5 B2B video marketing trends you can’t miss
The B2B world continues to evolve: find out in this blog post the 5 B2B video marketing trends you can’t miss!
In this time of uncertainty, the only thing we can be sure of is that the B2B world continues, relentlessly, to evolve. B2B video marketing remains one of the largest areas of investment for budgets dedicated to content and in this post we will see the 5 B2B video marketing trends you can’t miss!
The common roots of B2B video marketing trends
Within the unique business landscape characterized by different organizational charts, decision flows, and buying groups depending on the target company, B2B marketers are faced with an increasingly complex sales process to be able to identify and then intercept real decision makers and stakeholders with targeted content.
The 5 B2B video marketing trends we will describe in this post all have a common root: the unstoppable shift from a unique and somewhat exclusive, physical and face-to-face type of relationship with the individual seller to one that tends to be virtual and mediated through different digital touch points.
In its recent Future of Sales report, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of sales interactions between B2B suppliers and buyers will take place through digital channels, and that in 60% of cases, the sales process will be increasingly data-driven, downsizing the specific weight reserved for experience and intuition.
The point is that the increased interdependence of people, processes, and technology will make traditional sales models less reliable over time. As data sources become more robust and accurate, the ability of B2B marketers to map the people truly involved in decisions and to identify and then reach buyers with relevant, personalized information and propositions that are truly relevant to them, also improves.
According to Gartner, when interacting with suppliers, B2B buyers are granting increasing preference to digital and self-service channels, preferring a sale that could be described as “multi-experience”.
While customers are largely choosing to shift from in-person sales interactions to digital channels, in order to make virtual selling as smooth and efficient as possible, marketers, sales, and IT need to create and productively use adaptive systems based on hyper automation, artificial intelligence, and digital scalability.
An increasingly complex sales process
Forrester’s 2021 B2B Buying Study found that, during the pandemic, the average number of interactions required to complete a purchase increased significantly, jumping from 17 to 27 (to put this in perspective, there the required number of actions to complete a purchase increased by one point between 2017 and 2019).
The number of purchase interactions reflects an individual’s journey in their search for information about competing offers or suppliers. The increase in touch points signals greater complexity in the relationship, but also a higher risk of friction during the customer journey.
And as B2B customers rely less on in-person exchanges with vendors and much more on the internet, the focus is shifting to the entire journey, now conceived as a pathway littered with opportunities for contact, increasingly virtual and therefore experienced “remotely”. According to Forrester’s study, potential B2B customers research vendors and products online long before interacting with a vendor and, up to three-quarters of the way through, decide not to get (re)acquainted.
Useful information can be found in many different (virtual) places
Customers can find information about B2B products and services virtually anywhere:
- in one-to-many broadcasting mode (webinars or online events) to learn more about the latest tools and technologies
- by talking to colleagues, industry experts, and supplier representatives to get answers to specific questions;
- conducting one-on-one research and monitoring all kinds of sources, from social media to resources covering categories, topics, and authors of interest.
Among all the content distributed by B2B companies in 2021 on different channels, videos got the greatest response. As many as 86% of companies chose to use videos in their marketing strategy, integrating them especially on websites, social media, emails, and landing pages (source: Sagefrog, 2022).
Marketing trends that are changing the future of B2B
Since the touch points in the sales cycle are more numerous than ever – and many, as we have seen, are anonymous – in order to intercept and convince an elusive and time-poor audience of professionals, you need to offer rich and personalized content.
In this sense, video is a strategic asset within marketers’ strategies, and knowing its trends and development path is of paramount importance.
That is why we have identified the top 5 B2B video marketing trends that marketers must keep an eye on in the near future.
1. Employ sales videos throughout the funnel
Sales videos, which are made for outbound prospecting and are usually included in emails, work wonderfully. They are used with excellent results to capture a prospect’s attention in a (rare) moment of “free” time: within an invariably full inbox, emails that contain video stand out more easily among others.
The first of the 5 B2B video marketing trends we will discuss, however, occurs well beyond the initial moment of encounter: an expansion of the occasions in which sales video can operate effectively. Video is no longer just used to intercept potential customers, it’s also able to answer their questions better than other content. It can show (and demonstrate) through visual storytelling – and not simply using words – the qualities of the product or service, and, in the case of interactive videos, it plays a decisive role in nurturing an effective, more balanced dialog between the user, the sales team, and other business functions involved in the negotiation.
For all of these reasons, in 2021, 43% of companies used video sales at multiple points throughout the sales process, offering the buyer an exceptionally smooth journey.
