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Why B2B Marketers Should Embrace Social Video

Stories on social media are now told through video. B2C marketers have found the medium very effective to increase engagement with their brands and even increase sales. Done right, it can prove just as effective for the B2B world. 

The internet is becoming increasingly dominated by videos. Cisco predicted that video traffic will account for 82 percent of all IP traffic (both business and consumer) by 2022.” A good chunk of that will be made up of the social videos put out by brands on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, the dominant platforms for this form of marketing content, according to Animoto ‘s 2018 report on social video 

While LinkedIn has been absent from that list, it too is now jumping on the video bandwagon. “Captivate a professional audience with native video at every stage of the buyer’s journey,” is what it promises those who take the plunge of reaching out via video on the platform. This movement is testament to the increasing interest of using video for B2B, according to  Cassandra Direnzo, social media strategist at Walker Sands, who detailed why and how B2B marketers should be using video on social.  

Of course, the B2B space is a little more complex for video marketing because, as Direnzo  “it is not as simple as Instagram video of cute shoes.” So the challenge of conveying what’s for sale “takes more creativity.” Still, brands are rising to the challenge because they know it pays off.  

Engaging customers on video in B2C markets has already been demonstrated. In fact, 88 percent of marketers report satisfaction with the ROI of videos on social, according to the Animoto report. What’s even more impressive is that 93 percent attest to its having worked to bring in new customers. 

“Brands are getting into video on social because they are realizing its benefits,” Direnzo observed. She referred to Sprout Social report, which pointed out that customers respond well to brand authenticity. “The best way to be authentic and transparent is with video,” she said. “I think that’s why it’s going to be more of a priority for B2B marketers to implement B2B on social.” 

So what types of videos should B2B marketers use to increase their social media audience engagement? As a general rule, Direnzo said, they should come across as authentic, and because even business people like to laugh, humor can be a plus to make a video more engaging and memorable if it fits with the brand image. 

There are three general types of videos that B2B brands may choose from : 

?     Customer testimonials  Businesses can connect with audiences by sharing complex details about their stories, inspirations or opinions. An example of this done well that she offered was the video about Slack in which the video production company explains how it came to use the app.


?      How-to videos  Companies directly interact with audiences by providing actionable steps that help their audience overcome specific industry pain points.

            “If you  want to increase brand awareness and engagement or lead generation then you may opt for a how-to video,” Direnzo said.  She offered the example of the Mailchimp video that used humor in depicting its service as a second brain:


?      Culture videos  Organizations show their personality, and audiences can see beyond services and develop deeper connections with businesses. This gives a brand the opportunity to both hop on a trending topic in popular culture and to showcase its own personality. She offered the example of Shutterstock’s capitalizing on the hype over the Fyre Festival fiasco with their own very similar-looking video:


If a company can be agile enough to get their videos out while people are still talking about something, connecting their messaging with trending topics can be a powerful way to draw attention. But they can also do it with events that are a bit less fleeting. She referred to Hubspot’s picking up on Jimmy Kimmel’s mean tweets, in a Facebook video. 

The question then is: why aren’t more brands already invested in social video? “Probably the biggest thing keeping them back is how expensive it can be,” Direnzo said. But she said it’s not always necessary to spend a lot given the number of new tools to make video creation affordable and easy enough to pull off in-house. 

Even if cost is not a concern, some hesitate to venture into what they may not be sure fits their own culture. They may feel their company “voice and tone” would not be a good fit for a humorous, off-beat video, the “out-of-the-box” kind that generally garners more interest. Conservative companies generally do not want to move beyond their comfort zone of the tried-and-true, which typically means textual content “whitepapers and eBooks.” 

But really, when was the last time you heard anyone report being really engaged by a whitepaper? The thing is that even if they have textual content that has worked well, Direnzo said, they can repurpose that into a video template. In that way, they can play it safe in terms of the substance of the content while giving it new life in animation or with people talking about the major points. 

Ultimately, Direnzo believes video can work well for a range of brands and on any platform, so long as it is aligned with the interests of the brand audience and is optimized for the platform on which it plays.

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