Over the past few years, online video has become an increasingly vital part of the content marketing mix for a huge number of brands. A new study, based on survey results from 350 B2B marketing, agency and management professionals confirms that 73% of respondents believe that video positively impacts marketing results and ROI.
The Web Video Marketing Council, in conjunction with Reelseo, and Flimp Media, has released the ‘2015 B2B Video Content Marketing Survey Results’ which reflects how many B2B brands and companies are using video as a medium for lead generation, and communication. The survey also takes a look at satisfaction levels with the ROI of video marketing, and the barriers to entry that are still considered to be a factor for many B2B video marketing teams.
Respondents to the survey were either actively using video as part of their content marketing strategy, or had an opinion about using video to generate leads, and visibility.
One very interesting statistic from the study was the fact that 63% of brands and companies had been using video as part of their content marketing campaigns for the past 5 years, with 32% of respondents stating that they began using video only in the past 2 years.
What stands out to us, but is by no means a surprise, is that 96% of B2B companies are using video content in some way. The fact that 32% began using video in the last two years goes to show how powerful video is becoming, especially recently.
Furthermore, the top reasons companies are using video come as no shock either… brand awareness and engagement.
A new study based on feedback from marketers, confirms that video has been found to convert better than other forms of digital content, with 71% saying online video performs better for them than text and images.
86% of those surveyed in the report from Vidyard and Ascend2, “Video Content Marketing: Identifying Metrics and Measuring Impact” also confirmed that they were seeing very positive engagement rates from using video, while 69% of respondents indicated that video had been a good vehicle for lead generation.
95% of respondents to the survey confirmed that video was an important and valuable form of marketing content. The overwelming majority indicated that video was far more important now than it had ever been, with another 32% acknowledging it was somewhat more important. None of those polled (from a pool that were using video as part of their marketing campaigns) said that video wasn’t important to them.
How well does video perform compared to other types of content at generating conversions (sales, downloads etc) for organizations? 71% confirmed that video was better at driving conversions than other type of content, with a further 27% indicating that it held its own. Only 2% of those polled said that video wasn’t performing as well as it should for them.
Brands and companies that are using a combination of self-hosting, and exposure on other websites, like YouTube, are seeing the greatest Return on Investment (ROI) for their video marketing efforts. Only 11% were choosing to host videos exclusively on their own properties, while 43% were exclusively posting content to external platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.
In terms of ROI, publication to a brand-owned property, plus an external portal such as YouTube, provided the best investment return, particularly if there were 51+ videos being created per year.
Content Marketing: Why Online Video Is Vital
If you feel online video is just another over hyped, passing fad, think again. In fact, online video is gaining strength as a source for content marketing, as highlighted by the recent B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Survey for 2012.
The take-away? Most respondents prefer video over white papers, case studies, even live demos with reps. And you should factor that into your 2013 content marketing strategy.
By the way, this survey was compiled by marketing automation giant Eloqua, CMO.com (Adobe’s content site providing digital marketing news and insight for senior marketing executives around the globe) and Software Advice, an online consultancy which publishes product profiles, comparisons and best practices guides to help buyers find the right software for their business. Read the blog post with all the details and an insightful video here.
So, Why Video?
The web trending towards video is made obvious by much more than the example above. After all, YouTube is the number two search engine in the world. This may lead you to the conclusion that we simply don’t like to read anymore. But the video preference situation we’re witnessing is much more detailed than that. So the question you may be asking yourself (or your boss may be asking you) is: Why video?
For this, let’s reference an expert. A real Ph.D. level expert, Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D. — also known as The “Brain Lady.” As a leading speaker, author and consultant to brands like Amazon, Disney, Walmart and South By Southwest, she brings a deep understanding of the psychology of customers and why they do what they do.
She has uncovered four core, very human reasons we are drawn to video as a form of content marketing:
#1: The Fusiform Facial area makes us pay attention to faces – this is an actual brain function that hard-wires us to use the human face as a gathering point for information and believability.
#2: Voice conveys rich information – yes, the simple sound of a human voice speaking to us has an amazing way of converting information into meaningful content.
#3: Emotions are contagious – here’s a subtle but powerful aspect that we may take for granted. The body language of emotions is an appealing and we naturally love to share.
#4: Movement grabs attention – another trait that runs deep in our collective anthropological DNA is the power of peripheral motion. Since the stone age, we’ve survived by noticing things in motion – looks like we still do!
Almost two years ago, the social team at Cisco realized they needed a new communication strategy. Having spent a great deal of time in the past focusing on very traditional corporate communiqué, Cisco began to brainstorm a new approach to their “newsroom” and from this, The Network was born. Instead of producing typical corporate content like press releases, Cisco is leading the way as a frontrunner of Brand Journalism. The creators of the project, including Karen Snell, Digital Lead for the social media team, understand that traditional methods of communicating are no longer working or have become largely irrelevant to their customers. They also realize that there are a high percentage of quality writers with backgrounds in journalism out of work in today’s economy.
When concepting the project, Snell’s team at Cisco thought about how they could use these writers given their tremendous value in terms of reputation, influence, and existing audience. The team eventually brought in these thought leaders to write about virtually any topic of their choosing. Articles relating to technology, business, and other emerging trends began to pour out of the newsroom via The Network blog. Significantly, though the articles appear on a Cisco-sponsored site, the company’s name doesn’t show up in a large percentage of the stories.
Cisco’s strategy represents a new wave of content creation in which businesses are focusing on providing their customers and target audience with valuable information rather than sales pitches. The approach is known as “Brand Journalism,” though Cisco didn’t know that is what their project would be called at the time of its creation.
“The goal was to generate engaging content to spark a conversation. said Snell.
Brand journalism represents a new type of content creation that businesses are clamoring to get a grasp of. Quality content that enables more intimate conversation between brands and their target audiences is beginning to prove more effective than almost any other online marketing strategy.
Interestingly, the approach that Cisco has taken is quite similar to classic journalistic reporting, in which readers are allowed to discover, consume, and share articles for themselves rather than feel as if they have been “sold” a particular piece of content. By deftly integrating time-tested journalistic practices with the latest trends in social and engagement marketing, Cisco’s The Network offers a blueprint for success in Brand Journalism.
For businesses, there is a great deal to be learned from Cisco’s newsroom. When crafting your content marketing strategy, the key is to hire good writers, produce quality content, and get people to talk about your business in a new way.
via Brand Journalism: Social Media Today.