content, audiences expect more from brands that have the budget to produce higher-quality content.”
Quite simply, today’s audiences expect TV-like and movie-like quality. Fail to deliver and they likely won’t watch your videos—no matter how on-target your value proposition is.
While iPhone cameras work well when it’s one person talking to the audience on a personal level, you need to make sure the lighting is sufficient, the audio is clean, and the editing keeps each clip moving at a face pace to keep audiences engaged.
B2B video marketing trends
One of the key video trends Ip points out is that the majority of videos are now watched while the sound is off. This makes it critical to use captions. Otherwise, the entire message of a video could fail to register with viewers.
Ip adds that video is particularly effective as “How To” content to educate customers on interacting with products and services, such as showing and explaining screenshots or how to build or fix a product.
Another important consideration is that “Talking Head” videos are generally not effective when explaining a concept or presenting a thought-leadership opinion. People can read longer-form content that’s written much faster and can generally absorb it better.
For additional trends in B2B video marketing, we also talked with Gina Sansivero, the vice president of marketing and corporate communications at AtlasIED, a global electronics manufacturer of audio, communications, and security solutions.
Sansivero recommends engaging customers in a way that makes them think your product is relevant to their story, and capturing their attention with animation, lots of color, and lots of movement.
“Use 3-D videos when possible,” Sansivero adds. “They take longer to produce and require more technology resources, but they’re great for showcasing product installations and helping viewers imagine themselves in the environment with the product.”
Another suggestion from Sansivero is to produce video case studies by going onsite to client locations. This demonstrates how your product works in the customer environment.
She also says to keep videos promoting a product as short as possible: less than 90 seconds is ideal for websites and platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, and social media videos should run less than 30 seconds. No video should ever be more than three minutes long unless it’s educational.
A medium for emotional connection
A great example of video success for Lenbrook was a campaign asking customers to tell a story about the first music amplifier they purchased.
Several customers responded, and Lenbrook sent a video crew to capture their stories. They asked how customers found out about the amplifier, the first song they listened to, and how it made them feel.
“We created nostalgic moments on camera, including a father handing down an amplifier to his son and listening to music together,” Ip says.
“The campaign created a strong emotional connection between us and our customers, and it’s something that was much more effective using video.”
More capabilities on the horizon
Ip points out that video will continue to improve as Wi-Fi 6 and 5Ghz standards come into play. Both will expand the bandwidth of mobile devices, which will increase access to higher-resolution videos.
Streaming technologies will also adapt when less bandwidth is available on Wi-Fi networks running too many devices at the same time. The technology will manage the amount of data delivered to each device so there’s a constant stream with less latency, skipping and buffering
Sansivero expects to see an uptick in hybrid events that merge in-person interactions with video interactions. These could involve trade shows where some customers meet with companies at the event while others watch remotely and interact with the live presentations.
This model could also be used at product launches.
Other communications are important, too
Customers like to consume information in different ways—reading, listening, watching—and at different levels of attention. To reach the largest audience possible, you need to use multiple channels.
That’s why Ip says it’s important to realize video is not a panacea meant to replace other forms of communication such as email, texting, still images, podcasts, and social media posts.
“You can’t invest just in video at the expense of your other marketing programs,” Ip warns. “Choose the right medium or a combination of mediums that takes advantage of all your options within the context of what your marketing team is trying to communicate.”
Ip also recommends marketing teams be diligent about following video basics: “Storyboard each video to get a sense of the flow and use a tight script to keep the video flowing. Always use good lighting and check to make sure the speakers articulate well and use fluctuations with their voice.”
Following this advice is similar to developing other marketing assets. It’s all about devising a plan first, and then making the message as clear and as short as possible—so your message will be understood and your audience will be entertained at the same time.
This post originally appeared on our sister site, M2T: Marketing to Tech Pros.