According to a recent online survey of 400 senior marketing and media executives, two-thirds of them expect 2009 to be the year they embrace online video as an important part of their marketing strategies. Nearly three-quarters of those plan to use video to expand their brand awareness. And this trend will certainly be part of B2B marketing in the upcoming year.
Video is a more engaging medium than text on a screen, and as people become more comfortable with web video in their daily lives, this will flow through to the business arena. While there are several different approaches to generating video content for the web, companies will succeed when videos are created as part of a campaign with a clear goal in mind, and are developed within the context of the brand.
1. Develop your own videos
Cisco is a well known brand and a leader in the technology industry. As part of a product launch for the ASR 9000 router, they created a campaign around a bumbling tech reporter who is assigned to break the story of the new product. Even CEO John Chambers shows he can play along. The initial video was combined with a blog, facebook group, twitter account, youtube and a preview launch site to build awareness of the product launch. Read more about the success of the campaign and the importance of cross-promoting video content on Dianna Huff’s B2B Marcom blog.
Marketing software and service provider Hubspot created this video to explain what they can do for their clients. Again they cross-promote this, and other video content, through their blog, facebook, twitter and youtube.
2. Call for user-generated content
Software company iRise has a slew of informational corporate videos, product demos and customer testimonial videos on their website, but according to this blog post by Tom Humbarger, the company CMO wanted to host a user-generated video contest to build awareness for the company’s products and give its customers the opportunity to share their passion.
By offering a $15,000 first prize, the company generated 44 entries to the contest. This was the result of posting in over 100 online forums and groups for film and video makers. While he calls the campaign a success with over 16,000 visitors to the contest website, 57,000 page views, and more than 30,000 video views on YouTube, I would point back to the goals of the campaign. No videos were created by iRise customers, including the 3000 members of their user community, but only by creative types competing for a cash prize. And the winning entry is not even included in the video section of their web site. The announcement of the winner was on the company blog, and the contest site is still live for your perusal.
Since the creator of the contest no longer works at the company, we may never know how this user-generated contest affected the brand, but this is a good example of a B2B video contest.
3. Embrace existing user-generated content
And the final example of video marketing is to seek out and embrace video content that is being created. This example may be less relevant to B2B marketers, but people are passionate about their favorite brands and talk about them online. As video continues to be more widely used for online conversations, marketers and pr professionals need to be comfortable reaching out to video bloggers and be receptive when they reach out to them. Below is a video interview I did with Lynn Williams, Community Relations Representative of Mt Olive Pickle Company. I contacted her as a blogger interested in their New Year’s Eve event (a pickle drop) for my site NewYearsDrop.com
So, in summary, video will be an important part of marketing in 2009, but like all components of a marketing campaign, it must be developed with a clear goal for success, be consistent with your brand, and be part of a larger promotional strategy. If you have other examples of B2B video, or any comments to add, please leave them below.
Originally posted on Koroberi.com.