Video is one of the most flexible tools available to marketing and sales. Throughout the sales cycle, it can support different initiatives to achieve different goals, such as informing, training, and convincing leads faster or building meaningful relationships with them that will last for years to come.
Even those who work in post-sales and customer care services and are in daily contact with the public are increasingly using video to communicate in a clearer, less labor intensive, and more personalized way.
Thirty-five percent of organizations have already started using video to support the customer experience, and 75% of professionals involved in CX design say that video offers better performance (source: Vidyard). If video does seem to create deeper relationships than email alone, the ability of video to generate conversational spaces also applies in the case of B2B contexts, where there are still real people involved, with their personalities and unique characteristics.
2. Making room for HR video
Thanks to social distancing requirements over the past two years, human resources departments have employed video in most of their activities, including perfecting best practices for conducting interviews remotely.
HR videos no longer fulfill limited and circumscribed functions but contribute significantly to a well-rounded learning experience, from recruiting to onboarding to training. They can:
- easily align all team members, employees, and new hires on common, shared positions;
- convey an image of the organization consistent with its values and reputation;
- promote corporate culture at all levels.
The second of our B2B video marketing trends suggests employing video in virtually every human resources-related process and at all stages of an employee’s life cycle, from recruitment to on-boarding, to engaging employees on company projects and policies.
3. Experimenting in the metaverse
The opportunities to connect with target audiences created in the metaverse aren’t just relevant to consumer-facing companies, they can also be seized by B2B marketers.
Even if they don’t have the technology stack developed specifically for this new ecosystem, many brands are experimenting with extended reality technologies that already exist: immersive games, VR viewers, 3D meeting rooms, and more. Some of the most interesting applications designed for the metaverse include videos, which offer viewers the opportunity to immersively experience how a product or service works in a virtual environment.
When we talk about B2B marketing, one aspect to focus on is industry communities, where opportunities for meeting, and the exchange and aggregation of information can be found at events and trade shows. During the pandemic, after suffering an initial setback, the building of these communities became completely virtual and today, they exist in a hybrid form: a mix of virtual, in-person, and on-demand interactions.
If we then consider that the business world has been profoundly reshaped by the need to work remotely and has been the most digitally connected since the beginning, it becomes clear that even in the metaverse, the audience B2B marketers are targeting is very large and equipped with the necessary tools to profitably use these new technologies.
Therefore, B2B marketers should be open to the metaverse and see it as a channel with great potential, first and foremost to connect with their target audiences, using it for virtual events and to strengthen and keep communities vital.
4. Invest in brand storytelling
To stand out from the competition, organizations are constantly striving to carve out a moment of visibility. To do so, they look for engaging ways to tell the story of their brand, their products, and their services. Brand storytelling, even in B2B, meets this need, usually aiming at building an image of recognized authority. This type of communication produces an emotional response in the audience that can be intense and consistent enough over time to positively influence brand perception.
These considerations for B2B brand storytelling can also apply to content posted on proprietary social channels, which can be extremely effective in spreading a unified and consistent point of view about the company’s history, values, and culture. Videos, in particular, are exceptional vehicles for brand social stories through which marketers can create the type of strong thought leadership that helps build trust and loyalty in the target audience.
5. Choose personalization
When it comes to a B2B video marketing strategy, the biggest mistake we risk making is thinking we’re addressing an abstract, impersonal entity. In reality, any marketing action will be aimed at recipients who are real people first and foremost, and who, like any other human being, are driven by emotional and cognitive motivations.
Although business decisions tend to be more rational and logical in nature, this does not mean that the content communicated must be formal and repulsive. Personalization, in various forms, is a key aspect of tactics that can be deployed within a B2B marketing strategy. Video marketing, email marketing, inbound marketing, and account-based marketing activities are more likely to achieve conversions, retention, and close the sale if they are designed from carefully profiled leads.
From attracting new prospects to enhancing existing customer experiences to adapt to the fickle needs of the target audience, personalization should always find a place in B2B digital video marketing projects. But that’s not enough: you need to publish content that adapts to where it is being viewed. For example, shorter videos with simpler and more immediate narrative hooks work better on social media, while a longer video, where you can take more time to develop a topic, is probably better suited for YouTube.
Personalization is actually an across-the-board trend with respect to the 5 B2B video marketing trends we have discussed, and even in the case of B2B marketing, it is based on one basic assumption: putting yourself in the end user’s shoes and humanizing your relationship with them from the very beginning.
Copywriter for television and online, she has been creating and managing editorial content for more than 15 years for multiple formats, including marketing and television.